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June 30, 2000

The tendency to sneeze on

The tendency to sneeze on exposure to bright light is termed the "photic sneeze". It is a genetic character transmitted from one generation to the next and which affects between 18 and 35 per cent of the population. The sneeze occurs because the protective reflexes of the eyes (in this case on encountering bright light) and nose are closely linked. Likewise, when we sneeze our eyes close and also water. The photic sneeze is well-known as a hazard to pilots of combat planes, especially when they turn towards the Sun or are exposed to flares from anti-aircraft fire at night.
Aha! I knew I wasn't the only one to sneeze due to bright light.

So why didn't Icebox do

So why didn't Icebox do something really gutsy and similarly 'original' by calling this show 'Mr. Sambo'? Why not give their character old-time African American stereotypical facial features instead of Asian? Why not make Mr. Sambo a shuffling butler who worships his 'massa?' Why not have Mr. Sambo later get lynched when he kisses his pretty white 'massa?'
From a post on Icebox.com decrying the racist "Mr. Wong" cartoon which they refuse to kill. If you visit the site and don't like what you see, be sure to register a complaint through their feedback form. aOnline has been covering the cartoon and the criticism it has received.

BoyCaught suggests that the Black

BoyCaught suggests that the Black Peoples' Prison Survival Guide is defeatist, but I'd guess that for the tens of thousands of Black men in prison in the U.S., it might be worth a read. Of course, I'm not really in a position to judge, but the document srikes me as a Good Thing, all things considered.

From the Frugal/Mindful Living Resources

From the Frugal/Mindful Living Resources page: apartment gardening. The open directory has a category with more info which references container gardening and house plants as well.

June 29, 2000

Tip: if you get something

Tip: if you get something permanently inked into your skin in a language you can't read, be sure you know what it says.

The Grey Lady weighs in

The Grey Lady weighs in with her version of a weblog! I wonder if this will become a regular feature. Update: the fine folk at MetaFilter have pointed out that lists of links are "as old as the web" (thanks) and that the New York Times has been posting such lists for some time.

Fun with Flash: an exhibit

Fun with Flash: an exhibit of handheld paintings and a gallery of banner-ad art. The images at both sites are inspired, but don't forget that interface is art too.

I wonder if Bruce Tognazzini

I wonder if Bruce Tognazzini knows that, according to GirlHacker (whose site exemplifies that elusive symmetry of journal and links that I sometimes strive for), a company called Bluelinx is developing a technology, Q-Zone, which is intended to solve the problem he described in his essay "Cellphone Solution in Search of a Champion" of cellphones ringing in inappropriate places.

June 28, 2000

so i was like "hi,

so i was like "hi, this is Darcy from Kozmo.com and I am sorry but we are out of stock on Buttman's Anal Adventures" and the guy would be all "uh, yeah, i didn't order that, my roommate did" and i would be like "well, can I suggest Buttman in Budapest instead? we'll throw in a few hundred kozmo points good toward your next rental! thanks for using kozmo" it was humiliating!
From a discussion about crappy jobs at dot-coms on the Fucked Company discussion board.

The 3,000 year history of

The 3,000 year history of the soybean, again from Whole Earth. I've long been a fan of tofu and soymilk, but recently I've discovered how tasty the soybean itself is -- just boil it with salt. Delicious!

Like most migrant mushroom pickers,

Like most migrant mushroom pickers, Nancy has no bank account, no checkbook, no credit card. "In the last ten years I haven't taken a steady job once," she says with obvious pride. "It's pretty much been mushrooms and huckleberries."
Whole Earth takes a look at migrant mushroomers, who roam the west coast of the North American continent living by skills that have all but disappeared among modern humanity.

From the National Food Safety

From the National Food Safety Database: storage tips for the top-20 fruits and top-20 vegetables sold at supermarkets. With tips on picking ripe fruit, this one's going in my Palm for sure.

The other day as I

The other day as I was driving to work I noticed the big print on a historical marker I had never seen before: "Fairfax Nike Missile Site". Huh? Those words are accompanied by a whole paragraph of teeny text, so the next time I'm not late to work I'll pull over to read it and take a picture.

