| TAGS: 9/11 Commission. Bush. Comic Art. Cyber Life. Computers. Elections. Engineering. Faith. Food. Fun. Green. Images. Interesting. Iraq. Israel. Martial Arts. Math. Media. Money. Politics. Science. Sex. Show Biz. US. Web. World.
- Trust, Don't Verify: Bush's incredible
definition of credibility. Even if you like Bush, follow the methodology of his
thinking. Bush thinks in a way that is more convoluted then what you would find in Wonderland.
- George and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamtie. I was going to ignore
Bush's wardrobe malfunction
but this is a well written piece that moves well beyond the tie.
- MrNobody.us [Flash]. Yep, nobody has any
responsibility for 9/11.
- Statement on the Nomination of
Allen Weinstein to Become Archivist of the United States
- 'We are concerned about the sudden announcement on April 8, 2004, that the White House has
nominated Allen Weinstein to become the next Archivist of the United States. Prior to the
announcement, there was no consultation with professional organizations of archivists or
historians. This is the first time since the National Archives and Records Administration was
established as an independent agency that the process of nominating an Archivist of the United
States has not been open for public discussion and input. We believe that Professor Weinstein
must--through appropriate and public discussions and hearings--demonstrate his ability to meet the
criteria that will qualify him to serve as Archivist of the United States. '
- Why would you ever trust Bush to handle the documentation of his administration? I would
hope that even pro-Bush people would want the truth preserved for the historical record. Why
does Bush consistently pick such dirty people? Is it possible that Bush is people picking people
- Related links:
- The Haunted Archives.
'Who should control access to the archives of the 9/11 Commission after it closes up shop in
August? The commission's records will go to the National Archives. On April 8 the Bush
Administration quietly pushed the current archivist, John Carlin, a Clinton appointee, to step
down. To replace him, Bush will nominate Allen Weinstein, a historian who has been criticized
for failing to abide by accepted scholarly standards of openness (more details will appear in an
upcoming Nation profile). Weinstein headed, until recently, the Center for Democracy, a think
tank whose board is studded with GOP heavyweights, including Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and
Richard Lugar, House Republican whip Roy Blunt and Henry Kissinger. '
NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE
- Allen Weinstein Bio
- Plan of
Attack, book by Bob Woodward [Amazon]
- Hehe. Woodward helped bring down Nixon during Watergate didn't he?
- 5 articles on his book by Bob Woodward
on War: Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched. ' 'We're Going to Have to
Go to War,' Bush Said to Rice'
- Making the
Case: With CIA Push, Movement to War Accelerated. 'Agency's Estimate of Saddam Hussein's
Arsenal Became the White House's Rationale for Invasion'
Divided: Cheney Was Unwavering in Desire to Go to War. 'Tension Between Vice President
and Powell Grew Deeper as Both Tried to Guide Bush's Decision'
Special Relationship: Blair Steady in Support. ' I'm There to the Very End,' Prime
Minister Told Bush '
- Countdown to War:
U.S. Aimed for Hussein as War Began. 'CIA Informants Told of His Suspected Whereabouts'
Powell: A good soldier or a good loser?
- 'revelations in Bob Woodward's new book flesh out what, for an old battlefield commander and
bureaucratic infighter, is a less flattering image: that of a good loser, a man who lent
considerable prestige to President Bush to sell a war on which Powell failed to press his own,
often conflicting, views. Powell is also portrayed as a man whose influence, in the run-up to
the war, was vastly outweighed by that of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary
Donald H. Rumsfeld. Most pointed, perhaps, is Woodward's assertion that Bush did not even
seek the advice of his top diplomat, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before
deciding to invade Iraq. '
Shares War Secrets
Airing of Powell's Misgivings Tests Ties in the Cabinet
http://www.candlebone.com/mp3s/oldtincan.mov. This animation composition was done while
someone was deeply stoned. Good for Halloween!
Doonesbury's B.D. Loses Leg in Iraq.
- OMFG. I read Doonesbury everyday
and for the past few days the strip has been shown, from D.B.'s point of view, that D.B. was
hurt but I didn't know how far they were going to take it. This will bring the Iraq Invasion War
home to Americans in a powerful and yet "safe" way. Excellent job Trudeau, very powerful
stuff and an excellent use of the medium and the power of your syndication. FYI: This is the
first time we've ever seen B.D. without a helmet on.
- Related link:
- Graphic artists have been using pen tablets for years to interact with image editing
software. A pen tablet is an input device that uses a pressure sensitive pad and pen-like
stylus. The problem is that usually the pen tablet is on the desk while the user's eye's are on
A more recent development are tablet PCs. These are laptop computers where the screen is also a
pen tablet and the screen can be manipulated to more configurations than merely flipped up. To
put it another way, a tablet PC is like a combination laptop and PDA.
However, I have yet to see a tablet PC, operating system, and editing software that is fully
integrated. A graphic artist should be able to apply pressure-effects directly onto the image
and monitor. That is, a graphic artist's pen should be on the image where his or her eyes are
(just like people who work with physical mediums) and not off to the side on a pen tablet.
Hopefully Mac or somebody is working on this idea because it would be so intuitive, so much
better. It would really drive graphic artists to buy tablet PCs. I just haven't had a whiff of
anyone else thinking about this but it's such an obvious idea.
