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June 2001

Thursday 6-28
In a column called Who decides which is Bad? Marc Fisher describes a group called 'Parents Against Bad Books in Schools' as "a handful of parents who are proud of their anti-intellectualism and intent on deciding what your kids may read." They've got a crude site, pabbis.com, which they've loaded up with excerpts from books they find offensive... Robert Cormier gets the treatment, not surprisingly, given his distrust of Authority; but the two James? Michner and Clavell -- they think Shogun is evil, and the children shouldn't read it. (As if...)

Yahoo! news summary of web advertisement suppression software, with testimonials and links to the sources -- these packages can prevent the "pop up" and the new pop-under windows, as well as banner ads -- they mention the one I use, webwasher.

Wednesday 6-27
Mr. T   vs.  the shrub! (It's in fotonovela format, so patience is required while the images load.)

Secrets of the Haunted Mansion (and differences).

Monday 6-25
The Wired Car in the Wired World -- speculation from Dr Phil Agre:
Ordinary people's lives are a hassle in large part because of all the experts and social climbers who get ahead only if they are changing things whether they need changing or not, and now there is a whole world of intersecting institutions that have an interest in changing the technology of transportation.
Saturday 6-23
The Internet grants my wish:
Enter your zip code and Gas Price Watch generates an ordered listing of the cheapest gas stations within a given radius. Join up and become a volunteer price spotter for your neighborhood!
Thursday 6-21
Slate article: Cartoon Cars by Mickey Kaus -- he "viscerally hates the PT Cruiser" -- compares it to the Manhattan AT&T building... but he likes the Ford Focus.

No longer can I claim nothing from Amazon.com -- today, I have been assimilated, hooked in by a free shipping deal. My order: a CD by that Icelandic band, Sigur Rós; and a book -- Still Life & Other Stories by Junzo Shono.

Wednesday 6-20
The new The New Republic's The Mirth of a Nation -- "Black comedy's reactionary hipness" -- all about the contemporary state of "coon" stereotypes: Chris Tucker as Stepin Fetchit. At the bottom is a link to their older, related article: Adjust Your Sets, which concerns media segregation and ethnic targeting by advertisers.

Catching up on Scott McCloud's I Can't Stop Thinking -- I like #4, "Follow That Trail."

Every couple of months I get an odd response to my Phosphorescent Dyes story -- this was yesterday's (I think):

Subject: Fabrics that glow
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 12:52:24

Greetings from Strong Museum in Rochester, NY. Can you recommend a source for purchasing fabrics that will glow under black light? Thank you.

No, I did not reply.

Tuesday 6-19
Lots of linkage today, since I couldn't get online to update yesterday (I'm getting what I pay for, with my budget ISP).

Mello Kitty is probably the most well-known of the Failed Sanrio Characters.

I'm not one of the Mac people but they might find apple-history.com interesting.

A wondrous treehouse (scroll down).

Hey, It Could Happen!
(Also scroll down, or search on the phrase -- it's been copyrighted by McDonalds.)

Good .sig spotting:

you know, if Jesus comes back to Earth, I bet the last thing he'll want to see again is another cross.
Along these realistic lines, the excellent pro Jesus/anti Paul Atheists For Jesus site is by the author of a book called Christianity Betrayed).

Noticed a couple pages comparing the Nadia Japanimation (a TV series from 1990) to Disney's new Atlantis movie -- there'll probably be more verbiage about this, as well as how Mobile phones may foil stealth bombers, according to an Austrailian newspaper.

Tune out his silly similies and enjoy Mark Frauenfelder's ode to Googie, Roadside Attractions.

Saturday 6-16
The well-designed metacritic consolodates numerous big-name reviews of the current movies, music & etc.

Wired article about SMS, the text-messaging service available to mobile phone users in Asia and Europe but not the USA. Why not? It's related to the way both caller and receiver pay for cel-phone usage here (which a recent Slate "Explainer" column said was the reason there's no domestic cel-phone directory (ie 'White Pages'): since the receiver has to share the charges, all cel-phone numbers are unlisted). Also, Sprint's CDMA PCS and AT&T's TDMA aren't compatible with the international standard, the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). Another Wired article about cel-phone/internet standards -- the Mobile Services Initiative (MSI).

Tuesday 6-12
Recently looked up "Panic in the Year Zero" on the IMDb, and was disappointed with the slim offerings there. But then I discovered CONELRAD (the site devoted to All Things Atomic) and it has a great review! (Even a photo of the three hipsters of the apocalypse.) Lots of neat stuff here, with promises of more to come.

Monday 6-11

In-depth USAToday article on the new HID headlights reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is about to begin hearings, and it's about time! Like many, I think they're too bright.

Feed has apparently followed Word into oblivion. Can Salon be long in this world? They have a great lead today, The Morality Police --

The notion that words and images and ideas can cause harm to young minds has become such an article of faith that it's hard not to feel a sense of futility when you point out that there is not a shred, not an iota, not an atom of proof that exposure to images or descriptions of sex and violence does children any harm.

Saturday 6-9

What is it about mystery novels which makes them so immemorable? Like, I whizzed through the James Melville - Otani books five years back, had a great time collecting the series, and now I can only recall the most fragmentary details...

Industry! -- a tasteful site featuring photos of modern ruins, with commentary.

Thursday 6-7
This is probably the most complete page about Larry Walters on the Internet. (He was the guy who flew a lawnchair over Los Angeles in 1982.)

Here's a clever site -- the lineup of Coca-Cola products marketed in Japan, displayed like in a vending machine. Click the one you find most intriguing for more information (which may not be very helpful, except for the images, since it's almost completely Japanese). I'm a little baffled by the presence of Dr. Pepper, when was he assimilated? Note their Calpis knock-off.

Tuesday 6-5
America, Strung With Clotheslines:
In subdivisions and condominiums, clotheslines are routinely outlawed. "No one shall place upon the Property clotheslines," reads a typical "association covenant." Planned communities have such restrictive rules that one prospective homebuyer said it would be like living at home with her mother, "except that even my mother would let me have a clothesline."
Friday 6-1

Bonfante Gardens is a new amusement park / vacation destination opening next week down near Santa Cruz. A feature will be the Circus Trees, the work of Axel Erlandson, who did wondrous, amazing things with grafting. I first became aware of them via an article in the last issue of WET magazine -- as far as I know they've been out of public view for decades.

False Attributions lists quotes falsely attributed to Winston Churchill -- starts out debunks that "Liberal at 15, Conservative at 35" foolishness.

Tips on 'scamming' "New Age" Chicks.

Students for a Drug-Free White House are requesting honor from the shrub.

Europe Trip 2001: Nice design, and great pictures of Italy and Paris.

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