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May 2001

Tuesday 5-29
The passage of my life is measured out in shirts
    Brian Eno, "The King's Lead Hat"

An erudite high school freshman speaks out:

I am subjected to the viewing of Channel One as part of my compulsory school attendance. I would like to bring this issue to the attention of people external to the high school community, where it appears to be sparsely known.

Which is it -- synonym or a homonym? Acronyms and Other 'Onyms' will help clear things up.

Monday 5-28
In the latest Adbusters, Toxic Culture USA suggests becoming a mental environmentalist.

For The Love of LEDs -- all about the Light-Emitting Diode. Up until now, I didn't realize you could get 'em in ultra-violet, too.
(Thanks Mike)

Saturday 5-26
Justin Hall, on travel in Denmark, has posted a new page about Scandinavian toilets and urinals.
Thorsday 5-24
God Bless Senator Jeffords -- better late than never. Let's see some more enlightenment among other of his more moderate bretheren; let the scales fall from their eyes.

Now listen people: Don't go rushing out to see "Pearl Harbor" this weekend, just 'cause it's the new new thing. The preview worked its magic on me, I want to see the movie too, but advance word indicates that it SUCKS! (Well, maybe not bad, just not entirely wonderful. Average -- 'bout what you'd expect from today's Hollywood.) This is why the work of movie reviewers is so important -- they should always be consulted pre-show, to save time and ticket dollars. (My personal film choice this weekend is Cabin in the Sky, finally get to see it, at the Stanford, 'natch.)

Linkage from Lindsay:

  • Two on Kowloon Walled City -- the first is a Hong Kong high school web project (the link to their Golden Period page is busted) and the way more professional second is just as sketchy -- I want a lot more pictures.
  • Japan Today story about their 'shrooms situation (there's a legal loophole; possession is not forbidden).

Started to see them a week ago; by the flavor of the Bing sample I bought this afternoon I believe it's official: Cherry Season has begun!

Tuesday 5-22

Vanity Smurf The information here provides in-depth information regarding "smurf" and "fraggle" attacks, with a focus on Cisco routers and how to reduce the effects of the attack.
(Ever wonder about Vanity Smurf's orientation?)

The Wondrous Glowing Pickle -- you try it, sounds nutty to me... and anyway, I've never kept that sort of pickle in my larder.

The Lava Lamp Syndicate at oozinggoo.com provides recipes for the DIYer.

The Audio Spotlight, is a device which uses subtle nonlinear properties of the air to create an extremely narrow Sound Beam.

An attractive comics page is happnin' at the USS Catastrophe.

May 25 (this coming Friday) will be Towel Day:
All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.

Monday 5-21
Locating addresses Out West means reaching for the Thomas Guide, a big book of maps keyed to the grid numbers. They also make nice wall maps, you can often spot them on the walls inside police stations on television.
In September, 1997, Thomas Bros. Maps expanded to the East Coast with maps and mapping software for Washington DC and the surrounding area.
Bet the Thomas Guide won't show city wards and taxi zones -- for the latter see Get To Know Washington's Cab System. This voter site has a map of the districts.

Speaking of Washington, Saturday's Post had an interesting article, Creative Financing Lets Muslims Buy Homes -- can't say I really understood how they do it, but the cultural avoidance of usury (and the reason why) is refreshing. Missing out on the interest deduction, though... that must hurt.

A tantalyzing glimpse inside Weegee's World.

Thursday 5-17
The William Gibson aleph is a multilingual repository where I finally read "Agrippa" -- it also has the complete text of Virtual Light.
Wednesday 5-16
The Head Shaver's FAQ led to about-hair-removal.com. (I've flirted with the former idea for years, but reading these pages hasn't drawn me any closer to actually doing it.)

I'm learning XML which is case-sensitive, therefore switching to writing my HTML in lowercase, to conform with the XHTML standard -- it's a difficult habit to break.

Everybody's linking to the dreamy Flash animations at MAGICROBOT.

Tuesday 5-15
1910 Russia, in color -- from glass plate negatives shot by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii for a sophisticated RGB magic lantern.

The Skeptic's Dictionary is a depository of essays... an example, a great entry: the Substance Abuse Treatment page.

