« November 2000 | Main | January 2001 »

December 31, 2000

A Christmas Wish by

A Christmas Wish

by Gilburton Frake

December 21, 1928

Remember just two months ago

Before the ice, before the snow,

When men still trod the verdant plains

And all our lives were baseball games?

Gone they are without much trace

An empty void, a hole in space

Here in my soul, here in my heart,

Torn from me, my better part

Now Christmas comes, a brief respite

From anguished nights of missing it

And I am asked "What sort of gift?

Could ever make your spirits lift?"

So, here is that which I most want:

Eliminate the next two months.

Make it so that Jan and Feb

From the calendar fore'er ebb

So when I awake on New Year's Day

Make the news that comes my way

Read like an order thus exhorting:

"Pitchers, catchers now reporting."

Make that no. 13. happy new year... love,

I need to learn how

I need to learn how to dance. Ideally I would learn in private, with no one watching, and also I'd like to get better at it just by thinking about it. Please post advice under the [discuss] section. Thanks!

I've been loving allaboutgeorge recently,

I've been loving allaboutgeorge recently, and the link about race in Hollywood is excellent reading.

December 30, 2000

I don't know anything about

I don't know anything about the poem or the author, but I used to really like Philip Larkin's "Next, Please."

From: jorn@mcs.comDate: Wednesday, April 5,

From: jorn@mcs.com
Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2000 5:27 AM
Subject: [weblogs] Weblogs as friendships?

Does anybody else _emotionally_ stop reading particular logs in exactly the way they break off friendships, when something offends them?
Not yet, Jorn, but I've come quite close to cutting your robotwisdom out of my rotation. After your recent display of anti-semitism (see 12.28 arblog and this Metafilter thread) I've lost all respect for you, if not for the quality of your links.

December 29, 2000

Great Western Forum to

Great Western Forum to be sold to church
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Great Western Forum, once home to the Los Angeles Lakers and their brand of Showtime basketball, is about to become one of the country's largest houses of worship.

Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood announced plans Thursday to buy the arena, and the $22.5 million deal was to close Friday.

"Jesus said, 'Do business until I return,' and that's our plan," said Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, who heads the 10,000-member church.

The Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings played at the Great Western Forum until moving last year to the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The 17,500-seat Forum will become the first and only multipurpose arena owned by blacks, said Craig Walker, a financial adviser to the church.

As many of you know,

As many of you know, we are entering a new era in which market conditions require Internet companies to focus on profitability.
Fucked Company sent out a hilarious year in review email today. I guess it's not posted on their web site, but you can go sign up for their newsletter yourself. Pud (Sud's cousin) is also collecting donations for the victims of the Edgewater killings.

December 28, 2000

Read this, this, this, and

Read this, this, this, and this, please.
Then go to vote.com and vote your conscience on the Leonard Peltier poll.

It took me 12 minutes

It took me 12 minutes and 8 seconds to find all six sets in the Set Daily Puzzle, which is entirely too long. Tomorrow I will take half that time. If your handheld runs PalmOS, download Grouper and charge those spare batteries!

Something's wrong with this picture.

Something's wrong with this picture.

Ten tips for becoming a

Ten tips for becoming a pro photojournalist

The Sim-Cam (best viewed with

The Sim-Cam (best viewed with Netscape Navigator Gold 2.0) is a great introduction to how aperture size and shutter speed affect exposure in photography.

I hope one day to

I hope one day to take photographs as well as Anton. For now, 3 tips: take pictures of everything you want; believe in yourself; do not care about others opinions.

Dancer in the Dark thoughts.

Dancer in the Dark thoughts.

Photo Essays at Impact Visuals:

Photo Essays at Impact Visuals: a photojournalism cooperative for social change.

A great photo happens when

A great photo happens when a photographer sees a situation unfolding in front of them that evokes an emotion that the photographer feels deep down, in the middle of their chest. And in a split second, they then make a conscious choice of exposure, lens, depth of field, lighting, body language, composition, etc., and release the shutter. The film is then processed, scanned, laid out on a page, printed on a press, driven across town to the newspaper carrier who throws it on some guy's porch, who then opens the newspaper and looks down at that photo… and if that guy gets the same feeling deep down in the middle of his chest that the photographer did when they viewed the situation in the first place, they have made a great photo.
From Photojournalism from the Soul, an essay by Nancy L. Ford.

December 27, 2000

If you're heading to DC

If you're heading to DC for I01/J20, be aware that this guy is not your friend.

I like bendypig so much,

I like bendypig so much, I think I'll call it "Kyosaku".

I am trying to use

I'm Changing the Climate -- ask me how!

