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June 19, 2002
The Phrase of the Day is "People of Size" -- the radio tells me Southwest Airlines will soon begin double-charging those extra-wide passengers who require the seat belt extension, or are unable to lower their armrests completely. Can you imagine how Southwest will do this? Perhaps, at check-in, they'll direct People of a certain Size to sit in an aircraft chair, positioned nearby for evaluation purposes.
(More info: a Reuters article about this, reprinted at Yahoo!)

For followup about what happened at Ohio State, recently and under the same circumstances during the previous administration, check this Boing Boing entry.

June 17: Ohio
Received my first Ohio quarter, over the weekend -- somewhere on the Internet, I read that its "P" variants will be rare, since the Philadelphia mint was closed for six weeks, during their production run. It says "Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers" -- the coin features a spaceman. Ohio was also a home of Design, in Toledo -- or so the radio was sayin' on Saturday. (More on state quarters: numismatic experts' viewpoint on hoarding, and a chart depicting current mintage quantities.)

Also in Ohio, over the weekend, the shrub made an appearance at State's commencement exercises. The end of this AP article describes how the authorities suppressed the turn your back campaign:

But immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university's speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or heckling would be subject to expulsion and arrest.
A voice on the radio today claimed the few brave souls who participated in this non-violent protest, merely by standing and rotating 180°, were arrested for 'disturbing the peace.'

June 14, 2002
Dreamkitty.com has links to other Japanese kawaii creatures, like Afro Ken and Hello Kitty. That page is about Kogepan: when I first saw, I thought they were my uminim, but no -- they're still a mystery.

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics doesn't have an "Attack of the Clones" review yet -- but it should. (Or not, I guess -- we all know the "Star Wars" movies are fantasy.)

Scroll down at Celebrities Missing Fingers to read about James "Scotty" Doohan in the Normandy Invasion.

All You Can Eat is an in-depth view inside the buffet restaurants of America.
"My motto is, eat dessert first," Bob declares proudly.
Grotesque but compelling -- you won't be able to turn away.

June 13, 2002, early
Hey, Wintel person, do you use Word? Ever found its weird scrolling behavior annoying, yet uncovered no setting to change it? The Registry must be adjusted, directions how-to are here. (I'd like to know how to make the same change to Excel, but its Registry stuff isn't set up the same way.)

Missed the eclipse, forgot all about it; but here's a great photo (which I've heard was edited slightly, to make a better picture).

I've heard a lot about explorations under New York City but the Diggers of the Underground Planet do the lower levels of Moscow -- fascinating.

June 10, 2002
Saw "Attack of the Clones," feel like the ideal viewing woulda been of an export version, dubbed into Portuguese, perhaps; except for some glitch preserving C3PO's original lines, in English. Many stock sci-fi environments were beautifully realized, the urban planet (Coruscant?) with the great aerial traffic chases resembling the NorthAm of Magnus, Robot Fighter -- and the stormy, watery planet where the clones were grown, was also neat-o. IMDb trivia alleges that Samuel L. Jackson has "BMF" engraved into the handle of his purple lightsaber, an homage to "Pulp Fiction."

In Japan, NASA Corporation markets equipment for mechanical sushi bars. Note detail-photo with hot water supply system, to fill individual tea cups. More: ANKO makes sushi machines.

Busy times, 30-day-notices have been given -- moving again, this time into a shared living situation with theGirl.

June 6 2002
Always liked those science fiction paperbacks from the 1950's, especially Reach for Tomorrow the surrealistic visions of a lot of the covers. Turns out they were the work of Richard M. Powers   (bio). One of the pictures in this Cyber Art Gallery is the full cover of Reach For Tomorrow, one of the first I ever owned -- turns out that image I knew was cropped, and the original edition was sideways.

Japanese kids make them -- dorodango -- balls of mud that shine.

