2004-09 posts.

  1. Amy Arrives. RE: Amy . Family .
  2. 2004-09-11t03:19:47Z. RE: aaBlog . Activities, Animation, Video . Artistry, Design, Form . Computers, Programming . Cyber Life . Fauna, Flora . Gadgets, Engineering, Technology, Function . Food . Games . Green . Humanity . Images, Photos . Jokes . Local . Martial Arts . Math . Movies . Pop Culture . Science . Sex . Terror . US . US Elections . WarCraft . Writing .
  3. 2004-09-16t02:23:32Z. RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 2D-t, Activities, Animation, Video . Audio, Music . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life . Engineering, Technology, Function . Faith, Philosophy . Food . Games, Play . Fauna, Flora, Green . Humanity . Local . Martial Arts . Movies . Science, Science Fiction . Sex . Terror . US Elections . Words, Writing .
  4. Making aaBlog v2, Part 1. RE: aaBlog . Blogging . Programming .
  5. 2004-09-17t17:00:50Z. RE: 2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art . AI, Robotics . Clothes, Fashion . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Surfing . Engineering, Function, Technology . Drink, Food . Fun, Games, Play . Healthcare, Medicine . Housing, Money . Local . Math, Science, Science Fiction . Pop Culture . Sex . Terror, War . US Elections . Web Development, Web Standards .
  6. Making aaBlog v2, Part 2. RE: aaBlog . Blogging . Programming .
  7. 2004-09-23t15:23:54Z. RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 3D, Architecture, Sculpture . Clothes, Fashion . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Email, Surfing . Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV . Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green . Ethics, Faith, Philosophy . Fun, Games, Play . Healthcare, Medicine . Humanity, Psychology, Sociology . Journalism, Media . Linux, Open Source . Love, Relationships, Sex . Math, Science, Science Fiction . Space . Stories, Words, Writing . Terror, War . US Elections .
  8. 2004-09-28t18:24:50Z. RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art . 2D+time, Activities, Animation, Video . Clothes, Fashion . Color . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Email, Surfing . Drink, Food . Economy, Finances, Money . Engineering, Function, Technology . Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV . Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green . Ethics, Faith, Philosophy . Fun, Games, Play . Humanity, Psychology, Sociology . Journalism, Media . Local . Love, Relationships, Sex . Math, Science, Science Fiction, Space . Money . Terror, War . US Elections . World .
  9. 2004-09-28 FMAs Weekly Class. RE: Martial Arts . Practice Notes . FMAs .

2004-09-06t03:51:02Z | RE: Amy . Family .
Amy Arrives

Our new girl was born yesterday, Saturday, the 4th of September, at 10:29 in the morning at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Amy Jule Hernandez was 2942 g (6 lb 7.8 oz), 50 cm (19.7 inches) long, and 32 cm (12.6 inches) around the head.

Julia's water broke at 6:30, we arrived at the hospital at 7:00, Julia got prepped and a spinal epidural shot (which, btw, Julia liked so much that she wishes she could use it every day). After I was satisfied that everything was good, I took the kids out to the playground which was just a bit north on the busy runner's path. Soon I got a call to come and I scooted the kids over (of course they had some distractions such as having to run up and down a few slopes of grass).

We arrived literally minutes before the delivery. Connie wanted to see Amy but was grossed out by the delivery so she kept herself distracted with the hospital's baby doll for nursing training. York on the other hand wanted to see everything and he did. In his analysis the delivery was "stinky" (his recent word for anything the least bit offensive like a carrot on his plate) and that Amy had a good color.

It took just a few pushes to see Amy's head, and a few more to pop out her head. At that position Amy's head was purplish and the very efficient hospital team did some suctioning of goop and stuff. Through this there was hand holding all around and some rah-rah-rahs of "Go Mom! Go Mom Go!" from me and the kids. After a push or two for the shoulders, Amy slipped right out like a bar of soap. Her purple color left quickly, I snipped the cord, and then it was time for clean up.

Amy is not a big crier but she gives out a few cries here and there to let us know that she's here. Of our kids, Amy had the nicest shaped head because of the quick deliver. She has a wide and round head. At birth Connie had a very pointy chin and York had no chin, but Amy was right in between. Amy has been nursing fairly well, she likes to yawn and to be swaddled. She can open and close both eyes but she also likes to close and open one eye at a time --as if she's peeping around.

Julia and Amy will rest a bit and come home on Monday morning.

1 day old Amy held by Connie

2004-09-11t03:19:47Z | RE: aaBlog . Activities, Animation, Video . Artistry, Design, Form . Computers, Programming . Cyber Life . Fauna, Flora . Gadgets, Engineering, Technology, Function . Food . Games . Green . Humanity . Images, Photos . Jokes . Local . Martial Arts . Math . Movies . Pop Culture . Science . Sex . Terror . US . US Elections . WarCraft . Writing .


  • I'm way behind on blogging because of work and the new baby Amy who arrived on 2004-09-04 (or 09/04/04 in US shorthand).
    • Metafilter from 08-14 through 09-10 has been skipped.
    • Blogdex, DayPop, etc. have been been skipped since 07-01.
    • Bush and the RNC have had a free pass for a few weeks but no more.
  • I will once more restate that I will try to just stay on top of blogging but I also refuse to let it become a chore.
    • There is stuff to do at work.
    • I want to change my blog archives so that permalinks will retrieve just the post instead of an entire month.
    • I've been busy working on my Martial Arts section and I will continue to do so.
    • I still haven't entered stuff from my 2004-05 trip to the Philippines!

Activities, Animation, Video

  • Home.datacomm.ch/marco.fernando/fla/bozzetto/olympics.swf [Flash animation]. Spoof of the Olympics. Sort of like Looney Tunes with a bit more blood.
  • Nigel Hendrickson's Cheech Wizard Project Page. You can download their practice of computer animation. Not much as far as story and the look is no longer novel. I'd say that at least some kids might want to see it except for the mild profanity.
  • The Giants of Anime are Coming
    • 'The three titans of Japanese animation are all about to unleash monster new films. Watch your back, Shrek.'
    • This article is also an excellent piece on manga and anime in general
    • Coming soon:
      • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence by Mamoru Oshii via DreamWorks
      • Steamboy by Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame) via Sony
      • Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki of Spirited Away fame via Disney
  • A Glimpse into the World of Japanese Animation. 'During my time working at Production I.G from early 2001 to the end of 2003 on Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, I had the extraordinary chance to experience first-hand what it was like to work in a Japanese animation studio.'

Artistry, Design, Form

  • "Tricks of the Trade" by Matthew Baldwin. "Trick of the trade" from multiple trades. Fun and useful!
  • FryFonts.com. 'Everyday, webmasters everywhere are looking for the perfect free font to complete there latest project. Our Collection covers a broad range of styles and variety's. We hand pick every font in our collection to insure that you have the highest quality of free fonts on the web! '
  • Xample.net. Some HTML tutorials and resources.
  • Bullet Madness. Cool! Publicly submitted images to use for bullet lists.
  • NeoKaiju.com. Art/Toys that look like kaiju, i.e. Japanese monsters as featured in The Power Puff Girls. My kids will probably enjoy just seeing the Flash animated intro.

Computers, Programming

Cyber Life

Fauna, Flora

Gadgets, Engineering, Technology, Function

  • Hamster-Powered Night Light With Custom Low-RPM Alternator
  • Amazing Money Jar Bank. 'This unique jar recognizes coins as they go in and keeps a running total of their value. A special LCD display in the lid tells you exactly how much you've saved.'
    a money jar bank that counts
  • Space houses on Earth
    • 'The spherical form of the SpaceHouse is the result of the use of high-tech composite materials developed for rigid, strong spacecraft structures. It uses highly efficient solar panels from spacecraft to generate electricity, which is then stored in lithium-ion batteries, further optimized by the use of a special energy-management system power-point tracker developed for satellites. The house is super-insulated and uses advanced heating, cooling and ventilation concepts. The SpaceHouse concept is a novel proposal for sustainable housing based on advanced materials and technologies developed by Europe for its space programmes.'
    • 'The SpaceHouse has a spherical shape with the basic dimension of from 12 to 40 metres in diameter allowing for 80 to 2000 m2 on up to five floors. It is designed to cope with:
      • wind speeds of up to 220 km/h (10 second gusts)
      • flooding to depths of up to 3 metres
      • earthquakes of up to 7.5 on the Richter scale
      • subsidence of up to 1.5 metres during the lifetime of the building
      • severe hail and exceptionally heavy rain
      • bush-fire resistance (to a certain extent) '
    • I want one!
    • model of a spaceship based house
  • In Praise of My UPS Shirt. I love simple useful features. So UPS has great service, green cars, and efficient shirts!
    The virtues of a UPS shirt
  • A Flying Leap for Cars: That's right, efforts to take personal transportation airborne are progressing rapidly. It's been easy to ignore reports of commercial flying cars but it looks like they're actually making progress.
  • The Bose electromagnetic suspension system for cars [/.]. Almost as good as a flying car! This is a much more impressive engineering development than the usual boring stuff that they rave about in the auto industry.
  • NC State engineers patent methods for 3-D nanostructures [/.]
    • 'The new methods are a breakthrough in nanotechnology that opens the door to creating new materials for a myriad of applications, including super-dense data storage, solid-state lighting, super-strong materials and advanced detection systems. According to Narayan, three-dimensional self-assembly is the key to being able to use the nanostructures.'
    • ' "The grand challenge is to be able to use the nanounit in the form of nanodot, nanowire or nanodisc," said Narayan. "In the past we could make only one layer of the nanostructure with these units. There was only two-dimensional self-assembly, which is not usable for applications. We couldn't control the properties of the medium. Now, with this development, we can control the medium and do three-dimensional self-organization. More importantly, we can change the size in different layers and change the functionality at different depths." '
    • 'The patented processes can be applied to almost any material. To create nanostructures for the different applications, the material used for the nanodots and the matrix are changed. For example, to create structures for data storage, Narayan uses nickel; for solid-state applications, gallium nitride or zinc oxide is used; for superstrong materials, copper, tungsten carbide and nickel aluminide are used; and for ceramics, aluminum oxide is used.'
    • 'Narayan anticipates that the first applications of his nanodots will be available to consumers within the next five years. He predicts that data storage and solid-state lighting will be the most likely consumer applications to be developed during that time.'
  • Smelly robot eats flies to generate its own power [/.]. ^^


  • FoodGeeks.com. Geeks have to eat too! Scale recipes and convert ingredients to metric and decimals. Not as good as it could be because although they convert between pounds and kg, why didn't they convert between cups and liters? Tablespoons/teaspoons and milliliters?




  • Brain Scans Reveal That Revenge Is Sweet
    • ' This sort of causal relationship may explain why people are willing to discipline a stranger even when there is no immediate gain in it for them. "Emotions play a proactive as well as reactive role," remarks Brian Knutson of Stanford University who penned an accompanying commentary. He notes that "passionate" forces may need to be included in economic models because, as this research shows, "people show systematic deviations from rationality." '
    • One, revenge is pleasurable.
    • Two, the pleasure from the passion of revenge drives people more than the rational reasons of revenge. Yes, although people like to think of people as rational, we are really more emotional beings than rational beings. Rationality and passion can produce saints. Irrationality and passion can produce people fooled by Republicans. Rationality, passion, and greed produces Republicans and devils. It's one of the reasons why the freak Bush is anywhere: he and his rich, politically vested pals take advantage of people that are emotional sheep. That's why political arguments tire me so: I can argue rationally, but I don't have the persona, the political and psychological skills to convince emotionally. It's not about hate: It's about love. It's not xenophobia: It's about philoxenia. It's not just about loving ourselves: It's about loving others too. Why did we do destructive vengeance when we could have constructive, cooperative vengeance?
  • Hypertaskers do things faster but not better [/.]
    • Alas! I feel ever so guilty. However, I still get into the "zone" sometimes and focus on one particular task while almost ignoring everything else. The problem and the answer is this: Do you have technology? Or does technology have you?
    • 'In addition, Kelly often has multiple screens open on two computer monitors and an active cellphone and pager. It puts him in what experts describe as a technological cocoon, "connected" but oblivious to the real people around him.'
    • 'In a recent study at Harvard University, psychologist Yuhong Jiang studied the brains of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as they performed "extremely easy tasks." When the students were asked to identify a letter and a color simultaneously, it took twice as long as when they did each task separately. In addition, brain activity diminished. "When the brain tries to do two tasks (at once), instead of increasing activity it has decreased activity," Jiang says. "It's not as efficient." '
    • ' When you do too many complicated things at once, for too long under stress, you risk damaging the very part of your brain that allows you to juggle those activities. It's the same part of the brain we rely on to prioritize, plan and do higher-level thinking, Grafman says. Weil puts it this way: "Human beings are built to multitask to a certain degree but not to the degree technology has built." The results are sleeplessness, job burnout, aggressive behavior and irritability. "Society is kind of in meltdown," she says. '
  • Cracking Under the Pressure? It's Just the Opposite, for Some
    • 'Chronic stress has been linked to an array of illnesses, including heart disease and depression. But people who cope successfully, studies have found, punch in at work with normal levels of stress hormones that climb during the day and drop sharply at night. Their coworkers who complain of being too stressed have consistently higher levels of hormones that rarely dip very far, trapping them in a constant state of anxiety.'
    • 'People's attitudes toward their jobs and the degree to which they feel they make a difference by showing up each day have long been considered powerful indicators of how well they will do. Being just another cog in a machine with no say over what happens is almost guaranteed to cause burnout. But even in the most grueling work environment, people can cope if they feel they have some control.'
    • 'People who exhibit hardiness are reluctant to cede control. They are also less likely to feel victimized by their bosses or by unpredictable life circumstances. When there is a crisis at work, they can tough it out because they accept a harsh workload or the occasional pink slip as an unsavory but inevitable part of life, psychologists say.'
    • ' Those who collapse under the pressures of the workplace are prone to envision every worst-case scenario, while resilient people think of how a greater workload, for example, might lead to a promotion. In studies, researchers have found that perhaps the only time pessimists thrive is when they become lawyers. "If you're drawing up a contract, the ability to see every foreseeable danger is something that goes along with pessimism, but it's also what makes a good lawyer," Dr. Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, said. "The problem is, not only are they good at seeing that the roof might collapse on you, they're also good at seeing that their mate might be having an affair, that they're never going to make partner." '

Images, Photos

  • LaurenHarman.com/alice/. A collection of Alice in Wonderland as rendered by various artists.
  • PostcardMan.net. Hundreds of 'Worldwide Vintage Postcards'.
  • How-To Tuesday: Make 3-D photos. Using a Photoshop.
  • Casio Exilim Card EX-S100.
    • 'The Casio Exilim Card EX-S100 is a super thin 3.2 megapixel digital camera. Casio are billing it as the world's smallest digital camera with a 2.8x optical zoom (with their new ceramic lens technology). It measures in at 88 x 57 x 16.7mm but still has a 2.0inch LCD screen. The Casio Exilim Card EX-S100 is due to be released in October 2004.'
    • Geez! That's like a thumb-thick credit card! 3.2 megapixels is good enough for some decent sized film-quality prints.
  • Nightmares 4. Just another public Photoshop contest. You'd think that they'd do this closer to Halloween.
    a nightmare rendered in Photoshop
  • PlanetDan's Senior Photo Collection Volume 1. Very funny but also pretty sad because most of the photos look better than my high school album photo. >_< .
    someone's choice for their high school photo


  • I can't authenticate any of these but these blunders sound plausible:

    Olympic Medal Winners

    Here are comments made by NBC sports commentators, and one competitor, during the Summer Olympics that they would like to take back. If there were medals for verbal gaffes, these would be gold.

