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September 21, 2003
A friend of a friend posted some photos of the hurricane's destruction in Kitty Hawk.

Mistakes of Vietnam Repeated with Iraq by Max Cleland (former Senator who actually fought in Vietnam, like Gore; but unlike Cheney, Rummy or the AWOL shrub).

Seems like I've been linking to lots of columns by Paul Krugman -- so who is he? This article in the Gurdian explains, and why he gets death threats:
For the past five years, Krugman -- a lifelong academic with the exception of a brief stint as an economics staffer under Reagan -- has been moonlighting as a columnist on the NY Times op ed page, a position so influential in the US that it has no real British parallel. And though that paper's editors seem to have believed that they were hiring him to ponder abstruse matters of economic policy, it didn't work out that way. Accustomed to the vigorous ivy league tradition of calling a stupid argument a stupid argument (and isolated, at home in New Jersey, from the Washington dinner-party circuit frequented by so many other political columnists) he has become pretty much the only voice in the mainstream US media to openly and repeatedly accuse George Bush of lying to the American people: first to sell a calamitous tax cut, and then to sell a war.

September 18, 2003
The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus is a comic strip by Al Franken and Don Simpson, from the best-selling Fair and Balanced - Lying Liars book.

DC Bud -- the drug czar proposes a pot debate, and the pro-legalization MPP accepts the challenge with relish.

September 17, 2003
CalPundit interview with Paul Krugman is quite excellent, along with followup comments.

Why is green tea so healthy? A dozen reasons are offered, some remarkable. (Burns Fat!)

Speaking of the WET era, New Wave Photos!

One more photo, a beautiful big Hubble shot of Saturn (500K).

And finally, Angle Grinder Man, a real-life nocturnal British 'super-hero' who liberates booted cars.

September 15, 2003
Disney animates Dali's Destino. -- "the first motion picture of the Never Seen Before."

Performance artist Yoko Ono has repeated her Cut Piece in a reaction to current events.

Aeronauts is a great set of early Soviet aviation photographs.

September 14, 2003
WET logo Here's something I've been working up for a while, an addition to the 'misc' section: a Guide to WET Magazine. As both collector and former subscriber, who better suited to the task of posting this cyber-shrine to gourmet bathing? And just coincedentally, to give the 'dry' an idea, this Yahoo!News thing is just the sort of blurb one might have found in WET.

So let me get this straight -- ten days ago, on Thursday night, there was an NFL 'kickoff extravaganza' in DC which featured Redskins disrobing Britney Spears? Sure, fine, if they held it in a footbal stadium, but on the Mall, between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial? Sounds like a new low in vulgarity, a desecration, even -- at least, the Parents Television Council was not amused.

September 12, 2003
Good-bye, Johnny, RIP...
My Ten Favorite Cash tracks:
  • Folsom Prison Blues
  • I Walk The Line
  • Ring of Fire
  • Hey, Good Looking
  • Starkville City Jail
  • Come Along and Ride This Train (from his TV show)
  • What Is Truth?
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down
  • Tennessee Stud
  • When the Man Comes Around

Amusing comic journal: Mekka Blue .

September 11, 2003
Yesterday, noted Conservative William F. Buckley posted a column about how the shrub is evil, with six reasons why; while in Boston, a crowd of 1,200 booed Ashcroft -- he's there on his 'Patriot Act' tour.

More news: Berke Breathed to resurrect Opus in late November (Sundays only).

And finally, burning hypocrisy is about what the festival has become. Sounds like it might be too late... has Burning Man 'jumped the shark'?

September 10, 2003
Cobalt Jackets and our own Scorched Earth policy.

About a 1961 TV show called Way Out -- just before my time; I'd never heard of it.


September 9, 2003
Everybody's linking to the latest works -- several of them are quite amazing, although they're slow-loaders -- especially the first one ("Rotating Snakes") and the last ("Wedding in Japan").

New Heinlein novel coming! For Us, the Living, in bookstores by the end of November.

All about the mysterious Toynbee Tiles.

September 8, 2003
Commercial Animation Art from the Ray Patin Studios -- 1950s-early 60s TV commericals -- very tasty.