I am trying to use ridicule and social embarrassment to change the habits of the American consumer. Increasing publicity will turn the SUV from a status trinket to the badge of shame that it is. In the old days society had a pillory to shame people out of anti-social behavior. Today we have the mighty bumper sticker.


1. I only tag the big ones. I tag in the affluent suburbs where they never get dirty or use the 4 wheel drive.

2. I don't tag commercial vehicles like contractors or any business affiliated vehicle.

3. I don't retag vehicles that I recognize as already tagged

4. I only tag late model vehicles, not some beat up old Suburban some poor soul has inherited.

5. I don't tag just because it's a four-wheel drive vehicle. Only the types that never use 'em (soccer mom's etc.).

That leaves 85%.

December 26, 2000

12 great dunks. I thought

12 great dunks. I thought #4 was unbeatable, but #1 is ridiculous as well.

I'm having trouble focusing today.

I'm having trouble focusing today. Help! The Willamette Week redesign is a vast improvement.

What a site! On the

What a site! On the web, monte carlo, random random, bias, fiction, and the supreme court.

Best flames sent to the

Best flames sent to the Register this year.

Habari gani? Umoja. If you're

Habari gani? Umoja. If you're looking for information on Kwanzaa, you can't go wrong with the Official Kwanzaa Website.

my christmas wishes, in order

my christmas wishes, in order of stream of consciousness not preference
1) no more drug posts on randomwalks
2) no more tom hanks movies, except BIG reruns.
3) um, world peace
4) I bought a *really* nice quality "screening copy" of Bring It On this week. Everyone should have this!
5) nice Herman Miller chairs for activists
6) a healthy baby Ian
7) 200 more strips
8) i'd like to touch my palms to the ground without bending my knees
9) another subway series
10) free mumia
11) shaq's free throw shooting to get worse, not better
12) more time for reading

that's all for now

December 25, 2000

From: Zadie Smith Subject: Hey

From: Zadie Smith

Subject: Hey you

Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 15:02:46

Dear McSweeney's,

I know the body of this letter is meant to include some left-field tale of the American workplace or an anecdote about Pollack, but in it's place, a short announcement:

Soon, I am going to publish a book of stories with McSweeney's publishers. It should of said that in the list of things the McSweeney's representative was listing, but for legal reasons and in fear of publisher headaches I did not let him list it in this list I've been talking about. This was sort of chickenshit of me. When I first met the McSweeney's Representative, we vowed we would be brave/strong/true and write more inner-voice-of-animals narratives, while sitting on those big inflatable balls (space hoppers?). Apart from the inflatables thing, I have failed. So here it is Mister Man, the announcement in black and white and everything. I figured, legally speaking, anyone could have sent this e-mail, right (see p.s.)?
that is all,

zadie smith.

p.s. poisoned pumpkin.

I can't explain it, but this letter that zs wrote to mcsweeney's makes me feel really connected to her somehow.

December 24, 2000

Drawing life to a close

Drawing life to a close with a transcendentally orgasmic bang, and not a pathetic and god-forsaken whimper, can turn dying into the culmination of one's existence rather than its present messy and protracted anti-climax.
When is it best to take crack cocaine?

December 23, 2000

Like all men of

Like all men of the Library, I have traveled in my youth; I have wandered in search of a book, perhaps the catalogue of catalogues; now that my eyes can hardly decipher what I write, I am preparing to die just a few leagues from the hexagon in which I was born. Once I am dead, there will be no lack of pious hands to throw me over the railing; my grave will be the fathomless air; my body will sink endlessly and decay and dissolve in the wind generated by the fall, which is infinite. I say that the Library is unending.
While updating the links to the left, I came across this online reprint of Jorge Luis Borges' wonderful short story "The Library of Babel." If you haven't read any Borges, this is a good place to start.

December 22, 2000

Shameless plug alert: over at

Shameless plug alert: over at randomWalks books we're discussing Zadie Smith's debut novel, White Teeth, and embarking on Lois-Ann Yamanaka's Blu's Hanging. Join the discussion (you need an invitation) or just hang out.

I was surprised to see

I was surprised to see the degree to which children's television exists to sell toys to children. When you have the attention of that many kids there's a lot of good you can do that doesn't involve the selling of products. But I always got upset when we got more press for the amount of toys that we have for sale as opposed to the educational value of the show. The one thing I was never comfortable with being the host of 'Blue's Clues' is that television in general has too much influence on children. With Blue's Clues we did everything we could to get the kids' attention, and I always felt that was a tremendous amount of responsibility. Luckily we were always so careful that our content is always good.
I always knew the Blue's Clues dude was cool. We'll miss you Steve.