Using Visual Basic and ASP with XML to Generate Excel 2003 Workbooks
- A, B, C, ... D! The Programming
- 'For years the development scene has been dominated by the C family of languages, primarily
C itself and its immediate successor C++. Recent years have given rise to other C-descendents,
however, such as Sun's Java and Microsoft's C#. Nowadays we here lots of hype about .NET and
J2EE, lots of propaganda about how both C# and Java are "The Way of the Future." But as we all
know, sometimes the real gem is the unsong underdog, the one that don't have full page ads in
tech journals. And today I'm going to take a look at one such gem: The D Programming Language. '
- This could be fun. Lot's of geeky arguments about garbage collection, multiple inheritance,
and such, but the only real issue is acceptance and that can only arise if programmers play with
it and really like it.
- It's hard to ignore that D is like Java and C# but without the virtual machine and thus can
be used to write system code.
- In any case it's good for programmers to think about evolving new languages. What we really
need is some way to work as "low" as possible while staying as "high" as possible, i.e. the
ability to do the gutter work without getting dirty, but I'm afraid that's generations away.
- Related links:
http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/aboutqr-e.html. 1D barcodes are so passe! QR Code is the
latest of post-barcode 2D data encoding like PDF417, DataMatrix, and Maxi Code. Industries need
to get hip with these standards for the sake of international trade.
- http://www.hamar.sk/sphere/. Another 3D UI for the
OS. Looks lame in comparison to Sun's Project
Looking Glass that
I blogged about
- PC HabiCase. Pretty neat. I
would not assume that they've solved the problems of heat and noise upon the pets or the
problems of pet generated debris upon the computer.
- What? They cut WinFS??.
Yep, Microsoft announced earlier that they are delaying release dates as well as cutting back on
features. Can you say "vaporware"?
- The SCO(R) Group, Inc. Receives
Request From BayStar Capital II, L.P. to Redeem [20,000] Shares of Series A-1 Convertible
Preferred Stock. Ha ha ha! Everybody hates SCO so I'm glad to see that even some of their
share holders hate them too. All the other share holders should pull their stock too because SCO
is going down hard.
- A9, asinine. It's just a freaking Amazon search engine over Google.
Others will follow. Get over it already.
- Hypulp.com. 'Hypulp documents the influence of the internet
on print design.'
- BoingBoing.net and other sites are starting to use
a trackback-like feature of Technorati.com. Basically a
link with an URL of this syntax
http://www.technorati.com/cosmos/search.html?sub=mtcosmos&url=URIhere will open up
a page at Technorati that lists which blogs are pointing to the specified URI.
e-mail be saved? 'Battered by junk and reeling under makeshift fixes, e-mail is ripe for
reinvention. Here's how six of the industry's most provocative thinkers envision a brighter day'
- 'The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit that was founded to build an 'Internet
library,' with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and
scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.'
- Their most famous feature is their
Wayback Machine" Essentially
you search to see if they've archived the contents of an URL and a time period that you specify.
- DrivingVotes.org. 'Driving Votes helps you
register voters in swing states to beat Bush in the 2004 election. We provide everything you
need to take your friends on a road trip to register voters. You'll have an unforgettable time
while helping to put the brakes on Bush. '
- Kerry's Iraq
Policy Makes the War Issue Bush's to Lose
- ' Bush's decision to take the United States to war in Iraq and his management of that
war could undo his presidency. Polls are showing declining support for his policies. But if
Bush is ousted at the end of his term, it will more than likely be because Kerry's
accusation of mismanagement rings true to voters than because Kerry has outlined a boldly
different platform. '
- FanPants. Great invention for guys with
no butts like me! Ha ha ha!
- I was doing a
search on "Thais using chopsticks" to verify that Thais don't use chopsticks in general
(it's true: they don't). The first link to come up was
Chopsticks vs Knife and
fork, a large message board thread on the topic. I found it amusing because I did a little
piece on Fork v
Chopsticks just last month! One more shred of evidence that I'm not insane to write about
- Cicada: The
Other, Other White Meat
- KBS Beer Bottle Collection. I'm
sure that this is 1 of many beer compendiums but 2,246 beers sounds like a lot.
- 'Swedeness: is to mean what you say and to say what you mean; to use the earth not abuse
- A very well rendered site too.
- Personal connections:
- I love Ann Sather, a lovely set of Swedish
Chicago restaurants. (They catered my wedding too!)
- I grew up near Andersonville, a decidedly Swedish neighborhood in Chicago. (And it's
hyper-hip now too!)
- Yes, I've eaten at Ikea too.
- Shop.StarWars.com. The official store has just
launched. I would've thought that such a thing was already out there. I can't believe that Lucas
wasn't milking this line of revenue already.
- Naive.it [Flash]. Games, cartoons, illustrations.
- The Gaslycrumb Tinies online.
This old set of ABCs by Edward Gorey has been around for 50 years. "A is for Amy, who fell down
the stairs" was particularly amusing because that's going to be the name of our 3rd child.
- Kill Bill [Flash game]. It's from the Czech
Republic but you can figure it out. Her thrusts are faster than her cuts but the thrusts are
Misys gives Pecker head job: Rudi Pecker assumes position in top slot in Asia
- ' After 14 years inside Misys in Europe, Rudi Pecker has been elevated to the financial
technology company's Singapore office, to become head of Asia Pacific sales. In this role,
Pecker will head all Misys' strategic and commercial activities in the region, aiming to grow
the business and enter into long term relationships. Pecker's breadth of experience, with over
20 years in the financial services industry, will enable him to rise to the challenges of
growing the business in Asia, a region fertile for expansion.
