Sunday, October 31, 2004

red sox win something?

Of course, the Red Sox did win this year...: "Redskins lose. An interesting example of the logical fallacy known as Coincidental Correlation, for the last 71 years the Washington Redskins' last home game before Election Day has correlated with the success of the incumbent president. Boy, it's a good thing in sports no one believes in silly statistics..."



(Via metafilter.com.)

thot plickens

William Gibson on ObL tape: "Cory Doctorow:
William Gibson's posted a blistering analysis of Osama bin Laden's latest video.


OBL today is probably a very satisfied, very optimistic man, and if he can skew the last-minute dynamic of the election in Bush's favor, he'll have cause to be all the more satisfied.


And that's the danger, that some crucial percentage of our dimmer, more reactive voters will flash back to 9-11 and the Bush of the bullhorn, the Bush buffeted with the heartbroken grit of Ground Zero, and vote for that -- childishly imagining that such a vote runs counter to the wishes and the needs of OBL, the bearded stickman, the cave-dwelling spider, our new Old Man of the Mountains. Player of the long game.



Link

(Thanks, Jamie!)


Update: CJ point out that Gibson's had some second thoughts about this post"



(Via Boing Boing.)

i remember this


Steampunk mecha-wars: "Cory Doctorow:


Steam Wars is an elaborate concept for a movie about steam-punk mecha-wars, an alternate history in which th 19th century is dominated by wars between giant, steam-powered killer robots.

Link

(Thanks, Andy!)


"



(Via Boing Boing.)

forcefully strong

Star Wars-inspired "Fallen" wins fan film contest: "Xeni Jardin:


Hollywood Liberation Army tells BoingBoing, "





Fallen is a machinima music video created in Star Wars Galaxies about a tragic romance between a female Imperial officer and a male Rebel fighter using the song "Fallen" by Delirium. It has just won the Star Wars Galaxies Fan Film Fest 2004.




Link to movie download site, and link to more info on the project."



(Via Boing Boing.)

why it has a necklace

Moment of snapshot zen: stingray smile: "Xeni Jardin:





Lovely snapshot of a stingray from the Coney Island Aquarium [via flickr]. Link to larger, uncropped image. (Thanks, Ivy )"



(Via Boing Boing.)

love that show

Daily Show clips galore: "Cory Doctorow:
Lisa Rein has just posted 13 clips from the Daily Show over the past couple weeks, including:


The Colbert Report

Ed Helm's DSpan

Flu Vaccine Shortage

Red Sox Winning The World Series

Walmart violating ancient graveyards in Hawaii

Ad for "America, The Book"

Opening bit of 10/20/04

Coverage of the the mudslinging and overexaggerating statements by Bush and Kerry during the last Presidential Debate

P-diddy etc. (Christina Aguilara - sp?) and their "Vote or Die" campaign.

"Stand and Choose" voting ads starring video game characters

Lewis Black on how the Shrub Administration continually wastes our tax dollars on extravagant purchases in the name of Homeland Security and $500,000 parties for the TSA.

The opening bit from 10-19-04

Messopotamia

Iraqi tourism board

Soldiers who refused to go on "suicide mission"

Bush saying that we will "not have an all volunteer army" and then being corrected by someone in the crowd.

Jon Stewart's comments on his Crossfire appearance.

Coverage of second presidential debate.

Drew Barrymore On The Daily Show

Richard Clarke On The Daily Show


Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Saturday, October 30, 2004

can't wait for radio shack to open

Build your own Batphone: "Cory Doctorow:


Step-by-step instructions for making your own light-up, buzzing, working Batphone with its own cake-dome -- killer!

Link

(Thanks, Dave!)

"



(Via Boing Boing.)

as seen in the 7th voyage of sinbad

Rogue Taxidermists exhibit: "David Pescovitz:
The Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists is holding their first exhibition at the Creative Electric Studios in Minneapolis.

"The organization's mandate is to advocate the showmanship of oddities; espouse the belief in natural adaptation and mutation; and encourage the desire to create displays of curiosity."
And here's a letter from the National Taxidermists Association in response to a request for feedback on the exhibit:
birdtaxidermyIf you are looking for approval for this so called"art", I am afraid you have come to the wrong place.
Displays of wounded,bleeding or mangled animals is not in any form,"art" The members of the NTA
are truly professional taxidermists and as such can be called artists,and most, if not all, abhor your
desplays[sic].



You can surely be called a Rogue taxidermist.



Bill Haynes

NTA Board of Directors

Ethics Chairman

Vice President

Link
"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, October 29, 2004

wink

I believe I'm convinced: "If this article doesn't convince you to vote for Bush, then nothing will."



(Via Geekable.com.)

rumours rumours flying
keep them rumours fling
rawhide

NASA image expert says Bush was wearing a device during debates: "Mark Frauenfelder:
shirtDr. Robert M. Nelson is a NASA senior research scientist for NASA and according to Salon, an "international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons." He used Photoshop filters to outline the bugle on President Bush's back seen during the first debate, and concludes that it is some kind of "device."

However, our President sheepishly admitted it was "a poorly-tailored shirt." Poor guy. We should send him some money for a shirt that doesn't have big rectangular pooch and a rope hanging from it. Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

idiot dares==you touch it

Instant death and a $200 fine: "Cory Doctorow:

Steve Jurvetson snapped this great sign and posted it to Flickr -- how the hell do they collect?

Link

"



(Via Boing Boing.)

just in time horror

The Boston Phoenix claims there is...: "

The Boston Phoenix claims there is a horror renaissance and profiles some of the best contemporary writers (with a local focus). Chuck Palahniuk is mentioned, Dean Koontz mercifully is not, and The Phoenix alerts us to the Christian horror sub-genre, books where "you can’t swear and you can’t have sex, but you can kill as many people in your book as you want." God won't mind.

"



(Via blog.)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

mmmmmmmm ipod

Backstage: iPod Photo initial impressions: "Apple's more than used to the haters by now - people who proclaim each of the company's new products a likely flop based on price, or grouse about another company's product that's almost but not quite the same. But time and experience have given Apple another benefit: the opportunity to see their haters proved wrong. Often repeatedly.

Having played with the 60GB iPod Photo a bunch, it's fair to say that the haters have at best a 30% chance of proving right on this one. Apple made at..."