Bill Brand's Masstransiscope, installed September 1980 along an abandoned subway station in Brooklyn. (I've looked for this, without success -- never quite had the proper location information.)

New Sam Smith: Why do we have a war on drugs, anyway?

September 7, 2003
In the news, a couple days ago: Death inside Big Thunder Mountain. Earlier in the summer, I had my first ride on a "real" roller coster; somehow I wasn't counting Big Thunder, seems too tame. (Some of us are still annoyed with them for replacing the really tame Rainbow Caverns Mine Train with the current attraction.) The Urban Legends crew has a running tabulation of Disneyland Deaths for the morbidly curious. (The snopes.com folks have been receiving a lot of heat in blog-land for revising their details of the bin Laden clan's movements after 9-11.)

I remember how the scales of ignorance fell from my eyes during my first trip to Europe -- one of the enlightenments concerned place names. Sure, I knew they called Germany "Deutschland," but everywhere else had their own names, too -- the real ones. Geoff Cohen's made a stab at a correctly-labeled Europa map; he links to it in this post to the Coherence Engine.

September 5, 2003
Excellent Ask the Pilot today. Also, quotable posts from 'No More Mr Nice Blog' about American Productivity.

Part 1 of The Wire "Records That Set The World On Fire [When No One Was Listening]." I've actually owned a few of these platters -- most of the rest sound fascinating.

September 3, 2003
Two different pages of thumbnail photos from Burning Man, by Xeni Jardin and Frederic Larson.

The Conscience of an (ex-)Conservative -- Philip Gold gives up on his party, and its current "sneer of dismissal."

September 1, 2003

It's a thumbnail of Thunderbird Park in downtown Victoria... just back from a long-weekend rendezvous with theGirl in Vancouver, kinda like some form of the new Experimental Tourism. Added the bus-and-ferry excursion onward, over to the island itself, to visit the BC capital -- a great time was had in the Pacific NW, watching civilized, soothing public television in our noisy hotel rooms.

A trio of new products:

  • I recently heard a This American Life repeat where David Sedaris reviewed the Stadium Pal. Hilarious; sorry that I'm too lazy to look up the original link. Related, in some way (or perhaps not): the Bottom Buddy.
  • Snoring Stopper is a head harness which prevents mouth-breathing. Kind of a kinetic solution, versus the electronic Snore Stopper's approach (which I've learned about via spam).
    Wear it on your wrist while you sleep, like a watch. A tiny, highly sensitive microphone detects snoring and sends safe electronic pulses to the wrist. These pulses cause you to alter your sleeping position and stop snoring. The pulses aren't powerful enough to disrupt your sleep, but they will make you roll over, and the snoring will stop. The microphone only detects sounds in the snoring frequency. It won't be affected by other surrounding noise, such as someone talking, or watching television.
    I find the confidence with which we're assured that electric jolts to a sleeping snorer's wrist = rolling over to be a little dubious.
  • Magnetic Blinkies -- I've got a couple of these, a blue, and a red/green.

August 26, 2003
Lost in Translation -- a sample of kanji tattoos, what they really mean, and what their foolish owners thought they were getting.

Mr. Whack? The Twinkler!? Who are these guys?

Jimmy Breslin -- The Air Is Thick With Lies.

August 24, 2003
Heads in the Sand is a DC City Paper article listing the most popular right-wing print media, and details of their editorial pages' now-discredited beatings of the drums of war, parroting the government this past spring. Of particular interest to my hometown readers is the article's description of revisionism and 'bamboozlement' at the Washington Post.

An important new book: Clyde Prestowitz' Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions -- heard him on the radio the other night, was spellbound.

August 22, 2003
At Long Last, Salarymen Get Their Due -- about "Project X," the new TV show in Japan celebrating technological breakthroughs, and the people who made them. (Thanks, Geoff!)

Short Popular Science bit on a Shell station in Iceland, the first filling station ever to offer hydrogen.

Rodger Roundy makes great paintings! (He's from Cheverly, MD; born '69; has packrat parents.) Love those Rufus Girls!