Two links, fond looks back at juvenile books. The first, Net helps dust off children's lost classics, is from USA Today... and from the second by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post:

Of all my childhood reading, though, one novel proved to be the silver key, the transitional book that finally led me into the adult section of the library.
What was your silver key? His was the The Hound of the Baskervilles -- I have difficulty singling out a specific title; was never all that intimidated by the adult section.

Saturday 5-12
The Calvin and Hobbes Resurrection has a Spaceman Spiff section.

Thursday 5-10
Twenty years ago I saw "The Lost Weekend" for the first time. (I like to catch it every few years, just because the film's so weird.) About ten years ago, I found a forgotten old science fiction paperback at the used book store called Sideslip which begins with some New Yorker's narrative about being translated into an alternate 1968 universe, one where the 3rd Avenue elevated still exists. That's about as far as I got, lost interest and threw the book away, but the cover illustration had some fascistic appeal -- it featured a prominant swastika with some spaceships flying by -- so I cut that out and set it aside. Later I discovered this and wondered, what book was that? It wasn't Martian Time Slip by Philip K. Dick, my first hunch (nor his Man in the High Castle, which it vaguely resembles). Then about five years ago I blundered across a copy, in another used book store. Its authors were Ted White and Dave Van Arnam, and I read it, but the novel's rather forgetable (the world was changed when near-human but more-than-human aliens invaded, during WWII.) And now, I've been surreptitiously utilizing my new machine at work to watch the old movies available at the Internet Archive -- there's one called "3rd Ave. El" which features 1950s color footage of rides on the train, the soundtrack merely sound effects and Haydn harpsichord music. Made me wonder, if it was still there, how would it be designated on the modern NYC subway map? With which letter or number? Didn't have one, apparently -- things weren't so organized, back then -- found scans of old maps among those available at nycsubway.org. They also have this new map of the Third Avenue line. (And what's the connection with The Lost Weekend? It's got an extended sequence where Ray Miland staggers along Third Avenue, lugging his typewriter from pawnshop to pawnshop, but they're all closed! As the train roars by overhead, he eventually learns the reason -- it's a Jewish holiday.)
Wednesday 5-9
Donkey Basketball heading out to pasture -- and not a moment too soon. It's one of those entertainments so ridiculous, so lame, that I've never actually had the experience.

"Baby Killers." Certain revisionist elements on the Right would have us believe returning Vietname War veterans had this epitaph hurled at them by protestors who spat upon them. Although the spitting story has been debunked (I held forth on this a year ago), Senator Bob Kerrey's confessions have proven the accuracy of the baby-killer label. Kaus elaborates in Slate, justifying his own draft-dodging:

Patriots like Kerrey himself, after all, quickly came to the conclusion that the Vietnam War was an unjustifiable moral hell. We listened to them.
Tuesday 5-8
Jakob Nielsen's "Alertbox" column about Japanese DoCoMo products.
Monday 5-7
Here's something weird: a doll with big eyes from 1972, named Blythe -- as a Teletubby. (Bonus: the Virgin Suicides.
Saturday 5-5
Pledge time at the local PBS radio outlet -- easy to ignore this time... After a year's hiatus, transcripts of Jeff Dorchen's Moment of Truth radio tirades have returned -- check this rant against public radio to negate guilt feelings while tuning out their pleas for donation.

Fashion Tips from Angry Anarchists -- contains some insights.

Life After Tyranny -- travel pages by Simon Bone. He goes to like North Korea and stuff.

Tuesday 5-1
Don't Stop!

New Smithsonian article about ghost towns with more beautiful photos by Berthold Steinhilber -- he takes pictures at twilight, long exposures with the shutter open as he walks about swiftly, illuminating surfaces with a portable light.

New fitness product:

The Teletubbies Go! Video will encourage basic skills like jumping, stretching, marching and even standing on one leg.

What does Pokémon "mean"? (It's actually an abbreviation of "pocket monster.") Is Pikachu Japanese for "I am Jewish" or "There is no God in the universe"? In Saudi, they're not taking any chances. LA Times article

"It has been proven that this toy is part of a Jewish plan to corrupt the mind of our young generation because it alludes to blasphemous thinking, it mocks our God and our moral values and is therefore extremely dangerous for our youth," said Sheik Abdel Monem abu Zent, a hard-liner and former member of parliament in Jordan who has helped stir up discontent, although he acknowledges that he is not familiar with the game.

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