(Via iPodlounge.)

bad taste costume award

The Stranger's scariest Halloween costumes: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Very scary Halloween costumes for kids based on current political themes.


abuprisonerThe Littlest Prisoner at Abu Ghraib: So easy, so quick, and so terrifying!

Lyndie England (Candy cigarette optional.)

Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid: Add a burnt-cork beard and an electric match from the tobacconist, and your little terror is ready to fly!







Link (Thanks, Stephen!)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, October 28, 2004
08:56 PM
ah hah

Explosives at Al Qaqaa were stolen after US occupation: photos: "Mark Frauenfelder:
explosivesAfter two days of silence on the hundreds of tons of missing plastic explosives in Iraq, the President defended himself by stating that the explosives might have been removed before the US invasion. These photos seem to suggest otherwise. Link (Thanks, Jeff!)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

for those that missed it

Collective lunar eclipse photos: "Cory Doctorow:


Flickr users are using the "eclipse" tag to collect photos of the lunar eclipse from all over the world. Some are breathtaking.

Link

(via Waxy)


"



(Via Boing Boing.)

I was a library page for several years in college

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Dispatches from a Public Librarian: "




D I S P A T C H E S   F R O M
A   P U B L I C   L I B R A R I A N


BY SCOTT DOUGLAS

- - - -

Dispatch 11 (10/13/04)

An Interview With Josh, Who Is a Library Page, and Whose Name Has Been Changed

What size shoe do you wear?
111/2.

What's the best kind of shelving shoe?
Vans.

What technique do you use to secretly read a book while you're supposed to be shelving?
There's a section in Juvenile Fiction—JF-L to JF-Z that cannot be seen by the senior clerk unless she is wandering around the library. I get in a squatting-type position in this area and position the book truck in front of me in such a way that it sort of looks like I'm sorting books on the bottom of the truck and not reading.

Do you remember those two Russian girls that came in that one summer and all the guys were trying to figure out ways to hit on them when they didn't know English?
Yes.

If there were a biopic made detailing your life as a page, who would you want to play the role of you?
I think Adam Sandle"

(Via .)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

rumourville

The Box on Bush's Back: "Rumors, denials, and wild speculation—a comprehensive guide."



(Via Slate Magazine.)

we don't need no
ed ewe kay shun

The men behind the images: "Two quick political links:


First, here's a recent Rolling Stone interview with John Kerry. It makes me like John Kerry as a candidate a lot more than I did before.


Second, here's a scary little story about Bush's war expectations.

"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "


[Pat] Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

It makes me like George W. Bush a lot less than I did before."



(Via Geekable.com.)

but, damn, he's the prez...our prez

Even Bush's supporters don't understand him: "I love this chart. It's from a report by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, and it finds that Bush supporters are vastly more uninformed about their candidate's positions than Kerry supporters are about their candidate's positions."



(Via Geekable.com.)

surprise surprise sur [boom]

weapons on the loose: "The Coalition's lack of preparation left 380 tons of high explosives unprotected in Iraq. Now it looks like the DoD tried to cover it up. Where is your surprise now? (first one is NYT)"



(Via metafilter.com.)

who ya gonna believe

WolfpacksforTruth.org: The Real Story on George Bush's "Wolves" Commercial: "Copyright  @ 2004      Wolfpacks for Truth are responsible for the content of this site.




The time has come to set the
record straight.
Alpha Frank is worried about
getting cancer from air
pollution because the Bush
Administration is no longer
actively regulating power
company emissions, instead
letting them regulate
themselves. His chances of  
getting a serious disease from
pollution are increasing each
year Bush is in office. Frank
just wishes those humans
would put their future before
company profits.
They told us we were shooting a Greenpeace
commercial!
When the camera crew showed up, we wondered
why they were all driving Hummers. Our agent
assured us it was a Greenpeace commercial and
they paid TWICE our hourly steak rate. Little did we
know we were being tricked into this vicious
campaign attack ad.
We are not Terrorists!
George W. Bush incorrectly labelled my wolfpack
as a terrorist threat. We are NOT terrorists. We do
not associate with ter"



(Via .)

i vote (actually voted--absentee)

p>Endorsement: Kerry for President: "Endorsement: Kerry for President Ok. The NY Times endorsed Kerry. And now the Washington Post. But now the Orlando-Sentinel, a paper that has not endorsed a Demcorat in the past 40 years!

"Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound.

This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush.

Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president....""



(Via metafilter.com.)

kewlio

Awesome figurative art from drinking straws: "Xeni Jardin:


I don't know much about the source of these images, reposted on a Portuguese language blog, but they depict a man creating amazing sculptural scenes from ordinary drinking straws. Throw forty million and some rotoscope at it, and who knows? You may end up with something that could kick Shark Tale's ass. Link (Thanks, Jose Luis Orihuela)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Saturday, October 23, 2004

the lies come home

Poll shows that Bush supporters lie to themselves to feel better: "Mark Frauenfelder:
The Sept. 11 Commission found that there were no substantial ties between Hussein and al-Qaeda, and Charles Duelfer's report states that Iraq had no significant WMD program. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of supporters of the President take comfort in pretending that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and pretending that there were significant ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

In addition, the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes' survey also found that a majoroty of supporters of President Bush mistakenly believe that the President supports the Kyoto global-warming treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the International Criminal Court, and the treaty banning land mines, when he in fact opposes them.

A majority of Bush supporters also think that most of the people on the world hope the President is re-elected. This is not the case.

Steven Kull, program director, said that Bush supporters' "resistance to information" on several fronts reflected a powerful bond with the president formed after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the perception - shared by Kerry supporters - that Bush still asserts that Iraq had WMD.

...

"To support the president and to accept that he took the United States to war based on mistaken assumptions is difficult to bear, especially in light of the continuing costs in terms of lives and money," Kull said.

"Apparently, to avoid this cognitive dissonance, Bush supporters suppress awareness of unsettling information."

A spokesman for the Bush campaign, Reed Dickens, said the perceptions on weapons were understandable "given that it's only in the last few weeks we've had this definitive finding" of the Duelfer report.



Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

coming to a pet smart near you

Living brain in a jar: "David Pescovitz:
A scientist at the University of Florida has cultured 25,000 living rat neurons into an in vitro brain capable of controlling flight simulator software.

“It’s essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a grid at the bottom,” (bioengineer Thomas) DeMarse said. “Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network – a brain.”