If a Black Santa can

If a Black Santa can cause this much trouble ("last year there was a dark-complexioned black Santa, and most of the white families got out of line"), imagine a Black Jesus!

Baseball in a new light.

Baseball in a new light. Go Dharma Beats!

originally posted by zagg

the aaww would be my

the aaww would be my preference, but they are out of it right now, so powell's is second best. if we CAN order copies from aaww, we should.

December 21, 2000

If you're planning to buy

If you're planning to buy a copy of Blu's Hanging, be sure to get it from the Asian American Writers' Workshop.

The book is: Blu's Hanging.

The book is: Blu's Hanging.

Jack Herer for Agriculture, John

Jack Herer for Agriculture, John Sellers for Defense, Bill Nye in Education -- this cabinet has my support.

Yes, nice point hcog. The

Yes, nice point hcog. The next book is on the way soon, I promise!

Sportswriting can be enlightening and

Sportswriting can be enlightening and satisfying. I promise! The most recent example is Thomas Boswell's column about why the Redskins and their racist nickname suck.

CMJ presents Smashing Peanuts in

CMJ presents Smashing Peanuts in "A Billy Corgan Christmas".

Among animal cases received recently

Among animal cases received recently by the Animal Control Division of the Fairfax County Police Department:

Fair Oaks District, Centreville Rd., 2300 block, Dec. 7. Animal control was called about a squirrel running inside a residence. When an animal control officer saw the squirrel, it jumped into an open baby grand piano. After the officer started playing the song "All I Want" by the group Toad the Wet Sprocket, the squirrel jumped out of the piano and onto curtains, damaging them. The squirrel then jumped onto the officer's head and pounced onto a couch, where the officer was able to catch it. The officer released the animal outside. Neither the squirrel nor the officer was injured.
The rest of today's Fairfax Weekly Animal Watch isn't quite as interesting.

originally posted by hcog

originally posted by hcog

Ralph Nader Lashes Back

Ralph Nader Lashes Back

originally posted by hcog

She is wearing a baby

She is wearing a baby blue sweat shirt with tiny pink flowers. She is not wearing a coat despite the strong winter chill. She holds her own bag of gasoline, a black one, wrapping the plastic around her bleeding lips and nose. The bag swells and sinks, rising and falling. She holds it as if she were blowing up a party balloon. She giggles. She stumbles. She is 10.
High on Gas and Out of Hope is a devastating story about gasoline addiction among Innu (native Canadian) children.

December 20, 2000

Hey, guy: saw your fucking

Hey, guy: saw your fucking Jolly Green Giant tee shirt--Ralph the Fake. Thanks. With support from you guys we put The chief into the White House. Now we are going to name 3 or more Supremes and get rid of fuckin gRoe shit and kick the asshole teachers' union to hell and fuck over your social socialitic security and make this one big fucking military camp that will make imperial Rome look small potatoes...again, thanks. Without you and yours, who knows, Gore won but we still lgot in but withoutt you guys he might have really wond!
People ask me why I do randomWalks -- I do it for the person who sent this (anonymous) email. Every post I post is for you. I love you.

Feminist heroes of Hannukah.

Feminist heroes of Hannukah.

Nice article on low power

Nice article on low power radio over at /.

A funny thing happened to

A funny thing happened to me on the way to randomWalks this morning. I opened up an email from Southwest Airlines that said "Florida is on sale!" And I thought to myself, "Yeah no joke!"

This is fantastic! Today borrowed

This is fantastic! Today borrowed blogs borrowed my blogjam blog about Random Walks borrowing my blog about borrowed blogs borrowing my blog from borrowed blogs! Or something. I feel giddy, and just a trifle sick.
borrowed from blogjam

December 19, 2000

Every so often it's fun

Every so often it's fun to play Guess the Evil Dictator/Sit-Com Character as yourself and see what it comes up with. Just now I was pleased to discover that (apparently due to the birth of my son and my move out of New York) I'm a close match for Mork from Mork and Mindy.

Today I'm watching two webcams

Today I'm watching two webcams to see stuff blow up. The Hoan Bridge Camera is pointing at a condemned bridge in Milwaukee that's scheduled for demolition, and the Popo volcano webcam is showing a column of smoke (and ash?) rising as high again as the recently-erupted Popocatepetl in Mexico. thanks to lake effect and robotwisdom for the links.

In the Beginning was the

In the Beginning was the Command Line is a short book by Neal Stephenson that's available for download. It considers the evolution of operating systems over the years and is a great read for anyone who wants to know why computers are so damn hard to use and why that's a good thing. Or something. It's free. Read it.
This was the first post to randomWalks, made one year ago. Check out the rest of the first edition here.

