Thursday, October 30, 2003

[Those wacky Republicans IV] Some absolutely astounding Richard Nixon transcripts loaded with paranoid right wing ranting.

"And let's look at the strong societies. The Russians. God damn it, they root them out, they don't let them around at all. You know what I mean? I don't know what they do with them. Now, we are allowing this in this country when we show [unintelligible]. Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. Not if they can allow, not if they can catch it, they send them up. You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality in general: These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff, they're trying to destroy us."
The "Matrix": TIA Reloaded
MATRIX is the latest data mining program to emerge from the government. This surveillance system combines information about individuals from government databases and private-sector data companies. It then makes those dossiers available for search by government officials and combs through the millions of files in a search for “anomalies” that may be indicative of terrorist or other criminal activity.
Evote software leaked online. Turns out its an easily hacked P.O.S.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Large gallery of Soviet Propaganda Posters.
Join the NRA Blacklist
Liar, fraud, buffoon, and current unelected occupant of the White House, George Bush is apparently now claiming that the soldiers put the 'Mission Accomplished' banner on the ship that he photo-opped on to, and that the enormous blathering head Karl Rove had nothing to do with it. This lie-telling liar is of course lying.
The hated, vile, fascist, so-right-wing-they-make-Darth-Vader-look-like-Ralph-Nader, Fox Channel is threatening to sue the Simpsons because they can't take a joke.

The row centred on a parody of Fox News' rolling news ticker, which included headlines such as "Do Democrats cause cancer?"

Mr Groening said the news channel backed down because it would have caused Fox to bring a lawsuit against itself.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

CA 7-Eleven owners get 250K for selling winning ticket, then 50M when they find out they sold it to themselves.
I used to have a '77 Datsun 280Z (all white, black interior), so I lit up when I saw GMT+9's link to the Datsun Minicar Collection.

Nissan is insane... INSANE for not bringing this fantastic car back. They screwed it all up when they came out with the hideously long and clumsy looking 280ZX, and it kept getting worse from there as they released the shapeless 300 which still lives on in some buffoonish Fast-and-Furious looking monstrosity today, but the 70's 240, 260, and 280 were brilliant sportscars.
George W. Bush: A willful ignorance (NYTimes)

Mr. Bush's ignorance may reflect his lack of curiosity: "The best way to get the news," he says, "is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Two words: emperor, clothes.
Last year the Bush administration, in return for a military base in Uzbekistan, gave $500 million to a government that, according to the State Department, uses torture "as a routine investigation technique," and whose president has killed opponents with boiling water. The moral clarity police were notably quiet.
Sen. Orinn Hatch (R-Utah) is sponsoring exemptions that will allow even more foreign-born technology to enter the U.S. to compete with the severely limited number of available jobs in this crippled labor sector. Write Senator Hatch today to let him know that the U.S. technology sector doesn't need any more difficulty than its currently experiencing.

Spurred by worries among American multinationals and high-tech firms
that the current H-1B visa cap of 65,000 will prevent thousands of skilled
foreign professionals from entering the country in 2004, Senate Judiciary
Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is pushing for expanded
exemptions, which would clear the way for congressional consideration of
proposed visa amendments.

(from the WSJ)
Fantastic NASA picture of California wildfires from space. Very scary.

Monday, October 27, 2003

The Golden Ratio , kites and darts, and the Golden Rectangle
See how a 17th century French writing table was made at Getty.
Take Action! Send a Message! Stop the MPAA's broadcast flag [EFF form automails to FCC honchos].
Big media is trying to control the design and implementation of digital technology to meet only its own profit-motivated needs.
The march toward a total surveillance state continues: Smart Stamps next in "War" on Terrorism.
Capitol Hill staffers dismissed the potential for abuse by politicians who might use the system to track anonymous critics. "A petty staff member, maybe, but I doubt a member of Congress would do that," said one Senate aide.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Check out SouthJerseyGhostResearch to put you in the Halloween mood. They post the findings (pics, video, sound) of their ghosthunting expeditions. It's also a cool way to see how people in South Jersey decorate their homes. The muave lampshades are infinitely more scary than the floating "orbs" that pass for ghosts on these types of websites. Maybe the ghosts don't go to the other side because they're angry that their chosen haunts have pink and yellow drapes. Unless the ghosts are so Jersified that they can't bear to go to a hereafter that doesnt have pink and yellow drapes. Nah, I'm just kidding. I love Jersey. I do. Of course, those orbs couldn't possibly be dust, moisture, or photographic artifacts. They're ghosts, see? Ghosts.
There's gold in them there hills and people are still trying to find it. will help any modern panner.
Hot Dang I was sooprized to find out that the Petro truckstop in Bordendown, NJ had its own web site. Be sure to check to check the "Fuel Island" link to see pictures of their certified scales and hot meatloaf sandwiches.
Prince goes door to door for the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Friday, October 24, 2003