The brain and the simulator establish a two-way connection, similar to how neurons receive and interpret signals from each other to control our bodies. By observing how the nerve cells interact with the simulator, scientists can decode how a neural network establishes connections and begins to compute, DeMarse said.
Link (via Science Blog)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

nows your chance

Haunted Mansion tombstone auction closes at $37,400: "Cory Doctorow:
Disney's charity auction for the right to have your name on a tombstone at the Disneyland Haunted Mansion has closed, with a top bid of $37,400.00.

Link

(via The Disney Blog)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 2004: "David Pescovitz:
Nobody says it like Hunter S. Thompson.

Armageddon came early for George Bush this year, and he was not ready for it. His long-awaited showdowns with my man John Kerry turned into a series of horrible embarrassments that cracked his nerve and demoralized his closest campaign advisers. They knew he would never recover, no matter how many votes they could steal for him in Florida, where the presidential debates were closely watched and widely celebrated by millions of Kerry supporters who suddenly had reason to feel like winners.

Kerry came into October as a five-point underdog with almost no chance of winning three out of three rigged confrontations with a treacherous little freak like George Bush. But the debates are over now, and the victor was clearly John Kerry every time. He steamrollered Bush and left him for roadkill.



Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful. . . . I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him "Mister President," and then I felt ashamed.

Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Monday, October 18, 2004

sometimes they are all lying liars

Dick's defense cuts: "Blogosphere readers are no doubt familiar with the famous list of Kerry votes compiled by the Republicans.


People who like to blame liberals for everything will point to this and say, "See?! Kerry is weak on defense! If he becomes President, we will be defeated by terrorists!" You should reply, "And Kerry was helped every step of the way by Dick Cheney."

What Cheney leaves out of his stump speeches is the ironic fact that almost all of the cuts Kerry voted for were endorsed or originally proposed by Cheney himself. At issue is not the cuts themselves, but the hypocrisy of Cheney attacking an opponent who merely followed his lead.


Cheney accuses Kerry of calling for "major reductions or outright cancellations of many of our most important weapons systems"; Bush ads attack the senator for voting "against 13 weapons systems for our troops" over 20 years. But it was Defense Secretary Cheney who gloated that he had "put an end to more than 100 systems" in less than three years. In December 1991, he bragged to the Washington Post that he was setting "an all-time record as Defense Secretary for canceling or stopping production" of weapons and equipment.


And Cheney has gotten specific. He regularly attacks Kerry's vote against the B-2 stealth bomber in October 1990. But seven months earlier, Cheney had put forth the proposal to cut the B-2 bomber program. Cheney cites Kerry's vote against the AH-64 Apache helicopter. But it was Cheney who told Congress in 1989, "I forced the Army to make choices.... I recommended that we cancel the AH-64 program two years out."


...Cheney has even gotten specific about dates, condemning Kerry for supposedly calling for defense cuts "in 1984, in the middle of the Cold War." But it was near the end of 1984, at the height of Cold War tensions, that Cheney told the Washington Post that President Reagan needed to "take a whack" at defense if he wanted to be a credible commander-in-chief. If Reagan "doesn't really cut defense," Cheney told the Post, "he becomes the No. 1 special pleader in town."


...[If] we are to take the Bush campaign’s rhetoric seriously, only one conclusion can be drawn: Dick Cheney, judged by his record, is the real threat to America’s national security.


Even factcheck.org, the site Dick Cheney tried to cite in the VP debate, thinks that the Bush campaign's characterization of Kerry's defense record is a gross distortion."



(Via Geekable.com.)

quiz at 11

Holy complusive nit-picking, Batman!: "Movie Mistakes. A truly massive and comprehensive site by and for movie enthusiasts, not just the fussy ones either.(via Something Like That)"



(Via metafilter.com.)

we can all laugh, can't we?

51 Thoughts on the Apparent Sexiness of John Edwards: "51 Thoughts on the Apparent Sexiness of John Edwards from nerve.com - hilarious & (generally) SFW,


my favorite:

5. Bill Clinton, of course, was sexy in the former sense. He was sexy in the dangerous, you'd-like-to-sleep-with-him sense. Actually, Bill Clinton was sexy in the dangerous, you'd-like-to-sleep-with-him, and-after-you-slept-with-him, he-slept-with-your-roommate sense.



6. But we miss that playa, don't we?
"



(Via metafilter.com.)

one of the great minds of our generation
wooden, but great

Muppet Fan Halloween Parade 2004: "Xeni Jardin:


BoingBoing reader Caines says, "ToughPigs.com has published the first installment of its annual Muppet Fan Halloween Parade. This year's parade starts off with more than a dozen fan-made Beaker costumes." Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

then he's flying to Paris...

Hong Kong Disneyland Feng Shuied: "Cory Doctorow:
Disney's Hong Kong Disneyland plans have been modified by a Feng Shui specialist brought in to consult on the job.



Esther Wong, a spokeswoman for Hong Kong Disneyland, said that the company had rotated the orientation of the entire park by several degrees in the early design phase after consulting a master of feng shui, a Chinese practice of seeking harmony with spiritual forces.



Link

(via Fark)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

ed wood will live forever

Fleshbot -- the film company-- releases lost porno flick of Ed Wood: "Xeni Jardin:



Holy media meld, Batman! Resurrecting a 1971 hardcore feature from legendary kitsch auteur Ed Wood, Fleshbot becomes a film distribution company. Fleshbot says:



In 1971, Ed Wood's "Necromania: A Tale of Weird Love" -- one of the last of over two dozen porn flicks made in the 1960s and early 70s by the cinematic genius responsible for such classics as "Glen or Glenda?" and "Plan 9 From Outer Space" -- opened at the Hudson Theater in Times Square for an extremely limited run ... and the full hardcore version of the film hasn't been seen in its entirety since. Until this month, that is, when it becomes the first DVD released under the Fleshbot Films imprint. Yes, we're very proud. Wherever he is, we hope Ed is too.

Link, and I am so buying the DVD immediately (not worksafe)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

future war

Bush's faith-based reality: "Without a Doubt": "Xeni Jardin:
Author and former WSJ national affairs reporter Ron Suskind has a riveting piece in this weekend's New York Times Magazine.


"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.


The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"



Link (via William Gibson's blog)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

like I said, everyone has their opinion

Barlow: Exit Strategy: "Xeni Jardin:
John Perry Barlow blogs about a mid-air encounter with a security industry CEO who was on his way to Baghdad.