I created randomWalks mostly as an excuse to post my links open windows code and expose once and for all my sloppy design skills so that people would quit expecting better things from me. I've had a lot of fun working on it and I hope the dozen+ people I've roped into posting take some pleasure in it too. The most interesting thing I've discovered about myself through rW is that I do a better job keeping the site up when I have steady work -- who would have guessed? Whether that's because applying myself to work inspires me to apply myself to other things, or because I'm being paid ungodly amounts of money to surf the web all day is unclear; further experimentation will be required.

What other trivia can I bore you with on this momentous occasion? In case you haven't noticed (I sometimes forget myself) there's now a parallel blog called randomWalks discourse which was conceived in a fit of confusion but has evolved into a more causal place to stick all kinds of links, comments, snide remarks, untruths about people's mothers, etc which would be out of place on rW proper. I've also invited anyone who's expressed interest in rW to join the fun by posting to rW discourse. If you'd like an invitation, it's yours for the asking. I've also signed up with BlogVoices which lets us have a discussion thread tied to each post here on rW -- the little [discuss] links at the end of each post will pop up a window where you can read comments or add your own.

I'll be re-posting some more of rW's greatest hits from time to time. I'll give a special bonus prize to the first person who identifies each undisclosed re-post as such (rW posters and their immediate family not eligible for special bonus prizes).

December 18, 2000

FBI marched to the White

FBI marched to the White House to keep Leonard Peltier in prison.

originally posted by tragicM

That's a really good point,

That's a really good point, hcog -- I hadn't thought of it. Archie's ambiguous role suggests that if we're going to refuse to engineer humanity to march toward any given goal, if we're going to deny determinism (as I think Smith would have us do), we necessarily have to leave the door open to the proliferation of evil. An idea which raises a whole host of other sticky questions. Does the book point to any more responsible way to behave? Because it's a comedy, it's so short of model characters.

I just finished Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase. Good, but not his best. A bit slow, too. Now I'm reading Lorrie Moore, who is just so good. I just started Birds of America. Man, if I hadn't already read her novel Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, I'd pick it the next time my turn rolls around...

I just picked a book, so I'm not again. DJ? Lay one on us. (One!)

December 17, 2000

Get ready to play Name

Get ready to play Name that Candybar, a.k.a. Twelve Things I May Never Eat Again.

United Skates of America is

United Skates of America is a photo essay on New Jersey roller-skating rinks 1976-1979.

W.E.B. Du Bois, one of

W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the great intellectuals of American society, wrote that white people are rewarded for their support of a system that largely does not benefit them - in terms of how much power and wealth is concentrated into the hands of the few. He called this reward, the "psychological wages of whiteness". The ability of white people to think of themselves as better than Black folks, regardless of how poor they are, how many hours they have to work, how their labor makes someone else rich. "I might be poor, but at least I'm not a nigger" is how white identity helps shape a horribly disfigured humanity of hierarchy and punishment in the service of power and wealth. If white people are to work for an end to racial injustice then we must come to understand how the psychological wages of whiteness have (mis)shaped our identity and (de)formed our consciousness. Until white people confront their internalized superiority, the dynamics of racism will be reproduced unconsciously. Becoming conscious of how race operates, one will still make many mistakes and reproduce racism, but at least we can work to undo this and undermine this dynamic. Furthermore, when the internalized impact of white supremacy - of (un)consciously believing that white people are simply better - is confronted by white people, then as bell hooks suggests, new identities can be shaped and we can work to define our own reality.
That's one to grow on, excerpted from White Supremacy on My Mind: Learning to Undermine Racism by Chris Crass.

"Usually, if you wait long

"Usually, if you wait long enough, someone will ask your question," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas explained. How can the only black judge on the court really believe that?
Clarence Thomas may not have any questions, but Courtland Milloy does.

December 16, 2000

Patricia Smith, my favorite poet

Patricia Smith, my favorite poet from when i went to spokenword openmikes and poetry slams in Boston in the early 90s.

originally posted by hcog

I've always liked Maggie Estep,

I've always liked Maggie Estep, with some reservations. I really like her web page, though.

Thinking about the anti-deterministic bent

Thinking about the anti-deterministic bent of WT, I got to thinking about actors--that bloodyeye doctor and Marcus can be seen as two evil power brokers of the world, but look who lets the doctor live (albeit backasswards) and who lets the symbol of their control over human life escape? Everyman, Every-Homer, Archie. And the cause of both of these actions could be seen as Archie's blind, instinctual, emotional desire to "save a human life." Anti-deterministic in the happenstance, but deterministic in a who-took-the-pratfall kind of way. Or maybe, stupid humans and their dumb desire to live and make sure others keep doing so keep mucking up the workings of evil. Not by any direct planning, organization, or intent, but by acting on instinct, emotion.
I wish Irie was in there more. Her part was wasted, I think.