"The Asia Pacific region is very important to the Misys business, so having the right person
at its head is crucial to our success, both there and worldwide," says Andy White, CEO of Misys
Wholesale Banking Solutions. "We are delighted that Pecker will be leading the way"
Misys systems cover solution in trade finance, international banking, treasury and capital
markets, confirmation matching, continuous linked settlements, ebanking, middleware and
Pecker will continue reporting to Armin Holst, Global Sales director for Misys Wholesale
Banking Systems. "We are certain that [Pecker's] experience will help to significantly
strengthen and ultimately grow, our business in Asia," says Holst. '
- I'm sorry that I've quoted the entire article, but the whole thing is so short and so
pun-rich that I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if the content became unavailable in the
future. Surely this is a case of the English translators pulling one over their Asian employers.
- Radar clocks Mini at Mach 3 speed.
See! It is possible for those radar guns to be faulty.
- NosePilot.com [Interactive Flash]. A visual treat,
sort of like a story.
- TheWritingsOnTheStall.com. Public
submissions of discovered bathroom graffiti. EG: "I fucked your mom" followed by "Go home Dad,
- WorldDominationLLC.com and
VillainSupply.com. Some of the sites that we Evil
Overlords like to visit. Very reminiscent of the classic
- Khaaan.com. Yes, this site will come in handy on
- Jay Maynard's TRON costume. We
should all be fortunate enough to follow our healthy eccentricities.
- Sportka Evil Cat Commercial [see the
video]. Not as good as their anti-bird version but you have to see them all.
Schwarzenegger promises California 'Hydrogen Highway' by 2010
- LowImpact.org. LILI (the Low-Impact Living
Institute) has lots of tips on green living.
- Take a little quiz to get a conservative estimation of how many global acres it
takes to sustain you.
- As of today, 2004-04-21, I take up 14 acres, the average in the US is 24, but
currently there exists 4.5 acres per person on the planet so it would take 3.1 earths if
everyone lived like me.
- Here are some interesting stats comparing the China and the USA from a recent
||3,705,820 square miles
||3,715,796 square miles
|persons per square mile
|carbon dioxide emissions per person
||2.5 metric tons
||19.8 metric tons
|energy consumption per person
||880 kg oil equivalent
||7,960 kg oil equivalent
|meat consumption per person
|paper consumption per person
|average number of persons per room
|water use per person
(agricultural, industrial, and domestic)
|TV sets per 1000 persons
|vehicles per 1000 persons
- "Cancer Alley"
Activist from Louisiana, Survivors of World's Worst Industrial Disaster, Among 2004 Winners
of 15th Annual Goldman Environmental Prize: First African-American Recipient Joins Six
Others in Receiving World's Largest Environmental Award. And during the ceremony, the
founder gave this keynote address
"A Letter to George
W. Bush", which very nicely asks Bush to please not suck so much when it comes to the
Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy - Governors' Draft
- This is the first broad report by the U.S.
Commission on Ocean Policy since 1969. That report led to the creation of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Basically the oceans and sea life under US influence are in terrible shape and they provide
many recommendations on how to fix things. Of course we'll need to get Bush out of office in
order to implement their suggestions.
- During my first trip to Rio, I went to the
Amazon... (a true story). Including "how to catch an alligator"
- An Inside Look At The Patent
Examination Process. Related links:
http://www.zhamurai.com/mind/figures/patent.html (which has some nice Venn diagrams).
Anatomy of a Netsuke
- 'Japan during the seventeenth century was a world without pockets. To carry medicines,
tobacco, seals, and other small personal affects required one to hang them from their obi or
sash. From this need sprung various sets or kits such as the tobacco pouch, the inro, and the
yatate (writing set). The inro was a layered box with two to seven tiers that could contain
various small objects. The inro was held together by braided silk cords, which ran vertically
through the many layers. Keeping these braided cords together was an ojime or bead, which
finally ended in a toggle piece called a netsuke. The netsuke was tucked under the obi and
helped to suspend the inro below. Through human nature, these elements began to serve as more
than just their utilitarian use, they became expressions of the artist who created them and the
individual taste of the wearer.'
- Related links:
- Moiré Phenomena. Inspired, of
course, by Bush's hideous tie.
- Writing on the Brain.
'I was recently asked what it takes to become a writer. Three things, I answered: first, one
must cultivate incompetence at almost every other form of profitable work. This must be
accompanied, second, by a haughty contempt for all the forms of work that one has established
one cannot do. To these two must be joined, third, the nuttiness to believe that other people
can be made to care about your opinions and views and be charmed by the way you state them.
Incompetence, contempt, lunacy--once you have these in place, you are set to go. '
- Voice of Hibakusha
- 'Eye-witness accounts of the bombing of Hiroshima, from the video HIROSHIMA WITNESS produced
by Hiroshima Peace Cultural Center and NHK '
- Related links:
- An Island to
Oneself: The Story of Six Years On a Desert Island by Tom Neale. I love the topic
and I love a free online book. Of course, just like "free music", it shouldn't discourage people
from buying the
book at Amazon.
AP: Book Alleges Secret Iraq War Plan. 'President Bush secretly ordered a war plan drawn up
against Iraq less than two months after U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan and was so worried the
decision would cause a furor he did not tell everyone on his national security team, says a new
book on his Iraq policy. '
- Help U.S. Marines Equip TV
Stations in Iraq. Good idea but why wasn't this sort of thing put in when we first invaded?
There's nothing wrong with a pro-US station as long as they many media choices via the free
- Likely Ambassador
- 'Bush administration officials are saying the likely candidate to be ambassador of Iraq
Negroponte, the current
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.'
