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June 21, 2005
In the Christian Science Monitor, Randy Dotinga reports on the popular new radio format called "Jack" (which I've yet to hear).

Five Pointers for a Left Media by Robert Parry.

New serial War of the Worlds online comic.

June 20, 2005
In this week's New Yorker we learn that the trilogy of Godfrey Reggio's "-qatsi" films was just screened at Lincoln Center, with live accompaniement, in the Alex Ross article about Philip Glass music and the art of film scoring. Also, Hendrik Hertzberg comments on the Supremes' decision. (Related: the NSDUH report -- scroll down for the red-white-blue usage map.) Finally, To Boldly Go concerns Leonard Nimoy's photographs of the "full-bodied."

The First Bus to the Road to Death.

June 19, 2005
During a luncheon I learned that a co-worker's brother is nicknamed "Lumpy" and somehow the resulting conversation (rapid exchanges with cultural peers derailed by distracted attempts of explanation to curious foreigners) concluded with my comment of "Well, if they have ever marketed an Eddie Haskell action figure, I'd like to know about it." Doesn't appear that such an item has ever existed -- logging it here to get the string's Googlewhack. (And for effectively matching the source, the doll would have to be tinted in shades of gray.)

June 18, 2005
view east down SCB Cartoon weekend. Today: "Howl's Moving Castle" (the new Miyazaki), tomorrow, something never-heard-of at The Art of Anime: Studio Ghibli retrospective at the Pacific Film Archive, a venue just inside the UC Campus at the end of Telegraph Ave, meaning another schlep out to Berkeley. The series is discussed in a new biweekly column at SFGate called Asian Pop. And at home, I'm reviewing Disney's "Lilo and Stitch" (incidentally, the Spanish version, the only available at the library). This was their last, right? One of 'em, anyway. Afterwards, Disney laid off all of their old-fashioned, hand-drawing artist-animators, relying from now on only on computer animation (even as their relationship with Pixar ends). Maybe just as well, IMO, after viewing this recent contrast between Disney and Ghibli's products.

One of the Goodyear blimps crashed in Florida, in a storm: slide show. All that blue sky in today's image is the view due east looking down Stevens Creek Blvd, where it's Santa Clara to the left and San Jose to the right, and the mountains off in the distance.

Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out: Neal stephenson on Star Wars: Jedi as Geek.

June 16, 2005
The official site reveals the Star Wars: Episode III Easter eggs. The second page is all about the Opera Scene, many notable guests inside, during; but it was the exterior shots of the entertainment district which floored me. Same as with all scenes on Coruscant -- just want to see the big picture, so annoying how protagonists are always standing around in the foreground, blocking the view.

Underwater pyramid off the coast of Okinawa, much older than those built in Egypt.

Google hacks -- very interesting.

June 14, 2005
Cool Biz: the Japan Times reports that Koizumi has requested casual dress, all summer long, as a means of reducing air conditioner use, thus saving energy. Will this relaxation of the suit-and-tie rules spread throughout the ranks of all Japanese salarymen?

More from David Michael Green, who just saw Der Untergang, and wonders about our hard-core 40%: In the American Bunker. Also, Howard Zinn on the Scourge of Nationalism.

June 12, 2005
the old 5-Spot in San Jose (sign) The sign of a long-defunct restaurant, the 5 Spot, in downtown San Jose.

Bring It Down. Now by David Michael Green -- why the Bush administration may finally find itself in the deep trouble it so richly deserves. Shame is for Sissies by Hal Crowther, concerning John Bolton and Prince Abdullah. Losing Our Country -- Krugman on the class warfare which has become relentless.

When it's time to change your seat: Turbulence by David Sedaris. Another Crumpet short story, also in the New Yorker (but from a couple years back): The Girl Next Door.

Logo Design trends (a blog?) Also, an exhaustive directory: AllTheLogos.com.

June 9, 2005
Der Spiegel on the growth of neo-Nazi youth in Germany, the related new Volksdeutsch influx from the East, and how this new immigrant community is resisting assimilation.