We didn't find it difficult to get along despite the obvious political differences we'd had during the decades when he has been literally engaged in war-mongery and I have been a hippie peacenik. The interesting thing was that we didn't disagree on much now. We both believed that the invasion of Iraq and its subsequent occupation was a tragic catastrophe that could only get worse.


"I'll tell you," he said, "before we get out of Iraq, it's going to make Viet Nam look like a good idea." And this from someone who thought that our clandestine overthrow of the Sandinistas, in which he had taken part, "was" a good idea. But now he's mostly in it for the money. Besides, armed conflict is what he knows.



Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

and on and on

We knew this.: "Confirming the Obvious: "A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country... The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq was the product of many of the same problems that plagued the administration's case for war, including wishful thinking, bad information from Iraqi exiles who said Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators and contempt for dissenting opinions." Just in case anyone you know is still pretending this administration had the slightest idea what it was doing after "Mission Accomplished.""



(Via metafilter.com.)

geek minds think alike

Teachers' T-Shirts Bring Bush Speech Ouster: " 

 

     
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Published on Friday, October 15, 2004 by the KGW - NewsChannel 8 (Portland, Oregon)

Teachers' T-Shirts Bring Bush Speech Ouster

by kgw.com and AP Staff

 


CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."

Three Medford school teachers who were thrown out of a Bush rally because of their t-shirts.


Three Medford school teachers who were thrown out of a Bush rally because of their t-shirts.

All three women said they were carrying valid tickets for the event that they had received from Republican Party headquarters in Medford, which had been distributing event tickets to Bush supporters.

"



(Via .)

britneygate

The (Non) Issues | Metafilter: "n China, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America, Britney Spears is Britney Spears.

what an apt comparison. spears is a PR creation, her products are crap, and people are under the mistaken impression that she's a vocalist, when in reality she's all artifice and lip-synch. gates is a product of marketing, his products are crap, and people are under the mistaken notion that he's a technologist, when in reality he's just a scruple-free robber baron.
posted by quonsar at 11:21 AM PST on October 17
"



(Via .)

hear hear
please

Jon Stewart Attacks the Media through Crossfire: "Instead of plugging his new book, Jon Stewart tonight on CNN's crossfire used his time to slam the media's coverage of the election. Although Stewart leans left, he attacked political shows and begged them: "Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America." Is it time to really stop all the political games that both sides play? Torrent of the event is available."



(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

Sentimental sap: "Science fiction brings out the sentimental sap in me.



I was watching a TV show last night. The folks on the ship had been away from Earth—lost in space and time—fighting the bad guys. Things looked bleak. Except when they looked worse than bleak.



But somehow—with heart and brains, sheer pluck, and the aid of crack Hollywood scriptwriters—they triumphed!



As the ship returns to Earth they see it in the viewscreen. Big and blue and beautiful, it looks like home.



But they’re not sure it’s their Earth in their time yet, until the radio operator says, “Lunar Colony One, orbital platforms, San Francisco—they’re all calling in, sir.”



And, no exaggeration, my eyes well up with water.





Don’t even try to watch Blade Runner with me. I lose it at the end when Roy Baty deactivates. Every time."



and when the thing dies...sniff-mac

(Via Inessential.com.)

Friday, October 15, 2004

I just listened to an interview with Jon Stewart...again
he's the beezneeaz

Station Break: Stewart: 'Crossfire' Ruining America: "If you missed Jon Stewart on today's Crossfire, you missed a whopper. The Daily Show host bitch-slapped CNN's hourlong show..."



(Via TeeVee.)

hey maybe I'll watch

TeeVee Archive - 10 Reasons to Watch 'Farscape': "
I Always Thought God Was More of a Dog Deity


On Joan of Arcadia, God tells Joan to adopt a feral cat. Sometimes, God is cruel and arbitrary.

Friday, 8 p.m., CBS


--Philip Michaels

Stewart: 'Crossfire' Ruining America - October 15

Maybe It's the Fever and Not the TV - October 15

It's Da Vinci's Seventh, Eh! - October 11

Get to Know "Life as We Know It" - October 7

The Egg and I - October 3

Weblog Archive...

Friday
10 Reasons to Watch 'Farscape'
Hooray! TV's wackiest, weirdest, most complex and rewarding sci-fi show is back on the air... for four hours only.

Wednesday
Fall '04: “Life” Out of Balance
Do we hate 'Life as We Know It?' No, we don't. But we don't quite like it, either.

Monday
TeeVee Awards '04: Best Animated Show/Most Unjust Cancellation
We honor 'Home Movies' for one last time.

October 7
Fall '04: "CSI: New York"
CSI: More Of The Same. Boorish, bad, rude, awful... can you tell we didn't like it?

October 5
Fall '04: "Desperate Housewives"
It's a littl"



(Via .)

save the frogs

The frogs are fucked.: "The frogs are in trouble. This might sound like good news for more right leaning brethren, but alas, the toads, newts and amphibians in general also look to be facing future problems. Up to a third of all species may face extinction. As ever, humanity looks to be the cause."



(Via metafilter.com.)

Friday, October 15, 2004
08:49 PM


SWIFT BOAT LIES: "SWIFT BOAT LIES send this to 5 people! "Like most bloggers, I have my beefs with the mainstream media. But you know what? They produce an awful lot of damn fine original reporting.

Case in point. In August the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charged that John Kerry had lied about the events that led to his Silver Star. In order to figure out if the SBVT account was true, Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam, where they visited the hamlets of Tran Thoi and Nha Vi and interviewed the local villagers to get their recollections of what really happened 35 years ago. You can read the resulting story yourself, but it's summarized pretty easily: Kerry was right and SBVT honcho John O'Neill wasn't.

But there was also this:...""



(Via metafilter.com.)

Rage Against the Machine : Why Voting Doesn't Work and What You Can Do About It.: "I was sitting in a bar listening to the presidential "debate", thinking the same thought I always do when listening to politicians. Why must I choose between two people that I don't like? Since I live in New York, where Democrats usually win the electorate, should I even bother voting? Are my votes even counted? It's always easy to blame the current President for the nation's current problems, and I'll admit that I'm often tempted to blame Bush. But the reality is that he is not to blame. The blame can be placed squarely on us, the citizens, and on our unwillingness to reform an outdated voting system."



(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

like he says

President: "When I was 18 years old I liked to try to convince people of the correctness of my political beliefs.