August 20, 2003
Lots of interesting stuff in the 'Lucky W Amulet Archive' -- try Gods and Saints as Lucky Figures.

In Car And Driver -- Ten Japanese Cars You Can't Have -- really irritating text, and not enough pictures; but still, worth a quick look.

'Unreal Aircraft' has fascinating sections on Lost Classics and Twin-fuselage and Hybrid Aircraft (among others).

August 18, 2003
Concerning Mr. Little Guy in Minneapolis (Yahoo!News story, too precious).

New column by Brian Eno: Lessons in How to Lie about Iraq.

Zone-y reaction to the lack of misbehavior during the blackout: Monsters Were Due on Maple Street.

August 17, 2003
Scared to Death in last month's Popular Mechanics -- thrill ride deaths and injuries -- has several photos of the nightmare: a power failure while riding a twisty roller coaster. They didn't require rescue by cherry-picker at Cedar Point Thursday afternoon; according to this Yahoo!News photo, passengers on that Magnumn XL200 train, stopped part-way up the first big rise, got to walk back down the track, kinda like stranded travelers from a NYC subway.

Power Outrage Traced To Dim Bulb In White House -- Greg Palast tells The Tale of The Brits Who Swiped 800 Jobs From New York, Carted Off $90 Million, Then Tonight, Turned Off Our Lights.

Complementary Currencies for Social Change -- an Interview with Bernard Lietaer. Time dollars!

August 13, 2003
About the "Amélie Poulainization" of her Montmartre neighborhood. (NY Times, registration required.)

Concerning "O Superman" -- in 1981, it hit #2 in the British charts) -- Justin's got it in repeat play now. Hmmm... didn't realize Laurie'd put out a new record last year -- after reading the reviews on Amazon, reckon I'm gonna save my money, give it a pass, and just play "Big Science" again, myself.

Bamboo Bicycle

August 11, 2003
Circlemakers Guide -- how to make crop circles.

Preventive War -- "the invasion that will live in infamy" -- new Noam.

No Dimensional Warp Generator for me!

August 10, 2003
Hey, it's Sunday -- time to rail against the Scribes and Pharisees!

'Good' Catholics and Ugly Tactics is a great column by Michael Schattman, a Catholic judge whose appointment to the Federal bench was allegedly blocked because of his creed:

In his vilest public act yet, Senator Orrin Hatch has contrived to insert religion into the judicial confirmation process and then to accuse Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and Richard Durbin (both Roman Catholics) of rejecting a nominee because he is Catholic.
This was last week's news; but read on for more good stuff:
The truth, which became painfully obvious as we prepared to attack Iraq, is that most Catholic Americans are "cafeteria Catholics," who choose from among the practices and principles offered by the church to the faithful. There was no mass exodus from the military of Catholic chaplains and service personnel after the pope condemned the war. They made their peace between God and Caesar. There is still no mass uprising of the Catholic right against the death penalty. The only dish that most of these Catholics choose from the doctrinal cafeteria is opposition to abortion.
This fundamental hypocrisy is what's always made the supposedly-Christian so hard to take. Inconsistencies like this remind me of that great Zompist post, Have Evangelicals sold their souls to the devil?
How can we be single-issue partisans, when God is not a single-issue deity? There are many commandments, and much as we'd like to, we can't edit them down to two. Of course, it could be argued that the Bible has done this for us; but all has not been boiled down to abortion. That alarming passage, Matthew 25:31-46, seems to reduce all judgment to whether or not we have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, invited in the stranger, and visited the prisoner.
'Course any discussion of the Commandments is incomplete without reference to Jon Carroll's Very Fine Five Commandments column from a couple years back. Unrelated, except for the source: in today's Chronicle, a front-page report titled Oaksterdam about a developing situation in Oakland.

August 8, 2003
Journal Comic Jam is an image map, a big group -- click any figure to access some form of online, illustrated journal.

August 7, 2003
At least eight of the 62 San Francisco Starbucks shops were vandalized by pranksters today. The windows were plastered with big "Closed" and "For Lease" signs. And speaking of Starbuck, the fans hate the new "Battlestar Galactica" (coming soon on the Sci-Fi Channel).