June 5, 2002
I can't find any evidence that the Queen actually took the stage for the finale of her rock'n'roll Jubilee 'Party at the Palace.' According to rumour, the royale personage was to join Sir Paul in the last chorus of "All You Need is Love." Perhaps his crooning "Her Majesty" earlier provoked a last-minute schedule change. Billboard has all the concert's particulars. Ozzy? Sir Cliff Richard singing "Baby Doll?" Phil Collins? Too much.
Someone on the radio said her televised 1952 coronation was actually the closing ceremonies of World War II.

Fantastic Four article in Salon, Marvel's forgotten heroes.

June 4, 2002
Remember that cloying single-panel comic from the 1970s, "Love Is"? I was stunned during my SoCal days when I discovered that a) it was still being published there, buried back in the classified ads of the LA Times; and b) a female coworker, recent immigrant, liked it so much she'd literally papered the walls of her cubicle with these clippings. It still hasn't gone away Click here to start a javascript slideshow of eight new posters the London Underground has commisioned to promote "Tube Etiquette." (Don't miss their poll results. Accordians?)

The weekend's "This American Life" although promising, was mostly boring, until the very end -- David Sedaris spoke about testing the Stadium Pal. (They also market the Stadium Gal.) Note How All Sentences At Their Site Begin With A Capital Letter. It's a weird but sensible product; David found its use awkward (at book signings -- people could tell). Road Pal is the version I've always wanted -- it should be an automotive accessory: the solo driver would hook up before long trips (the hose just passing through the floor).
Hear the show (RealAudio)

May 30, 2002
In Hermenaut, the Ten Best Jazz Records for Driving --
I didn't know then what I know now: that music and driving are linked as totally, as fatally, as driving and money.
(none of the choices are part of my collection).

They sell this book at their site: Things You Need to be Told, by the Etiquite Grrls. Also, elsewhere, the Velma Syndrome, about the eradication of sexuality in smart chicks.

May 28, 2002
In Oklahoma, the Tiki Nook, and a restaurant named after an aftershave: Tulsa Tiki.

Fan4movie.com -- about the suppressed Fantastic Four movie from 1993 -- excellent!

May 26, 2002

Just noticed something remarkable, in the small cubic office I share with two others at work. It has four ceiling lamp fixtures, each containing three fluorescent tubes. The wall switch has two toggles, and I've always just swept them on... recently, seems things have gotten brighter, I coulda sworn that before, the left switch controlled the left lights, and the right the right; but now the right switch activates each fixture's inner tube, and the left switch powers up the outer tubes. Therefore, depending on the setting, you can get low-medium-high. Isn't that amazing?

Today's Word of the Day (actually, they featured it last summer) is "louche." It's one of those which I've heard for a while, but it hadn't quite sunk in till now. The examples remind me of the place I know it best: "Brideshead Revisited", during Anthony Blanche's final appearance, after he critiques Charles' show. "I know of a louche little bar quite near here. Let's go there and talk of your other conquests" -- I always thought it was just his way of pronouncing lush. (Stray thought -- wonder if the Canadian Lush stores will ever appear here.)

Couldn't locate any internet shrine to Antoine, but we do have Sebastian Contra Mundum.

May 24, 2002
Old Trees in The Netherlands and Western Europe.

May 23, 2002
My eyes roll whenever I hear phrases in the news about what the shrub 'knew', and when. Please... the fratboy doesn't 'know' anything -- he's just reading the teleprompter. An article called The Training-Wheel President points out that
As for the national news media, top editors may still think it’s patriotic to shield George W. Bush’s limitations from the eyes of the world. But a greater danger might rest in creating an image of Bush as a competent leader when the reality is different.
Ted Rall goes further, naturally, in his latest column, Liars, Morons, or Both?
There's no smoking gun-evidence that Bush was told about the exact specifics of 9-11 -- so far. But it's hard to escape an inevitable, disturbing conclusion that itself bears consideration: We are in the hands of liars, morons or both.
Use of the m-word reminds me of the recent passing of Stephen Jay Gould -- I've only read one of his books, and I didn't quite finish, as I carelessly left the volume behind, when I got off the bus between Speyer and Ludwigshaven, in 1996. This was The Mismeasure of Man, fascinating stuff, about IQ testing and now-discredited ideas like phrenology (the study of skulls, and attempts to classify ethnic groups by the size and shape). I've forgotten the details, but he illuminated me about how the word "moron" is synthetic, a related invention from about a hundred years ago. A dictionary says
The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
Well, maybe by those labeled thusly... another SJG mention can be found here (don't miss).