    1. Weightlifting commentator: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing."
    2. Dressage commentator: "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother."
    3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."
    4. Boxing Analyst: "Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious."
    5. Softball announcer: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."
    6. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces."
    7. At the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew."
    8. Soccer commentator: "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."
    9. Tennis commentator: "One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them...Oh my God, what have I just said?" '


  • Chicago in Science Fiction. Someone's compiled a list of science fiction stories with settings in Chicago.
  • MusicBoxTheatre.com is showing a lot of Cary Grant movies in September. This is the centennial of his birth but I wonder why they're doing this in September when Cary was born 1904-01-18.
  • Baby gorilla debuts with prized pedigree [2004-09-08]
    • 'Like a newborn princess, the baby gorilla girl [currently unnamed] who arrived Wednesday at Brookfield Zoo already has a well-planned and privileged life ahead of her, including the best upbringing money can buy and eventual betrothal to a carefully selected silverback leader.'
    • 'She will receive royal treatment because of her bloodlines. Her father is Ramar, who at 36 is an elderly, wild-born lowland gorilla who, up until now, has sired only one other baby. Her mother is 9-year-old Koola, the only offspring of another wild-born male, Abe, who died soon after Koola's birth in 1995.'
    • Pretty funny considering that I had a daughter on 2004-09-04!
  • Camera network to watch over city
    • 'Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday announced a major expansion of the city's video surveillance system, adding 250 cameras and tying more than 2,000 existing cameras used by the city, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority and other local governmental agencies to the city's 911 center.'
    • Of course, we'd have to do a lot more to match the number cameras all over London.
    • For some reason I don't feel that my privacy is invaded. I'm actually more concerned about City workers slacking off poring over the video looking for hot babes.
  • An apple a day (or more). This article covers apple-picking in the Chicagoland area.

Martial Arts

  • The War Room. 'Inside the fully immersive proving ground where tomorrow's soldiers are being trained by coalition forces of the Pentagon, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.'
  • My current morning exercise routine before I take my shower. It takes roughly 30 minutes.
    • 2 minutes of general overall stretching, loosening, and "stretching like a dog" (anything I feel like in anyway).
    • 40-60 pushups in a row.
    • 20 repetitions of 12+ kinds of abdominal exercises.
    • 4 sets where I hold a bridge position for 10 seconds at a time.
    • 100+ butt exercises where my feet are flat on the floor, my knees are bent 90 degrees, and my shoulders, head, and arms touch the floor but not my back; The repetition involves raising and lowering my hips. I find it easy to do these reps if I imagine that I am doing the repetitions sexually. It is one of the best butt exercises but not one to do in public and for a class.
    • 30-50 Indian squats. Start by standing upright, hands cocked to the side of the chest. Lower the hands to the floor --avoid bending the knees too much--while keeping the feet flat and the back as upright as possible. Then straighten up while reaching forwards with your hands.
    • 3 sets of calf raises (for toe pointing straight, inward, and then outward) for 20-40 repetitions per set. Stretch the calves immediately after the sets!
    • 3-5 minutes of shadow boxing using all sorts of hand and foot techniques.
    • 5-10 minutes long deep stretching.


  • Is Encryption Doomed? [/.]
    • 'Our entire information society rests on a fragile foundation that mathematicians are racing to dismantle.'
    • 'The problem--independently formalized by the mathematicians Stephen Cook and Leonid Levin in 1971--remains one of the central unsolved questions of modern mathematics. It is a problem about other problems. Cook and Levin asked whether there exist mathematical puzzles that are hard to solve, but that have solutions that are easy to verify. As the problem is commonly phrased, the mathematicians asked whether P [Polynomial] is equal or not equal to NP [Nondeterministic Polynomial].'
      • The usu. shorthand is P ?= NP.
    • 'what Cook and Levin realized simultaneously back in 1971 is that there exists a large number of NP problems that can be thought of as "perfect" or "complete." Each of these so-called NP-complete problems encompasses everything that it means to be an NP problem. That means that if a solution for any NP-complete problem could be found that could be solved in polynomial time, then a short-cut solution could be found for every NP problem. In practical terms, that would spell the end of encryption as we know it. The Internet would be vulnerable to hackers and computer viruses.'


Pop Culture

  • GreatBigStuff.com. Just in case you need to by anything over-sized.
  • BloodRayne-TheMovie.com. Video game becomes movie again. Related: BloodRayne2.com.
  • Twilight Zone: Planet of the Apes. 'Planet of the Apes "re-imagined" as an episode of The Twilight Zone. Why? Both were written by Rod Serling!'
  • Tokyo Damage Report 'hi, i'm an American jerk. I live in Tokyo, have a messed up sense of humor, and a keen eye for the absurd. 1-- This page is about interesting (meaning, fucked up) things that one can do in Tokyo. punk, visual, cosplay, s/m, gothic, street trends, capsule hotels, bizarre magazines, random subcultures, and bad Engrish. . . . .also it is about tokyo's urban legends: square watermelons, Sanrio condoms, politically incorrect vending machines, etc. . . '
  • Should Star Trek Die? [/.]. This is a /. thread in response to a NYT article.


  • Two Muppets named top scientists
    • 'Muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker defeated Dr. Strangelove, Dana Scully of "X Files" fame and Star Trek's Mr. Spock to be voted Britain's favorite screen scientists.'
    • They're all heroes of science because every field needs fresh young blood.
    • The Muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker
    • Oh that poor assistant Beaker!
  • Genesis Capsule Crashes; Chutes Blamed [/.]. Alas! I saw this live while I was doing my morning exercises. Failure is always a possibility on missions like these. No one was killed so we can console ourselves with humor. The first post in the /. thread points to Khaaan!

Sex [assume NSFW]


  • Bush Leak Allowed Terrorists to Escape. 'the White House blew the cover of a U.S. intelligence mole in order to publicly justify raising the terror alert level one week after the Democratic National Convention. In the process, it allowed terrorists who threaten America to evade capture.'
  • Linguistics professor George Lakoff dissects the "war on terror" and other conservative catchphrases. It's important to see and understand framing not just because it works but because it is often invisible.
  • "How Long Can the Country Stay Scared?" by Bruce Schneier
    • 'A terrorist alert that instills a vague feeling of dread or panic, without giving people anything to do in response, is ineffective. Even worse, it echoes the very tactics of the terrorists. There are two basic ways to terrorize people. The first is to do something spectacularly horrible, like flying airplanes into skyscrapers and killing thousands of people. The second is to keep people living in fear. Decades ago, that was one of the IRA's major aims. Inadvertently, the DHS is achieving the same thing.

      European countries that have been dealing with terrorism for decades, like the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, and Spain, don't have cute color-coded terror alert systems. Even Israel, which has seen more terrorism -- and more suicide bombers -- than anyone else, doesn't issue vague warnings about every possible terrorist threat.

      These countries understand that security doesn't come from a scared populace, and that true counter-terrorism occurs behind the scenes and away from public eye. For earthquakes, the long term security solutions include things like building codes. For terrorism, they include intelligence, investigation, and emergency response preparedness.

      The DHS's incessant warnings against any and every possible method of terrorist attack has nothing to do with security, and everything to do with politics. In 2002, Republican strategist Karl Rove instructed Republican legislators to make terrorism the mainstay of their campaign. Study after study has shown that Americans worried about terrorism are more likely to vote Republican. Strength in the face of the terrorist threat is the basis of Bush's reelection campaign.'

    • I'm still very proud that on the actual day of 9/11, I kept working even though I was just a few blocks from the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the US. If al Queda doesn't scare me, I'll be damned if I let a devil like Bush make me a coward.
  • The Russians have been having a number of terrorist attacks lately (planes and the school). Russia will now copy US's method of pre-emptive force anywhere in the world to fight terrorism. A fine excuse for Russia and any country to justify increasing their military budgets.
  • U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq Pass 1,000. Well, it had to happen sometime.
  • A moment of silence for the anniversary of 9/11.


  • Fascism Anyone?. ' Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, identifies 14 characteristics common to fascist regimes. His comparisons of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet yielded this list of 14 "identifying characteristics of fascism." '
  • All That Secrecy Is Expensive. 'Some of the rise is understandable, with the government's increased focus on security since 9/11. But even some of Washington's leading authorities on government secrecy were caught off-guard by just how fast classification is increasing -- and just how much money it's taking to keep all that information locked away.'

US Elections

  • The RNC (Republican National Convention) is upon us so the RNC are going to kick this election into high gear with a lot of dirt. I think the Democrats should fling back. The problem is that the Republicans, like Puritans, are better at making everyone appear so dirty when they themselves are the dirtiest.
  • "Smear and Pivot: Bush's Campaign Strategy" by Andrew Sullivan. 'Last week, in this space, I crunched the numbers and found that, from the polling so far, this race was John Kerry's to lose unless the dynamic of the election suddenly changed. It appears that the Bush campaign has realized the same thing. And when the Bush family finds itself in difficult political waters, they have a long-established, sure-fire tactic. They find a way to detect their opponent's strongest card and discredit it. They do so using surrogates to keep their patrician hands clean, and they are absolutely not above the vilest of smears. And so last week, they made their move.'
  • RNCNotWelcome.org
  • NY Times chart on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", which I've reproduced here because it'll disappear shortly. The "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" is such a transparent dirty political trick by the Bush campaign but it works because people are sheep. The Bush administration smears, and then when the smearing unravels and the truths are known, they let it fade away --but by then the damage is done and enough of their useful idiots remember what they want to remember. [Hmm... the URL looks hacked to me]
    click to see the full size chart on the Swift Boat story
  • "Cheney Speaks to the Reptile Brain" by Thom Hartmann. ' "America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive," Cheney said, firing first the thinking brain ("too many wars") and then the limbic brain ("for our wishes[/hopes/ideals]"). And then he went for the reptile brain: "...but not one of them was won by being sensitive." '
  • OnTheIssues.org. 'Our mission is to provide non-partisan information for voters in the Presidential election, so that votes can be based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity.'
  • John Kerry interview on the Daily Show [Quicktime video, 12 min.]. Ha ha! George Bush doesn't have the what it takes to do an interview like this. After Bush's few lousy interviews, Bush will only face interviewers who will stick to Bush's script, his talking points.
  • The GOP doesn't reflect America
    • Michael Moore hanging out at the Republican National Convention.
    • 'I asked one man who told me he was a "proud Republican," "Do you think we need strong laws to protect our air and water?"

      "Well, sure," he said. "Who doesn't?"

      I asked whether women should have equal rights, including the same pay as men.

      "Absolutely," he replied.

      "Would you discriminate against someone because he or she is gay?"

      "Um, no." The pause -- I get that a lot when I ask this question -- is usually because the average good-hearted person instantly thinks about a gay family member or friend.

      I've often found that if I go down the list of "liberal" issues with people who say they're Republican, they are quite liberal and not in sync with the Republicans who run the country. Most don't want America to be the world's police officer and prefer peace to war. They applaud civil rights, believe all Americans should have health insurance and think assault weapons should be banned. Though they may personally oppose abortion, they usually don't think the government has the right to tell a women what to do with her body.

      There's a name for these Republicans: RINOs or Republican In Name Only. They possess a liberal, open mind and don't believe in creating a worse life for anyone else.

      So why do they use the same label as those who back a status quo of women earning 75 cents to every dollar a man earns, 45 million people without health coverage and a president who has two more countries left on his axis-of-evil-regime-change list?

      I asked my friend on the street. He said what I hear from all RINOs: "I don't want the government taking my hard-earned money and taxing me to death. That's what the Democrats do."

      Money. That's what it comes down to for the RINOs. They do work hard and have been squeezed even harder to make ends meet. They blame Democrats for wanting to take their money. Never mind that it's Republican tax cuts for the rich and billions spent on the Iraq war that have created the largest deficits in history and will put all of us in hock for years to come.'

  • What If Bush Wins: Predictions on the likely consequences of a second term for President Bush. By a panel of 16 writers.
  • Anti-Bush or Pro-Kerry slogans. I'm sure there are many more out there and new ones coming but here are some for now.
    • 9/11 != Iraq
    • </bush>
    • Bush Lied, Soldier Died
    • Asses Of Evil
    • Buck Fush
    • Yes Trees, No Bush
    • George Bush: Words Speak Louder Than Facts
    • kerry us
    • Vote for Change
    • We can do better
  • The text of a letter former President Carter sent to Zell Miller over the weekend.
    • Zell Miller is the Senator and fake Democrat who gave a speech at the Repbulican Naitonal Convention.
    • 'Zell, I have known you for forty-two years and have, in the past, respected you as a trustworthy political leader and a personal friend. But now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral preemptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause. These are not the characteristics of great Democrats whose legacy you and I have inherited.'
  • Cheney Warns Against Vote for Kerry
    • I am continuously floored that so many people cannot see how Bush and key people related to his administration are so blatantly evil.
    • ' "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.'


