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September 2000

Friday 9-29
Swingin' Chicks of the 60's is new to me although it's been around a couple years, and is now a book. Claims to be the web's best source for Swingin' '60s info, and it sports a very attractive site design. A wry sensibility is at work here -- amongst all the obvious choices are pages for Sylvia Plath and the Singing Nun, even Judy Jetson and the little red-haired girl (check that last one for the humorous image of Snoopy mocking Charlie Brown).
Wednesday 9-27
The Tao of Vegemite:
A country defined by foul-smelling, extremely salty black paste is a column from the Sydney Morning Herald:
Vegemite is a modest food. Unlike most spreads, it cannot survive on its own. It can serve as a viable foodstuff only in concert with butter.
Ahh, so that's they way they do it, as an enhancement to toast.

Ever noticed weirdness in websites' text, like question marks where you'd expect hyphens or dashes? I've gotten used to it, while reading Slate, for example, with Netscape 3, my browser of choice -- since that's a Microsoft publication it utilizes their weird, proprietary "extensions" to HTML. The Demoroniser page explains how Microsoft word processing products, in their typically evil fashion, convert perfectly legitimate punctuation into these MS-only codes when you do a "save as HTML..." The Demoroniser is actually a Perl script which converts this stuff back to what any browser can display. (This problem never occurs in these pages because my hand-crafted HTML is "pure.")

Tuesday 9-26
Ever wondered what makes wasabi, the green sushi condiment, so hot? A substance called sinigrin, according to a place that sells T-Shirts (like also with the chemical formula for caffeine) --
One part of the molecule is a glucose ring which gives it a somewhat sweet taste, but there's Sulfur, which changes into Sulfuric Acid vapors when you eat it and these vapors go right up your nose! Ouch!

Excellent essay in The Atlantic 'unbound' by Jack Beatty, Does religion make you a better person?

Christianity may be the source of the idea of human equality; to maintain, however, that only religion can sustain that value is to commit a fallacy: the origin of an idea is not its destiny. Equality before the law, fairness, and respect for the rights of others -- these values have long since been secularized.
Sunday 9-24
Visualize your position at WorldTime


Friday 9-22
A bit of creepy enlightenment about the shrub in the latest This Modern World, and clarification on his mispronunciations (zb. "subliminable") in Why Dubya Can't Read, a new article in The Nation by Christopher Hitchen:
The poor guy is obviously dyslexic, and dyslexic to the point of near-illiteracy.
Ceramic Vessel Flutes is an ocarina page with all kinds of tidbits, from pictures of Maynard Krebs to notes about the instrumental bridge in "Wild Thing" (by the Troggs).

More Ocarinas, from an online source in the Pacific NW.

Thursday 9-21
When I heard that the North and South Korean teams marched into the Olympics' opening ceremonies together, under a single flag, I was curious, which flag? Here's a picture of them, with a little info (the next one, too). The little blue dot at the bottom is the resort island of Cheju.

More on those new 'crispy' grapes: they're similar (but not identical) to "Red Globe" about which there's more info at In Season (note how Labrusca means Welch's).

Tuesday 9-19
Space Kitten:
Build your own (sub-orbital) spaceplane, from a kit!

US News & World Report on the comic book crisis:

Overall sales have fallen from $850 million in 1993 to $275 million last year. During the same period, the number of comic-book stores dropped from roughly 10,000 to 3,400.

Monday 9-18
Brilliant musings on the Libertarian Party and Liberals, hierarchs, "consies" (Conservatives) and Socialism: Mark Rosenfelder answers the big question about Life in The Year 2000 in his essay, What Went Wrong?
If an intellectual from 1900 could be bodily transported to the end of the milennium, top-hat, monocle, and all, he would explode in puzzlement.
    Where did all these conservatives come from?
    Where are the flying cars and moon bases?

New fruit I'm enjoying from the biggest grape stand at the local weekend Farmer's Market: crispy grapes. Like very ripe'n'juicy Asian pears, their white flesh tinted a delicate purple-pink by light passing through their translucent red-appley skins. Each contains up to six big seeds, so the eating's better while grasping a pointy knife.