August 6, 2003
It's Hiroshima Day, the anniversary -- nice Yahoo!News photo of memorial lanterns on the Motoyasu river in the evening. Also from Japan, have ya seen that Fruits book? Playing Dress Up addresses the phenomenon, known as cosplay (for costume play).

August 5, 2003
Plain Hinglish in the Spectator --
It is a safe bet that PG Wodehouse is the inspiration for many standard Hinglish-isms, viz a ‘quantum’ (never a mere amount), ‘sans’ (as in, he went out ‘sans’ his coat), or, my favourite, ‘for the nonce’. An Indian acquaintance once playfully suggested that Wodehouse has a place in the elastic pantheon of Hindu gods.

Lots of nostalgic photographs from the Virginia suburbs at NorVaPics. The site's range extends into DC and Maryland.

August 2, 2003
It's leaking out, the contents of the 28 censored pages from the Congreessional 9-11 Report, which allege " connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of the Saudi royal family."

Joe Conason talks with BuzzFlash about Republican Hypocrisy -- amazing, appaling details. On BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow explains how such scandals remain obscure -- actually he quotes an article ("The New Censorship") from the current Harpers, an excellent publication which stubbornly resists moving online, for the most part.

In the current New Yorker: The myth of the big opening weekend, or how the "Jaws" formula has come to dominate the today's mainstream movie experience. Lesson (which I can't repeat often enough): study up before you buy that movie ticket!

Celebrities Who Died in Airplane Crashes at the Fear of Flying Site.

Spirit of the Seas -- a mammoth sculpture-fountain of three big fish and Neptune, proposed for the Port of San Diego.

All about A Whiter Shade of Pale -- lyrics, sources (NOT the Canterbury Tale) and covers -- I didn't realize this tune had become part of the standard wedding music repertoire (although it's not hard to believe) -- just sounds kinda downbeat and too somber, to me.

That recent NY Times article about Trader Joe's. (Registration required)

And finally, this image which everyone's linking to, although the actual source is unknown -- "Dear Japanese People:..."

July 30, 2003
The last Type 1 ('old Beetle') rolled off the line at VW of Mexico today: Yahoo slideshow.

July 28, 2003
Interesting trivia abounds in the HTML-formatted alt.fan.james-bond.FAQ

1938 Empire Exhibition in Glasgow

Eric Margolis provides definitions of a contemporary newspeak vocabulary for better comprehension of current events reporting in the media. (newspeak?)

July 27, 2003
Art Deco in London, at the V&A.

ThingsToWorship.com, especially the 'God' entry under 'Things Not to Worship.' Plus -- Forget about Jesus (from the Church of the SubGenius), and the annual Blessing of the Cars site features an image by Shag.

The congressional commission's 9-11 report was released this week, but big chunks of text were declared 'Secret' and blacked out, where a 'foreign government which which funded the terrorists' was allegedly identified. The Saudis are steamin' -- "We cannot respond to blank pages."

The first Hunter Thompson 'Hey Rube' column at ESPN I saw was Welcome to the Big Darkness.

July 23, 2003
Sheldon S. Wolin writes about our inverted totalitarianism.

New product from Japan: spray-on stockings. (Didn't Heinlein have something like this in The Puppet Masters?)

July 28, 2003
Interesting trivia abounds in the HTML-formatted alt.fan.james-bond.FAQ

1938 Empire Exhibition in Glasgow

Eric Margolis provides definitions of a contemporary newspeak vocabulary for better comprehension of current events reporting in the media. (newspeak?)

July 27, 2003
Art Deco in London, at the V&A.

ThingsToWorship.com, especially the 'God' entry under 'Things Not to Worship.' Plus -- Forget about Jesus (from the Church of the SubGenius), and the annual Blessing of the Cars site features an image by Shag.

The congressional commission's 9-11 report was released this week, but big chunks of text were declared 'Secret' and blacked out, where a 'foreign government which which funded the terrorists' was allegedly identified. The Saudis are steamin' -- "We cannot respond to blank pages."