Macrumors.com has a link to

Macrumors.com has a link to a couple of pictures of Sony's new Palm-based PDA to be announced at this week's PC Expo. Palm Infocenter contributor Mike Cane filed a report from the expo covering many new Palm related products and announcements.

June 27, 2000

If a man is

Da Vinci's sketch of a parachute


If a man is provided with a length of gummed linen cloth with a length of 12 yards on each side and 12 yards high, he can jump from any great height whatsoever without injury.
Despite warnings that the canvas and wood parachute would collapse, Adrian Nicholas jumped from 10,000 feet yesterday to prove that Da Vinci's design was sound.

The next time you drop

The next time you drop a measuring spoon into your in-sink-erator, you'll sure be glad they have a Web site. We were about to give up on ever using our sink again before I learned I could fix it with a 1/4" allen wrench.

June 26, 2000

Although it may be unintentional,

Although it may be unintentional, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as they exist are really a fundamental form of institutionalized racism in a rather destructive and insidious format.
Dr. Milton Mills argues that recommending 2-3 servings of dairy products daily to millions of lactose intolerant people of color is not a good thing for the United States government to do. link swiped from the Daily Churn.

Last Friday's Weekend section of

Last Friday's Weekend section of the Washington Post featured DC hip-hop on the cover. It quotes a local artist speculating that the reason homegrown hip-hop hasn't taken off commercially is that "go-go is the music of this land... that's what gets support from the neighborhood kids." Since that's the case, why doesn't the Post cover the go-go scene?

June 25, 2000

IronChef.com has been reborn as

IronChef.com has been reborn as IronSteph.com, "An UNOFFICIAL Site of All Things Iron Chef". Yay! The Iron Chef world is gearing up for what promises to be an incredible show tonight when the chefs travel to New York City to battle with the Food Network's Bobby Flay. Time Out New York has a short interview with eccentric millionaire Chairman Kaga -- or, rather, with the actor who portrays him. The battle airs at 9pm EST for 2 hours, after which I will be logging on to FoodTV.com for a "tell-all" chat with Bobby Flay.

June 22, 2000

This illustrated procedure for disassembling

This illustrated procedure for disassembling a Magic 8-Ball
is fascinating. How many sides does the polyhedron inside have? How many positive and how many negative answers? And what does that blue fluid taste like? Find out all this and more...

June 21, 2000

I saw a woman get

I saw a woman get arrested at a Restoration Hardware in Palo Alto for yelling at some of the rich customers. She was yelling "You rich bitch!" and things like that. I thought, Here's real social resentment - here comes the revolution!
The Atlantic talks to David Brooks, author of Bobos in Paradise, which investigates the pressing question of "whether or not we've reached the end of history and it's all going to end in this tepid, boring, big kitchen."

June 20, 2000

Subvertise -- "this shared web-gallery

Subvertise -- "this shared web-gallery of radical arts exists to document, develop and promote the artform of the post-corporate millennium - subvertising. Whether you need outrageous illustrations for your campaign literature, graphics for understanding and explaining complex social issues, or inspiration for an action, this website is for you." If you like the idea, lean about ways you can help out.

indy Magazine turns out to

indy Magazine turns out to be the independent comic news/reviews Web site I've been looking for. Unfortunately they don't seem to review every issue of every independent comic that comes out every week -- even a review of every title would be nice -- including of course, all one-shots, compilations and the like. Am I asking too much? With sites like epinions and Amazon.com turning their users into content producers to provide multiple reviews of everything under the sun, I don't think so.

I'm sorry, but this is


I'm sorry, but this is hilarious.

Adrian Tomine's diaries read sort

Adrian Tomine's diaries read sort of like his comic, Optic Nerve. I've wondered since I was a kid exactly how comic pages were composed ("how do they know how big to make the word balloons?") and Marvel's How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way wasn't much help, but Tomine has sprinkled his diary with some glimpses into the method (and madness) of his process.

O'Reilly, known for publishing definitive

O'Reilly, known for publishing definitive books on a wide range of computing technologies, has released Mac OS in a Nutshell. The book is sure to appear on the bookshelf of "the Mac person" on whom you rely for troubleshooting and assistance -- so why not get a copy for yourself?