- Why does Bush have to pick such a dirty guy? What will it take to convince people about
general assails U.S. policy on Iraq
- 'Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni wondered aloud yesterday how Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld could be caught off guard by the chaos in Iraq that has killed nearly 100 Americans
in recent weeks and led to his announcement that 20,000 U.S. troops would be staying there
instead of returning home as planned. '
- 'For years Zinni said he cautioned U.S. officials that an Iraq without Saddam Hussein
would likely be more dangerous to U.S. interests than one with him because of the ethnic and
religious clashes that would be unleashed. '
- ' "I've been called a traitor and a turncoat for mentioning these things," said Zinni,
60. The problems in Iraq are being caused, he said, by poor planning and shortsightedness,
such as disbanding the Iraqi army and being unable to provide security.
Zinni said the United States must now rely on the U.N. to pull its "chestnuts out of the
fire in Iraq."
"We're betting on the U.N., who we blew off and ridiculed during the run-up to the war,"
Zinni said. "Now we're back with hat in hand. It would be funny if not for the lives lost."
- ' "In the end, the Iraqis themselves have to want to rebuild their country more than we
do," Zinni said. "But I don't see that right now. I see us doing everything. '
- 'Why are things spinning out of control in Iraq? Why are we losing the struggle for hearts
and minds in the country? Because we stand for freedom. And the terrorists hate freedom. And
they're attacking us because we're bringing freedom to Iraq. And terrorists hate freedom.
Therefore they hate us. And since they hate us so much of course they fight us.
That was the substance of the president's message last night. And the blurb from Forbes is
more of the same -- words that can mean anything or nothing and which are being strung together
before our eyes to avert our gaze from the fact that the decisions of our policy-makers have not
had the effect that they said they would.
Quite evidently, the "forces of good" have had their heads handed to them any number of times
when they had no clue what they were doing. That's obvious. Only a fool doesn't realize that.
Falling back on such meaningless statements is precisely what people do when they find
themselves unable to reconcile their expectations with what their eyes are showing them.
And this is the point: What we're grappling with here is whether we can be both resolute
and sure we're pursuing a sound strategy. But neither is possible unless we remain
willing to see what our eyes are showing us. Otherwise, there's no basis to evaluate whether our
strategy is sound or whether we need to correct it.'
Iraq War More Serious Than Vietnam-EU's Patten
- " The comparison... that Iraq could become as difficult an issue as Vietnam is misplaced,
because I think it is arguably much more serious ... If things go wrong in Iraq we will be
living with the consequences for a very, very long time." -Chris Patten, the European Union's
external relations commissioner.
- The Pentagon as
Global Slumlord and Planet of
- 'Faced with intransigent popular resistance that recalls the heroic Vietcong defense of Hue
in 1968, the Marines have again unleashed indiscriminate terror. According to independent
journalists and local medical workers, they have slaughtered at least two hundred women and
children in the first two weeks of fighting. '
- 'This tactical "Israelization" of U.S. combat doctrine has been accompanied by what might
be called a "Sharonization" of the Pentagon's worldview. Military theorists are now deeply
involved in imagining how the evolving capacity of high-tech warfare can contain, if not
destroy, chronic "terrorist" insurgencies rooted in the desperation of growing megaslums. '
- 'The occupation of Iraq has, of course, been portrayed by Bush ideologues as a "laboratory
for democracy" in the Middle East. To MOUT geeks [Militarized Operations on Urbanized Terrain],
on the other hand, it is a laboratory of a different kind, where Marine snipers and Air Force
pilots test out new killing techniques in an emergent world war against the urban poor. '
- So this is the promised land that Bush is leading us into. I see massive deaths on both
sides (esp. of innocents), a war that never ends (ala Israel and Palestine), the continuous
creation of more "rebels". In a war of the mighty (US & Israel with WMD) versus the feeble, why
wouldn't the feeble resort to guerilla war and terrorism? Wasn't the Revolutionary War between
the mighty (the British) and the feeble guerillas (the Americans)?
- How many times can we say "police action" instead of "war"?
- U.S. deaths from enemy
fire at highest level since Vietnam. No duh considering the in-city guerilla that I and
others warned about. We'd need to outnumber them 20-to-1 to dominate. Our technology will not help
us as much here.
- Soldiers Choose Canada: Facing
Iraq duty, two U.S. G.I.'s head north to seek asylum.
- Soldiers shouldn't go AWOL. Soldiers have made a promise, a commitment. Besides, it's not as
if they were drafted. I promise you that some of the smarter citizens in the US are trying our
damndest to stop this US madness.
- Related links:
Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force
- No surprised. I posted this link in
Oiling up the draft
machine?. And that "madman" Noam Chomsky had warned of it too.
- The army has a large number of reservists but why would they reenlist and who the hell is
going to volunteer now? Americans aren't cowards: it's just that the war is based around lies
and wasn't necessary. Iraq is nowhere near bin Laden.
- Is this war starting to sound like Vietnam at all?
U.S. backs Israeli plan
- 'Palestinians, who played no role in the U.S.-Israel discussions over the settlement
plans, warned that Bush's statements would spell the end of peace efforts and fuel further
violence. They described the Bush position as a disturbing shift, noting that previous U.S.
administrations had called the settlements obstacles to peace. '
- OMFG. Another huge nail in the Muslim perception that the US is engaged in a holy
war. Bush is creating more terrorists again.