RIP General Burkhalter --
Leon Askin, age 97, dead in Vienna.

June 8, 2005
Godless America, last weekend's This American Life, was one of the best I've heard in quite a while. The first half dealt with current influences of the Christian Right, and featured Isaac Kramnick, who wrote The Godless Constitution, which is being re-released soon -- here's the original's Chapter One. The second half was an excerpt from Julia Sweeney's latest one-woman show ("Letting Go of God"). We've met Ms Sweeney in these pages previously, in a '99 journal entry -- I realize you may recognize her from SNL but I've never seen her on television; instead, my first exposure occured in '95 when instead of doing 'In The Dark' Joe Frank substituted a tape of her doing some stand-up, material she later used in "God Said Hah!" You can probably get more info (if your Flash is working) at her annoying juliasweeney.com. (Speaking of Flash, my browsing experience is much improved since I installed Firefox's Flashblock extension.)

Yesterday in Slate, Judy Rosen posted an enlightening article about 'chill' music, The Musical Genre That Will Save the World. Of the nine records pictured, I have two, so I guess I'm a fan.
Chillout really is just the latest brand name for easy listening, a genre that gets reinvented every decade or so. Lounge, soft rock, adult contemporary ballads, smooth jazz: As successive pop generations have rounded the corner toward age 30, each has lowered the volume, embracing music geared toward relaxation in the home.
Some of the annoyed responses this article generated... it is rather indefensible, suggesting that ambient is 'like' smooth jazz -- myself, I can't deny enjoying some classic 'Living Strings' elevator music (but Kenny G and Chuck Mangione are intolerable).

According to the Guardian, a study reported in the British Journal of Social Psychology has identified Nine Types of Love. The seventh depends on Lady Diana's favorite film ("Brief Encounter") as a metaphor.

June 6, 2005
solar vehicle from the rear During the usual visit to the Sunday-morning Mountain View Farmer's Market yesterday, spotted this electric moto-trike parked nearby, on Castro. Didn't see it move, unfortunately; was gone when I came back, the other way. Not obvious from these angles but that whole roof canopy is irridescent blue solar cells! To augment the thumbnail's detail (notice the street-legal license plate and battery array), here's another view, from the side.

Across the bay is Fremont, named of course for Governor/Senator/General John Frémont -- first white man to see Tahoe, namer of the Golden Gate, etc. In the 1950s, Fremont was cobbled together from several towns, including a place called Niles, where some guy built a monorail in his back yard.

Since it's D-Day, let's recall the code phrase the French underground was waiting for, which they finally heard on BBC radio, indicating the Invasion was on:
The long sobbing of the Autumn violins
Wounds my heart with a monotonous languor.

June 5, 2005
Remember in Risky Business, when Tom Cruise used the flat of his hand to max out all the slides on his Dad's equalizer? (It was the beginning of the Bob Segar scene.) This Analysis of 'evergreen' (or classic) LPs using a sonogram has been making the rounds, but I don't get it. I've no doubt the practices of mixing board folk follow certain trends (and it's surprising how they're not exploiting digital's superior dynamic range), but the author's contention seems to be, all it takes to make a hit record is to mix it the way they used to, but unfortunately nowadays, they all make like Tom Cruise in the recording studio. Er -- doesn't the talent make some difference?

Old and new mp3s:
Turtle's Jukebox, and Paul Slocum's modified dot-matrix music.

June 4, 2005
Cover story in this week's edition of our weekly rag (the Metro) features an excerpt from John Markoff's What the Dormouse Said about The Whole Earth Catalog's Stewart Brand, who assisted with both Ken Kesey's acid tests and Doug Engelbart's revolutionary 1968 demonstration of networked computers in San Francisco.

Three unrelated links:
Art Deco Train Stations; the stealthy Sea Shadow; and a Distance Hugging apparatus (which involves a teddy-koala-bear controller, and an inflatable vast).