June 19, 2000

I was churned today by

I was churned today by the monkey fist, and all I got was a few new lousy friends. If you don't stop by the #mf channel (irc: monkeyfist.com:6667), you should at least take a gander at the Daily Churn now and then -- it's a log of links that come up in the irc chat. Imagine a random set of links filtered by a handful of uncommon minds -- there's no telling what will turn up, but it's certain to be interesting.

No Lye, No Soap! Can

No Lye, No Soap! Can not make soap without LYE!

Retrogression ("a journal of music

Retrogression ("a journal of music and revolution") is a great weblog. I'd add it to my list of daily reads, but it hasn't been updated since May.

Hober broadcasts from a geodesic

Hober broadcasts from a geodesic dome in the oak forest just outside Washington DC. There are some strict rules governing which music is aired on Hober. The music should be hand played, without augmentation. A Hober band is people who could walk up to each other with their instruments in the middle of a field and just play their stuff. Drums should be struck by the hand rather than a stick. Hober songs should be musical descendant of melodies and rhythms which people knew, remembered and passed down - before recording machines existed.
This is why I love Internet radio. I haven't listened to Hober yet, but I'm sure looking forward to it.

June 18, 2000

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a political prisoner

Mumia Abu-Jamal, a political prisoner on death row in Pennsylvania, gave this year's commencement address at Antioch College. You probably missed it today on C-Span at 4pm, but you can listen to it on the Internet (requires the free realplayer) thanks to c-span.org, where you can watch many other commencement speeches including Tom Wolfe's at Boston College, Oprah Winfrey's at Salem College, and George Plimpton's at Hampshire College.

metro nyc-ers (sorry sbomb, unless

metro nyc-ers (sorry sbomb, unless you wanna visit) i highly recommend the Universes' "Slanguage" show Friday, June 23rd, 7:30p @ P.S.122, part of The First NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival June 14-24. Universes is a hip hop spoken word collective whose opening sequence the first time I saw them two weeks ago started out, "We ain't come here to be your friend, we come to kick your ass" in 5 part harmony and beat box. If you're brave enough to withstand a hip hop education in poetry, get yourself to the show.

originally posted by hcog

June 17, 2000

"I hate Northern Virginia. .

"I hate Northern Virginia. . . . I thought, if I buy a boat, I can always move it."

Nader believes that it


Nader believes that it is "the contented classes" who need most to be aroused to indignation. The wealthy plutocrats? They are never going to join the revolution. But the top 10 percent, who live lives of comfort, who when the municipal water supplies become tainted, simply switch to Evian? When the public schools become monuments to failure, simply opt for private schools?
Well, it's not Evian, it's Brita, but I'm guilty as charged. The Washington Post speculates as to whether Nader's campaign will impact the Democrats or the Republicans more in this year's race. Nader says the parties are as different as tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, and I tend to agree. I think I could maybe get behind Ralph Nader for President.

Police said the officer thought

Police said the officer thought he saw a flash of metal, perhaps from the cellular telephone, wallet and keys that police said Buruca-Melgar was carrying in his hand.
Jose Buruca-Melgar was shot in the gut point blank with no warning from police, a witness says. The Prince George's County (MD) police are counting on the hope that no one in the DC area paid much attention to the details of the Amadou Diallo case -- Diallo was supposed to be pulling his wallet out of his pocket when four cops shot forty-one bullets at him in February of last year. Folks, they can only use these bullshit excuses for as long as we let them.

Sarah Duncan's What White People

Sarah Duncan's What White People Can Do About Racism is required reading. Exceptions will be made only for those who have already written at least 4000 words on the same or a similar topic.

June 16, 2000

It sounds real -- it

It sounds real -- it sounds like we used to. It sounds like a band. There was nobody there to say, 'Record this, don't record that, and add a keyboard there.' We didn't rehearse or play the songs to death before we recorded them, and that let us catch a freshness and energy level we've never really felt while making records.
Edie Brickell talks about the New Bohemians' new self-released live-to-tape the live montauk sessions in an interview with the Austin Chronicle. I wonder if there's any way I'd be able to make it to Vermont to see them perform at Ben and Jerry's One World One Heart Festival next weekend.