- 'There are about 7,800 Israeli settlers living among 1.3 million Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip, and the small, densely packed area has been riddled by violence as the current
Arab uprising, or intifada, has lingered on. There are about 230,000 Israelis in West Bank
settlements, some of them large, self-contained communities. There are 2.3 million
Palestinians in the West Bank. '
- In other words the Gaza Strip is 0.6% Israeli and the West Bank is 10% Israeli.
- The End of the Road
- 'As the Reuters story notes, the statement overturns in one stroke almost 40 years of
official U.S. policy -- a policy Shrub's father actually showed a fair amount of political
courage in defending. '
- Yes, Bush is totally fucking up like how his pre-emptive policies were a total
change from US policy. What planet did Bush come from and why can't people see past his
- 'It also negates the fundamental premise of UN Resolution 242 -- the bedrock of all
peace efforts over the past 40 years -- that territory will not be acquired by force. '
- 'Consider the Orwellian implications of that last statement. If the Israeli government
says the wall is merely a temporary security measure, then that's what it must be -- no
matter where it runs or how long it stays up. '
- No Chip in Arm, No
Shot From Gun.
- An interesting possible technical twist in the gun control issue. It could help cut
down on illegal guns.
- ' Once the technology is accepted, legislation could follow to encourage the use of
smart guns. New Jersey already has passed legislation that will require smart-gun
technology on all handguns sold -- three years after the state attorney general
certifies that smart guns are available in the marketplace.
The National Rifle Association opposes the legislation because of potential problems
with smart-gun technology, but gun safety advocates argue that the technology could
encourage gun ownership with the newfound sense of security.
"It seems that guns are the only product that haven't followed a path of development
that leads to greater safety for the user. The only real change we've seen is to make
them more lethal and smaller so they can be more easily concealed," said Rob Wilcox, a
spokesman for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "This is one of the steps that
hasn't been taken, and we think this debate is one that needs to take place." '
- I did my first test-cutting with a sword a few days ago on 2004-04-18 Saturday.
- Almost all the cuts were done with long swords although there were a few cuts with a
single-handed side sword.
- What was cut.
- Water-filled milk jugs. The majority of the cutting was done on milk jugs.
- Water-filled 2 liter bottles. These got batted around a fair bit but people were able to
cut them. I believe the difficulty had to do with the lighter weight, the rounder shape, and
- Water-filled detergent bottles. There were a few of these but I only saw 2 of them up on
the pole. They were batted around and then used for practicing thrusts. I think the
toughness of the material was the big factor.
- Water-soaked rolls of tatami omote (sheets of rush for covering Japanese tatami mats.
See Tameshigiri.com). These had the advantage of being
spiked into place, whereas the previous targets were simply set on top of the stand.
However, these rolls were much harder to cut then the milk jugs. There were a large number
of cuts that only went part way through or the roll got batted away or both.
- My cuts.
- I'm a novice in swordsmanship compared to the others, I had to mind my 2 kids, and I was
trying to take photos so I let the others do most of the cutting. However I did manage to
cut 2 milk bottles and 1 roll, using a different sword each time. I have only had a few days
of cutting practice all together but I cut through the milk bottles pretty easily. I got 3
cuts out of first and only 1 cut out of the second.
- After my successful milk jug cutting, I entertained the fantasy that I would cut through
the roll cleanly. I had a similar fantasy when I first fired a rifle: That I'd be a natural
and would get a bunch of bull's eyes without any need of training.
- Any how, back to reality. It was certainly deflating to not cut a roll through cleanly
and have the roll start sagging on the stand. I eventually managed to hack the roll to nub
but it was not a pretty process. As an excuse at 1 point I had to hold the roll and sever a
piece that was dangling and I noticed that the sword was not cutting very well so I think
the sword was relatively dull.
- The top 3 cutters.
- Jim did not use pretty stances or anything but he did cuts in rapid succession and he
did his cuts very cleanly, surely, and naturally. I was impressed.
- Jesse had had very nice form and he did a large variety of different kinds of cuts. Good
- Dan was like "Yan Can Cook" out there. Slicing and dicing, easy as pie. I suspect that
he has the advantage of "sureness of stroke" with an instrument since he's done a lot of
- Next time.
- By next year I expect to have done a lot more empty air cutting. I don't know if I will
get a sharp long sword before then, so I don't know if I will get any practice on a target.
- I want to try thrusting at targets with a rapier.
- I want to try cutting as if there were multiple attackers. We had 3 stands, I don't see
why we couldn't use all 3 at a time.
- I want to covering a targets with cloth and another target with leather to see how it
affects the cuts.
- I want to try distinctively different weights of swords on the same kind of target. In
theory a lighter sword would have a sharper edge and could be moved faster but it also seems
that a heavier sword would have a sufficient edge and once it got moving it would hack
better. Just visualize hacking a chicken with a filet knife versus a cleaver.
- I want to cut through the roll cleanly.
America restored in Chicago. 'In a rapid reversal of fortunes, Air America Radio won a
temporary restraining order Thursday requiring the owner of its Chicago affiliate to restore the
fledgling, liberal talk-radio network's broadcast, one day after it was thrown off the air in
Chicago and Los Angeles.'
- Sun Microsystems
reports $760 million loss
- 'Sun Microsystems Inc. posted a larger-than-expected loss in its fiscal third quarter as the
computer and software maker continued to lay off workers and reorganize amid blistering
competition from rivals.'
- In just 1 quarter?! Microsoft may have a $50 billion reserve but Sun only has a $1.5
billion. Sun aint no Apple either with a highly dedicated user base. Sun needs to move to total
open source before they just outright die. At least that way they might hit back at Microsoft
- With interns, you get
what you pay for. It's a long standing tradition to have apprentices and such work for free
as far as artisans and martial artists are concerned.