  • I somehow managed to squeeze in some games of WarCraft. It's sort of odd because a v 1.17 should be coming out any day now.
  • What I've been doing lately is making melee and light air. This works best for Night Elves, then Humans, then Orcs, and then the Undead.


  • "Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes" by Stephen King
  • "The Age of the Essay" by Paul Graham.
    • The essay in history, literature, and modern life.
    • 'The other big difference between a real essay and the things they make you write in school is that a real essay doesn't take a position and then defend it. That principle, like the idea that we ought to be writing about literature, turns out to be another intellectual hangover of long forgotten origins.'
    • 'In the things you write in school you are, in theory, merely explaining yourself to the reader. In a real essay you're writing for yourself. You're thinking out loud. But not quite. Just as inviting people over forces you to clean up your apartment, writing something that other people will read forces you to think well. So it does matter to have an audience.'
    • 'The Meander (aka Menderes) is a river in Turkey. As you might expect, it winds all over the place. But it doesn't do this out of frivolity. The path it has discovered is the most economical route to the sea. The river's algorithm is simple. At each step, flow down. For the essayist this translates to: flow interesting. Of all the places to go next, choose the most interesting. ... Fundamentally an essay is a train of thought-- but a cleaned-up train of thought, as dialogue is cleaned-up conversation. Real thought, like real conversation, is full of false starts. It would be exhausting to read. You need to cut and fill to emphasize the central thread, like an illustrator inking over a pencil drawing. But don't change so much that you lose the spontaneity of the original.'
    • 'How do you find surprises? Well, therein lies half the work of essay writing. (The other half is expressing yourself well.) The trick is to use yourself as a proxy for the reader. You should only write about things you've thought about a lot. And anything you come across that surprises you, who've thought about the topic a lot, will probably surprise most readers. ... So if you want to write essays, you need two ingredients: a few topics you've thought about a lot, and some ability to ferret out the unexpected.'
    • 'Collecting surprises is a similar process. The more anomalies you've seen, the more easily you'll notice new ones. Which means, oddly enough, that as you grow older, life should become more and more surprising. When I was a kid, I used to think adults had it all figured out. I had it backwards. Kids are the ones who have it all figured out. They're just mistaken.'

2004-09-16t02:23:32Z | RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 2D-t, Activities, Animation, Video . Audio, Music . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life . Engineering, Technology, Function . Faith, Philosophy . Food . Games, Play . Fauna, Flora, Green . Humanity . Local . Martial Arts . Movies . Science, Science Fiction . Sex . Terror . US Elections . Words, Writing .

2D, Images, Photos

2D-t, Activities, Animation, Video

  • Codec-Download.com. All the video codecs, old & new, for free.
  • Hefner, Stan Lee team for 'Superbunnies'. 'MTV has ordered an animated pilot for "Hef's Superbunnies," a collaboration between cartooon veteran Lee's newly launched Pow! Entertainment and Playboy's Alta Loma Entertainment division. Hefner's name and likeness will be featured in the pilot, and he also might provide the voice of his cartoon alter ego.'
  • ColorCalm.com. Now you can buy a DVD to use your TV to provide visual and audio background, sort of like a screen saver and Muzak.

Audio, Music

Computers, Networking, Programming

  • CSS Media Types Create Print-Friendly Pages. Nothing terribly new here but a good little summary on making CSS for print as opposed to screen viewing.
    • General rules for print CSS:
      • ' Change colors to black on white.
      • Change the font to serif.
      • Watch the font size.
      • Underline all links.
      • Remove non-essential images.
      • Remove navigation.
      • Remove some or most of the advertising.
      • Remove all JavaScript, Flash, and animated images. '
    • Make sure these items show up on print. You may hide this for screen.css but show them for print.css.
      • A byline (to indicate who wrote the article)
      • The original URL.
      • Copyright notification.
    • Sample print.css:
        font-family:"Times New Roman", Times, serif;
    • Link to print.css in the <head> element. EG: <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="print.css" media="print" />.
    • I don't make a print.css for my personal site because my screen version is essentially a print version.
  • A Guide To Firefox Extensions [/.]. Not just for the IE-to-Firefox converts but also the Mozilla-to-Firefox switchers. I just wish they could commit themselves to producing Firefox v1.0 instead of the current 0.9 version.
    • Oops! I almost spoke too soon! (Look a few bullets down.)
  • Building A Lo-Fat Linux Desktop
  • Merlin.blogs.com/43Folders/. By Merlin Mann. A blog about tricks and hacks.
  • Tutorialized.com. Tutorials, How-To's, etc. on various computer tech stuff.
  • The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes
    • 'While testing our participants' eye movements across several news homepage designs, Eyetrack III researchers noticed a common pattern: The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right. Only after perusing the top portion of the page for some time did their eyes explore further down the page.'
    • general pattern of the eyes on a typical web page
    • Lots of other good info on the page too.
  • Wikipedia.org/wiki/OS-tan. 'A small internet phenomenon on Futaba Channel, the OS-tan (OS for Operating System, and -tan as an overly cute Japanese honorific for a person, specifically a child slurring "-chan") or simply OS Girls are the personification of several OSes, most famously Windows, by various amateur Japanese artists. A pure fan creation, the appearance of each character is generally consistent among artists. OSes are almost always portrayed as women, the Windows girls usually as sisters, despite sometimes seeming the same age.'
    The OS Girl for DOS
  • Firefox 1.0 Preview Release (0.10PR) Released! [/.]
    • 'The Firefox 1.0 Preview Release has been released. The 1.0 final release won't be out for another month or so, and as such, the version number for this release is 0.10PR. For those who still count in decimal, 0.10 is larger than 0.9, despite what you were taught in school.'
      • Well, I'm still waiting waiting for 1.0 then.
      • Bah! They should have called it "0.9.9" instead of "0.10PR".

Cyber Life

Engineering, Technology, Function

  • $14 Steadycam: The Poor Man's Steadicam. Look Ma: No duck tape!
    different configurations of a home made steadycam
  • The Flapper
    • 'As far as I know, this is the only paper airplane that flaps its wings when it flies. No motor, no rubberbands. Just a piece of typing paper, a penny and an inch of tape.'
    • BRB: I'm going to build the plane myself.
    • ...
    • Back: It took around 10 minutes and there might be some flapping but it's hard to tell. I do like how the weight of the penny allows it to fly fairly decisively though.
  • AquaDom. 'Positioned in the center of the hotel complex, the base of the AquaDom rises 26 feet above the ground floor. Visitors have the unique experience of ascending through the water's depths as they ride a split-level glass elevator from the ground floor up seven floors, through the center of the AquaDom. As they rise they experience an array of colorful corals, rock formations and a myriad of over 2,000 fish. The AquaDom breaks all records as the largest cylinder aquarium in the world, at over 52 feet in depth by 36 feet in diameter. This engineering marvel took 150 tons of acrylic to complete.'
    The AquaDom has an elevator through it
  • 21 Century Hobbit Hole. It can also double as a bomb shelter.
    floor plans for a subterranean home
  • Your brand new U-Lock is not safe. Please read this RIGHT NOW. [MeFi]
    • Apparently you can open U-locks like the Kryptonite locks with a Bic pen. They have videos like this proving it.
    • The MeFi thread has other good tips such as 'use different kinds of lock'.
    • I've had a friend open my lock with a drill and he said it was pretty easy.

Faith, Philosophy


  • CookingForEngineers.com. More than just "a can of Coke" --this site presents recipes and cooking information in a fresh, efficient way. Engineers are super!
  • Restaurant Customer Arrested For Tipping Under 18%. I've never questioned the legality of restaurants billing large parties a fixed tip automatically. I consider that stuff to be part of the expense of eating at such an establishment.

Games, Play

  • NoGravity.com [Boing Boing]. Boing Boing says: 'For about $3,000 US, passengers will be able to experience about 20 doses of parabolic weightlessness during a 90-minute trip. Nothing like this has ever been offered to American consumers before. ZERO-G is the only company with FAA approval to conduct weightless flights for the public within the US. '
  • Ye Olde Disciplinary Punch-and-Judy Show
    • ' So the "ludology" vs. "narratology" debate has flared up again, along with accompanying feuding over whether "game studies" really is or should be a discipline. '
    • 'So I thought I'd take a crack at this old chestnut myself. On one hand, I think the ludologists are if anything being too generous to some of what has been said about games by scholars who come more from the narratology end of things--the problem with some narratological accounts isn't that narrative is somehow intrinsically different in games, it's that some people coming out of literary or cultural studies have a tendency to write about genres and texts that they know little or nothing about. On the other hand, I don't have much sympathy for the desire to make "game studies" a discipline, partly because that's not where my bread is buttered, but also because I think academic writing about games provides a good opportunity to practice a new middlebrow form of academic cultural criticism that consciously avoids the insular norms of scholarly writing.'
  • 'Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks tried to do Choose Your Own Adventure books one better with D&D-style rules. These massively single-player games, released in Britain, absorbed '80s nerds into the kind of murky, dead-serious fantasy recently parodied by Trogdor, in a decade when interactive fiction was on the rise. A bunch of the Gamebooks are now available to play online. Hang on to those healing potions. ' [MeFi]

Fauna, Flora, Green

  • Capsulamundi.com.
  • FisheryCrisis.com [MeFi]. There are many sites that go over the problems with the sea and this is one of them. People think that disappearing fish won't affect them but it does. Fish is the greatest source of protein for people on the planet. The fact that they can't catch fish as big as they used to harms my soul as well. Sometimes you need a scientists, public outcry, and courageous governments to step in because if the "free markets" are allowed to run wild, people will eat themselves to harm.
  • Wind Power - Up and coming blow [/.]
    • 'The cost for wind power is more expensive than other options, but the cost has recently decreased. The price used to be 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, but as of June it dropped to 1 cent per kwh.'
    • I keep pounding and pounding that the next economy is a Green Economy.
    • There are people who are willing to pay more for things that are greener: more renewable, more ethical.


  • DimensionsMagazine.com. This site concerns itself with heavy people. Some of it borders on fetish but I think the site is serious. Self-esteem, sexuality, etc. should be a separate issue from weight but it is hard to do sometimes. Some people who have a high BMI are actually quite healthy but it can get quite dangerous.
  • "This I Believe! - Tom's 60 TIBs" by Tom Peters [leads to a PDF]. I understand that these are very abbreviated notes. But sometimes I find PowerPoint presentations too airy; sometimes I find corporate-speak/catchy-phrases offensive; sometimes I don't have the patience to hear something restated in a different way. I had to continuously get over these internal mental hurdles to actually listen to what he was saying because much of it is actually quite good.
  • Key words. I put key words at the top of my home page but it changes frequently so I want to take a snap shot of it now and then.
    • Athens > Sparta. Real Earth > Real Estate. Science > Superstition. Honest Questions > Blind Faith. Philoxenia > Xenophobia. Meter > Yard. Problems = Opportunities.
    • Explore. Fun. Self-Integrity. Urgency. Respond. Beauty. Non-Fixation. Grace. Joy. Challenge.  Kindness.
    • Everything is easy. Be present. Mistakes happen. Do you have X or does X have you? Out your inner world. Respect and Dignity. Invest and give more than just money. Study then use your instincts. The emotional and spiritual world are as real as physical one.
  • Hypnosis really changes your mind
    • 'But under hypnosis, Gruzelier found that the highly susceptible subjects showed significantly more brain activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus than the weakly susceptible subjects. This area of the brain has been shown to respond to errors and evaluate emotional outcomes. The highly susceptible group also showed much greater brain activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex than the weakly susceptible group. This is an area involved with higher level cognitive processing and behaviour.'
    • ' Peter Naish, at the UK's Open University, says this moves the understanding of hypnosis away from the popular misconceptions created by showy stage hypnotists. "We have a technique that has now moved towards evidence-based treatments," he says. "Gruzelier's work is showing for sure that the brain is doing quite different things under hypnosis than in normal everyday existence." '
  • NeuroDiversity.com.
    • 'Honoring the variety of  human wiring'
    • Site on autism and the like.
  • "The Future of Free Speech" by Cass Sunstein
    • A long piece but very relevant given how polarized the country is and how we can pick and choose what we want to hear. Which came first?
    • 'My purpose here is to cast some light on the relationship between democracy and new communications technologies. I do so by emphasising the most striking power provided by emerging technologies: the growing power of consumers to "filter" what it is that they see. In the extreme case, people will be fully able to design their own communications universe. They will find it easy to exclude, in advance, topics and points of view that they wish to avoid. I will also provide some notes on the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

      An understanding of the dangers of filtering permits us to obtain a better sense of what makes for a well-functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a heterogeneous society, such a system requires something other than free, or publicly unrestricted, individual choices. On the contrary, it imposes two distinctive requirements. First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unanticipated encounters, involving topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quire irritating, are central to democracy and even to freedom itself. Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time addressing social problems; people may even find it hard to understand one another. '

    • elated: Listening to both sides


  • Chicago's Biograph Theater Sold. I usually drive by the Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657) almost everyday but today I noticed that there was a huge dumpster in front of it and their marquee stated "THAT'S ALL FOLKS" instead of listing what movies they were showing. I was worried for minute there but it turns out that the Biograph was sold. I hope the new folks do this Chicago institution justice.
  • Oprah gives away 276 cars. Apparently these were all people who had written about how they really needed a car.

Martial Arts


  • 'Star Wars' emerges from darkness. The link is not so much about the upcoming Star Ward DVDs but about the restoration process.
  • 'You know you've had one hell of a year when you get promoted from Jesus to Superman.' [MeFi]. James Caviezel as Superman? The only thing that counts is if it'll be a good movie.
  • Blade Runner Brilliance. An essay on one of the best science fiction movies ever.