Saturday 9-16
Although I never wear one, I want this watch: the Tourbillion. Bet they cost more than a new car. The Krono is also nice. Silberstein employs that same primary-colorform motif The Police were using at the end, but it seems coincidental.

What does YAG stand for? A type of laser, more accurately Nd-YAG -- Neodymium doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet. This came from Sam's Laser FAQ.

Embarrassing Problems is enlightening. (If the clunky button-index interface is annoying, using this intermediate page may be an improvement.) Amongst everything else is the claim that

    In the early 1990s a publicity campaign was launched in Holland (by the National Liver and Intestine Foundation) to encourage people to break wind at least 15 times a day.

Thursday 9-14
Overheard -- amusing and amazing. If the limitations of the Javascript access scheme become tiresome, just use the index pages, like 1999, and adjust the year in the URL manuallly -- seems to have died last July, but the weekly offerings begin with January 1998.

Big GIFs of the Tokyo subway (32K) and Moscow Metro (72K) maps. (Just hit Moscow -- wow). These turned up while looking for a current map of the London Underground.

One more GIF (14K):

Wednesday 9-13
Feeling poetic? Need to look one up? The University of Toronto has lots available, with extensive cross-referencing, at their Representative Poetry On-line site.
Tuesday 9-12
Two sites of interest for their graphic content:
  • Yip Yop -- great monochrome design -- more amusing minimal animations in the "Biscuit Theater."
    (thanks More Like This)
  • Batty Cheese -- the illustration gallery of Kazumi Nonaka -- 1950s graphics and inscruitable captions -- what can it mean?
    (thanks GMT+9, who also points towards)
The Diner Cam (live from Jersey City). This cam page has a novel feature: random access to any minute's image within the past 24 hours.

The WebExhibits Catalogue has menus of pointers to all manner of stuff off-site -- kind of an über-weblog. Drop in and let the hours fly by.
(thanks GirlHacker)

Saturday 9-9
Discovered this great artist in the new issue of Juxtapoz (a magazine I should get a subscription to, like I do Wallpaper). Often appearing in the former is Josh Agle, whose 'handle' is Shag, but this new guy's even better with the kandy-kolored retro: Aaron Marshall, a Canadian surfer. He doesn't seem to have a web site but did have a show at the La Luz de Jesus gallery a few months back. (That page's thumbnail links don't work any more -- access the bigger images via the index page.) I especially like Fossil Fuel Continuums but I imagine Barbie-Que will get him some fame. (And if you'd like more Shag, he also had a recent show at Le Luz de Jesus -- it's that place above the Soap Plant on Melrose. I remember one night when David took me to a great opening there, when it was new; his reaction to the crowd upon our exit was "I'll never wear black again!"
Thursday 9-7
Slate's editor holds forth on "Dubya" and how "compassionate conservative" is an oxymoron. Thinking about the shrub in the oval office reminds me of the drunken, puppet President Nissen in that first series of Martha Washington comic books, "Give Me Liberty."

Also in Slate, some know-nothing posted a counter-legalization argument -- since he excludes cannabis from his discussion the whole story is rendered artificial and irrelevant. Most reaction to the column was apparently negative (summarized at the bottom, scroll down) -- among the rebuttals, a refreshingly experiential essay by Michael Dare, Inanimate Objects. (I used to catch his stuff in the LA weekly rags -- this animated, presidential GIF came from his web site.

Lots nore 'found art' at 3bp.com: Actual stuff torn from real life.

Something from a review of Apocalypse Culture II, edited by Adam Parfrey and published by Feral House --

Project Blue Beam:
A secret government plan to use satellite-based lasers developed by NASA scientists to project holograms of the messiah in the sky to simulate the Second Coming and convince Christians that the Rapture is occurring.

Saturday 9-2
The Black Album is a well-formed collection of Beatle boot stuff.

Fruitius Caesar is responsible for Mr. T, the toughest Man in Anime.

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