- Divided We Stand... Still
- 'From the New York Times Bestseller List, I selected political books as starting points
for 'snowball sampling'. Two books are linked in the network if they were purchased by the
same person -- "Customers who bought this book also bought: ". Many of the books have
changed from last year but the overall pattern is the same. The pattern reveals two distinct
clusters with dense internal ties. Similar patterns of extreme clustering were found by
researchers looking at the links amongst web sites that cover topics with divergent views.
These political books are preaching to the converted. The extreme book titles on both
sides reveal a focus on hate, instead of debate. In a year of presidential election, is this
the new arms race? '
- Related links:
- ClintonPresidentialCenter.com v
- Ask Bush and Clinton the same set of questions and see who comes up with intelligent,
insightful, innovative, detailed answers. Of course Bush will need Cheney to coach him on the
- Gee those corporate sponsored conservatives have money to throw around.
- Some other presidential libraries:
Political Personality Test. It's sort of like your usual political self-test but this one
compares your results with that of college students across the nation and the result is put on a
grid of Liberal v Conservative AND Religious v Secular. Here are the results as of today
[2004-04-21] (I was a Traditional Liberal).
The schism in U.S. politics begins at home: Growing gaps found from county to county in
presidential race [invasive login required]
- 'American democracy is based on the continuous exchange of differing points of view.
Today, most Americans live in communities that are becoming more politically homogenous and,
in effect, diminish dissenting views. And that grouping of like-minded people is feeding the
nation's increasingly rancorous and partisan politics. '
- 'By the end of the dead-even 2000 presidential election, American communities were more
lopsidedly Republican or Democratic than at any time in the past half-century. The
fastest-growing kind of segregation in the United States isn't racial. It is the segregation
between Republicans and Democrats. '
- ' Since the early and mid-1970s, the American political scene shifted almost completely
from the independent-minded, ticket-splitting, non-partisan landscape Broder documented:'
- 'Voters have grown more partisan.'
- 'Voters have become less independent.'
- 'The parties have become more ideological.'
- 'Congress compromises less often.'
- 'Voters cast more straight party tickets.'
- Fascinating stuff. I tried for a long time to have political discussions with my
Right-wing friends and I think both sides felt we were talking to walls over the email. Our
in person discussions were much better and we found that we agreed on many things. But in
the end it seems that we've stopped having political discussions because they were
non-productive. A shame.
- So what happened in the US from the mid 1970s to 2000? One guess is the rise of the
Radical Right since they are dividers, xenophobic, "Us v Them" kind of folks, whereas the
Left is more inclusive, "Can't we just get along" sort of folks.
- Related link:
The cost of political uniformity: People becoming more extreme versions of what they
were before [invasive login required]
- ' The American system was set up to encourage wide-ranging debate, University of
Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein says. It was also designed so that "people in
one community have an obligation to listen to others and do what's in the interest
of the nation."
As the nation's communities become more politically lopsided, however, "you get
people who sometimes see their fellow citizens as confused or vicious, as not fully
members of the same community, and that can make discussion and mutual understanding
difficult," Sunstein said. "I think we've seen some of that. Some communities think
extremely unfair things about the other side." '
- ' A Democratic judge sitting with two Republicans voted more conservatively than
she did when sitting on a panel with a Democratic majority. Republicans worked the
same way, becoming more liberal on panels with two Democrats.
And when three Republican judges sat together, they all voted more conservatively
than when any of the three sat on a mixed panel. Democrats worked the same way.
Federal judges are chosen for their ability to think critically, impartially. Yet
even these men and women, people who have spent a lifetime weeding bias out of their
thinking and writing, are affected by the power of the group. '
- ' As parties became more ideologically pure, regions that were home to people
with strong beliefs gradually became affiliated with a single party. Hispanics
turned to the Democratic Party, so immigrant centers became Democratic. Rural voters
aligned with the Republican Party, so vast reaches in the country's middle turned
red on television maps. Single women affiliated with the Democratic party, so cities
with large numbers of unmarried females trended blue. In other words, the parties
moved to the people. '
http://bugmenot.com/view.php?url=www.statesman.com. To get non-invasive login
- Big Bang glow hints at
- 'Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn? It may sound like a surrealist's
dream, but according to Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm in Germany, recent
observations hint that the cosmos is stretched out into a long funnel, with a narrow tube at
one end flaring out into a bell. It would also mean that space is finite.'
- Cosmology is fun. Of course the goofy anti-science folks will see this stuff and say
"See? Science is goofier than religion." The difference is that science has theories and
postulations open to testing, not just statements that simply say this is the way the
- Related link: Department of Theoretical
Physics - Frank Steiner's Group
- Quake to hit LA 'by
- ' Russian-born University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) professor Vladimir
Keilis-Borok says he can foresee major quakes by tracking minor temblors and historical patterns
in seismic hotspots that could indicate more violent shaking is on the way. And he has made a
chilling prediction that a quake measuring at least 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale will hit
a 19,300-square-kilometre area of southern California by September 5. '
- ' "It is not specific," said Susan Hough, a seismologist for the US Geological Survey based
in Pasadena, near Los Angeles. "They've made three predictions and two of them have been borne
Keilis-Borok himself acknowledged the caution expressed by some of his colleagues.
"Application of non-linear dynamics and chaos theory is often counter-intuitive, so acceptance
by some research teams will take time."