FedEx blurring the division between private commerce and public law enforcement. (UPS, so far, resisting that trend... noticed how all the MailboxesEtc turned into The UPS Store? And Kinko's is now FedExKinko's?)

Cover gallery of Dynamite thumbnails from the 70s and early 80s kids' magazine. And let's go further back: several Boys' Life covers (and their Tables of Contents) from the 1920s, 30s and 50s.

June 2, 2005
Three illustrated pages, identified only by title text -- you'll just have to click 'em, to see.

June 1, 2005
According to Robert Blumen, we are now living in "Brazil" (the movie).

Susan J. Douglas on the rise of Jesus News. Meanwhile, that voice of Y2K, Gary North, holds forth on Mainstream media vs. upstream media. Elsewhere at the same site, Joey Picador tells why his neighbor is moving back to Germany.

May 31, 2005
Warren Beatty's commencement address at UC-Berkeley -- he mentions "fake events" like Ahnold's pot hole. (That link may not last; I'll verify, later.)

Molly Ivins on "Catapulting the Propaganda."

Another one of those tests, this one more in-depth: What is your Worldview? According to my score, I'm an Existentialist.

May 28, 2005
Taft Another snap from my recent road trip south, a streamlined-modern storefront in Taft, down in Kern County. Almost a hundred years ago near here, the Lakeview gusher was the biggest such ever to happen in California -- it spewed oil for eighteen months!

Of Cabbages and Kings by William S. Lind, concerning the recent aerial breech of the security zone around DC -- excellent!

At the Onoweb, Keith Samarillo talks with Yoko about Canada, and their Bed-In For Peace.

1996 Q&A with Brian Eno gets into The Microsft Sound.

May 26, 2005
vacant 'Thousand Fabrics' storefront on Fairfax A vacant storefront on Fairfax, in LA.

I Like's Metro slideshow -- she really enjoyed it, as many DC visitors do. Always interesting, tourists' reactions to a vacation destination where you've actually lived. Check those adjectives she's using in her captions -- if I'd composed them, you'd see words like dim, oppresive, crowded, monotonous, and slow. (Well, not slow, but not near as fast as it could be.) Elsewhere on her site, she put up a web-shrine to John Hinde, a photographer I just discovered while browsing the stock at the great Taschen store in Beverly Hills, discovering the book she mentions, of his postcards of Butlins Holiday Camps.

CNN report on NORAD's new warning system, which beams red-red-green laser bursts at pilots entering restricted airspace. However, in Weather Impairs New DC Warning System, the Washington Post reports how the region's common white sky-overcast-cloudyness means it won't work, half the time.

May 24, 2005
headshot with poppies Back from another long weekend roadtrip to LA. The photo is inexplicable, a sighting at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere, out in oil country. Roadside memorial, perhaps?

Do you know this new breed of feline pet, the Savannah Cat? Some more new products: The Roly-Poly Backpack converts to a hard-shelled storage object, easily locked to a lamp-post, like a bike. Unlike a bicycle, however, I bet it would alarm any security personnel who couldn't identify it, thereby provoking destructive action. Two new coffee cups do more than merely hold your beverage: the Global Warming Mug is the kind whose design reacts to temperature (but it seems to show Greenland unchanged -- that can't be right) and also, the Chalk Mug, which is actually a blackboard -- personalize it with chalk. 360 Electrical makes twisty electrical sockets that would be quite useful, in certain tight situations. And finally, not an invention, but if you try distilled water, perhaps you'll wind up with some Ice Spikes in your freezer.

An exploration of Breakfast in China has titles in that American traditional, never-seen-in-Asia "Oriental" font called Won-ton.

May 20, 2005
Byron Williams says US Patriots Need a Reality Check -- Nationalism, Patriotism, and the Downing Street memo.

Update on Howard Johnson's -- only eight restaurants left, out of 800.

Annotated directory of public-domain Blues MP3s.