Pull your pants up, turn

Pull your pants up, turn your hat around, and get a job. This was the headline of an article about Napster which was posted to MetaFilter for discussion, and which struck me as rather fucked up. So of course, I said so -- and was quickly put in my place by a bunch of well-meaning (I continue to hope) MetaFilter users. Check out this thread to see how it went down. If you'd like to continue the discussion you can post a comment here.

One of the critical barriers

One of the critical barriers to building ever higher skyscrapers is elevator construction: Elevator passengers traveling hundreds of floors would experience inner-ear problems, from severe pain to broken ear drums.
You can browse the FEED City Issue on the Web, explore it with Flash, or just read it in rich text format; no matter how you approach it, it's a treat, featuring annotated Quicktime panoramas of six street scenes from around the globe, five examinations of ambitious projects that never were (such as Frank Lloyd Wright's mile-high skyscraper), five profiles of ambitious projects that are underway, and four essays on the theme.

June 15, 2000

Terrorism against the U.S. --

Terrorism against the U.S. -- which is already exceptionally unusual -- would be all but imperceptible if American foreign policy were just and humane. But there's the rub: foreign policy cannot be either just or humane as long as U.S. corporations and elites seek to maintain the U.S. Empire. In other words, if you want to reduce terrorism globally dismantle the American Empire!
Kendall of the monkeyfist collective examines the report of the National Commission on Terrorism and comes to a somewhat different conclusion. I couldn't resist giving away the punch line, but this is a really great analysis of a really terrifying document. Highly recommended.

June 14, 2000

NASA robot and intergalactic bounty


NASA robot and intergalactic bounty hunter: separated at birth?

Most people don't know that

Most people don't know that the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 guarantees that if you've held a job for at least one year and your company employs more than 50 people, you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year which you may use to care for a newborn child or a family member with a serious health condition. The FMLA further ensures that your position must be available to you when you return and that your medical coverage continues uninterrupted during the course of your leave. It's unfortunate that paid paternity leave isn't more common in the United States, but this law offers some assistance to fathers looking to stay home.

Mr. Valdés seems uncharacteristically thoughtful

Mr. Valdés seems uncharacteristically thoughtful when discussing his friend's life. His friend, he says, has chosen to live as a black man rather than as a Miami Cuban.

. . .

"He said that?" Mr. Ruiz asks, lifting his eyebrows. "I don't know why he would think that blacks are delinquents. I know he doesn't think that of me, and I'm black. I've always been black." A pause. He thinks some more. "He grew up with blacks," he says. "I don't understand it. Maybe something bad happened to him. I am sure he is talking about American blacks."
The New York Times' "How Race Is Lived in America" series starts with this profile of a black man and a white man who were best friends in Cuba but find that their new lives in Miami are circumscribed by the color of their skin.

You probably have not heard

You probably have not heard of the Beaver Trilogy. That's OK, I wouldn't have heard of it either if it weren't for my friend Ben. But it is truly great. If you love good things, I'll see you at The New York Video Festival.

June 12, 2000

Some compromises with authenticity must

Some compromises with authenticity must be made. Wallpaper paste used to be made with arsenic, and gardens fertilized with lethal pesticides. "We do not want the family to die," explains curator Daru Rooke.
The 1900 House, in which one family is picked to live in a house to find out what happens when people stop using deodorant and start wearing corsets, begins tonight on PBS in most areas.

If you've seen the movie

If you've seen the movie Fight Club, take a look again through BoyCaught's eyes.

June 9, 2000

I like this Gallery of

I like this Gallery of Visual Journal Entries very much. Before you peek at that last entry on the right, try your hand at this logic puzzle.

June 8, 2000

Who knew the first cyborg

Who knew the first cyborg would be a fish? This is crazier than cloning, and even that was something I didn't expect to see in my lifetime.

He leaned his shoulder against

He leaned his shoulder against a marble wall as he began to speak, his face so close to the cool surface he could have kissed it.
Society is struggling to make sense of the sight of people in public talking out loud to increasingly invisible telephones, according to the New York Times.