The first Hunter Thompson 'Hey Rube' column at ESPN I saw was Welcome to the Big Darkness.

July 23, 2003
Sheldon S. Wolin writes about our inverted totalitarianism.

New product from Japan: spray-on stockings. (Didn't Heinlein have something like this in The Puppet Masters?)

July 22, 2003
Yes, We'll Have No Bananas
Experts say the world's favourite fruit will pass into oblivion within a decade. Why? Because the banana is the victim of centuries of genetic tampering. The banana's main problem is that it has become sterile and seedless as a result of 10,000 years of selective breeding.

Traffic Light Dishes whadya mean, 'blue AKA green light' ... I need to inspect one of these.

Saw an interview with Google's Rosenberg in an airline magazine, he said "For finding products, I use Froogle exclusively." Perhaps you'll find it useful, too.

Great column by Hal Crowther: Weapons of Mass Stupidity. (Be careful where you read this -- someone who left their copy in a shop was questioned by the FBI). His Twilight's Last Gleaming from March was also well worth reading. These columns were first published in Creative Loafing, a southern 'rag' where you can also catch the occasional Charlotte, NC art review by Scott Lucas -- this one concerns an early Hopper show.
    w/ Scott photo (Easter, 2001)

July 16, 2003
One of the ways I keep up with wuzappnin' is checking Yahoo!News' most-emailed content at least once a day. Somebody's putting its images into comic strips but the result seems kinda lame to me.

Alan Murray reports in the WSJournal about that manifesto the 'Committee of the Republic' is circulating in DC.

July 15, 2003
It was bound to happen eventually -- this report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz describes the recent discussion in the Knesset of a Final Solution to the Palestinian problem. (Naturally, that term was not used.)

Speaking of Endlosung, years ago, in my first logbook, I had a couple pages labeled "Big Death" where I compiled body counts of the big wars, pograms, bombings of the 20th Century, with a natural focus on WWII. Getting all the statistics together, maybe see a pattern, get some understanding. Rudolph Rummel has completed this task.

Rudolph Rummel is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career studying wars, conflicts, and governmental mass murder, for which he has coined the term democide.

Among Rummel's more startling findings is that the death toll from government mass murder is far greater than the death toll from war -- four times as many people have been murdered in cold blood by people working for governments than have died in battle.

A final quote, from his section on the Khymer Rouge:
The whole tragic episode illustrates the point that humanity is divided into two groups -- those who wish to live, and those who wish to kill. The question is, to whom does the world belong? In Cambodia, for whatever combination of reasons, the question was answered in favor of the killers, as it was in Germany, as it was in Russia, as it could be anywhere in the world, if and when the killers are given the chance.

Bush Lies, Media Swallows -- Eric Alterman explains why the press has such a difficult time calling the president a liar (with one recent exception).

July 14, 2003
Saddam’s cars... much of the collection was looted. He had a pink '55 Chevy?!

Indians say No to Cowboys' request for shot troops. (That's an expression I first heard of in a reference to black infantryman at the Battle of Gettysburg, as in 'whoever's available to be shot at.')

It's Bastille Day -- Viva la France!

July 13, 2003
superbad.com -- marvelous graphics, but what's it for?            

Pirate Keyboard.

July 11, 2003
Two photos from the news:
Tubeheads in Tokyo, and the shrub & First Lady watching elephants in Africa. (He supposedly made said comment to Laura, whereupon she slapped him.)

More Yahoo!News -- soon (now, in Korea) you'll be able to configure your cell phone to repel mosquitos, by emitting frequencies they dislike.

Finally, in CNN Money, we read about the new Milk and Cookies.

July 10, 2003
Here's why I ran into Laurie Anderson at work -- she's the NASA Artist in Residence for 2003. From this inspiration, what will she create?

July 5, 2003
Two English guys on a summer bike trip in 1953, to the coast and then on through France, Switzerland and Germany. B&W photographs included, and lots more -- seems they've gotten this all packaged into a book: Cycling Holiday 1953.