Just read A Separate Peace. Good fast read. Have we picked the next book yet? I've heard Orientalism, Mumbo Jumbo, I've suggested Gilroy's latest, we bantered around White Noise or some other Delillo...I've got a couple 5 hour plane rides coming up. I'd love to have something soon. And I'd rather not pick...!

originally posted by hcog

My hair was growin too

My hair was growin too long, so I got me a fade
and when my dishes got dirty, I got Cascade
when the weather was hot, I got a spot in the shade
I'm wise because I rise to the top of my grade
wanted peace on Earth, so to God I prayed
Some kids across town thought I was afraid
they couldn't harm me--
I got the army brigade
I'm not a trader
if what you got is greater I'll trade
but maybe later cuz my waiter made potato -n- alligator souflee--
I got it made

December 15, 2000

Good digital photography website. thanks,

Good digital photography website. thanks, brainlog.

You should be printing these

I am the Boss of You!
You should be printing these posters

Video Backpacker: To me, my

Video Backpacker: To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and... Well, I have no reference to it now. I can't put it on pause. I can't put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn't look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn't adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn't right. And I didn't even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part.
This line from Richard Linklater's 1991 film Slacker sounded rather benignly absurd at the time, but I find myself coming closer and closer to not just understanding this perspective but assuming it. If you haven't yet got a TiVo, be warned -- it heralds a deep revolution in perception.

After a few days with the service, it felt completely natural to pause and rewind live TV. Fine, good -- that's what it's for. But I soon found myself expecting to have that kind of control over more than just TV. On the commute home when I'd realize I missed the beginning of a good story on All Things Considered, I found myself reaching for a rewind knob on my radio (and why not?) The weirdest moment came a couple weeks ago when I was on the phone with my dad. I noticed I'd tuned him out in favor of the latest slashdot headlines, and for just an instant, I fully intended to back up a few moments and listen again to what he had been saying. I was absolutely certain this was possible. My mind reflexively told my body to make it so, but my body couldn't find a rewind button. Now, come to think of it, a telephone handset sure could have one -- but I wasn't looking for it on the telephone. I was looking for it in my brain. I want a TiVo in my head.

I should emphasize that it's not the technology that's remarkable to me. The technology is merely cool, and ultimately sort of obvious in the way all great inventions are. What's remarkable is how quickly and deeply I've integrated the notion that something which for my whole life moved in one direction past me, like a river or the wind, suddenly has form -- I can reverse it, repeat, duplicate, expand or compress it. I pull it it stretches; I snap it it breaks. About the only thing unique about Silly Putty now is that it bounces.

Clearly a wearable TiVo is not too far off -- it will probably look like a pair of sunglasses and a walkman. As best I can tell, it's only a matter of time before I do have control over pretty much everything I see or hear.

Somehow within the last 12

Somehow within the last 12 months it seems that nearly everyone I know has obtained a copy of Real Vegetarian Thai -- though I don't think anyone has actually tried a recipe from it yet. Have you used it?

As I sit and

As I sit and look out my window, I try to imagine the wonderful images of America shown to me by children's books, the "promised land," the America of Neil Diamond. Sadly, though, something is very, very wrong.
Happy 26th birthday to this secret, suffering man. Nice shirt, dude!

December 14, 2000

I am Curry. A slim

I am Curry. A slim and handsome race car driver. Here are some FAST and BASIC facts about me!!!

More information on that Ulysses

More information on that Ulysses chapter.

"I always thought Satan would

"I always thought Satan would be a Republican..."

Why Chief Justice Rehnquist sucks.

Why Chief Justice Rehnquist sucks.

Also, Protest the Presidential Inauguration. The Police are getting ready. For NYers and for DCers.

originally posted by zagg

The world's largest river by

The world's largest river by volume, drainage basin, number of tributaries, and possibly length begins "high in the Peruvian Andes as a thin sheet of crystal water flowing down the side of a rock wall". A spot on a slope of Nevado Mismi meets both definitions of the source of the Amazon, being the furthest point in the watershed from which water flows continuously as well as the furthest point from which water could possibly flow into the ocean. A five-nation National Geographic Society expedition pinpointed the source of the Amazon using GPS technology.

The United States Department of

The United States Department of State's handy guide to renunciation of U.S. citizenship, for babygrrl and for future reference. (Print it out and keep it in your pocket!)