Science, Science Fiction

  • Global to Local: The Social Future as seen by six SF Writers [/.]. The /. thread starts off with Right v Left SF writers.
  • Is science fiction finished?
    • 'Poetry, it seems, is forever writing its own elegy. The novel, yet again, seems to be flipping pages to its last chapter. Now science fiction appears on the verge of getting beamed up to the great Enterprise in the sky, with sci-fi writers concerned that they are facing the unique irony of looking at a future where their writing could be a thing of the past.'
    • ' "I would not be encouraging a young person today to be entering science fiction as a profession. I do have a fear that the science-fiction novel is as much an artifact of the 20th century as Victorian literature was of the 19th," said Sawyer. "No matter how hard you yell 'clear' and go for the defibrillator paddle, you still can't get that spark of life going again." '
    • Setting aside concepts of 'The Singularity' aside, the problem has to do with lack of good old storytelling. There is too much focus on gimmicks and special effects but not enough on stories with twists, captivating emotive characters, and ideas and problems relevant to our current lives. The trick is of good science fiction and fantasy is that real problems are abstracted in a fantastic = safe way.

Sex [assume NSFW]

  • Zentai Woman [Fleshbot] There's a fetish for almost anything. Zentai is a fetish for women that are completely encased in skin tight clothing.
    a Zentai Woman
  • VintagePBks.com
    • 'Vintage Paperbacks & Digests'
    • There restraint of the 1950s makes the stuff even naughtier.


  • Bloody Sunday: 110 Dead in Iraq, 200 Wounded
  • "Chapter Operation Ignore" from Al Franken's book: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them [Amazon].
  • Well, Thank GOD We Liberated Them
    • 'Who would have thought that "bringing democracy to the Middle East" didn't include due process or an adherence to military regulations or international law?'
    • 'We're stuck in this bad movie and we will be for another four years if John Kerry loses this election. America has a chance to oust this corrupt administration on November 2, but I fear that we won't.'
  • N.Korea blast probably not nuclear. But a mushroom cloud  4 Km wide gets you edgy.
  • Why al-Qaeda is winning
    • 'Three years after September 11, President George W Bush's crusade is a failure. "War on terror" is a meaningless myth: you can't combat a supple attack machine like al-Qaeda with shock and awe. What should have been a long, meticulous police operation was turned by Bush - instigated by his foreign policy adviser, God - into an illegal, preemptive attack on a nation that had nothing to do with terror. '
    • 'It should be very easy for the slumbering John Kerry campaign to smash that armory. Before Iraq turned into a quagmire - before the 1,000th dead American soldier, the 7,000th wounded American soldier, the 14,000th or maybe even 22,000th dead Iraqi civilian - Bush kept insisting that Iraq was "the new front in the war on terror". Now Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are doing everything in their power not to make the connection - because a majority of Americans seem to view Bush as relatively strong on terror, but a failure in Iraq. '
    • 'Two related facts are undisputable: more Americans are facing death and destruction in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was captured than before; and now there are increasingly more global terrorist attacks than when Bush proclaimed his "crusade", or "war on terror". The Bush administration always sold the war on Iraq as part of the "war on terror". Reminding Americans about it is to fully certify Bush's overall failure. '
    • 'The bottom line: since Bush proclaimed his "crusade" or mission from God against terror, the United States, the Middle East and the world are immensely less safe.'
    • 'As nihilistic as it may be, al-Qaeda, from a business point of view, is a major success: three years after September 11, it is a global brand and a global movement. The Middle East, in this scenario, is just a regional base station. This global brand does not have much to do with Islam. But it has everything to do with the globalization of anti-imperialism. And the empire, whatever its definition, has its center in Washington. Bin Laden is laughing: Bush's crusade has legitimized an obscure sect as a worldwide symbol of political revolt. How could bin Laden not vote for Bush? '
  • ' Sept. 7: Righteous indignation. Sept. 13: The million dollar question. Sept: 14: The beginning of the answer? '. [MeFi]
    • So earlier Russia is following Bush's example again. Just a few days ago they were copying Bush's pre-emptive, pro-force polices by saying they'd fight terrorist anywhere anytime. Now they are copying Bush's reduce  freedom and democracy for the sake of security.
    • Any country can become more fascist to preempt terrorism. What a nice world Bush has brought upon us.
  • Russian-Chechen War Turns into Bounty Race. Russian President Putin offered a multi-million dollar bounty for Chechen rebels, and the Chechen rebels answered by offering a multi-million dollar bounty for Putin because of his war crimes.
  • Colin Powell in Four-letter Neo-con 'crazies' Row
    • 'A furious row has broken out over claims in a new book by BBC broadcaster James Naughtie that US Secretary of State Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq. Powell's extraordinary outburst is alleged to have taken place during a telephone conversation with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. The two became close friends during the intense negotiations in the summer of 2002 to build an international coalition for intervention via the United Nations. The 'crazies' are said to be Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.'
    • True or not, it's fun to visualize Powell banging his head and saying "Those fucking crazies!".

US Elections

  • The other president
    • 'For the past four years the two men have been inseparable. Most vice-presidents have to fight for time with their boss; Mr Cheney sees his several times a day. Most vice-presidents spend their days at state funerals; Mr Cheney, more than anyone else, picked the members of the current administration. Thereafter he helped to shape the administration's policies on everything from energy policy to the invasion of Iraq.'
    • 'Mr Cheney also brought to his job a sharp sense of how dangerous the world is. Thomas Hobbes used to remark that "fear and I were born twins". The same can be said of Mr Cheney. As a congressman, he boasted that he never met a weapons system he didn't vote for; as defence secretary, he fiercely resisted pressure for a post-cold-war peace dividend. He tried instead to focus America's armed forces on "new sources of instability" such as terrorism and renegade regimes. This combination of a mastery of Washington bureaucracy and a Hobbesian view of the world should have been perfect for the post-September 11th world.'
    • 'But few people would now argue that Mr Cheney has lived up to his promise as a wise man. The biggest mistakes of this administration, from the blithe acceptance of soaring deficits to the insistence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, have Mr Cheney's fingerprints all over them. He resisted attempts to get both congressional and UN approval for the invasion of Iraq. He has repeatedly favoured secrecy and "executive privilege" over consultation and compromise.'
    • 'The cumulative effect of all these mistakes not only suggests a worrying preference for ideology over common sense, but an arrogant indifference to the checks and balances that are the glory of the American constitution. During the Ford administration, the Secret Service gave Mr Cheney the codename "Backseat". One of the big questions facing America is whether this particular backseat driver is taking his boss in the right direction.'
  • Did Kerry Oppose Tanks & Planes? Not Lately. 'Kerry voted often against nuclear missiles and bombers in the '90s, but GOP claims that he opposed a long list of conventional weapons are overblown.'
    • Yes, but people will still fall the GOP bullshit claims of flip flopping.
  • Tentacles of Rage: The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history
  • The Curse of Dick Cheney: The veep's career has been marred by one disaster after another [Rolling Stone].
    • This article goes over Cheney's history.
    • 'This pattern of misplaced confidence in Cheney, followed by disastrous results, runs throughout his life -- from his days as a dropout at Yale to the geopolitical chaos he has helped create in Baghdad. Once you get to know his history, the cycle becomes clear: First, Cheney impresses someone rich or powerful, who causes unearned wealth and power to be conferred on him. Then, when things go wrong, he blames others and moves on to a new situation even more advantageous to himself.'
    • ' Those who have known him over the years remain astounded by what they describe as his almost autistic indifference to the thoughts and feelings of others. "He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met," says John Perry Barlow, his former supporter. Cheney's freshman-year roommate, Steve Billings, agrees: "If I could ask Dick one question, I'd ask him how he could be so unempathetic." '
    • I've been posting links for months that show what a freak Dick Cheney is. Bush and Cheney are unimpressive in both ability and character. Powell and Rice, on the other hand are impressive but they are so marred by Bush and Cheney. The only thing impressive about Bush and Cheney is their audacity.  Audacity is fine --when it is preceded or followed by results. I wonder if the masses will ever open their eyes about this stuff.
  • Visual timeline of Bush's Air National Guard service
    • The timeline is a nice way of condensing the information.
    • Boing Boing on the above link:
      • ' President Bush had a lot of fun as a pilot in the Air National Guard. He got to fly really cool jets, while maintaining the lifestyle of a rich playboy with plenty of upstairs connections that allowed him to ignore direct orders from his commander and come and go as he pleased. And now, the President has a team of folks dedicated to smearing Kerry for volunteering for hazardous duty in Vietnam. And it's working! Most people now believe Bush is a military hero while Kerry is a shirking, wobbly liar. The president is a lot smarter than I thought.'
      • ' Simon sez: "I put together this visual explanation of Dubya's Air National Guard service (or lack thereof) based entirely on the released documents to date. My goal was to put the confusing mixture of events and records into some kind of order." '
  • Just One Question... "How many times have you been arrested, Mr. President?".
    • The site is collecting a bounty 'to the first person to ask George W. Bush this question in a public forum.'.
    • At the moment the bounty is up to $1,852.62.
    • 'If it is unclaimed by 11/2/04, the total donations will be given to the DNC.'.
  • Bush vs. Jesus. The link has a scan from Mad Magazine. I'm including it here so it doesn't disappear. It's reminiscent of Al Franken's "The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus" mini-comicbook.
    A Bush commercial if he were running against Jesus
  • These arguments about how dangerous it is to switch Presidents during these times is absurd. If an avocado were President, then wouldn't it be a good time to replace the President?
  • a few reasons why not to vote for Bush

Words, Writing

2004-09-16t18:45:02Z | RE: aaBlog . Blogging . Programming .
Making aaBlog v2, Part 1

aaBlog v1, the blogging system that I created from scratch seems to be working pretty well so far. However I want to upgrade it to version 2 and just for the fun of it I am going to blog my notes as I make this system.

The primary change I want to make is allow my blog archive to be accessible on the post level. Currently when you access one of my permalinks, you get sent to the anchor of the post on a page that contains a whole month of posts. Giving access to my archive on the post level instead of the month level is good for 2 reasons:

  • Faster download. When you click on the permalink it will bring up just the post instead of a whole month of posts. Of course I will retain the ability to access all my posts on a month level too.
  • Better searching. My archives will be better indexed by search engines since there will be permalinks to just the post. The permalinks will be more topic specific and will rank higher than if the post was just one post in a month of posts.

Currently the guid of the post looks like this in the rss+xml file:


and a part of the post in the final HTML looks like this:

<a title="Permanent link to this post in archive"
<a name="2004-09-06t03:51:02Z">2004-09-06t03:51:02Z</a>

Except for the colons, an ISO 8601 formatted date-time stamp is an excellent 2nd part of a guid (globally unique identifier). The first part of my guid is simply some location in my domain. One simple change I'd like to make is consolidate the permalink with the post anchor thus:

<a title="Permanent link to this post in archive" 

Now here comes the big change. I want to change the permalink or guid from pointing to an anchor on a month of posts. So the rss+xml file will look like this:


and the final HTML will look like this:

<a title="Permanent link to this post in archive" 

These simple changes should produce the primary change. I'll have to create post.asp, which will take the parameter of ts from the query string and extract the post data from the appropriate rss+xml file. I will also have to modify both the source rss+xml files plus the xsl files used.

I'll go make those changes now and blog about a secondary change later.

2004-09-17t17:00:50Z | RE: 2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art . AI, Robotics . Clothes, Fashion . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Surfing . Engineering, Function, Technology . Drink, Food . Fun, Games, Play . Healthcare, Medicine . Housing, Money . Local . Math, Science, Science Fiction . Pop Culture . Sex . Terror, War . US Elections . Web Development, Web Standards .

2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art

AI, Robotics

Clothes, Fashion

Computers, Networking, Programming

Cyber Life, Surfing

Engineering, Function, Technology

  • Bulbs promise to last 10 years.
    • 'For years, companies have worked to solve this vexing problem, but the bulbs have been expensive and often lacked durability. But what if you could buy a bulb that will last for 10 years, use about a tenth of the electricity and cost no more than three times that of a standard bulb? And it can bounce.'
    • ' At [Jack] Goeken's company--PolyBrite International Inc.--inventors discovered a way to take the light from a single LED and disperse it through a plastic ribbon to enhance the light's effect. After several years of work, Carl Scianna, PolyBrite's president, has packaged LEDs along with the electronics that power them in a plastic bulb-shaped product. "In a few months we'll have our light bulbs on the market," he said. '
    • Good engineering!
  • Let a Thousand Ideas Flower: China Is a New Hotbed of Research [/.]. It is astonishing that the US (Bush) is letting China, India, and Asia in general catch up to us in technology.
  • Make.OReilly.com.
    • 'The First Magazine for Technology Projects'
    • It just started.

Drink, Food

Fun, Games, Play

  • Xeni Flies Zero G #10: goodbye, gravity [BoingBoing].
    • After days of build up, Xeni finally got her zero gravity flight. It's a good joyous read.
    • 'And then, when the weight is worst, the invisible hands cramming your spine into the plane's padded floor lose interest and lift away. What was concrete becomes cotton. The hands reach beneath you, and lift you up into nothing, and you float. And all there is to do when this happens for the very first time is to laugh. Because it's impossible. Because it's unnatural.

      But the joke in your bones is that it feels perfectly natural, like all your life you were intended to float. After all, just before you came into the world, that's what you were doing in liquid. And when your life ends and you leave, there you are again, becoming vapor. Breaking down from matter to dust to air. Floating. '

  • OtherKin.net.
    • 'Otherkin is a collective noun for an assortment of people who have come to the somewhat unorthodox, and possibly quite bizarre, conclusion that they identify themselves as being something other than human. It is also the label used by a number of communities both on and off line.'
    • A wee bit more than having a favorite animal.