May 19, 2005
At Dive into I learned about Greasemonkey, installed it today. More Firefox Power! These are what I've installed so far, from the extensive collection of scripts: BoingBoing de-Xeni, Google Images Re-Linker, IMDb Remove Ad column, and the Salon Auto-Pass. (That last one, allegedly tricky, didn't work for me.)

According to Jeff Cohen, you should Buy Your Gas at Citgo. Since their stations aren't all that common, here's a handy locator (which also shows 7-11s, not sure why). If you're just seeking the cheapest fuel, the easy Google Maps interface has been integrated by some kindly soul (whose handle is 'ahding') into the GasBuddy database, continuously updated by a mobile army of nationwide volunteer price reporters.

In the Arab News: Coffee Raises Storm in a Teacup -- the beverage is all the rage in Saudia Arabia, which is "conventionally a tea-drinking nation." Also, Britons falling out of love with traditional cup of tea, "although green tea is becoming increasingly popular."

May 18, 2005
Photos of art cars, somewhere in LiveJournal. More: slideshow of the Houston Art Car parade (which lets in scooters and bicycles, too). Speaking of bikes, it seems that Cadillac is making 'em now. Returning to cool vehicles, Ex-O Guy in Japan reports: Flashy Truck Match - Pakistan vs Japan.

More random bloggy fun -- Imomus' impressions of customers in a Berlin supermarket, photos with snarky captions (warning: more LiveJournal); Big White Guy has access to Hong Kong Disneyland's trains (the cars have Mickey-head-shaped windows); and a photo after somebody's house fire, of the intact smoke detector which never went off.

At Alternet, how the herb helps him deal with MS, and a brief interview with Montel Williams.

May 17, 2005
Don't Blame Newsweek, by Molly Ivins. (BTW Molly, Riley's line was actually "Wotta revoltin' development THIS is!")

From Bill Moyers' speech he gave Sunday at the National Conference on Media Reform, in St. Louis:
One reason I'm in hot water is I didn't play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they've done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.

I came to see that news is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity.
His speech was also summarized in The Nation, with annotations by Mike Nichols.

May 16, 2005
In a state park on Maui, a 50-year-old woman was evicted from a furnished lava tube, and compared to Thoreau.

FAQ: How Real ID will affect you. Expanding the power of the DMV isn't something I'd have chosen.

May 15, 2005
Elite Cleaners sign The sign for Elite Cleaners, in the trendy Willow Glen section of San Jose.

May 13, 2005
Stop the Crime of the Century by David Michael Green -- it's the American media's refusal to publicize the Downing Street memo and its bottom line: "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Confessions of a Listener by Garrison Keillor, in The Nation.

I remember them having this in the very first 'head shop' I visited, and then never seeing it again: Wally Wood poster of x-rated Disney characters, commissioned by Paul Krassner.

May 11, 2005
me 'n' Mickey For its 50th anniversary, 50 Cool, Obscure and simply Odd things about Disneyland. Don't forget Captain Eo (which I experienced when today's pic was taken, c. 1988 -- as ever, click to zoom).

May 10, 2005
Ambience for the Masses, a beautiful site. Also, a discussion thread: Top 100 Ambient Albums.

A University of South Florida Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust has both Nazi-approved and Degenerate music sections.

Needle Disintegrator uses plasma to melt down used spikes, while the Solar Death Ray is actually an array of mirrors, focused.

May 9, 2005
In the Economist, Profiting from Obscurity explains this 'long tail' I've been hearing about -- and in today's column, The Final Insult, Krugman explains the shrub's Social Security plan.

AP headline:
Study Shows Traffic Keeps Getting Worse. I have a plan to reduce traffic -- since we have too many vehicles on the road, the solution is to shut down their factory's production lines for a while -- a year or two, tops. (Sure.) One of the report's authors is named Lomax, that name always points me to a key episode of the Outer Limits where the Lomax character (actually an alien, engineering a takeover) proclaimed that
The machines are everywhere!
when he's unmasked at the end.