Only in America by Eric Hobsbawm in The Chronicle Review --
Far from being a clear example that the rest of the world can imitate, the U.S.A., however powerful and influential, remains an unending process, distorted by big money and public emotion, a system tinkering with institutions, public and private, to make them fit realities unforeseen in the unalterable text of a 1787 Constitution.

July 3, 2003


Cinema '76
This strange image is quite familiar to me, although before last week I hadn't seen it in a long, long time. I spotted it among the vinyl in a Mountain View thrift shop, and at only $1, had to take it home. It's the cover art of a record called "Cinema '76" and the gatefold jacket is opened up in the full view (click to zoom) so the back is to the left. This is, in fact, the same record my brother Jeff bought at the New York World's Fair (more details here) and it's the soundtrack to the 'Heroes of the Revolution' program at the Continental Insurance pavillion. In web research I've uncovered very little about this, certainly no site with MP3s -- perhaps posting them is now my job) but -- who knew? In preparation for the Bicentenial, the Texas Boys' Choir performed the same program in the mid-1970s -- and that site (which I learned about on Renaissance Man's Potpourri blog, scroll down to June 4) does have sound files available (although the format they're in is unreadable to me at this time).

Green Laser Pointers on eBay
I want a green laser pointer. Who doesn't? I've been monitoring the prices online for awhile, they're available for $200 but a 'Buy It Now' source on eBay has 'em for just over $100 (plus extra for shipping). So, I've been monitoring activity of this eBay Store, Lasers and Silver, and I've come to the conculsion it's some sort of racket, they're -- well, not abusing the auction system, but certainly manipulating it with a cohort of shills. They always have a few of these laser pointers in auction also, and although the bidding alway starts at $1, the final price is inevitably up around that same ball-park of $100 (plus, don't forget, the $8 shipping). Check a sample's bidding history -- lots of the same users are ratcheting up the price. Why not just start the bidding at, like, $75 -- what's the point of starting so low, again & again? Mysteries of eBay. Myself, ever in search of a bargain, I need a better connection with the Taiwanese manufacturer, "Leadlight."

www.costofwar.com shows ... a running total of the amount of money spent by the US Government to finance the war in Iraq. It's interactive, read 'em & weep

June 29, 2003
WMD, the FCC & Tina Brown -- This Media Life column by Michael Wolff -- excellent.

The latest Flying Car -- the Taero 4000. Perhaps this one will get off the ground?

Details of this last little jaunt down Monterey way: On the way south, we paused briefly at the Montalvo villa, in Saratoga, to inspect the Patrick Dougherty sculture called "Dwelling" he built there in February. Then off to Santa Cruz, for Woodies on the Wharf -- my pictures of that event came out so well they deserved a special page -- don't miss it. After the vehicles drove away, off the pier, we rode the Giant Dipper, my first ride on a big ol' wooden roller coaster. Would I do it again? Mmmm probably. The next day, off to the Pinnacles, a great place, fascinating, geology all a-jumble, in the heart of the San Andreas fault. Fortunately, no seismic activity right then. That night we were 'leisure guests' at the Asilomar Conference Center (thanks for the tip, Susan!) Kind of like a very nice summer camp by the sea, but instead of kids, well-dressed folk with name tags and foreign accents wandering about, and instead of cabins, motel-standard lodgings (but no television, just a clock-radio -- ahh, rustic). The next morning, the 17-mile Drive through Pebble Beach, a pause in Carmel, and then on to Big Sur, but only as far as the Bixby Bridge; and home again.

June 25, 2003
Back from a much-fun long-weekend swing through the Monterey penninsula with theGirl -- more on that trip anon.

Good 'Motley Fool' take on Fed cutting of interest rates. Today, they reduced it to 1%. (Will you take it to zero, Alan? What then?)

About consciousness-raising and the new label: Bright! Scalzi doesn't like it and although I'm not against the idea my first reaction was a memory of something I read in Embracing Defeat about how that particular word was common in Japanese propaganda during the Pacific War (although I'm not sure if their definition also includes the cerebral "animatedly clever; intelligent" aspect which is what the anti-superstition consciousness-raising is all about).

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