Healthcare, Medicine

Housing, Money


Math, Science, Science Fiction

Pop Culture

Sex [Assume NSFW]

  • Easy targets: Female freshmen are particularly vulnerable to acquaintance rape. Here are the tips that they give at the end of the article:
    • 'Alcohol affects judgment. Getting drunk will always make you more vulnerable to sexual assault or assault of any kind.
    • If you choose to drink, pace yourself to one or fewer drinks an hour.
    • Keep track of how many drinks you've had.
    • Avoid someone who makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
    • Make a pact with friends that no one goes to or from a party alone.
    • Don't accept open container beverages from anyone but a bartender or trusted friend.
    • If you're not sure a drink is yours or if you've left it alone for any time, get a new one.
    • A sign that you have been slipped a date rape drug is that your level of intoxication/impairment is disproportionate to the amount of alcohol you have consumed.
    • The first few times you go out with someone, meet only in a public place.
    • Always carry money for transportation in case you need to get home on your own.
    • You have a right to say what does or does not happen to your body.
    • You have the right to say yes. You have the right to say no. You have the right to change your mind at any time.
    • Just because someone begs, asks or spends money on you does not give him or her the right to have sex with you.'

Terror, War

US Elections

  • Foreign Polls Favor Kerry.
    • 'Of 35 countries polled, survey participants in all but five said in overwhelming margins that they'd rather see John Kerry report for duty as President of the United States.'
    • Related:
      • Poll Of 35 Countries Finds 30 Prefer Kerry, 3 Bush. 'The exception for Bush in Europe was a new ally, Poland, where he was preferred by a narrow plurality of 31% against 26% for Kerry. Another new ally, however, the Czech Republic, went for Kerry (42% to 18%), as did Sweden (58% to 10%)'
  • Bush Voters v. Voight-Kampff
    • This fellow has set up a little quiz that's a cousin of the type used in the movie Blade Runner. I'm curious if pro-Bush folks will find it provocative (and will ignore it) or just plain old Liberal bullshit (also to be ignored).
    • 'In the film Blade Runner (with which more people are familiar than its literary forebear, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), there's something called a Voight-Kampff test, which is used to winkle out replicants walking among the humans. It measures empathy by asking a series of questions designed to evoke an emotional response. Get too many of the questions wrong, and you're a replicant, and the next thing you know Harrison Ford's on your ass. It's always something.

      Polling hypocritical Bush voters for empathy would be a fool's errand, of course, so I won't even bother. However, what I would like to do is set up a series of questions which I feel will rather effectively bring the hypocrite issue to the fore. So, if you're planning to vote for George Bush, believe you are reasonably smart and informed, and in fact are not aware of being a contemptuously hypocritical waste of meat, please answer the following questions as truthfully as you can.'

  • Why Bush Left Texas [MeFi] 'Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet.'

Web Development, Web Standards

2004-09-17t18:38:25Z | RE: aaBlog . Blogging . Programming .
Making aaBlog v2, Part 2

I started making aaBlog v2 yesterday, but I didn't give any specifics about secondary changes so I'll do some of that now.

An aaBlog v1 post has 6 visible parts:

  1. A '##' link or permalink which points to the post in a page which has a month of posts.
  2. A timestamp. This is currently an anchor as well as visual metadata about the post.
  3. A 'Comment' link which points to a page where the user can see comments as well as a form to make a comment.
  4. A 'RE: ....', a period separated list of categories that the post belongs to.
  5. The title of the post.
  6. The description or actual content of the post.

An aaBlog v2 post would only have 4 visible parts:

  1. A 'timestamp comments' link that will serve as an anchor, provide visual metadata, points to the permalink of the post, i.e. a page that displays the post, comments, and a form to make a comment. This page will also have links to the previous post, next post, current month of post, previous month of posts, and next month of posts.
  2. A 'RE: ....', a period separated list of categories that the post belongs to.
  3. The title of the post.
  4. The description or actual content of the post.

I also have to make sure that aaBlog v1 permalinks are taken cared of. I thought that perhaps I would leave the old pages as is so that the old links will still work. However, now I think I will transform the aaBlog v1 content into aaBlog v2 content, while making a page that will catch aaBlog v1 permalinks redirect them to the new aaBlog v2 URL.

2004-09-23t15:23:54Z | RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 3D, Architecture, Sculpture . Clothes, Fashion . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Email, Surfing . Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV . Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green . Ethics, Faith, Philosophy . Fun, Games, Play . Healthcare, Medicine . Humanity, Psychology, Sociology . Journalism, Media . Linux, Open Source . Love, Relationships, Sex . Math, Science, Science Fiction . Space . Stories, Words, Writing . Terror, War . US Elections .

2D, Images, Photos

3D, Architecture, Sculpture

Clothes, Fashion

Computers, Networking, Programming

  • We lied to you. This funny letter is so short that'll I'll quote the whole thing here.

    (Inspired by Cory Doctorow's DRM speech.)

    Dear Content Producers and Owners:

    We lied to you. In the golden 80s and 90s we told you micropayments and content protection would work; that you would be able to charge minuscule amounts of money whenever someone listened to your music or watched your movie. We told you untruths which we well knew would never work - after all, we would've never used them ourselves. Instead, we wrote things like Kazaa and Gnutella, and all other evil P2P applications to get the stuff free.

    We told you these things so that you would finance the things we really wanted to build, not the things that you wanted to be built. We knew all along that DRM schemes do not work, and we knew that whatever we create can be broken by us. We don't care anymore, because your money made us bigger than you.

    Look at us: every year, we churn out more computer games than your entire industry is worth. You know how we do it? We like our customers. We don't treat them like potential criminals, and try to make our products do less. We invent new things like online role-playing -games, where the money does not come from duplication of bits (which cannot be stopped, regardless of your DRM scheme) but from providing experiences that the people want.

    We saw that you were old and weak. So we took advantage of it: told you things that you wanted to hear so we could kick you in the head in twenty years. Some of us told you that the future is going to be interactive - what did you do? You started to think how to make interactive movies (CD-I, anyone?), which is not what it really means, while we wrote games and tried to understand the new mediums, not how to bolt it on onto old things.

    We lied to you. And we apologize for that, but it was for the greater good. So we're not the least bit sorry.

    Signed: The Computer Industry

  • A home computer in the year 2004 [jpg] [MeFi]. I wish there was more proof of authenticity because I can easily envision this as a PhotoShop piece.
    a home computer in 2004 as envisioned in 1954

Cyber Life, Email, Surfing

Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV

  • The Incredibles Trailer Online [/.]. 'The Incredibles movie trailers are posted online. Here are the Big (20 MB) and Full-screen (30 MB) Quicktime Files. '
  • Star Wars vs Star Trek in Five Minutes [MeFi]. Acck! I'm... choking... on... all... the... geekiness!
  • Star Wars DVDs for IV, V, and VI
    • Earlier this week on 09-21 Tuesday I bought the Star Wars DVDs. My daughter Connie, who will be 6 on 09-24 Friday, liked it but she can go off and play a computer game right in the middle of one of the movies. On the other hand my son York, who is 3.5, loves the movies and has been wanting to watch one DVD after another for several days now.
    • My wife Julia and I had been disappointed at some of the content of the Star Wars movies which we assumed were in the movies strictly for the cash that comes out of kid appeal. EG: The Gungans (like Jar Jar Binks) and the Ewoks (like Wicket W. Warrick) are both silly seeming species. However we have acquired some forgiveness of George Lucas by watching these DVDs. We finally got the point that there are minor character and minor races that are often overlooked and ignored but shouldn't. EG: The Gungans and the Ewoks played essential roles in both of their movies.
    • I've been fine with the editorial changes George Lucas put in the movies for 2 reasons. 1. He can do it because they are after all his movies. 2. They worked out fine.
    • I'll mention 2 of the changes from the end of Star Wars IV: The Return of the Jedi. They're sort of minor spoilers so I'll, style them as such:
      • During the Ewok celebration, after the Emperor was defeated, Lucas now shows celebrations on other planets, so you get to here a line of the Gungan dialect.
      • During the same celebration when Luke Skywalker sees the "ghost" of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, now you also get to see the ghost of Anakin Skywalker as a younger man, i.e. as he, I assume, appears in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.

Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green

  • Saving Energy Without Derision [/.]
    • ' George Maschke writes "Saving Energy Without Derision (5 mb PDF) is a new (and free) e-book by former Sandia National Laboratories senior scientist Dr. Alan P. Zelicoff. This book is intended to be a real-world, no-nonsense, thoroughly documented collection of easy-to-implement recommendations to help the average thoughtful person to pick the 'low-hanging fruit' of conservation and renewable energy. The author is after the easy 75% of actions we can all take (but almost uniformly ignore) that most certainly make a difference in energy costs (after all that's what most people care about) and adjuring a bit of unnecessary adverse impact on the environment (which a few folks actually think is important beyond the mere dollar valuation). The author welcomes comments and intends to continuously update the book (consistent with readership interest) and address many new topics. For example, next on his list is an analysis of the economics and scientific basis of fuel-cell vehicles powered by hydrogen. (Bottom line, he maintains, is that it's a cruel hoax and energy disaster, and far less useful than, for example, heavy hybrid automobiles that get about 50 - 60 miles on an electric charge alone -- which accounts for more than 85% of driving in the US and elsewhere on a daily basis -- and which are available now.)" '
    • The PDF may temporarily be overloaded. See the /. thread for mirrors.
  • Green Housing Takes Root in Oregon [/.]. 'I was reading an article in the Portland Tribune which showcased the City of Portland's noteworthy 'Rose House' (1.8mb PDF) project, part of the Office of Sustainable Development and Oregon Department of Energy's plan to encourage sustainable, energy-producing, environmentally-friendly housing for the future, a plan which is gaining national and international attention. The Rose House, at only 800 square feet (approx. 244 sq. meters), is equipped with solar panels and incorporates technologies that recapture lost heat and energy during normal appliance operation, such as ventilation. During peak hours -- when power is at highest demand -- the Rose House could produce surplus energy, feeding kilowatt hours back to the power grid, and 'rolling back' the meter -- the power authority's way of purchasing the surplus energy and lessening the burden on comparatively 'dirty' power plants. The article suggests that homes like this could see net power bills as low as $0 per year. The environmental benefits of a lessened burden on centralized, often fossil fuel or nuclear, power generation plants would be considerable. '
  • 'B'gawk! It may sound a bit like a joke, but forget about merely watching webcams, or playing with subservient facsimilies. Join the urban farming movement and do it for real. Martha Stewart does it, Hollywood producers make movies about it, and now even hipsters are doing it too: they're raising chickens in urban and suburban backyards. Coops range from the eggs-spensive but low-maintenance "HenSpa" to tricked-out Home Depot sheds to faux-gingerbread cottages to the very cool iMac-style "eglu". Surprisingly, it's usually legal to keep chickens in most areas as long as you only keep hens and no rooster (too noisy), but even in anti-chicken cities like NYC, it goes on in secret and remains legal on public property. And you can always buy your neighbors' silence with fresh eggs. Poultry Power to the People! ' [MeFi]
    • There are chickens all over the world. We certainly heard them everyday on my trip to the Philippines.

Ethics, Faith, Philosophy

  • 'Conscience Clauses and Health Care --"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions. ' [MeFi]
  • Crazy Train or Emotional Subway Attack [MeFi]
    • ' Me: "If you all don't lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes." '
    • 'Bible man exits. SHOW TUNES 1, FUNDAMENTALISTS 0.'
    • 'At 42nd street, a woman strides into the car and starts PREACHING. The entire car bursts into laughter. I interrupt this new preacher lady and note that she is wearing a flowered straw bonnet.'
    • 'Preacher Lady 2: "I got freedom of speech! And GOD TELLS ME THAT THE GAY DEVILS ARE CONTROLLING NEW YORK."

      Me: (standing up) "If you do not cease and desist fouling the air with homophobia, I must sing…SHOW TUNES."

      There are now 3 or 4 gay men on the train. They start laughing.'

    • 'As Preacher Lady 2 runs to the next car at 72nd Street, the doors open, a perfect end of song button for my gay pointing gesture.

      The subway riders break into applause and I bow. Rock on.'

      • Way to go dude! Way to go!
  • What Would Jesus Do? If a gay man looked at him?
    • ' Mr. Swaggart said: "I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." '
      • Geez. We know that homosexuals aren't the norm but these extreme homophobes have something fucked up in their brains.
    • Related:
      • Jimmy Swaggart, unclear on the Ten Commandments. 'The audience laughs and cheers, though when Swaggart is saying the "I'm gonna kill him" part, he sure doesn't seem to be joking. Andrew Sullivan points to the program, available here; check out the material starting at around 36:00 -- I watched it, and the transcript is right. Later, as Andrew says, "Swaggart also claims he has nothing against 'the poor homosexual,'" except that he seems to think it's fine to kill them. '
  • DeathOnline.net. 'Throughout the world, death and the rituals that surround it are steeped in taboos. Death is celebrated, embraced and feared. Around death and the dead, cultures put in place diverse restrictions and practices associated with clothing, food and ritual. This website explores what happens to us when we die and the different ways we deal with death.'

Fun, Games, Play

  • Upset gentleman leaves angry phone message [Boing Boing]. 'Tim is a guy I know. He was helping some guy with his website. The guy owes him £400, so Tim stopped helping him. This is a cellphone message left by the guy where he starts ranting and raving. Swearing and telling Tim he's going to go crazy if Tim doesn't call. A minor version of Winnebago man. Nice bit of swearing with a London accent. Link (NSFW unless you are wearing headphones.)'
  • 'Footbag video tutorials. Because you need more ways to waste your time. Rules and World Champions ' [MeFi]
    • I always sucked at 'footbag'. We always called it a 'hacky sack'. I believe that my brother Neil was the most expert with it in my family.