Günter Grass: The High Price of Freedom -- he examines today's Germany, and concludes that reunification failed.

May 6, 2005
knitting Today, a scan of my knitting, a square of alternate knit-and-purl, the first time I performed the finishing move of "binding off" the final edge. The techniques are bewildering, mysterious -- who invented this? How in the world? It seems magical, these windings and nudgings of yarn, manipulations with sticks which convert a string into fabric.

In an unmentioned homage to Cinco de Mayo, a beautiful composite of visible Hubble and Spitzer IR images was released yesterday, of the Sombrero Galaxy. Also, Hubble's Top Ten Discoveries.

Scalzi holds forth on My Jesus and Your Jesus.

May 4, 2005
bottle-brush along Central Blooming red bottle-brush plants run along Central, forming lengthy walls. This was a few days ago, actually -- it's raining now, hard -- unusually long wet season, this year.

Another survivor from the bunker discovered: Hitler's nurse, Erna Flegel, interviewed in the Guardian (and don't the footnotes to their own reports, from sixty years ago). Speaking of der Führer, the many moods of Adolph Hitler collects LiveJournal user-icons used by members of that community for their online persona.

Judge a Book -- By Its Cover! A rich selection of vintage paperback cover-scans, along with the text from the backs. Fantastic!

An Open Letter to Howard Dean from Dennis Kucinich, some Q&A with George Lucas, and the unofficial Joe Frank Wiki.

May 2, 2005
Since I'm still operating through a dial-up at home, I actively discourage folks from sending me big email attachments (as it locks up my machine, until the receiving is complete). Ideally, they'd upload the file to their web-space, just sending a link that I'd then download at my leisure (like, when I'm in the bathtub). But often, the people sending don't have publicly-accessible space, or lack the knowledge to utilize it. YouSendIt.com to the rescue!

Kitchen Myths -- Excellent! (Excuse me for a moment, as I remove that old box of Arm&Hammer from my fridge -- always had a sneaky suspicion...)

April 30, 2005
the Fall of Saigon 30 years ago today, John Valdez was the last man out -- Kirsten Scharnberg of the Chicago Trib reports on his Then and Now.

New NASA boss puts manned Hubble ST repair mission back on the the table. In unmanned space exploration news, Cassini finds Titan's upper atmosphere teeming with complex hydrocarbons.

Back on Earth, a NY Times Slideshow: Waiting for Fares (at JFK).

April 28, 2005
It's doubtful that you'll ever get me on one of these things, ever again (except for maybe an old wooden traditional), but since some of you are interested, the Internet Roller Coaster Poll of 2004 lists all the latest, extreme variants (and there's some doozies). Contrast these close-up photos of that absurdly tall Top Thrill Dragster "strata-coaster" in Cedar Point, Ohio, with the photos of a rusting roller coaster in Japan(ese) at an abandoned amusement park in the forest. (more)

I'd been able to manage one dimension ("casting on") by studying various books, but it wasn't until today that I was finally able to knit into the second dimension, learning the basic needle and finger manipulations from a patient lady who leads a group at work, who meet during lunch. Naturally, scarves & such will be the first projects, but my ultimate goal in this endeavor (besides meeting girls) is making socks.

April 27, 2005
This is great -- Heavy Trash installed viewing platforms at the perimeter of three gated communities in LA, so concerned or just curious observers can monitor what's going on inside (similar to what was built along the Wall, in West Berlin).

Photos and story of the now-demolished Coral Court Motel at an extensive site called Built St. Louis. Each room had a garage, to ensure privacy, like the discreet parking at love hotels in Japan -- but the Streamline Moderne style is the reason it gets a mention here.

The 25 best American comic book covers -- be sure to follow the "Rejected" link at the bottom, to see a dozen of the worst. (The best were chosen on artistic merit, whereas the worst, more for their content.) The only match with my collection is one of the best, the Silver Surfer, with Thor, by John Buscema.