Since I'm Japanese, and Japan

Since I'm Japanese, and Japan experienced the nuclear bomb, I feel a need to address this. So there's news footage from the actual nuclear bombing in the game, showing what happened, and what's happening with the anti-nuclear-weapons movement today is worked in, too. That way people can learn about these issues -- even if just a little -- while they are playing the game.
FEED talks with Hideo Kojima, creator of Metal Gear Solid.

probably gone temporary public art

probably gone temporary public art lives on(line) collaboration by Seyed Alavi, Precita Eyes Urban Youth Arts Program, and master muralist Estria

originally posted by hcog

December 13, 2000

He writes best about damaged,

He writes best about damaged, dark and dangerous women: in this book, the superbly brittle and edgy Rosa Dartle; elsewhere, the majestically embittered Edith Dombey, Estella, the conscience-stricken mantrap in "Great Expectations," and Miss Wade, the paranoiac crypto-lesbian in "Little Dorrit." I don't imagine I want to know why. Nor does it help, really, to learn that while the empty-headed, increasingly burdensome Dora is obligingly, even gladly, dying so David can marry Agnes, his ideal helpmeet, Dickens was regretting his own early and ill-judged marriage -- and naming his newborn daughter Dora, after the supposedly lovable character he was about to kill off. Okay, we always knew something was fishy. Now that we know more or less what, it's still fishy.
From a snappy essay on Dickens' David Copperfield, excerpted from the intro to the recent Modern Library edition.

December 12, 2000

I take a PILL-tiddley

I take a
PILL-tiddley pom
It keeps me
STILL-tiddley pom,
It keeps me
STILL-tiddley pom

Given his coexisting ADHD and OCD, we question whether Pooh may over time present with Tourette's syndrome. Pooh is also clearly described as having Very Little Brain. The cause of Pooh's poor brain growth may be found in the stories themselves. Early on we see Pooh being dragged downstairs bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head. Could his later cognitive struggles be the result of a type of Shaken Bear Syndrome?
Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne

Michael Moore is back too.

Michael Moore is back too.

i really like 12/11/1993 (see

i really like 12/11/1993 (see my previous post)

originally posted by oldwabbles

9/1/1989: Baseball commissioner Giamatti dies

9/1/1989: Baseball commissioner Giamatti dies in office.

9/30/1989: I attend a taping of "The Dr. Fad Show."

4/22/1990: At Grandmom Betty's birthday party, Richard and I tape family members appearing in a game show. Grandmom Betty gets the first question wrong.

5/8/1990: Paul Lindenmaier's class performs its play, "Annie."

6/28/1990: I listen to "Kid's Corner" for the first time. Mike Weilbacher is on in the first half, and the CompuDudes are on in the second half. "U Can't Touch This" beats "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in the music challenge.

7/11/1990: "Under the Sea" beats "Turtle Power" in the "Kid's Corner" music challenge.

8/2/1990: Iraq invades Kuwait.

a boy sat down and listed all of the dates he had memorized. some are really good, others are baseball / history which is also good but impress far less.

originally posted by oldwabbles

Sotheby's will auction off a

Sotheby's will auction off a handwritten manuscript of the "Circe" chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses, reports the New York Times.

The FEED special issue on

The FEED special issue on drugs features a story on less well-known psychedelic compounds in which the author talks to Sasha Shulgin (PiHKAL and TiHKAL) and to Vaults of Erowid webmaster Earth, as well as a story on underground psychedelic psychotherapy sessions.

December 11, 2000

To say it in Mad

To say it in Mad Ape Den is to say it in one, in two, or in one and two (as I do now), but not in two and two and so on.

If Mad Ape Den has you raw and sad, try the new Van -- it's fun! But is a Mad Ape Den Van to be had?

And if you can do one and one and two, you can see why Al has e be mc2 (for if you sit or if you go -- tug or no -- the sun is red as Al's say so).

But for a far-out irk, try to say it and not use "e"!

nomoreprisons.net, after an epic struggle

nomoreprisons.net, after an epic struggle with a bunch of incompetent assholes is back up. Expect a major update later today.

For now, check out the t-shirts available.

The remarkable thing is that

The remarkable thing is that via the Internet, gay teenagers are now able to partake of the normal Sturm und Drang of adolescent life, which before was largely off limits to them. "Now that we have youth who are coming out during adolescence, that means they can experience the normal developmental milestones in time as opposed to off-time," says Caitlin Ryan. "If you have to delay being an adolescent until later in life, I don't think it's a healthy thing."
In The New York Times Magazine: Lonely Gay Teen Seeking Same

December 10, 2000



December 8, 2000

Next time you're in Washington,

Next time you're in Washington, D.C., forget the Smithsonian -- go to the Squished Penny Museum!

avoid amazon, barnes&noble, et al:

avoid amazon, barnes&noble, et al: buy on-line through a unionized bookstore --which claims to be "the largest independent new and used bookstore in the country." entering the bookstore site through the union site below gives 10% of your purchase to the employees directly.