May 22, 2002
LA Times article about how they're ruining submissions to the Library of Congress, what with their post-anthrax irradiation. (Was this reported in the Washington Post? I couldn't tell you; they've cooked up something weird on their site with the Doubleclick ad-banners, which now inhibits display of the actual story words, at least the way I browse -- I can only wait so long!)

May 19, 2002
Fascinating special on KFJC yesterday, many hours of Quiet American, featuring Post-Concrete and a dozen others, more info at phonography.org. Kind of a trainspotting hobby, this field recording; one of the dozen they featured recorded the weird acustics inside big ventilation tubes. I've done a bit of it myself, easier now with the MiniDisc... went out last night to capture the crickets with the light-rail crossing alarm.

May 15, 2002
This is great -- AirlineMeals.net -- documentation of recent meals served aloft. Reminds me of Japanese Airline's pavilion at the 1990 International Garden Expo fair in Osaka, which allegedly served the same meals they made available on their flights, in the restaurant. I didn't actually visit that pavillion, a move I now regret. What if there was a line to get in? Couldn't locate an acceptable link to the '90 Fair, but while searching I discovered a mention in this Dancing Waters history. Whew, there's a cliché, the Dancing Waters. I remember seeing them at the Plaza (our local mall) when I was in elementary school, and was enchanted. They were also used somewhere during the first inaguration of Ronald Reagan, which was quite an event -- I've never seen so many limousines, and for the first time, non-black limos -- even the occasional pastel stretch was spotted then, on the streets of DC.

Tom Fitzgerald's Weird World of 70's Cinema is part of the Pimpadelic Wonderland.

May 14, 2002
News report -- Arizona microbiologist says computer workstations harbor 400 times more bacteria than toilets. But then, I've heard how American toilets can be more sanitary than the kitchen sink (what with stuff rotting inside the disposal, dirty dishes, chopping boards & etc).

Pim Fortuyn is dead. In fact, he never existed.
-- Weekly Standard analysis of conventional media's inability to report on the Dutch candidate, recently assassinated. There's an under-reported Islamic angle in this story.

May 12, 2002
Wading through the spam, its ever-increasing percentage contributing to a feeling of cyber - ennui... the Internet has become tiresome. A related quote, from a few weeks back, forget from where or whom, "the web is ... no longer providing a sufficiently diverting stream of trivial amusements."

Depressing Guardian article about fat Americans says Colorado is the leanest state.

"Spider-man" was pretty good. So was the 'Episode II' preview -- think I'll be seeing that one.

May 9, 2002
Various visitors from the East are passing through; although too late for them, future travelers would find this guide to San Francisco sights useful.

Top Ten New Copyright Crimes is one of the many irate reactions to that broadcasting bigwig who claims those who avoid commercials are "theives" breaking some "contract" with advertisers.

Saturday May 5
Early this morning, at conclusion of follow-up to initial chiropractor session, he commented upon my Fluxx T-shirt, said his kids play it -- a good 'car' game. (I remain skeptical about the benefits of chiro -- seems like a fancy form of knuckle-cracking, to me.)

May 2, 2002
Lots of outlandish stuff on Yahoo!s domestic most-emailed page -- this picture reminds me of the title & theme of my first German textbook at the Uni: Andere Länder, Andere Sitten -- "Different Countries, Different Customs."

Images from the 1939 NYWF -- nice collection of scans from some member of the San Jose State faculty (according to the URL).

My health is restored, thank heavens.

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