But if his latest prediction that the earth will move in the area around Los Angeles within
the next five months proves accurate, his research could end up saving lives and transforming
- Related links:
- Imaging the
brain solving problems through insight and
Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight
Oldest Jewelry? "Beads" Discovered in African Cave.
- 'Humans may have been wearing jewelry as far back as 75,000 years ago, about 30,000 years
earlier than previously thought, if 41 shells found at Blombos Cave in South Africa prove to
have been used as beads.'
- Related links:
- DNA Folds Into
Paired Pyramids. 'The octahedron has two advantages over other artificially-formed
three-dimensional DNA shapes, according to the researchers. First, because the structures are
triangular, they're relatively strong. Second, like a three-dimensional paper airplane made from
a flat piece of paper, the octahedron is made from straight DNA strands. The three-dimensional
shape forms when one long DNA strand and five shorter strands are mixed and heated.'
- World in the Balance. A really good
PBS Nova piece on world population. EG:
Human Numbers Through Time
[Flash interactive] looks at population growth across the globe over time.
- Analysis: 'Bounce'
rock's cosmic portent
- 'A few days ago, on its slow roll across the Martian terrain at its landing site at
Meridiani Planum, an iron-oxide-rich area near the planet's equator, Opportunity's controllers
noticed an odd-looking, football-shaped rock lying in the red dust. They named the rock
"Bounce," because the lander most likely hit it as it bounced along the surface, cushioned by
its airbags, before coming to rest inside the little crater called Eagle. ... The results
stunned the NASA team. ... Bounce's chemical composition exactly matches that of a meteorite
that hit the ground in Shergotty, India, on Aug. 25, 1865. Called the Shergotty meteorite --
and the source name for a class of meteorites called shergottites -- its chemical composition is
a "matching fingerprint" to Bounce, said David Grinspoon, professor of planetary science at the
University of Colorado in Boulder. ... So far, no one has broached the bigger implication:
Bounce provides conclusive evidence not only of Martian meteorites on Earth, but also of the
possibility of cross-seeding.'
Brain Studies Reveal Where Aesthetic, Insight Reside
- Science Women Get Cinematic
Boost. That is
Rosalind Franklin (Ms. DNA) and Hedy
Lamarr (Ms. Spread
- Medical Mood
Ring. 'MIT mechanical engineers Harry Asada and Phillip Shaltis have developed a "ring
sensor" that monitors the wearer's temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. About the
size of a class ring, the device is equipped with two light-emitting diodes that beam pulses of
red and near infrared light through the user's finger.'
Sex [Assume anything in this section is possibly NSFW]
- Where Having Sex is a
Crime: Criminalization and Decriminalization of Homosexual Acts (2003). EG:
Zanzibar outlaws homosexual acts.
- HIV scare calls halt
to porn shoots
- 'Several adult movie companies - including the industry's largest, Vivid - said they
would stop filming after two stars [Darren James and Lara Roxx] tested positive for HIV.'
- I always assumed the big names in the industry (at the very least) had some medical
screening process because otherwise it would interfere with business. This sort of slip up
has probably happened before but, thanks to the Internet, now we can hear about such things,
which, btw, is what's the real story.
- Related links:
- Oh So Natural: Sexual
selection, the Good Book and why gay is good
- ' I have replaced "sexual selection" with "social selection." In social selection, animals
are organized differently. Their organization is arranged to control access to reproductive
opportunity, which includes everything they need to reproduce: food, nesting sites, mates.
Animals use their resources as bartering chips to buy help from others. Sometimes this leads to
cooperation and sometimes to competition. And this creates all kinds of familial relationships.
Under certain circumstances, that means monogamy, but under others, that means polygamy and
polyandry. Not only are there many types of family organizations, there may even be more than
two genders. '
- Problems with sexual selection does not kill evolution. Social selection can fit into
- Related links:
- Release date: 2004-05-14.
- Achilles, the Warrior: Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt may have the face and acting for
it but I think he role needed someone bigger: Achilles is supposed to be a brute,
invulnerable except for his heel. I had assumed that Brad Pitt was playing Hector or
Odysseus or something.
- Hector, the Good Brother and Son: Eric Bana. I haven't seen him in The
Hulk, but he has a good face for a good guy.
- Paris, the Lover: Orlando Bloom. makes sense: He is after all a good archer
in LOTR and that heel is a small target. (Don't give me any crap about spoilers
because this story is 2800 years old.)
- Agamemnon, the King of the Greek Kings: Brian Cox. He looks ugly enough for
- Odysseus, the Crafty: Sean Bean. Sean Bean did a great job as Boromir in
LOTR so I think he'll do fine as the crafty Odysseus, my favorite character in the
entire epic. However, I think Brad Pitt and Sean Bean should have switched characters.
- Menelaus, the Jealous Husband King: Brendan Gleeson. I haven't seen him in
Gangs of New York, but he looks like he could play a tortured fellow.
- Helen of Troy: Diane Kruger. I don't know who she is but her role is crucial.
The bad thing about all the Troy movies so far is that they never get a Helen beautiful
enough. The need someone who makes all the current super models look like wall flowers.
Someone so inhumanly beautiful that thousands of people would die for her.
- Priam, King of Troy: Peter O'Toole. Excellent casting.
- Ajax, the Mighty: Tyler Mane. Tyler Mane, who was the huge Sabertooth in
X-Men, was well cast as the might Ajax!
- As much as I'm into swords, I hope that the show that the majority of the troops used
spears since they were more prevalent for reasons such as spears were cheaper (they used
less metal), had longer range, and were easier to train on how to use.