But that was years ago—Ronald Reagan was president—and I no longer enjoy it. In fact, I pretty much hate doing it.





But what if I think this election is very important, far more important than the average election, and our choice is not about four years of one style or the other but about two very different futures for our country?



I tell myself that writing software that allows so many people to read and write about politics is a good thing itself—and it is—but does that get me out of having to take my own stand?



Russell Beattie quotes Dante: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

William Gibson quotes Unamuno: “At times, to be silent is to lie.”



As much as I don’t want to get into this, I’m going to get into this. You can jump out now.





I’m a moderate, not registered with any party. I’m neither pacifist nor hawk. Sometimes I agree with Democrats, sometimes with Republicans, depending on the issue.



My values match most everybody else’s: I want the most freedom and opportunity for the most people. I want our country to be safe and prosperous. I want a society that helps people who need it, but I want that help to be more “teach a man to fish” rather than just “here’s some fish.” I want America to be a force for good in the world.



At this high level there’s nothing controversial. Both Bush and Kerry would agree with the above paragraph, I’m sure.





I could go through every one of these basic values—but I’ll pick just one: safety. Safety because, right now, this is the most pressing issue.



I want a president who will:



1. Actively fight terrorists where they are.



2. Use every weapon at his disposal: military, diplomatic, and economic.



3. Prevent attacks on America.



In other words, I want John Kerry to be president.





George Bush has hurt the cause of safety.



1. He has not killed or captured Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda remains a threat. By diverting energy to Iraq, he skipped out on the job of getting the people who attacked us.



2. By being continually hostile and condescending to our allies—our friends—Bush has put us in a position where we must do everything ourselves. That’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. I want to fight with both hands—and both feet, teeth, and brains.



3. Bush has insufficiently helped efforts at home to prevent terrorism. The emphasis has been on things like the Patriot Act rather than on the more boring but very important issues of securities in ports, trains, airplane cargo holds, and so on. First responders are under-funded. Tax breaks get priority over common-sense security, which is inexcusable in this time of asymmetrical warfare.





Were this an episode of The Apprentice, Donald Trump might say, “I like this guy. He has a lot of potential. But he didn’t get the guys who attacked us, and he made too many bad decisions and didn’t take responsibility.”



So I have to say, George, you’re fired.





Would Kerry be better? A new president is always a gamble.



But Kerry talks about going after Al-Qaeda, finishing the job in Iraq (we broke it, we bought it), and fixing our relationships with our allies so we’re no longer hamstrung by going it alone. He talks about increasing security inside the United States and funding our first responders.



I don’t think he’s lying about his plans. He might have trouble getting Congress to go along—but that’s a risk every President faces. At least he knows Congress. (Face it: being an “outsider” in Washington means that, well, you’re an outsider.)





They say to always trust your gut. My gut said, “Don’t write this piece!”



But my moral sense tells me that taking a stand is the right thing to do. So, with great reluctance, I will now hit the Post button."



(Via Inessential.com.)

this week's funn

Web Zen: Mixed Media Zen: "Xeni Jardin:


mark mothersbaugh


gum blondes


eddie breen


martha bruin degen


c.m. botz/f. glessner lee


biggles odd objects


david c. roy


roger stevens


neo kaiju


jason salavon


kiki smith




Image: detail from one of ex-DEVO-er Mark Mothersbaugh's works at mutato.com: "Two Teddies for a Happy Rabbit; Stow, Ohio".
web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank)."



(Via Boing Boing.)

love them internets rumours

Photo gallery of Bush bulges: "Mark Frauenfelder:
bulgePresident Bush either needs a new tailor or he has something strapped to his back. Here's a gallery of photos. In some of them, the bulge is evident. In other photos I see either normal fabric pooching or nothing. Link (Thanks, Gary!)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

me me no me

Be the 1,000th ghost at Haunted Mansion Disneyland: "Cory Doctorow:
Holy crap, I think my brains just exploded. This is the best thing ever. I mean, EVER.


In an effort to raise funds for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, DisneyAuctions.com is holding a "spirited" event that will allow the winning bidder to receive a personalized "tombstone" in the finale graveyard scene of the attraction with a humorous epitaph (inspired by the lucky bidder's interests and hobbies) written by the team at Walt Disney Imagineering.


But wait. There's more. The winning bidder will also receive a one-of-a-kind miniature replica of the tombstone and a certificate officially recognizing him/her as an Honorary resident of the Haunted Mansion; and the successful bidder and a guest will be spirited away from his or her hometown to Disneyland in time for a midnight "burial" ceremony on Thursday, October 28, officially placing the tombstone in the graveyard of the Haunted Mansion.



Link

(Thanks, Jeff!)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

hope it ain't foggee

Coming Oct. 27: Total Lunar Eclipse: ""



(Via .)

Edgar Allan Poe: ""Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.""



(Via Motivational Quotes of the Day.)

you know I knew it

Mac Takes Honors as Best Unix Desktop (Ziff Davis): "Ziff Davis - Opinion: GNOME is nice, KDE is fine and the forthcoming Looking Glass may be wonderful, but the best Unix desktop is the one in the Macintosh."



(Via Yahoo! News - Technology.)

ahhh technology

3D Dubya: "3D Dubya: Impressive 3D animations synched with audio from Dubya's speeches."



(Via metafilter.com.)

gotta believe the 'fessionals

Professional Economists: The Economy is Safer in Kerry's Hands: "The Economist is currently reporting the results of a survey of professional economists. When asked the majority seemed to feel that the economy was safer in Kerry's hands than in Bush's. The Bush tax cuts seem to have gone down particularly poorly with this group. On the more positive side for Bush, a significant number of the economists say they don't think the problems of the US economy are entirely his fault."



(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

must be a distant clasen clan

Sumatran yeti search continues: "Mark Frauenfelder:
orangpendekScott sez: "This article is an interesting article on the Sumatran Yeti that these scientists are trying to find. They seem to be getting closer, and have discovered hair samples, which can not be identified with any known species. The ape-ish looking animal walks erect and looks very missing link-ish - or like my wife's previous boyfriend before she married me, whichever you prefer." Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

But but this was on the sci fi channel

Silver dollars minted from Twin Towers metal are bogus: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Remember the company that was selling commemorative silver dollars minted from money retrieved from a safe at ground zero? Turns out they weren't made from 9/11 silver. In addition, they aren't made of silver and they aren't dollars. A NY court has halted the sales of them.