"This profit sharing agreement, which we bargained for, replaces a defunct one controlled by management. None of the profit sharing funds go to the union, but are distributed quarterly and equally among employees."

originally posted by hcog

The funny thing is, no

The funny thing is, no adults ever suspected who this strange bearded man was. But the children, with their extra intuition, knew right away. Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, I would find myself trailed by eight or nine children by my second round of the shopping mall. They would follow and whisper and giggle, but they wouldn't reveal my secret to their parents. They were my little aides.

I know two mean, unenlightening posts in a row is lame, but this quote is toooooooo much.

December 7, 2000

Last night on TNT, EJ

Last night on TNT, EJ asked Kenny Smith why he nicknamed Tracy McGrady "T-Peso". Kenny’s response: "Well he’s got a lot of dough, and he plays in Orlando - down there near Mexico." UNC must be so proud.

December 6, 2000

Athletics are often overlooked at

Athletics are often overlooked at the best college in the country. But check the facts: Mr. Heisman, the namesake of College Football's most coveted trophy, graduated from Oberlin. More recently, OC Football set a record for the most consecutive losses. Moses Fleetwood Walker, the first first Black baseball player, was a star for Oberlin's varsity Baseball team. More recently, Oberlin baseball invented the 'flytrap' defense and set a record for fewest extra base hits allowed in a season (they used 4 outfielders.[actually 5 -ed]) The swim team is bananas, and I played about 8 afternoons of intramural softball. We also have the first openly gay athletic director. (remind me to send Ian a class of 2022 sweatshirt)

Ha! I found my favorite

Ha! I found my favorite commercial ever online. You probably liked the "How Many Licks?" one better, though.
Too bad they're not vegan.

First off, a further observation

First off, a further observation about Archie's role in the finale. Emily, my wife, read White Teeth and loved it, but she doesn't have the time to post here. Last night, I asked her about the Archie question, and she had some great insight to it, which I'm going to try to reproduce here. But I'll probably fail. The book opens with Archie trying to kill himself, but he's saved by the halal butcher, who actually isn't trying to save him at all. In that case, the butcher saving Archie is an example of Britain's changing, increasingly multi-racial culture rescuing someone of the "old guard." The ending is the inverse, with Archie making a save for the culture. Both times, though, go off mostly by happenstance -- which reinforces the anti-deterministic streak of the book.

I definitely think White Teeth was supposed to be more about a series of conflicts and contrasts--fate v. coincidence, present v. past, generations v. each other, determinism v. chaos--than it was supposed to be about people's lives. I think it primarily explored how those conflicts shape lives. Not vice versa. I've read many other books that deal much more with character first, "ideas" second. Smith's priorities are pretty clear to me. I think you're measuring it with the wrong yardstick.

But writing primarily about the conflicts I listed does not mean that you're writing about nothing "anchored in reality," as you put it. Those conflicts and contrasts are just as "real" as a person, especially in what is, after all, a work of fiction, not a documentary account of real events.

How is it racist to call a Chinese burn a Chinese burn? I'm not familiar with the etymology there.

Well, you can pick two books if you want, but I just thought in the interest of variety we should just let each participant pick one book at a time, rather than letting someone hold us hostage to their tastes for a disproportionate amount of time. : ) Why don't you just name us one book to start with, at least? Whatever it is, it'll have to wait until I finish the Haruki Murakami book I'm reading right now.

lots of spoilers againWell, mj.

lots of spoilers again

Well, mj. The book wasn't really about IDEAS per se, I thought it was supposed to be about people's lives. And of course I think it fell way short of that. So if you lower your the bar and say this isn't about anything anchored in reality - really it's just an IDEA I had about people's lives in reality, then sure, the ending is fine.

The reemergence of the Nazi doctor was pretty forewarned I thought. As I was approaching the end of the book I was wondering when it was going to come out that Archie had shot himself in the leg, since that was Archie's major unresolved detail. Every character had one and exactly one of those hanging strands, which makes it all the the more unsatisfying that Smith didn't resolve them. The set up was so stilted and awkward, and a good ending would have earned her some forgiveness.

Whether or not Archie allowed the mouse to escape or it was an accident, the point of the novel was you can't control anybody or anything by brute force. I think because he had not allowed himself to get swept up into an issue or identity he was the perfect actor in this episode, it was just one more layer of Irony in Smith's resolution.