You know what I hate?

You know what I hate? Everything. This book is the newest addition to my list.

June 7, 2000

Pliny tells us that Cicero

Pliny tells us that Cicero asserts that the whole Iliad was written on a piece of parchment which might be put in(to) a nutshell. For more origins of words and phrases, check out the Internet Public Library's etymology pathfinder.

Scott McCloud's new book Reinventing

Scott McCloud's new book Reinventing Comics is available in comic stores today. If his previous book is any indication, this new one will belong on the shelves of everyone working in new media and anyone interested in information, art, design, or literature. After you've read the book, check McCloud's resources page in the next few weeks for online resources and expanded footnotes for Reinventing Comics.

Revealing Things was the first

Revealing Things was the first Smithsonian exhibit to be created specifically for the Internet (way back in 1998!) and it's very, very good. The interface is full of new ideas and old ones done right, and feels natural to use. The site incorporates Flash, frames, and Java seamlessly. Any one of these technologies done well is impressive. The sum of the parts works out to a fascinating meditation on objects, as the title suggests.

These puppets are lots of

These puppets are lots of fun.

A big role that this

A big role that this company is playing in this country is that of a massive school. This company teaches people about punctuality, about following procedures, about teamwork. That's the way I see it. Remember, this country comes from an agricultural base. If it's raining, nobody works. If it's windy, nobody works. If it's a cloudy or a dark day, that's the day you have to put the seed in the ground -- that's the day when people work. The other days, work is over by 10 AM, because the sun is too hot. We're going through a big change of that mentality, and that's what I consider this company -- a big school.
Grupo M manufactures clothes for Abercrombie 'n' Fitch, Hugo Boss, and Tommy Hilfiger, and is the largest private employer in the Dominican Republic. A Fast Company article suggests that rather than a sweatshop it's a model of social responsibility, worker empowerment, and indusry reform.

June 6, 2000

Today slashdot reports that Fuji

Today slashdot reports that Fuji Television, the creator of the best show on television, has issued cease and desist orders to all Iron Chef fansites requiring that they remove all Fuji-owned graphics and sound. Perhaps rather than writing angry letters to Fuji TV and threatening a boycott (as one slashdot reader suggested,) we should instead take a cue from Apogee and offer them a ride on the cluetrain, so to speak. Apogee Software (makers of the popular Duke Nukem games) has developed a license agreement laying out strict rules under which fan sites can use Apogee trademarks -- perhaps the slashdot reader remembers when this came up a few days ago. While the Apogee license in its current form is admittedly problematic, the concept seems pretty groundbreaking. Fuji doesn't need to issue a half-dozen cease and desist letters to protect its rights -- it can simply issue terms under which fan sites may or may not use Fuji property. Hopefully such terms would tend toward allowing fan sites the freedom to celebrate the show, while protecting the rights of the Fuji to conrol how those marks are used.

This situation reminds me of the best observation I heard about the whole Napster/Offspring situation -- if Napster were really cool, like Offspring had hoped, they would have sent Offspring a licensing agreement to sell their merchandise rather than a cease and desist.

June 5, 2000

‘Interactivity’ is one of those

‘Interactivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal tweezers, but the reason we suddenly need such a word is that during this century we have for the first time been dominated by non-interactive forms of entertainment: cinema, radio, recorded music and television. Before they came along all entertainment was interactive: theatre, music, sport — the performers and audience were there together, and even a respectfully silent audience exerted a powerful shaping presence on the unfolding of whatever drama they were there for. We didn’t need a special word for interactivity in the same way that we don’t (yet) need a special word for people with only one head.
This is why Douglas Adams rocks.