April 26, 2005
Big Boy Graveyard discovered, near Detroit.

Ever wondered what it would be like, working at Barnes & Noble? Adam logged the most entertaining anecdotes, while dealing with the public there over a two-year interval (and it's all on one page -- I love that. Don't make me click and wait, when I can just scroll down.)

Great designs -- Frankie Flood's radical pizza-cutters.

April 25, 2005
tombstone An assortment of new products and technologies:
First, in keeping with today's picture (a lichen-encrusted grave marker I noticed yesterday in a Japanese section of an ancient cemetary near the Vertigo Mission of San Juan Bautista), Glass Tombstones. Wired reports on a revolutionary source of power: remote-controlled Flying Windmills. The Popcorn Fork reminds me of that character on a "Seinfeld" who used a knife and fork to eat his candy bar. Rural nomads will be interested in Uncle Booger's Bumper Dumper. Finally, for the cyclists, a company is manufacturing shaft-drive bicycles. (I remember, at least once upon a time, that BMW motorcycles' claim-to-fame was their non-chain powertrains.)

What Kind of American English Do You Speak? is one of those too-simplistic but mildly diverting web tests. Some of the multiple-choice questions lacked the answers I'd pick (like "wrapping" for #4 and "running shoes" for #14) so my score, 55% General American, 20% Dixie, and 10% Yankee, doesn't add up to 100.

Excellent: The Oblivious Right, Paul Krugman's latest column.
Since November's election, the victors have managed to be on the wrong side of public opinion on one issue after another: the economy, Social Security privatization, Terri Schiavo, Tom DeLay. What's going on? Actually, it's quite simple: [the shrub] and his party talk only to their base -- corporate interests and the religious right -- and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns.

If they're lucky, through-hikers get to experience some
Appalachian Trail Magic.

April 22, 2005: Earth Day
Snowed by Ross Gelbspan (in Mother Jones) delves into why US media ignores global warming and climate change. And -- is it changing? Study finds Antarctic Peninsula glaciers in widespread retreat.

A couple of those political essays I'm always linking to -- in What's the Matter with Liberals? Pat Frank discusses class backlash, the election, and its aftermath; and in the much shorter Fake Fights, Sleights of Hand and Sucker Punches Dave Lindorff analyzes recent actions by the shrub regime, for motives -- all the recent Social Security hoopla may be a smoke-screen or red herring of chamberlain Turd Blossom's design.

A DVD rent-by-mail site called GreenCine has all sorts of informative text files, including the Primers Directory which links to their collection of excellent articles about all kinds of film genres -- for example, Film Noir, Weepies, and Westerns.

The Weird World of Jimmy Olsen has scans of complete stories from his 1960s DC comic book. "Golly Mr Kent!"

April 20, 2005
skateboarders Urgh. I've been handicapped for like twelve days now with a cold. It seemed to be ebbing but then came back with a vengeance, and the ol' web site hasn't been receiving its usual measure of attention. Even so, I must be doing better, for what's this? A photo du jour, some local color: a couple skateboard dudes, laughing and practicing with a bus-stop bench.

Paper CD Case pipes your input into a template which generates a PDF file, easily printed, then cut & folded. It also produces jewel case inserts.

SeaCode will be an offshore, software development "sweat ship," to be moored near San Diego.

Finally, a follow-up, before I crawl back into bed: on April 6 I linked to instructions on how to thwart sites which inhibit the right-click -- well, today I tried them, without success, on a corporate site I was compelled to visit for that tiresome annual ritual of the Performance Appraisal.

April 18, 2005
Unrealised Projects at the Architecture of Moscow from the 1930s to the early 1950s -- huge buildings with no traffic.

Googie OD: Synthetrix has a bunch of Photos of the Forgotten. Don't miss the postcards (he grew up in Anaheim).

Recently, I've posted links about Ward Churchill. He made an appearance at a Golden Gate Park event called the Anarchist Bookfair a couple weeks back, and a less-than-sympathetic photo-blogger with the handle "zombie" was there and posted some photos and commentary.