[Judge] [New York Attorney General] Spitzer said the sale of the silver dollars — emblazoned with the World Trade Center towers on one side and the planned Freedom Tower on the other — is a fraud. He's investigating whether the silver actually came from the ruins of the twin towers.

Spitzer said the National Collector's Mint, based in Port Chester, N.Y., falsely claims that the coins engraved with "In God We Trust" are legally authorized silver dollars.

Spitzer said the coins, produced by a Wyoming company called SoftSky Inc., are advertised as nearly pure silver when they're only silver-plated.



Link (Thanks, Jason!)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

My daughter disagrees with this conformist pap

Settling grammar disputes with spam: "Cory Doctorow:
A group of English teachers in Hong Kong have a dispute with a standard grammar text. To settle it, they've sent out spam to millions of Intenret users asking for opinions on correct English usage. Seth has written a long, thoughtful answer to their question:


I've gotten a couple of spam messages in the past month from some English teachers in Hong Kong. They're asking for people in the West to help back them up on a point about English grammar. Apparently, English grammar books available in Hong Kong misrepresent the rule about when you should use the present perfect and when you should use the simple past. The teachers sending the spam know the rule, but their students seem to consider the textbooks better authority than the teachers -- and won't listen when the teachers try to teach the correct rule. So the teachers decided to send out a spam appeal for native English speakers to try to get the correct rule into a publication so it would be persuasive to Hong Kong students learning English as a second language.


In my view, the present perfect is forbidden when the verb is qualified by an adverbial referring to a time period, except if the time period includes the present.



Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

soon to be available at petco

Jim Woodring profile on STRANGEco: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Here's a profile of the fantastically-talented cartoonist Jim Woodring.

hodagIn 1999, Jim was commissioned to draw a picture of a hodag, a character from American folklore whose pseudo-scientific description is Bovinus spiritualis— a clawed, grinning ox-like creature of fearsome appearance that frequented Wisconsin and eastern parts of the United States. According to Eugene Shephard, the forester who in 1893 got the first prolonged look and whiff of the creature, the hodag had the "head of a bull, the grinning face of a giant man, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with a spear at the end." The beast subsisted on a diet of swamp things, but was known to occasionally snack on wayward lumberjacks and other unfortunates. It was also said to possess "the transmigrated soul of one of Paul Bunyan's oxen," and more obviously, a very obnoxious odor. So obnoxious that it took residents of Oneida County seven years of forest burning to purge the stink.


Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

hey its 2004, where's my robot?

iiRobotics, Edinburgh's toy robot store: "Cory Doctorow:


I'm on my way out of Edinburgh today, having given my talk yesterday, but before I split, I made a point of dropping by iiRobotics, the collectable robot store just off the Royal Mile. iiRobotics has an amazing selection of vintage and new toy robots, from craquelure-crazed 1950s tin jobs to modern Robosapiens, and is staffed by a pair of friendly, knowledgeable robots enthusiasts whose personal ardency for robots was really delightful. They've got most (all?) of their inventory online and for sale. I did about a third of my Xmas shopping today...

Link

(Thanks, Alice!)

"



(Via Boing Boing.)

gotcha

Fox News producer sues Bill "STFU" O'Reilly for sex harassment: "Xeni Jardin:
Smoking Gun says:


Hours after Bill O'Reilly accused her of a multimillion dollar shakedown attempt, a female Fox News producer fired back at the TV star today, filing a lawsuit claiming that he subjected her to repeated instances of sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his virginity, and sexual fantasies. Below you'll find a copy of Andrea Mackris's complaint, an incredible page-turner that quotes O'Reilly, 55, on all sorts of lewd matters. Based on the extensive quotations cited in the complaint, it appears a safe bet that Mackris, 33, recorded some of O'Reilly's more steamy soliloquies. For example, we direct you to his Caribbean shower fantasies. While we suggest reading the entire document, TSG will point you to interesting sections on a Thailand sex show, Al Franken, and the climax of one August 2004 phone conversation. (22 pages)

Link (Thanks, Sean)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Life, life...

Antique scientific and medical instruments for sale: "Cory Doctorow:


"Radio Guy" is an antiques dealer specializing in beautiful old medical and scientific instruments, with a good line in vintage and antique toys. His wares are expensive, his site is very hard to get around (it's all giant imagemaps and every click spawns a new window, argh), but gosh, these are some pretty artifacts.

Link

(Thanks, Skye!)


"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, October 11, 2004

yes we are
honest

iPod owners very honest, not thieves at all, says MS | The Register: "How swiftly thought evolves in the wonderful world of Ballmer! First, iPods are full of "stolen" music, next he forgets what he said, but suggests that it might be anything that isn't a Windows Media Player that's full of stolen music, and now iPod owners turn out to be the most law-abiding people in the world."



(Via Daypop Top News Stories.)

got de pod

Creo demos variable info authoring for InDesign CS: "Creo Inc. on Monday used Graph Expo in Chicago, Ill. to demonstrate a new version of Darwin VI for Adobe InDesign CS. The Mac OS X-native Variable Information (VI) authoring system lets InDesign users create documents containing dynamic text, graphics, charts, colors, layouts, backgrounds and pages. The software has been created to handle large databases for targeted marketing and promotional campaigns; it works as a plug-in with InDesign CS. Currently available for QuarkXPress, Creo plans to release Darwin VI for Adobe CS in early 2005."



(Via MacCentral.)

yeah but was it personalized

NYC man eats roaches for an iPod: ""Pariente was fastest among three finalists at eating a baker's dozen of oven-baked cockroaches — and he did it with his hands tied behind his back and without ketchup.

'They were good,' he said, cradling the box with the small computer inside. 'Crunchy and salty. I would eat them again.'""


(Via iPodlounge.)

We're getting two...

World's largest stinky flower in QTVR panorama: "Xeni Jardin:




A Quicktime panorama of the world's largest flower, known as the "corpse flower" because of the righteously rank stench it emits. Photographer, blogger, and QTVR enthusiast Peter says, There were queues of hundreds to see yesterday when I took this pano in the in Sydney Botanic Gardens." Link , and more about the flower with some time-lapse videos here: Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

I'm a believer

Play-Doh Tiki: "Cory Doctorow:


Check out Doh-Doh Island, the Play-Doh Tiki set!

Link

(Thanks, Morgan!)