Healthcare, Medicine

  • 'No pain, no gain, they say, and when it comes to real pain, the inverse is true as well. "We now have research indicating there's a memory of chronic pain," said Dr. Doris K. Cope, director of chronic and cancer pain for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It changes the genic code sometimes, it changes the biochemistry, and it causes new proteins to be formed." Or in other words, the more pain you have, the more pain you have. (More on this.) It's no wonder, then, that more money is spent on pain relief than any other medical problem, and that there has been so much pain research and so many clinical trials revealing such painful facts as redheads feel more pain, men feel less pain, and that there's a genetic difference between tough guys and wimps. (Much more pain inside.) ' [MeFi]

Humanity, Psychology, Sociology

Journalism, Media

  • 2004 National Convention: Bill Moyers [/.]
    • Bill Moyers reminisces over his career at a journalists' convention.
    • 'Three months from now I will be retiring from active journalism and I cannot imagine a better turn into the home stretch than this morning with you. My life in journalism began 54 years ago, on my l6th birthday, in the summer before my junior year in high school, when I went to work as a cub reporter for the Marshall News Messenger in the East Texas town of 20,000 where I had grown up. '
    • 'They helped me relearn another of journalism's basic lessons. The job of trying to tell the truth about people whose job it is to hide the truth is almost as complicated and difficult as trying to hide it in the first place. Unless you're willing to fight and refight the same battles until you go blue in the face, drive the people you work with nuts going over every last detail to make certain you've got it right, and then take hit after unfair hit accusing you of "bias", or these days even a point of view, there's no use even trying.'
    • 'How do we explain the possibility that a close election in November could turn on several million good and decent citizens who believe in the Rapture Index? That's what I said -- the Rapture Index; google it and you will understand why the best-selling books in America today are the twelve volumes of the left-behind series which have earned multi-millions of dollars for their co-authors who earlier this year completed a triumphant tour of the Bible Belt whose buckle holds in place George W. Bush's armor of the Lord. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the l9th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative millions of people believe to be literally true. '
      • I am so disappointed with humanity. How could we have gone from The Age of Reason to an age where Bush rules and fights a Crusade?
    • 'But never has there been an administration like the one in power today -- so disciplined in secrecy, so precisely in lockstep in keeping information from the people at large and, in defiance of the Constitution, from their representatives in Congress. ... This "zeal for secrecy" I am talking about -- and I have barely touched the surface -- adds up to a victory for the terrorists. When they plunged those hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon three years ago this morning, they were out to hijack our Gross National Psychology. If they could fill our psyche with fear -- as if the imagination of each one of us were Afghanistan and they were the Taliban -- they could deprive us of the trust and confidence required for a free society to work. They could prevent us from ever again believing in a safe, decent, or just world and from working to bring it about. By pillaging and plundering our peace of mind they could panic us into abandoning those unique freedoms -- freedom of speech, freedom of the press -- that constitute the ability of democracy to self-correct and turn the ship of state before it hits the iceberg. '

Linux, Open Source

Love, Relationships, Sex [Assume NSFW]

  • The Strange Case of the Hanover High Shocker
    • 'In May of 2000, it was reported in the local paper that thirty-four students who had attended Hanover High School in Pennsylvania had had their pictures taken for the school yearbook giving an obscene gesture. The principal, John P. Cokefair, had sent a letter to the thirty-four students' parents explaining that because of the preponderance of this gesture in the photos, the offending photos would be re-taken, without the gesturing students, and these students would bear the cost of the re-shoot.'
    • ' Therein lies the interesting fact of this event; the gesture in question was not the middle finger, but a gesture known in certain circles as "the shocker". Principal Cokefair explained in his letter that the reference was "so horrific" that some students could not even speak of it. His letter explained, "perhaps your child will elaborate when you have a talk about this matter." '
    • ' "The yearbook is designed as a documentary, memorial or historical book," she said. "No person or persons" should be permitted to remove photographs; it was tantamount, she said, to removing mentions of slavery from history books because "it makes America look bad." '
    • the Shocker explained

Math, Science, Science Fiction

  • ORNL microscope pushes back barrier of 'how small'. 'Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, using a state- of-the-art microscope and new computerized imaging technology, have pushed back the barrier of how small we can see--to a record, atom-scale 0.6 angstrom. ORNL, a Department of Energy national laboratory, also held the previous record, at 0.7 angstrom. As reported in the Sept. 17, 2004, issue of the journal Science, researchers obtained the improved resolution with ORNL's 300-kilovolt Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), aided by an emerging technology called aberration correction. The direct images have been acknowledged as proof of atom-scale resolution below one angstrom and provide researchers with a valuable tool for designing advanced materials.'
    image of individual Silicon atoms
  • 'View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons. ' [MeFi]
    • As mentioned in the MeFi thread this sort of thing has been done on other links before but it's still fun to see variations.


  • Radical Antarctic telescope 'would outdo Hubble'.
    • 'A novel Antarctic telescope with 16-m diameter mirrors would far outperform the Hubble Space Telescope, and could be built at a tiny fraction of its cost, says a scientist from the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney, Australia.'

Stories, Words, Writing

  • Dances with Wolves: Little Red Riding Hood's Long Walk in the Woods
    • 'Once upon a time, "Little Red Riding Hood" was a seduction tale. An engraving accompanying the first published version of the story, in Paris in 1697, shows a girl in her déshabille, lying in bed beneath a wolf. According to the plot, she has just stripped out of her clothes, and a moment later the tale will end with her death in the beast's jaws -- no salvation, no redemption. Any reader of the day would have immediately understood the message: In the French slang, when a girl lost her virginity it was said that elle avoit vû le loup -- she'd seen the wolf. '
      • The amazing thing is that it it's much more logical when told in the original way.
    • engraving from the first publishg of Little Red Riding Hood

Terror, War

  • 'A decision has been made to attack Fallujah after the first Tuesday in November, after the election: The violent political albatross of a secret Iraq with canceled elections.' [MeFi]
  • Bush 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq
    • 'In a phone interview with a newspaper, President Bush played down a U.S. intelligence forecast painting a pessimistic picture for the future of Iraq, including the suggestion that civil war could erupt there.'
      • Can you say: "Bush head up Bush ass"?
  • 'Howard Dean speaks --on the coming draft. Any of you going to be 20 in 2005, and/or medical personnel? And girls, don't think you'll be exempt. (altho we know Jenna and Barbara of course will be.)' [MeFi]
    • Howard Dean gives several signs that a draft might be needed by Bush. Here is one of them: 'In a further sign of a lack of adequate staffing, the armed forces are now in the process of calling up members of the Individual Ready Reserves. These are often older reservists usually waiting retirement. They are typically in their mid-to-late forties, and have not been on active duty and have not trained for some time. Traditionally, they are only supposed to be called up during a time of national emergency. In 2001, President Bush authorized their call up but never rescinded this order even after he declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq in May of 2003.'
  • If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?
    • 'Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.'
    • 'What if there were private armies totalling 275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those cities?'
    • 'What if the Air Force routinely (I mean daily or weekly) bombed Billings, Montana, Flint, Michigan, Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Anacostia in Washington, DC, and other urban areas, attempting to target "safe houses" of "criminal gangs", but inevitably killing a lot of children and little old ladies?'
    • 'What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?'
  • President Speaks to the United Nations General Assembly [2004-09-21]. More like begging. If Bush didn't suck so much, if Bush were simply a mediocre President, he would be getting so much more respect and cooperation right now.
  • 40 percent of Army reservists fail to report to Fort Jackson

US Elections

  • Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning - And Maybe Other Gallup Polls As Well [MeFi]
    • 'Because the Gallup Poll, despite its reputation, assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. You read that correctly. '
    • 'Worse yet, Gallup just confirmed for me that this is the same sampling methodology they have been using this whole election season, for all their national and state polls.'
    • ' According to John Zogby himself: "If we look at the three last Presidential elections, the spread was 34% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 33% Independents (in 1992 with Ross Perot in the race); 39% Democrats, 34% Republicans, and 27% Independents in 1996; and 39% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 26% Independents in 2000." '
    • 'Gallup is telling voters and other media by using badly-sampled polls that the GOP and its candidates are more popular than they really are. Given that Gallup's CEO is a GOP donor, this should not be a surprise. '
  • 'Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik answers Slashdot's questions.' [MeFi]
  • WhatAreYouVotingFor.com. A 32 page comic book on voting. It has footnotes and links substantiating its claims.
  • Where Kerry Stands on Iraq: A Kerry-English translation [MeFi]
  • Speech at New York University: Remarks of John Kerry [2004-09-20]
    • One of Kerry's strongest speeches so far. We need more of just coming right out and kicking Bush's ass. Enough of being polite. Bush is such a big ass that it has to be done.
    • 'By one count, the President offered 23 different rationales for this war. If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded. His two main rationales -- weapons of mass destruction and the Al Qaeda/September 11 connection -- have been proved false… by the President's own weapons inspectors… and by the 9/11 Commission. Just last week, Secretary of State Powell acknowledged the facts. Only Vice President Cheney still insists that the earth is flat.'
    • 'In the dark days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to build support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then he offered to show him highly classified satellite photos, as proof. De Gaulle waved the photos away, saying: "The word of the President of the United States is good enough for me." How many world leaders have that same trust in America's president, today?'
    • 'Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no -- because a Commander-in-Chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe.'
    • 'All across this country people ask me what we should do now. Every step of the way, from the time I first spoke about this in the Senate, I have set out specific recommendations about how we should and should not proceed. But over and over, when this administration has been presented with a reasonable alternative, they have rejected it and gone their own way. This is stubborn incompetence.'
  • Kerry Does 'Top Ten' on Letterman Show [2004-09-20]
    • Interesting that this came out the same night of his speech above.
    • Again Kerry, may look stiff, but he's actually more human than Bush who only speaks vaguely and hides behind prepared lofty words and talking points.
    • 'Kerry's "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals" are:
          10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.
          9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.
          8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.
          7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.
          6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.
          5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.
          4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.
          3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.
          2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."
          1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.'
  • Bush's Air Guard stint started well, then faded into mystery. As covered by AirForceTimes.com itself.
  • Put Away Your Hankies...a message from Michael Moore
    • 'They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.'
    • 'If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.'
    • 'So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

      Yes...Yes...Yesssss....He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

      WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?'

  • A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq
  • Terror attack and the election
    • The GOP says that if there's an attack before the election, it's because Terror is an enemy of Bush.
    • If there isn't an attack before the election, the GOP will say it's because the Bush team is doing the right thing.
    • The GOP is relying on the US public to be stupid. If you support Bush and you don't see the insult of a "tails we win, heads you lose" argument, then America is going down the drain because you're dense.
  • Via http://bash.org/GODvsBUSH.gif:
    mapping the paths of recent hurricanes thru Bush counties

2004-09-28t18:24:50Z | RE: 2D, Images, Photos . 2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art . 2D+time, Activities, Animation, Video . Clothes, Fashion . Color . Computers, Networking, Programming . Cyber Life, Email, Surfing . Drink, Food . Economy, Finances, Money . Engineering, Function, Technology . Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV . Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green . Ethics, Faith, Philosophy . Fun, Games, Play . Humanity, Psychology, Sociology . Journalism, Media . Local . Love, Relationships, Sex . Math, Science, Science Fiction, Space . Money . Terror, War . US Elections . World .

2D, Images, Photos

  • DaveArchambault.com/portfolio.shtml. Photo realistic images drawn with ball point pens.
    self portrait using a ball point pen
  • MpP Faveicon Gallery
    • 'I love graphic design. At least I love good design when I see it, not that I can actually design myself. And, I'm a packrat by nature so a gallery of favicons is a natural thing! It's just amazing what some people can make happen in a square that's just 16 pixels in size.'
    • He collects the icons, says where they're from and why they're cool.

2D+text, Comics, Sequential Art

  • ' "So, during the run of The Judas Contract, Dick Grayson's new crimefighting identity was established. Nightwing was born. Though neither Marv nor I were originally crazy about his new name, in the long run, it seems to have won the fans' hearts. Those who considered themselves Robin-Rooters have proudly followed Dick's new career as avid Wingnuts.
    --George Perez

    Has it really been 20 years since Dick Grayson stopped being a sidekick? Happy belated birthday Nightwing! ' [MeFi]

2D+time, Activities, Animation, Video

Clothes, Fashion

  • UtiliKilts.com [MeFi]
    • UtiliKilts makes modern everyday practical kilts (not skirts).
    • I'm all for men wearing kilts. Some people are dead set against seeing men's legs at all, but we refuse to apologize for our hairy legs!
    • I'm so jealous of the freedom of kilts/skirts. Imagine being able to scratch where it itches. Imagine freedom from seam compression in the crotch.
    • It's easier to kick someone in the chest when you're wearing a kilt instead of jeans.
    • And look: Real pockets!
    • a sample of a modern kilt


  • Color SynthAxis. 'color synthAxis is a free online tool designed to simplify the nightmare of color scheme selection. It looks complex, but after a few minutes you won't be able to live without it.'

Computers, Networking, Programming

Cyber Life, Email, Surfing

  • Hotmail Begins to Upgrade Free Accounts [/.]
    • 'It looks as if Hotmail have started to upgrade free Hotmail accounts to 250Mb of space as promised. The account the screenshot is from is an old account - created August 1999 - so I guess they're upgrading the accounts in chronological order. Hopefully they'll get round to newer ones soon.'
    • Isn't competition wonderful? Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail should really bash heads. Overall though, Hotmail is still playing catch-up with everyone else. They may look pretty and are decently sized but we're more concerned about reliability and speed.
  • Remembering passwords
    • 'I use a relatively simple algorithm for creating a password that's based on the name of the site. It's easy enough for me to figure out in my head, but obscure enough that your typical hacker won't guess it.'
      • His algorithm is not that simple but it can give you ideas on creating a similar system of your own.

Drink, Food

  • Never too late to mend lifestyle, studies say
    • 'a Mediterranean diet concentrating on vegetables, fruits and seafood; getting regular exercise; consuming a moderate amount of alcohol; and not smoking.'
      • Ha ha! Except for the diet, I do this!
    • 'a series of scientific reports in Tuesday's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association packs a big surprise: People ages 70 to 90 who follow those four lifestyle directives lower their risk of death in the next 10 years by 65 percent compared with people who do not.'
    • ' "The results of this study represent the first demonstration, to our knowledge, that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, walnuts and olive oil might be effective in reducing both the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its associated cardiovascular risk," said Dr. Katherine Esposito of the Second University of Naples, Italy, the study's lead author. '
  • Phil Delaplane Designs Swanky Cake for Special Day
    • 'Phil Delaplane of Red Hook, NY is a man with a sophisticated palette. A chef by trade and an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Phil teaches chefs who go on to cook in some of the fanciest restaurants in the world. So when Phil and his fiancée Pam began planning their wedding, he knew the only cake that would make their special day complete was one created entirely of Hostess snack cakes.'
      • Only a chef could get away with a trick like this!
    • a Hostess dream wedding cake
  • Cleaning Pennies with taco sauce. It's a simple matter of chemistry: acid and salt does the trick. Vinegar and table salt does the trick too.