April 15, 2005
A complete listing of all the links in the week-long Guardian Crumb-fest. In the Q&A following the on-stage interview he mentions the Big Project he's working on: the Book of Genesis.

Counter-cultural weblogs: Hippy Shopper (British) and The Practical Hippie (Canadian).

Expo '58, one of the most beautiful World's Fairs ever. It happened just before my own World's Fair awareness clicked in, and up until now, I've never seen much of anything about the Brussels expo.

April 14, 2005
The EKIP screen-plane lands on an air-cushion -- it's a Russian development which seems to be moving beyond the flight-model phase. Also, the Flying Man.

Lots of fun stuff at the Museum of Retro Technology, including a comprehansive entry on monowheels. Fans of these will be interested in "Steam Boy" -- the film's first big chase scene involves the initial ride of his steam-powered invention, where he eventually overcomes "gerbilling." (However, don't interpret this as a recommendation -- long film, beautifully animated, but.)

Mr Sun reviews a new DEA magazine. Remember,
Mr Sun = Fun!

April 13, 2005
In today's news: Baltimore County police, still a little nervous in the post-9/11 world, arrest a Best Buy customer paying with $2 bills and put him in cuffs and irons until the SS arrived and verified his legal tender.

April 12, 2005
Buttocks with Everything is a review of a new compendium called The R. Crumb Handbook. Haven't seen it yet, so I can't comment, but a niece-related Archie query propelled me into the comic shop where I noticed the latest issue of Zap Comix, #15. I picked up some media chatter when that title last appeared, in '98, since Crumb had declined to participate in the 'jam' pages -- a Salon article from the time featured long extracts (click the thumbnails atop page two); but this time 'round, he's playing with the other fellas again, like old times (my own favorite 'jam' is the apocalyptic "Souvenir of the Carnage" from #8). Unlike the stories he and his wife have been drawing for The New Yorker (sample: How Sweet It Is) which concerns the present day, and their idyllic life in France; his lengthy later Zap pieces are ruminations about his dreary past, and this installment, "Walkin' the Streets," doesn't disappoint. Publisher Last Gasp hasn't updated their cover gallery with the latest yet, but it's good for memory-triggering (even though #5 is missing). For more info, read a detailed review of the new one.

Intrigued by Conspiracy Thrillers of the 1970s: Paranoid Time, I'm watching Warren Beatty in "The Parallax View" -- fascinating.

Out of this list of a Hundred Things to Do in California I score only 15 definites and 14 partial/maybes.

April 10, 2005
Noticed the flags at half-mast? It's not for Saul Bellow -- in fact, the allegedly Protestant shrub gave the order, first time that honor's ever been extended to a pontiff. Sidney Blumenthal discusses this in Politics in Red Robes.

2Bangkok.com explores the abandoned Russian Embassy --
Almost every room had a section knocked out of the wall where apparently some apparatus had been removed.

Plane Crazy is a new musical involving stewardesses and the Jet Set in 1965.

Disney Fights Ruling on Safety Standards for its theme park roller coasters.

April 7, 2005
Earlier this week the government announced that border controls will be tightened such that Canadians, Mexicans, Bermudans and even US citizens will be required to show passports in order to enter the country from Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean. In a few years, then, motoring or walking across the frontier with merely a drivers license for ID will just be a memory. For more about these new border regulations (with a northern perspective), see this Buffalo News article.

April 6, 2005
Sunday's NY Times Magazine had a few articles on things Japanese, including a column by Pico Iyer on kombini. (My own page about them lives here.)

In San Francisco, concerning the historic streetcars. (These are the trolleys which run along Market Street and the Embarcadero, NOT the cable cars.) Also, an extensive Neighborhood Guide.