The refined debauchee shrinks before

The refined debauchee shrinks before the gastronomic libertinism of the Baptists. Pie, sensually crusted and voluptuously perfumed with cinnamon, is a devil's snare perfected by the Pilgrims. The Methodist tooth is fleshed daily in succulent pork and rare chines of beef. Young fowls are daintily fed and fattened, they are lured to the block by enticements of corn, they eat their way to death, and die below the axe, victims of the deceptive kindness of their masters. The full udders of cattle, themselves the fruit of bovine immortality, are robbed daily of their lactic treasure. Sunday, among the Methodists, after a formal propitiation of the Almighty in the morning, is given over to a Lucullan celebration of Ceres and Pomona. The fact that Bacchus is excluded from these orgies only serves to taint the ceremonies with a hint of perversion.
A version of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel is being republished as "O Lost," incorporating 60,000 words that Wolfe scholars have argued were erroneously cut. The Washington Post talks to one Wolfe expert who says that O Lost is not just a longer book than Look Homeward, Angel, but a fundamentally different book with a greater focus on American culture.

June 2, 2000

Taco Bell and Wendy's and

Taco Bell and Wendy's and Burger King are competing for the fastest fast food service; they've become so mechanized and controlling that they glue workers to spots in the assembly line, even requiring them to position their hands in particular ways to shave tenths of seconds from production time.

Dress it up any way you want, but that's fascism!
One thing about the monkeyfist collective, it's never afraid to speak it's mind.

The Offspring are selling Napster-branded

The Offspring are selling Napster-branded merchandise from their Web site. They don't have permission, and are keeping the profits for themselves. Their latest single may have been puerile reactionary trash, but this latest move is a stroke of genius. "It isn't about money," a source close to the band reveals to Rolling Stone. Apparently they think Napster's cool and want to see just how cool they really are.

At 5am South African time,

At 5am South African time, a bomb exploded in the coutyard outside Microsoft's offices in Johannesburg.

I walked up to the

I walked up to the driver's side of the car, to the driver's window, and I said, "May I help you?" The car was a dark colored big suburban, I think it was 4-door. There was a lady driving. She asked me if we, meaning Whitmore's [landscaping company], had put up a fence and I told her no. At that point she staretd to get extremely angry and she called me a "Fucking liar". She asked, "Who put up the fence?" and I said that I didn't know. She then started yelling, "All you Whitmore guys are fucking liars, you're all no good, the bunch of you". She was just screaming at me and yelling that "you and all your fucking illegal aliens are no good". She said she was going to call the police. I said go ahead. The whole time she was yelling at me, I said, "This is not really necessary to be talking like this and don't talk about my guys like that." I kept telling her, "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do about it". She said, "Don't you leave, I'm calling the police and you're going to take that fence down." At this point, she picked up her car phone. Right around that point, I realized that this person was Martha Stewart, who has a house next door. I recognized her from TV.
That's not all -- it gets better when Martha Stewart tries to crush this guy with her truck. thanks, boing boing.

June 1, 2000

Baudelaire was the first to

Baudelaire was the first to be given like tries to collect what there is "the poetic one in the history" and "of eternal in the transient." Charles Baudelaire is also that which knew to extract the beauty from the evil, it is to say that following Romantic, it opened the way of an esthetics of the suffering. The poet ran his chaotic experiment of the world in ideal worms of harmony and images where the blackest feelings become landscapes afflicted certainly, but also splendid. Baudelaire is well that which "has Petri of the mud and which in made gold."

Arthur Rimbaud, it is to him the fulgurance, the movement in what it has of more attractive. Rimbaud was still a child that already it dreamed to leave to the adventure, to invest new regions, always further; and it is what it did while travelling towards the most foreign countries which are in its Charleville native. It is also what Arthur Rimbaud did while creating of the poems where the words are not there any more to express with beauty the feelings of everyone, but where they have like role of, literally, to force the reader to invent new emotions.
Oh, fickle fish, grant me one wish: to understand what the hell this french Web site about Hugo, Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud is saying!

Did you always wonder how

Did you always wonder how the "Monster in the Popcorn" trick is done? Now you, too, can terrify small children and mortify adults with your odd predilection for jokes that no one but yourself find funny.

Cartoonist Keiron Dwyer was hit

Cartoonist Keiron Dwyer was hit with a lawsuit for this one. Fortunately, the court ruled that he can continue using the parodic logo, although he may not profit from it. His Web site is worth a look. Be sure to browse through the funny-as-hell pics section.