Economy, Finances, Money

  • The Jobs Crunch: A Progressive Indictment Of Immigration--And Both Parties [/.]
    • This article is critical of both parties.
    • 'Traditionally, progressives have been very concerned about jobs and the distribution of wealth. But do Kerry and Edwards really understand the employment problem--or the needs of the constituency they purport to represent?'
    • graph: Bush Predictions v Actual Jobs
    • 'the quality of jobs is decreasing dramatically ... US disposable income has declined for 30 years, but in the last four years it has plummeted ... Not surprisingly, the US poverty rate has steadily increased under Bush ... Bottom line: America's working and middle classes are being squeezed--with no end in sight. '
    • 'Perhaps this is due to sheer embarrassment over Democratic complicity in much of the legislation that has caused the problem--GOP policies that are, in effect, vicious acts of class warfare designed to minimize the cost of labor and increase the wealth of the owners of capital'
    • 'The present situation is inherently unstable. Henry Ford was right: industrial economies that do not pay workers enough to afford their products have limited potential. '

Engineering, Function, Technology

  • Nanotubes on Cloth Fire Electrons
    • 'Researchers from Boston College and Florida International University have found that nanotubes grown on rough surfaces like carbon cloth can be coaxed to emit electrons using extremely low electric fields [< 0.2 V per micrometer].'
    • 'The discovery could lead to field emission lamps, x-ray sources and microwave power supplies that use low operating voltages and so would be more efficient and less expensive than current models, according to the researchers. Field emitters use an electric field to cause bits of metal or semiconductor material to emit a stream of electrons.'
    • 'The method could be used to make flat-panel displays if glass is used as the substrate instead of carbon cloth and the glass surface can be made as rough as the cloth, according to the researchers.'
  • World's Highest Resolution LCD Display by Casio. 'The 2.2 inch LCD display features VGA!! resolution. The Casio innovation has 368ppi (pixels per inch).'
  • V24 Light Performance. These LEDs run on AA batteries and look like light sabers.
    photo of a light stick that looks like a light saber

Entertainment, Movies, Radio, Show Biz, TV

  • Star Wars Minutiae [/.]. The /. article points to a decent article with some Star Wars trivia (some of it right out of the extra 4th DVD in the original trilogy set), however the /. thread has much more amusing comments.
  • Lord of Rings Flatulence Mashup [WMV video]. Oh dear! This had me laughing because I was in just the right mood for it.

Environment, Fauna, Flora, Green

  • Fuel Cell Converts Waste to Power.
    • 'Researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison have found a way to use the carbon monoxide to produce more energy in a reaction that can take place at room temperature.'
    • There's actually lots of research for getting power or even oil from trash.
  • BMW unveils world's fastest hydrogen car [/.]
    • 'Dubbed the H2R, it's capable of exceeding 185 miles per hour.'
    • 'Unlike most hydrogen-powered vehicles, the H2R doesn't operate on fuel cells but rather uses a modified 6-liter, 12-cylinder combustion engine for its propulsion. Like fuel cells, the H2R's engine essentially emits nothing but water.'
    • H2R by BMW, the fastest hydrogen car today
  • Study endorses wood as 'green' building material
    • 'A new report concludes that wood is one of the most environmentally-sensitive building materials for home construction -- it uses less overall energy than other products, causes fewer air and water impacts and does a better job of the carbon "sequestration" that can help address global warming. The research showed that wood framing used 17 percent less energy than steel construction for a typical house built in Minnesota, and 16 percent less energy than a house using concrete construction in Atlanta. And in these two examples, the use of wood had 26-31 percent less global warming potential.'
      • But everybody loves brick!
  • Lawn Chairs. Made from actual lawn.
    the Terra Lawn Chari by Nucleo
  • EPA Wording Found to Mirror Industry's
    • 'For the third time, environmental advocates have discovered passages in the Bush administration's proposal for regulating mercury pollution from power plants that mirror almost word for word portions of memos written by a law firm representing coal-fired power plants.'
    • ' Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and one of the senators who called for the probe last spring, said the revelation that the EPA adopted the same wording as an industry source "no longer comes as much of a surprise. ... The Bush administration continues to let industry write the rules on pollution, and this is just one more example of how they abuse the public trust," he said. '
    • Related:

Ethics, Faith, Philosophy

  • Eric Zorn puzzles over over-enthusiastic Christian Evangelists
    • In particular check out the these 2 entries:
      • 09-24: ' Z-MAIL'. This one has some reader responses to the preceding.
  • "Redemption and the Power of Man" by Meir Soloveichik [MeFi]
  • 400monkeys.com/God/
    • 'The Official God FAQ'
    • Ha ha ha!
  • GOP: 'Liberals' Will Ban Bible
    • Sometimes the GOP is so lame that I want to laugh and cry.
    • 'Campaign literature mailed by the Republican National Committee warns voters in two states that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if "liberals" win in November. '
    • ' The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda." '

Fun, Games, Play

Humanity, Psychology, Sociology

Journalism, Media

  • Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories [MeFi]
    • 'Google News: Unintentionally skewing to the right? ... Small conservative Web sites such as Useless-Knowledge, Men's News Daily, Michnews and ChronWatch turn up in disproportionate numbers when clicking on news about John Kerry. Useless-Knowledge, for instance, made up 12 of the first 100 results for John Kerry on Friday, and 11 of the first 100 results Saturday. By contrast, a search on George Bush or George W. Bush typically results in a fairly neutral, evenly balanced set of results from both sides of the political spectrum, with many of the same small conservative sites showing up to sing the president's praises.'
    • 'What Zuckerman calls gaming the system, others call optimizing your site.'
    • ' Yahoo takes a people-powered approach ... Yahoo achieves balance in political coverage by using a wide variety of news partners and an editorial staff that pulls together "a very wide cut at what the news is on a given day," Birkeland said. "We use actual humans," he added. "News is far too human of an endeavor to rely 100 percent on automation." '
    • It's such a shame that Google News has gotten as lame as MSN news.
    • Google: Please, please, please don't become corporate evil now that you've had your IPO.


  • Daley holds breath, exhales a new tax idea
    • ' Soon, Chicago might smell like Amsterdam, since Mayor Richard Daley has offered his new revenue enhancement plan. I call it the Crazed Pothead Tax. Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars by prosecuting pot smokers whose cases are thrown out of court anyway, he's wisely considering ticketing those crazed potheads to get at their cash.'
      • OMFG! This practically the legalization of marijuana in Chicago! WHOO-HOO! We may not be allowed to have hand guns but at least we've got pot!
    • Some quotes from 'Bryan Brickner, of Wicker Park, who also happens to be the chairman of Illinois NORML, which stands for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.'
      • 'Cannabis arrests are at an all-time high in the city. There are only so many judges, so many police officers. It costs millions of taxpayer dollars to prosecute these small marijuana cases'
      • 'By making it a fine, rather than jail, it's a win-win situation for the mayor'
      • "They can reform the law, save police time and say, 'Hey, look, we're generating revenue too.' "
      • 'Instead of jail and court, there will be a fine for small amounts. We're not talking about opening cafes and selling it across the counter. That's Amsterdam, not Chicago
    • Alcohol is a much more destructive drug than marijuana and yet alcohol is legal. I think that either one in moderation is OK.
    • Related:
      • Police Officer Suggests Tickets Only For Pot Possession
        • 'Chicago police officials are studying a proposal by a street officer that tickets similar to those for traffic offenses be issued to people caught possessing small amounts of marijuana.'
        • 'Donegan said he has long been fed up with making arrests for possession of small amounts of the drug, only to see judges later drop the charges. He said that court records from last year indicate that 94 percent of the 6,954 Chicago cases involving marijuana amounts smaller than 2.5 grams were dismissed, as were 81 percent of the cases involving from 2.5 to 10 grams. Donegan said assessing fines of $250 for possession of 10 grams or less would have raised $5 million for the city's coffers in 2003.'
  • Nader rejected again in bid to get on ballot. Ha ha! Get your ass out of Illinois Nader! Do something else like go to some stupid GOP state.
  • Oh, baby! Infant gorilla gets zoo off to great day
    • 'Keepers arriving for work at Lincoln Park Zoo's new African ape house at 7 a.m. Monday were surprised to find somebody who hadn't been there when the building was locked up the night before. Bahati, a 14-year-old female lowland gorilla, was holding a new baby. The birth was not a surprise, but it was a landmark event: the first birth in the new ape house, the $25.7 million Regenstein Center for African Apes, which opened July 4.'
      • Congratulations!
    • 'Bahati had shown no signs of going into labor when keepers closed the ape house at 5 p.m. Sunday. Keepers think the baby was born very early Monday, in the presence of her father, JoJo, 25, and the rest of JoJo's family, five other adult females and a 9-month-old male, Azizi. Among the hallmarks of good gorilla breeding programs are keeping animals in stable, natural family groupings, like JoJo's, in surroundings the animals feel comfortable in.'
    • Mother Bahati and her new baby

Love, Relationships, Sex [assume NSFW]

  • The brothel creeper [MeFi]
    • 'As the debate rages about the pros and cons of legalising prostitution, Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes - gives a controversial and candid account of his experience of paying for sex'
      • Some of what this guy says are logical but some of it is a bit warped. In any case it's a very interesting read.
    • 'The great thing about sex with whores is the excitement and variety. If you say you're enjoying sex with the same person after a couple of years you're either a liar or on something. Of all the sexual perversions, monogamy is the most unnatural. Most of our affairs run the usual course. Fever. Boredom. Trapped.'
    • 'What I hate are meaningless and heartless one-night stands where you tell all sorts of lies to get into bed with a woman you don't care for.'
    • 'When I was young I used to think it wasn't who you wanted to have sex with that was important, but who you were comfortable with socially and spiritually. Now I know that's rubbish. It's who you want to have sex with that's important.'
    • 'Of course, the general feeling in this country is that the man is somehow exploiting the woman, but I don't believe this. In fact, the prostitute and the client, like the addict and the dealer, is the most successfully exploitative relationship of all. And the most pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no squalid power game. The man is not taking and the woman is not giving. The whore fuck is the purest fuck of all.'
    • 'Why does a sleazy bastard like me like whores so much? Why pay for it? The problem is that the modern woman is a prostitute who doesn't deliver the goods. Teasers are never pleasers; they greedily accept presents to seal a contract and then break it. At least the whore pays the flesh that's haggled for. The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.'
    • 'But it is more than this. What I want is the sensation of sex without the boredom of its conveyance. Brothels make possible contacts of astounding physical intimacy without the intervention of personality. I love the artificial paradise; the anonymity; using money, the most impersonal instrument of intimacy to buy the most personal act of intimacy. Lust over love, sensation over security, and to fall into a woman's arms without falling into her hands.'
    • 'But one of the main reasons I enjoy prostitutes is because I enjoy breaking the law - another reason I don't want brothels made legal. There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it desirable. When I have dinner every evening in Soho I always think: isn't scampi delicious - what a pity it isn't illegal. '
    • 'I went into prostitution looking for love, not money. That said, I always took cash. The women wanted company, someone willing to please at the midnight hour, and straight sex. It was nerve-wracking wondering if I was going to be able to get it up or get on, but at least I had a valid reason for liking my lovers - they paid me. I didn't care if someone called me a whore and a pimp.'
    • 'Prostitution is obscene, debasing and disgraceful. The point is, so am I.'
  • Sex in Games: Rez+Vibrator
    • 'Even without the trance vibrator, the game puts you into a trance state - it's a raver's game, a game of pure sensation. The goals are simply to progress to the next level - not so complicated. But getting there is a sublime visual and aural experience. There's also an invincible "travelling" mode, if you want to just sit back and move through the levels without worrying about your avatar's taking damage.'
    • 'We sat side my side on our makeshift couch, I with the trance vibrator and Justin with the controller. As the levels got more advanced, so did the vibrations... revving up to an intense pulsing throbbing...'
    • the Trance vibrator for PS2
    • You can buy just the Trace Vibrator here: http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-q-70-2pn.html
  • The Outing: David Dreier and his straight hypocrisy
    • 'Now, Rogers -- a former development director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force -- has given [12 term Congressman David] Dreier the "Roy Cohn Award, in recognition of 24 years of working against gay and lesbian rights while living as a gay man yourself." He is pummeling Dreier with almost daily revelations as a response to the GOP's anti-gay crusade for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.'
    • 'Dreier is not just a political homophobe but a heartless AIDS-phobe as well, voting against the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program designed to give shelter to the impoverished sick, and against funding for the federal ADAP program that furnishes the poor with the AIDS meds they need to stay alive. Dreier can probably survive outing in his district and be re-elected, and it won't hurt him much with Arnold and his cronies either. But Dreier's days as a key member of the ultra-homophobic Hastert-DeLay House GOP leadership may be numbered. '

Math, Science, Science Fiction, Space

  • Law-breaking liquid defies the rules
    • 'Physicists in France have discovered a liquid that "freezes" when it is heated. Marie Plazanet and colleagues at the Université Joseph Fourier and the Institut Laue-Langevin, both in Grenoble, found that a simple solution composed of two organic compounds becomes a solid when it is heated to temperatures between 45 and 75°C, and becomes a liquid when cooled again.'
      • Aint that a hoot?!
    • 'Plazanet and colleagues prepared a liquid solution containing ?-cyclodextrine (?CD), water and 4-methylpyridine (4MP). Cyclodextrines are cyclic structures containing hydroxyl end groups that can form hydrogen bonds with either the 4MP or water molecules.'
  • VirginGalactic.com
    • '[2004-09-27] Today at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London's West End, Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan made their announcement to the world's media that Virgin Galactic was now in a position to commence a programme of work that would result in the world's first affordable space tourist flights in 2 to 3 years time.'
    • The demo video is pretty fun. Talk about a super ride!