An interview with Greg Graffin, the lead singer of the punk band Bad Religion, on his PhD, religion, and evolutionary biology.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

"Verisign's Doomsday Machine" (MP3 Audio)
People are pretty upset about this Site Finder thing. While annoying, and a definite corrupt misuse of its power for flagrant financial gain, it's nowhere near as damaging to the internet as spam.
The concerns of patient privacy vs. the financial benefits of "offshoring"
A woman in Pakistan doing cut-rate clerical work for UCSF Medical Center threatened to post patients' confidential files on the Internet unless she was paid more money.To show she was serious, the woman sent UCSF an e-mail earlier this month with actual patients' records attached.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Getting screwed: American Style: Like prescription drugs, college textbooks are much cheaper overseas than they are in the U.S. (NYTimes)
The publishing industry defends its pricing policies, saying that foreign sales would be impossible if book prices were not pegged to local market conditions.

Another flag-waving, patriotic American industry scams its own country's citizens in the name of profitability.

"We couldn't understand why what costs $120 here should cost $50-something there," said Mr. Sarkis, who, with Mr. Kinsley and another classmate, has spent three years building a Web-based company,, selling textbooks from abroad to students in the United States. "It seemed so sleazy of the publishers. We were sure that college students would be shocked and outraged if they knew about the foreign prices. But it's been this big secret."
Conversations with Homeless Vets 2: Joseph
"A Miserable Failure" (Atlantic)
You can start an unnecessary war that kills hundreds of Americans and as many as 7,000 Iraqi civilians—adjusted for the difference in population, the equivalent of 80,000 Americans. Can occupy Iraq without a plan to restore traffic lights, much less order. Can make American soldiers targets in a war of attrition conducted by snipers, assassins, and planters of remote-control bombs—and taunt the murderers of our young men to "bring it on." Can spend hundreds of billions of dollars on nation building—and pass the bill to America's children. (Asked to consider rescinding your tax cut for the top one percent of taxpayers for one year in order to fund the $87 billion you requested from Congress to pay for the occupation of Iraq, your Vice President said no; that would slow growth.) You can lose more jobs than any other President since Hoover.

Monday, October 20, 2003

"We like the moon." Disturbing small animal flash.
Arial is little more than a shameless impostor.
See also "How to Spot Arial" from Mr. Simonson's website.
Napster is getting in on the pay-download thing finally. Most disturbingly, they're calling themselves a "brand".
Water generates electricity when pumped through tiny channels. article on same
Where is the King of Spam now? Running a nightclub. (courtesy of /.)

By his own account, Wallace, who owns the hopping night spot Plum Crazy on Route 11, was, at one time, responsible for about 80 percent of direct Internet mailings sent to in-boxes around the globe.

Friday, October 17, 2003

The Army's Three Star Zealot
Another right-wing nutcase is seeing pictures of Satan's face in smudged photographs. This one is an active 3-star U.S. general who believes he's on a holy mission.
An lengthy, fascinating article from NYTimes Magazine on the character of North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il.

The subject of war was raised, delicately. Why, Choe inquired, was North Korea's government spending its scarce resources on ballistic missiles instead of education or other social programs that would directly benefit its starving citizens? The Dear Leader did not hesitate to reply. ''The missiles cannot reach the United States,'' he said, ''and if I launch them, the U.S. would fire back thousands of missiles and we would not survive. I know that very well. But I have to let them know I have missiles. I am making them because only then will the United States talk to me.''

He may be an international threat, but he's also a leisure/partytime triple threat of boozy womanizer, poetic horse freak, and movie addict. Check out the Dear Leader's 5 star Amazon books!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

You know that comedian that acts like a 12 year old kid to annoy people? No, not Adam Sandler, its Angry Naked Pat and he's got a web site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Indie Rock Photo Gallery
The Museum of Black Superheros
The art of Todd Schorr
Sweet! Crumb mini-statues
Conversations with Homeless Vets: Part 1

It's all about natural resources -- getting control of natural resources?

(Grizzled guy) Of course it is. Money. They wouldn't be there if it weren't for narcotics.

(Andy) Our government is not what you think it is, believe me.

(There is a long pause.)