"



(Via Boing Boing.)

You say yes
I say no
You say why

CNN - Bush Aides Deny Internet Rumors He Was Wired: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Robn sez: "As you previously blogged about Bush being wired (and the probable hoax that caused it) I thought you might like to see that apparently not only will it pay out, but now a mainstream media outlet has picked it up as well!" Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

You say yes
I say no
You say why

CNN - Bush Aides Deny Internet Rumors He Was Wired: "Mark Frauenfelder:
Robn sez: "As you previously blogged about Bush being wired (and the probable hoax that caused it) I thought you might like to see that apparently not only will it pay out, but now a mainstream media outlet has picked it up as well!" Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

I'm ordering mine tomorrow

Moment of couture zen: "Xeni Jardin:


Future shock is in my shoes. Designer Alexander McQueen's 2005 pret-a-porter collection for women (and, presumably, female androids).



Link -- don't miss the detail shots. (Thanks, Susannah "Invisible Cowgirl" Breslin)"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Saturday, October 9, 2004

you go jrr

J. R. R. Tolkien: ""Little by little, one travels far.""



(Via Motivational Quotes of the Day.)

curious

Salon.com News | Bush's mystery bulge: "    










 

 


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"



(Via .)

Democracy is coming bit not in Afghanistan

No, we can't have nice things: "The Afghans vote for Karzai.
All 15 of President Hamid Karzai's rivals said they were withdrawing from the election because systems to prevent illegal multiple voting had gone awry. The move effectively left Karzai as the only candidate in the fray."



(Via metafilter.com.)

heh heh
I've skipped Family circus for years
just needed to see it in a new light

Heartwarming cartoons, gone horribly awry: "And now, the Everything Old Is New Again Dept. brings you the The Dysfunctional Family Circus Archive. It's been five years since Spinn (a.k.a. Greg Galcik)
took down the DFC; but back in the day, the DFC was probably the funniest site on the Web (and might even qualify as the funniest since.) Imitators have sprung up since, of course; and Spinn still runs a similar site, A-1 AAA AmeriCaptions. But somehow it's not quite the same... [Possibly NSFW, if your coworkers can read text on your screen.]"



(Via metafilter.com.)

Johnny we hardly knew ye

When he's 64: "David Pescovitz:
gruen-john-lennon-nyc-2801082Happy Birthday. We miss you.
"



(Via Boing Boing.)

what would you do if you lived in Iraq and it was your home?

Kevin Sites dispatch from Iraq: Cat on a hot tin roof: "Xeni Jardin:
NBC combat correspondent Kevin Sites is in Iraq, and files a new dispatch to his blog today:


Once you start to slide in Iraq, it's hard to right yourself. There's enough to piss you off on a daily basis that if you let it compound there's bound to be trouble. For Iraqis--car bombs, roadside bombs, city-sieges, instability, uncertainty, and loss of hope--this is their daily diet. I asked one of our drivers, Wesam, how he was doing the other day. It was just a typical faux question in passing. He stopped me in my tracks with a heartfelt answer.


"We are so unhappy, Kevin."


"Who's unhappy? You? Everyone?"


"Everyone--its such a very bad situation. We don't know what to do."


Neither does anyone else here-- so it seems. We are bound together in this bloody conflict where the body counts have to break double digits to really get our attention anymore. It's a spiritual malaise as easily caught as a common cold. Big Daddy spelled it out best with one word in Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," – mendacity.


Mine comes and goes depending on how much time I've spent quarantined in the hotel as opposed to out in the field. This week I've got it bad


Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

This week's zen aside

Web Zen: Ilustration Zen: "Xeni Jardin:


justin degarmo


yoko ikeno


jules arthur


tom wilson


tara mcpherson


attaboy


luke chueh


ray caesar


Image: "Insignificant Other" (detail), Justin DeGarmo.



web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank). And while we're at it: a special sponsor shout-out to the illomonsters at Mondolithic."



(Via Boing Boing.)

stop them candidates

Both Presidential candidates arrested while serving papers on CPD: "Cory Doctorow:
Two Presidential candidates -- for the Green and Libertarian parties -- attempted to serve papers on the Commission on Presidential Debates, demanding the right to participate. As they attempted to approach the CPD officials, they were arrested:


The first report from St. Louis is in - and presidential candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) and David Cobb (Green Party) were just arrested. Badnarik was carrying an Order to Show Cause, which he intended to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Earlier today, Libertarians attempted to serve these same papers at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the CPD - but were stopped from approaching the CPD office by security guards.


Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, October 8, 2004

pass it to all your friends

A catalog of errors: "I think this is wonderful. (Make sure you click through to all the pages.) Share it with everyone, or send it along as a PDF."



(Via Geekable.com.)

so this is where the crap on scifi comes from

We've Created a Monster!: "Three programming geeks use monsters and metaphors to turn the Sci Fi Channel into the best little horror house in the movie business. By Gary Wolf from Wired magazine."



(Via Wired News.)

Xeni on NPR: interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker on "Team America": "Xeni Jardin:


For today's edition of the NPR radio program "Day to Day" I interview South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker in Hollywood about their new movie, Team America: World Police (previous BB posts: Team America preview, and MPAA freaks over puppet sex). The film -- "acted" entirely by live-action marionettes -- will open in selected theaters this weekend.



Stone and Parker talk about some of the many creative challenges they encountered while producing a comedy action flick with puppets. Here's one snip from the interview that didn't make it in -- the film lampoons world leaders, and pokes bitter fun at the so-called "war on terrorism." I asked Trey Parker whether or not they timed the release in relation to the upcoming presidential elections. He replied, "(laughs) -- People assume we're trying to affect the election. But if you're going to change your vote based on what you see in a puppet movie, honestly -- you really should not be voting in the first place."



Link to today's "Day to Day" show, with archived audio. Includes streaming video clips of Kim Jong Il singing a reflective ballad, then feeding weapons inspector Hans Blix to live sharks.


Image: Trey Parker and "Kim Jong Il" -- the marionette, not the actual North Korean dictator -- on the set of Team America: World Police (Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount)."



(Via Boing Boing.)

TV station reports that Bush has been elected President: "Mark Frauenfelder:
WBAY TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin is running an AP article reporting that Bush has won the election, weeks before the election is to take place. (Click image for enlargement."

wbayAt this hour, President Bush has won re-election as president by a 47 percent to 43 percent margin in the popular vote nationwide. Ralph Nader has 1 percent of the vote nationwide. That's with 51 percent of the precincts reporting.