  • Billionaires in top form on Forbes' annual list
    • 'There are now 313 billionaires in the country, the largest number ever and a jump from the 262 counted last year, according to Forbes magazine, which Thursday released its annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans.'
    • The top 10 were the same as last year except that #9 and #10 switched:
      • 1. Bill Gates of Microsoft. $48 billion (10^9), +2 from last year.
      • 2. Warren Buffet. $41, +5.
      • 3. Paul Allen of Microsoft. 20, -2.
      • 4-8. Waltons of Wal-Mart. ca. 18 each.
      • 9. Michael Dell. 14.2.
      • 10. Lawrence Ellison of Oracle. 13.7, -6.3.
    • 'There are 45 new names on the list, including Google's Sergey Brin and Larry E. Page, who are also the youngest members of the 400 at 31. The two tied for No. 43 with $4 billion each after their company's stock went public in August.'
    • 'Casino mogul Steve Wynn, who climbed to No. 215 from No. 377 last year, saw the largest percentage increase in wealth--a 100 percent jump to $1.3 billion from $650 million. Last year's biggest dollar gainer, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, received the less-coveted title of biggest dollar loser this year with an $800 million drop.'

Terror, War

  • Powell: Iraq is 'getting worse' Secretary of state, top general differ on election's scope
  • Falluja hit by deadly US air strikes
    • 'At least eight people have been killed in US strikes on the volatile Iraqi city of Falluja, doctors say. They said 15 other people were injured, as US planes, tanks and artillery units shelled the city which lies about 40 miles (65km) west of Baghdad.'
      • What if we shelled a neighborhood in the US because we thought there might be a terrorist there?
      • Why is it OK if we kill Iraqi civilians but if we so callously killed a single innocent American civilian on US soil, then it would be totally unacceptable?
    • an Iraqi infant being pulled from the wreckage Infant pulled from the wreckage.
    • ' "Intelligence sources reported that terrorists were using the site to plan additional attacks against Iraqi citizens and multinational forces," a US military statement said. The statement added that no civilians were reported in the area at the time. However, a doctor at Falluja's general hospital told the Associated Press that civilians had been killed.'
    • 'Reuters Television pictures showed rescuers pulling survivors, among them two women and a young child, out of a destroyed building.'
  • Iraqi civilian casualties mounting
    • 'Operations by U.S. and multinational forces and Iraqi police are killing twice as many Iraqis - most of them civilians - as attacks by insurgents, according to statistics compiled by the Iraqi Health Ministry and obtained exclusively by Knight Ridder.'
    • chart of Iraqi civilian war deaths
    • ' Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, an American military spokesman, said the insurgents were living in residential areas, sometimes in homes filled with munitions. "As long as they continue to do that, they are putting the residents at risk," Boylan said. "We will go after them." '
      • So if an "insurgent" were in a US residential area, we would shell that too?
    • 'Juan Cole, a history professor at University of Michigan who specializes in Shiite Islam, said the widespread casualties meant that coalition forces already had lost the political campaign: "I think they lost the hearts and minds a long time ago." "And they are trying to keep U.S. military casualties to a minimum in the run-up to the U.S. elections" by using airstrikes instead of ground forces, he said.'
      • In other words, for the sake of US elections, US lives are definitely much much more important than the lives of Iraqi civilians.
    • ' "Anyone who hates America has come here to fight: Saddam's supporters, people who don't have jobs, other Arab fighters. All these people are on our streets," said Hamed, the ministry official. "But everyone is afraid of the Americans, not the fighters. And they should be." '
    • ' The ministry is convinced that nearly all of those reported dead are civilians, not insurgents. Most often, a family member wouldn't report it if his or her relative died fighting for rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia or another insurgent force, and the relative would be buried immediately, said Dr. Shihab Ahmed Jassim, another member of the ministry's operations section. "People who participate in the conflict don't come to the hospital. Their families are afraid they will be punished," said Dr. Yasin Mustaf, the assistant manager of al Kimdi Hospital near Baghdad's poor Sadr City neighborhood. "Usually, the innocent people come to the hospital. That is what the numbers show." The numbers also exclude those whose bodies were too mutilated to be recovered at car bombings or other attacks, the ministry said. Ministry officials said they didn't know how big the undercount was. "We have nothing to do with politics," Jassim said.'
  • 'Staying the Course' Isn't an Option
    • 'Iraq is probably already lost, says former military-policy planner Mike Turner. But there are still some smart strategies for Kerry to adopt'
    • 'One of the great mysteries of this election is the inability of John Kerry to challenge George W. Bush on his national-security credentials and to hold his administration accountable for its monumental failure in Iraq. These two issues remain the soft underbelly of the Bush campaign. That the Kerry campaign hasn't effectively exploited them is disheartening. That he's allowed Bush to actually spin them into strengths is mind-boggling. Since the American people seem to be buying the GOP's reality-TV version of events in Iraq, let's take a hard look at the military realities.'
    • 'If Bush is re-elected, there are only two possible outcomes in Iraq:
      • Four years from now, America will have 5,000 dead servicemen and women and an untold number of dead Iraqis at a cost of about $1 trillion, yet still be no closer to success than we are right now, or
      • The U.S. will be gone, and we will witness the birth of a violent breeding ground for Shiite terrorists posing a far greater threat to Americans than a contained Saddam.'
    • 'So what strategies should candidate Kerry propose? The first steps are patently obvious to anyone who has worked even briefly as a military policy planner. First, Americans must understand it is highly probable that Iraq is already lost. Americans must stop believing the never-ending litany of "happy thoughts" spewing forth from the Bush campaign and start thinking about our men and women dying wholesale in Iraq. Having acknowledged that painful reality and the genuine, long-term danger posed to Americans by remaining in Iraq, here are some obvious actions for Kerry to propose at his first debate next week with Bush. '
  • Congressional Research Service [CRS] Reports Military and National Security. This site has some official reports such as:
  • No French or German turn on Iraq
    • ' "I cannot imagine that there will be any change in our decision not to send troops, whoever becomes president," Gert Weisskirchen, member of parliament and foreign policy expert for Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party, said in an interview. "That said, Mr Kerry seems genuinely committed to multilateralism and as president he would find it easier than Mr Bush to secure the German government's backing in other matters." '
  • Violence in Iraq Belies Claims of Calm, Data Show

US Elections

  • Pentagon blocks site for voters outside U.S..
  • "What If Bush Wins Forum" by a panel of 16 experts
  • "It's OK. Don't think about it too much, and it will be OK" [MeFi]
    • 'The teacher told of an exercise wherein he read from both the Bush and Kerry websites. He read where each of the candidates stood on the main issues of the campaign. He didn't say who was who…just "this is what candidate one says, this is what candidate two says". The kids made tally marks about each thing they agreed with from each candidate. Then the kids voted on the issues. Four kids voted for Bush. 26 kids voted for Kerry.'
    • 'most of the kids who voted for John Kerry were greatly upset by it. They booed the results of their vote. They were upset that they had voted for the "wrong guy". Glancing around the classroom at the faces of the other parents, I could see that many of them were disturbed as well. What could have gone wrong? How had they failed their children? What did this mean?'
    • More proof that the GOP has brainwashed people so that they don't think for themselves anymore.
  • I just heard several little bits of info on the radio.
    • Historically Republicans have attacked the character of their opponent, while Democrats have attacked the policies of their opponents. This happens to be true in the the current election. Attacking the character of your opponent is generally an insidious rhetorical tactic called ad hominem.
    • Historically the challenger has more negative attacks than the incumbent. This happens to be reversed in this election.
  • Tort Reform has some redeeming qualities but in general Tort Reform is something that corporations want so they can perform unethical and unsafe practices. There are trivial lawsuits but trial lawyers have helped for developed many good safety laws and they have brought to light corporate sins that the corporations have used big money to keep in the dark.
  • Carter fears Florida vote trouble
    • 'Mr Carter, a Democrat, said that he and ex-President Gerald Ford, a Republican, had been asked to draw up recommendations for changes after the last vote in Florida was marred by arguments over the counting of ballots. Mr Carter said the reforms they came up with had still not been implemented.'
      • Obviously the 2000 election was fixed in Florida and they want to keep it that way. What a scam! You'd think that we lived in a Third World country.
  • No Joke: Daily Show Viewers Follow Presidential Race
    • 'Viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the cable channel Comedy Central, are more likely to know the issue positions and backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who do not watch late-night comedy, the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey shows.'
    • Sometimes TV is good for you!
  • Retired Colonel: Bush Volunteered for Vietnam. Then why didn't he come out sooner? If the question of Bush's service could have been answered sooner, then it would have saved everybody's time. I'm guessing the jerks are saving stuff like this for political reasons. Let's see if they capture or nearly capture Osama bin Laden soon as well.
  • How Kerry lost me. Gasp! I'll bet you're shocked to see anything anti-Kerry on my blog!


  • Poll sees Labour majority slashed. 'The poll, for The Observer, was taken just after this month's messy reshuffle, at the height of infighting between the Blair and Brown camps which is unlikely to have impressed voters. It puts the Tories on 33 points, Labour on 32 and the Liberal Democrats on 25.'

2004-09-29t16:43:44Z | RE: Martial Arts . Practice Notes . FMAs .
2004-09-28 FMAs Weekly Class

Organization: DefensorMethod.com
Context: Weekly Class
Subject: FMAs
Date-Time: 2004-09-28t19:30/21:30
Location: 3036 N. Lincoln Ave. #3, Chicago, IL 60657-4243
Instructor(s): Nate Defensor
Participants: 12 roughly

It has been several years since I have done FMA (Filipino Martial Arts). The last time I trained with Guru Nate Defensor was when he was teaching classes at the CFC (Chicago Fitness Center). Now his main classes are just a few doors south on Lincoln Ave. The "new" place is a loft with a large assortment of all sorts of martial arts equipment and weapons, including multiple heavy bags and a wing chun dummy.

The class was structured pretty much as I remembered them. Guru Nate's classes have a fast paced but natural rhythm. He always covers a lot of ground but also gives you a good workout. Since I've had a long absence I don't have the terms for some of the particular techniques and exercises. My notes will also not generally cover all the options or variations shown in class.

Part 1 involved single stick partner practice (the usual 70 cm = 28 inch rattan stick) against Angles 1 to 5 (out of the 12).

  • Angle #1 (receiver's upper left). Attacker starts with right foot back and steps in. Receiver steps forward with right foot to face the weapon.
  • Angle #2 (receiver's upper right). Attacker starts with feet together. Receiver steps forward with left foot to face the weapon.
  • Angle #3 (receiver's  mid left). Attacker as #1. Receiver as #1 but lowering stance.
  • Angle #4 (receiver's mid right). Attacker as #2. Receiver as #2 but lowering stance.
  • Angle #5 (receiver's belly). Attacker as #1. Receiver as #3, then as #4.

Variation #1. The basic pattern was primarily stopping attacker's hand while simultaneously secondarily blocking his stick with yours. Follow up with hitting him 3 times with your own weapon.

Variation #2. As Variation #1 but after the stop snake his weapon and hand with your hand, then strip him of his weapon by striking his wrist. Angles #2 and #4 involved bringing the attacker's hand across to the receiver's left side.

Part 2 involved partner knife work with a screwdriver grip and a pattern of Angles #1, #2, then #1 again. The idea was to shift to face the weapon and block with the back of the opposite hand. EG: For Angle #1, face left and block with the right hand. The 3rd count had the parry followed by a "return to sender" counter, i.e. bend the attacker's arm, control the weapon hand, and attack the attacker with his own weapon. The knife work was built up to using whatever angles and a very fast flow.

Part 3 involved partner punching and kicking.

The punching had one partner use focus mitts to receive triple combinations. Assume that the attacker has left leg forward. The partners would move around. Occasionally the would put the mitts in particular positions which would signify a particular combination.

  • Jab (left hand straight), Cross (right hand straight), Hook (left hand hook).
  • Jab, Cross, Uppercut (left hand)
  • Diagonally Downward, Diagonally Upward, Diagonally Downward
  • Slapping or Backfisting three times

Punching finished with 30 seconds of continuous vertical punches.

Kicking had one partner with a Thai pad or it had an attacker us a heavy bag. Combinations of three kicks. Kicks were front thrust, kicks with the palm of the foot and the foot 45 degrees, side thrusts, or round house.

  • Front Leg, Rear, Rear
  • Rear Leg, switch feet in place, Rear, Rear

Part 4 involved a mix of partner training.

Set #1 involved intercepting a side thrust kick. Variations included palming it down, hammer fisting it down, elbow striking it down, and any of the preceding while kneeing the kicker's leg. Other variations included coming in on the inside or outside while grabbing the leg, followed up by a variety of takedown and leg locks. Some of the moves were similar to the downward palm thrusts in Shotokan's Nijushiho. One entering block was similar to the common Shotokan kata move of raised knee and forearm forming a line.

Set #2 involved countering a jab: parry with the left hand while punching underneath with the left.

Set #3 involved countering a cross: jam the arm and shoulder with the left hand, then come in with a right elbow strike. Follow with 2 right knee strikes while pulling down with the arms. Then pull downward and rearward while spinning them to the floor. Kick them as they go down. Guru Nate mentioned that there were 3 kinds of follow ups: 1. Serious: Kill, maim, or knock out. 2. Sport: Force a tap out. 3. Entertainment: Something fun.

Set #4 involved countering a jab, cross, jab. Parry the first 2. For the 3rd punch, block with a right "tight salute" or raised elbow while attacking with the left elbow. Follow up by bending their arm and pushing downward with both your arms in a cross across the elbow for a take down. End up with your knees sitting on your opponent while his arm is trapped and you are free to hammer down.

Whew! This took quite a while to jot down and there was more material in the class that I did not cover. These notes take time and effort but I will try to do this with all my martial arts classes esp. seminars and including the classes I take at the Chicago Swordplay Guild.

Exploring odd subjects including myself. GeorgeHernandez.com
Some rights reserved
CC by-sa 2.5

GH   GH dir   Wiki   Web
Main Body - Site Map - Contact - About

Timestamp on page load:
Timestamp right now: ISO 8601 - RFC 822