Any 'Nam vet will tell you that.
Lobsterman to face drug charges.
[Nothing rhymes with "petulant, entitled Daddy's-boy"] GW Bush: Horrible president, even worse poet. (open rejection letter here)

Our sense that the placement of the comma may in fact be merely editorial carelessness is reinforced by the subsequent unveiling of the speaker's attitude toward his lover. While we realize that the phrase "lump in the bed" has a personal meaning that is meant to be endearing (please give the First Lady our regards), we fear that it portrays a, shall we say say, less than progressive attitude toward women. Or is the description of the lover as merely a "lump in the bed" a reflection of her unresponsiveness as a lover?

Friday, October 10, 2003

Selected Discography of Les Baxter including an interview with Les

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Art or a vague, postmodern, random waste of materials?
Unamused Swedes find 70 pair of shoes filled with butter as art installation piece.

Its not even original (artist Yu Xiuzhen did the same thing back in 96)

At least when Yoko Ono screamed and broke teacups with a hammer she cleaned up after herself.
A few months ago it was a black magic marker. Now its just holding down a shift key.
Under normal circumstances, the antipiracy software is automatically loaded onto a Windows machine whenever the Hamilton album is run in a computer's CD drive, making traditional copying or MP3 ripping impossible. However, simply holding down the Shift key prevents Windows' AutoRun feature from loading the copy-protection software, leaving the music free to copy, Halderman said.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

FBI bugs Philadelphia mayor Street's office.
"Do we believe that the Republican Party, both at the federal level and state level, is pulling out every stop to get Pennsylvania in 2004? Absolutely," Keel said. "Is the Republican Party capable of dirty tricks? I think that is well-documented."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

U.S. Postsecondary education gap rises.
Could it be the cost?
Walter Cronkite: The New Inquisition
What makes this administration's legal bloodthirstiness particularly alarming is the almost religious zeal that seems to drive it. So, what we are seeing now is a confluence of two streams of American thought. One of those streams represents those who believe security must have priority over civil rights.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Online Museum of Weird, Strange, and Just Bad Art
Putin checks in on Bush's WMD-less oil war, warning that Iraq could "become a new center, a new magnet for all destructive elements." (NYTimes)
Alligator and Tiger found in NYC apartment.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Emitt Rhodes is not dead.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Ok, really - What does it take to get fired in the Bush Administration? Is there no limit to how bad you can fuck up? I can't believe they dont just all run around robbing liquor stores for the hell of it.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Think the Segway is cool but can't justify spending more than the cost of a motorcycle on something that does 15 mph top speed? Then build your own.
Scientists study Hope Diamond's mysterious glow.
John Ashcroft is in bed with the villians he's supposed to be investigating.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Bookmark the brilliant Online Picasso Project, featuring almost 7000 works. Courtesy of Metafilter.
Blaming India for the "jobless recovery" - an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
Please tell me that nobody is actually going around speaking the phrase "best-shoring", and that the journalist just made up this little nugget of trite offensiveness.

NYTimes offers a different perspective of effects of globalized labor today, by examining the life of a girl assembling false eyelashes in a Chinese sweatshop.

Two months later, bitter that the pay turned out to be much lower, exhausted by eye-straining and wrist-wrenching work, and too poor to pay the exit fee the boss demanded of anyone who wanted out, they decided to escape. But that was not easy. The metal doors of their third-floor factory were kept locked and its windows — all but one — were enclosed in iron cages.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

McSweeneys article on the 'Dear Mr. President' letter project by author Gabe Hudson.
Explanation here. The author's site.

I mean, we have a website for the book, and the government's been tracking it. There's a device on the website that tells us who's been coming to it. We even had a FBI agent lurking around at my recent readings. Also, other little things have been happening. Like the website keeps crashing for no good reason. And each time, my friend, who does everything with the site and who's really good at this stuff, has had to work many, many hours before he could get the site back up. He says whoever is causing this has pretty major skills.

Click here to speak your peace to the radical-right wing court-appointed office occupant yourself.

This is my favorite letter:

Dear Mr. President,

A lot of American citizens are scared to write you a letter.

Make of that what you will.

Jessica Rabinowitz
"I would have...I would have eaten his shit."
Well. That surely is um... saying something, Mrs. Dr. J. Yeah... Well... Ahem.

Hollywood's strategies on digital media always remind me of the picture of the snake eating its own tail. In a story that perfectly illustrates this, MPAA President Jack Valenti has decided that Oscar screeners are likely sources of DVD piracy, and will not be sending screening copies of DVDs this year. This means that independent and small-run films won't get seen, and the field will effectively be narrowed to only the biggest budget films. In doing this, not only is Valenti calling his own industry a bunch of thieves, but he's even further homogenizing an already watered down media by excluding new and different voices. Meanwhile, they'll keep blaming everybody but themselves...
Rancid's new album is available in its entirety via streaming player on the band's website. So get streaming, punk!