- Related links:
- Release Date: 2004-04-30
- Movie Summary: 'Following the death of their eight year old son on his birthday, Jessie (Romijn-Stamos)
and Paul (Kinnear) are befriended by a doctor on the forefront of genetic research (DeNiro) at
the height of their mourning. He leads the couple in a desperate attempt to reverse the rules of
nature and clone their son. The experiment is successful and under Richard's watchful eye, Adam
grows into a healthy and happy young boy, until his 8th birthday. As time goes by, the Duncan's
gradually start to see small, subtle differences between the new Adam and the Adam they lost. At
the time of the new Adam's eighth birthday, the changes in character are more pronounced. '
- All the fiction that happens before the clone reaches 8 is frightening enough. I don't care
much for the fiction that happens after the clone reaches 8.
- Related links:
- This is a site marketing the movie but made to look like a real site. I like jokes, humor
and cleverness but I hate April Fools and hoaxes. People have enough problems trying to find the
truth. Fiction should aid in that search, not hinder it.
- 'Since Dolly, several scientists have cloned other animals, including cows and mice. Now, at
Godsend, we have pioneered a technique that allows a cell nucleus from a recently deceased child
to be implanted within a human egg, allowing a mother to carry that child to term again. In
theory, this new child would be identical to its predecessor in every way. By creating life from
life, Dr. Wells and his crack team give nature a gentle push, and help to rebuild shattered
- I thought this might possibly be part of the same marketing scheme but a WHOIS check of the
domain name registration does not show 'Lions Gate Entertainment' as a similar search for GodsendInstitute.org
- 'the world's leader in the cloning of exceptional pets'
Hollywood takes a look at cloning -- and opens up a can of worms. The article points out
that typing in "cloning" into Google will turn up GodsendInstitute.org
as the top sponsored link. I don't find that funny or amusing. In fact it's so unfunny that I've
decided just now to refuse to see the movie in the theater or buy the DVD. I'll borrow it or
watch something else.
- Army clears Guantanamo chaplain.
- He porn at work but he wasn't a spy. I expect a lot of Guantanamo cases to come to a head soon.
- Related link: Eat crow and wise
up! 'Accused of espionage and aiding the enemy, Capt. Yee became instant fodder for
self-proclaimed "protectors of America", 110% patriots (thanks S-Train for the term), and
various other folks riding the treason SUV hard. Well guess what? No evidence was found and he
has been vindicated. '
Justices question Bush administration's Cuba detainee policy
- 'Several Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism Tuesday about the Bush
administration's effort to block court hearings for nearly 600 foreigners who are being held at
a military base in Cuba as part of an anti-terrorism policy. '
- WatchingJustice.org. 'The U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) plays a significant and singular role in shaping and enforcing the nation's
policies through litigation, regulation, investigation, and implementation of laws. Watching
Justice's mission is to keep a vigilant and long-term eye on Americans' fundamental rights and
liberties by providing a forum for analysis, praise, and criticism of the department's actions.
Watching Justice also monitors those offices in the Department of Homeland Security that were
previously based in the DOJ.'
- The Hispanic Challenge
- 'The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two
peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other
Latinos have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political
and linguistic enclaves--from Los Angeles to Miami--and rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that
built the American dream. The United States ignores this challenge at its peril. '
- Sounds sensible eh? But then you realize it's xenophobic racist shit.
Purported Bin Laden 'Truce' Is Rejected
- 'A man identifying himself as Osama bin Laden offered a "truce" to European countries
that do not attack Muslims, saying it would begin when their soldiers leave Islamic nations,
according to a recording broadcast Thursday on Arab satellite networks. Britain, Germany,
Italy and Spain quickly spurned what appeared to be an attempt to drive a wedge between
Europe and America.'
- Related link: Full
text: 'Bin Laden tape'
Hurting our Arab friends
- 'When King Abdullah II of Jordan pointedly postponed the visit he was scheduled to have
today with President Bush, it dramatized a major drawback in Bush's siding with Israel last week
to dictate key peace terms to the Palestinians. The Bush deal with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, endorsing the latter's unilateral "disengagement" plan, is a severe blow to moderate
Arab leaders who are important to U.S. interests in that volatile region. '
- Bush is becoming less and less clandestine about his efforts to make this a Holy War, i.e.
this is not just a police action against terrorist criminals but a war against all Muslims. Bush
is more dangerous to America than bin Laden.
- UN Oil-for-Food-for-Oil Scandal
- Howard's pledge on
- Globalist: An ominous moment in Middle
- 'All this has forged among Arabs a perception of Israel and the United States as largely
synonymous. Gaza blurs into Falluja because Muslims suffer in both at the hands of an
all-powerful outside force. The administration's "strategy of freedom in the Middle East," laid
out last November, has also stoked Arab nationalist fires because it is seen by some as a cloak
for westernization undertaken in the name of a Christian God.'
- ' "I have never been so discouraged about the Middle East," said Farhad Kazemi, a political
scientist at New York University. "The president's word has lost its credibility in the region
as the administration's policies have moved in the direction of an identification of America and
- ' The result, as Sullivan acknowledged, is that it is not easy to sell American policy in
the Middle East. "There's a growing view in the Arab world of an American-Zionist conspiracy,"
he said. Nationalist ideologues in Iraq are finding it easy to sell the view that unless Iraqis
fight they will end up bowing to the will of the United States and Israel, living in humiliating
powerlessness like the Palestinians. '
- ' As one exasperated European minister put it recently: "Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict are now locked in as one. America has to see the danger of that." '
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