At a photo-intensive blog called "Too Much Information" (which is actually kinda dumb), a lengthy post documents the purchase of a big, live fish in Chinatown, and its subsequent dumping in the East River. In the curious film called "Miracle Mile" they did this with lobsters off the Santa Monica Pier and both liberations made me wonder: didn't anybody involved have actual aquarium experience? They seem like potential death sentences and wastes of money, since the aquatic organisms weren't given the requisite period of gradual temperature adjustment.

At Tech Recipes, How to re-enable right-click when web-pages turn it off. I haven't tried this yet, so can't vouch for; but since it's a reocurring irritation with my company's internet 'portal' I'm sure I'll be getting a chance soon.

April 4, 2005
Back troubles have been causing my mother steady pain for months now, but things took a turn for the worse recently and she wound up in the hospital, where she stayed for a week (!) but saw steady improvement and on Saturday she checked out, but hasn't quite made it home, yet -- first, a brief stay in a kind of therapeutic halfway house. The concern has been a too-low sodium level, but that's been rising along with the general state of her health, thankfully. Since she's fond of good sunset, this link's for her.

Also this weekend, I suffered a hitch in my Internet getalong, specifically involving at-home email. My Monorail took another hit, again induced by this now-archaic email program I favor, "Internet Mail" (which was bundled with Windows-95 and IE 3). Something happens after using it for years, maybe because I let the inbox get too big -- suddenly, all of the program's message queues lock up, and I lose their contents. Last time this happened I rebuilt the entire machine's software -- I should maybe just ditch it now, since I'm courting disaster, relying on an eight-year-old hard drive. A result of this: since most of my recent email's gone missing, that probably includes your current address, as well as whatever we were talking about.

Stoked is for girls and Wired is for boys. According to USA Today, 14-year-old surfer and shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton is launching two fragrances that smell like the ocean. Hmmm... there's a lot of smells associated with the sea, not all of them pleasant.

April 1, 2005
Lengthy photo gallery of Japanese micro-vans customized into Type 2 VWs.

Coming to Terms with China by Chalmers Johnson. Thinking about the Future of Asia -- long, but fascinating.

March 31, 2005
The ten Worst April Fools.

Why the Mainstream Media isn't touching the 'Jeff Gannon' story.

Sam Smith: Where is the Counterculture when we need it?

In Rolling Stone: an excerpt from Kunstler's new book, The Long Emergency.

March 28, 2005
New on the beach: cropless crop circles.

In Wired: Wanna Buy a Slightly Used Soviet Space Suit? From the backstreets of eastern Europe to eBay and Sotheby's, the market for "legally stolen" cosmonaut gear is booming.

March 27, 2005 Easter
Been over a week since I've seen the white cat -- the annoying neighbors who just moved out must've taken him with.

March 25, 2005
Former computer programmer switches gears, now he's a bike messenger in Toronto: A Coder in Courierland.

March 24, 2005
The writer whose pen-name was Andre Norton died a week ago, in Murfreesboro. From where I'm sitting I can see her original series of "Time Traders" books, on a shelf over my head. The cover art of the second, Galactic Derilect, has haunted me since elemetary school. She returned to this series in the 90s, but I haven't read any of those newer offerings. If you're curious, the complete text of the first two is available.

Before the Internet -- kinda dumb, but the last panel's dead-on. Another cartoon: How the Jetsons became "The Partridge Family in 2200." The P Family was one of those things I heard about, but never actually heard or saw.

Mandatory "feeding tube" link: Jon Carroll's column from yesterday.

March 23, 2005
The Snows of Kilimanjaro is a book of Ernest Hemingway's short stories, which I read a long time ago. The title story concludes with a dying man's dream of flying up and over said mountain, in Africa. Alas, its snows are melting away.

The clever folk at MetaFilter answered my old question in record time, about why certain taxicab and truck companies named "Yellow" paint their vehicles orange. For the answer read the complete thread, or just do a search on 'Swamp Holly Orange'.

March 21, 2005
Russian site compiling news photos of the shrub indulging his bald-head touching urge.

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