Link (Thanks, Ian Meyer!)

UPDATE:wbay-1 Satirista sez "AP is now saying the article was a "test article" (WTF?) that was "inadvertently" picked up by WBAY. Now, I've been a freelance writer/journalist for quite awhile, as have
you, but I've never heard of writing "test articles" in advance, other
than advance obituaries for celebrities. Have you? Furthermore, I
Googled '"test article" journalism' and came up with nada."


wbay2And, now, if you go to the Link, the site says only "
You have reached a page that is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please use your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page." I hope they keep changing the page. It's funny!

UPDATE: From: michael@slavitch.com
Subject: Site Suggestion - for boingboing
Date: October 8, 2004 7:05:52 AM PDT
To: doctorow@craphound.com, xeni@xeni.net, mark@well.com

----------------begin submit-------------
email_name:
Michael Slavitch sez: "Remember that TV station that posted the AP article about electing Bush one month early? I sent them a snarky letter, and got a rather elegant and thoughtful response.

"Go figger!"


Dear WBay Staff;

You've made your station a laughing stock, so I suggest explanation far more detailed than "our apologies", unless you want to be classified with Fox News as a propogandist joke.


------

From: Miller, Ted

Subject: Electing Bush


Hi, Michael. As soon as we learned about the article, we had it removed. Unfortunately, we're not able to post another story in its place, so we posted a correction on our Home and News page that has a higher prominence (on our site at least) than the original article which was on the web site for 35 minutes.

We use an automated system for Associated Press national news, politics, science, entertainment, etc. If you see how much news we have on the site, you'll understand why we use automation (I am a department of one). If we did not have this system, there would simply be too many gaps in how often the entire site is updated.

The Associated Press tests about 4 times a week for a month prior to an election to help TV stations and newspapers make sure their publishing systems are working properly (yes, I see the irony). The AP's numbers are completely random with every test; if this error happened yesterday or tomorrow it just as easily could have declared Senator John Kerry or even Ralph Nader the winner.

We are sorry for the mistake, but it was unintentional on everyone's part and we responded quickly to remove it.

Ted Miller

WBAY Web Manager

"



(Via Boing Boing.)

Carved skull: "David Pescovitz:
skullThis stunning carved skull is on eBay right now with a starting bid of $7,960. It would make a wonderful addition to my cabinet of curiosities.

"This antique real human skull  from private collections is estimated at least 500 years old. It is HEAVILY carved with mysterious buddhism objects, symbols and Tibetan letters.... Sold for the purpose of educational and medical purposes only."

Link (Thanks, Michael-Anne!)
"



(Via Boing Boing.)

The Education Department this summer destroyed...: "

The Education Department this summer destroyed more than 300,000 copies of a booklet designed for parents to help their children learn history after the office of Vice President Dick Cheney's wife complained that it mentioned the National Standards for History, which she has long opposed.



In June, during a routine update, the Education Department began distributing a new edition of a 10-year-old how-to guide called "Helping Your Child Learn History." Aimed at parents of children from preschool through fifth grade, the 73-page booklet presented an assortment of advice, including taking children to museums and visiting historical sites.



The booklet included several brief references to the National Standards for History, which were developed at UCLA in the mid-1990s with federal support. Created by scholars and educators to help school officials design better history courses, they are voluntary benchmarks, not mandatory requirements.

"



(Via blog.)

On the eve of tonight's debate, more bad news for Bush.: "On eve of tonight's debate, more bad news for Bush. The economy stumbled last month, with only 96,000 new jobs -- far short of the 138,000 jobs the Bush Administration predicted, or the 150,000 new jobs needed every month just to keep up with population growth. Another interesting tidbit is that 37,000 of the 96,000 new jobs are government employees, up from 24,000 in August and 11,000 in July. Is the timing coincidental? Meanwhile, electoral-vote.com changed their methodology -- again -- so that it more accurately reflects recent poll results. The difference is striking."



(Via metafilter.com.)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Americans Denied a True Presidential Debate: "Americans did not see a true presidential debate on September 30, 2004. What they saw was a carefully planned bipartisan press conference in which George W. Bush and John Kerry, acting through their corporate campaigns, agreed to appear and respond to questions. Third party candidates Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), David Cobb (Green), Ralph Nader (Independent), and Michael A. Peroutka (Constitution) were not invited to participate, despite having a mathematical possibility of obtaining enough electoral votes to secure the office of President of the United States."



(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

iPodus Ubiquitous: "The iPod is the most popular kid in the digital player school these days. And we all know people are jealous of the popular kids."



(Via MacDevCenter.)

Meet me at the debate: "Uh-oh... looks like Atrios and Google are Cheney's kryptonite. Apparently Cheney did meet Edwards before, back in February 2001.


But that was before 9/11, and 9/11 changed everything, so...."



(Via Geekable.com.)

A Brief Introduction to Zen: " "



(Via Kuro5hin.org.)

MPAA freaks out over puppet sex scene in "Team America" movie: "Xeni Jardin:

Updated below


The Motion Picture Association of America is demanding an NC-17 rating for South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker's new film : Team America: World Police, in part over a puppet sex scene mentioned here on BoingBoing over the weekend. Link to previous BoingBoing posts: Team America preview, tech backstory in Wired.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I've seen the movie, and the scene, and the puppets don't even have any genitals. The scene doesn't read horny or icky, just really goddamn funny. Were someone to leak a clip online, it wouldn't be one-handed material -- unless you were a particularly desperate puppetophiliac. In which case there are far more explicit destinations for your type, anyway.


This is particularly tough for Stone and Parker, because the filmmakers are contractually obligated to deliver an R film to the studio. In related news, Paramount announces that the film will be sneak-previewed for a one-day-only release in 800 US theaters on October 9, followed by its previously scheduled wide release on October 15.


Quoth the film's producer, Scott Rudin, in the LA Times:


"There's nothing we're asking for that hasn't appeared in other R-rated movies, and our characters are made of wood and have no genitalia. If the puppets did to each other what we show them doing, all they'd get is splinters," Rudin said.

Link to Guardian story, Link to LA Times (reg reqd).



(Thanks, Ernest Miller)


Update: Reuters reports that film has been granted an "R" rating by the MPAA, pending scene modifications. Link"



(Via Boing Boing.)