That burn is when you take someone's fore arm and move one hand one way and the other hand the other.

I don't see why we can't read two books, since they would balance each other out. It's not fair to read just one, but If I had to pick one I'd pick Arab and Jew since Ben has my copy of Orientalism (I think). I'm also reading Mumbo Jumbo, so that would be convenient as well. Or anything else. We should all read a cookbook and then right a log of our meals.

here are some critics I

here are some critics I agree with:

Zadie Smith is skilled at producing these little vignettes with their sharp, often ironic and poignant, observations. In fact, it is the actual writing that is her great strength and weakness. White Teeth is a slick affair. Zadie Smith’s sentences are taut, winding things, filled with cleverness. But it’s an exaggerated style that reads stunningly for the first chapter and becomes annoying every page thereafter. The constant need to be witty is shortchanged for thoughtfulness. And vital though it maybe, there is a heartlessness about the linguistic virtuosity and wordplay. For all its magic, the prose is hacky and it seems to prevent Zadie Smith from telling her story.


also here and i like this interview a lot:

"Do you go to Don DeLillo and say, `He doesn't represent middle-class white people enough'?'' she asks. "No. You give him complete freedom. Why would you limit writers of any ethnicity or gender to be a sex or class politician and give freedom to white writers to write about absolutely anybody?''

December 5, 2000

You think the fiction of

You think the fiction of Hollywood has to be exaggerated, and it's just not. I was shocked. I always thought there were really smart people working in Hollywood who were just really cynical, and they knew that the movies they were making were not that good, and they were doing it because they tested well. But mostly it's a very middlebrow to lowbrow kind of town. And they're making films that they approve of.
Daniel Clowes' Ghost World is in print as a comic and in production as a film.

Are Simpsons fans lurking? What

Are Simpsons fans lurking? What Metafilter readers haven't noted yet about last Sunday's The Simpsons is that it spoofed The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan starred as Number 6. Ordinarily you'd find such info at The Simpsons Archive, but this episode's not up yet.

originally posted by jdavis

I was getting pretty bored

I was getting pretty bored at work until I accidentally found the Misheard Lyrics page. I'm not the only one who was confused by the lyrics to this Manfred Mann song.

dj, point by point:1. Did

dj, point by point:

1. Did the ending suck? I think it was heavy-handed, yes. But c'mon, it wasn't THAT bad. For a book that's primarily about ideas, it was actually something of a triumph in my view to make a standoff between ideologues suspenseful. Maybe you didn't feel this way, but I actually was somewhere close to the edge of my seat if not actually on it wondering who would prevail and how -- and I never expected the, uh, resurfacing of a certain character from Archie's past. (I'm trying not to spoil anything for anyone here. Let me know if I can.)

1a. Why did Archie allow the mouse to escape? I'd rephrase this as: why did Archie take the hit and accidentally let the mouse escape? (that's what happened, right? I'll admit my memory is a little foggy.) IMO, Archie turned out to be the key figure in the book's resolution because he was the only one at the event who could act from the heart, without ideological complications. When he did what he did, he wasn't thinking about KEVIN, FATE, the future of genetic science, and all that. He was acting impulsively. Now, what's I'm less certain of is if we should feel good about him for that. I found him a likeable character, but "is it good for society" (sometimes such a yawner of a question) for someone to accidentally do good out of ignorance? Because I think that's basically what he did.

2. I still don't know what an Indian or a Chinese burn is.

3. I don't think White Teeth was mediocre. It rates higher than that.

4. I found Irie's sudden shagfest a little bit of a stretch, too.

5. Joyce's redeeming value was that she was an unwitting illustration of the book's overall theme, i.e., that no one should presume that they can engineer either diversity or a lack of diversity. Smith makes us laugh at Joyce's tokenism, and I think by doing that she adds another dimension to her critique. If there weren't a Joyce character, we could come away from the book thinking that tokenistic, patronizing behavior like Joyce's is acceptable, or we might even think that our (or Britain's) society needs MORE of it. See what I'm saying? In White Teeth, Joyce is a comic character. But in real life, she could be a lot more damaging.

6. I don't know what we're reading next. Whoever wants to pick it should go ahead -- I had my turn. But no picking two books.

lots of spoilersI finished White

lots of spoilers
I finished White teeth last night. I was almost done with it about ten days ago, but between 14 hour work days and everyone telling me how much the ending sucked i couldn't finish it. so i broke down last night and knocked out the last 40 pages and did that ending suck! I liked this book, but I really don't understand the fuss. It's mediocre at best.
Zadie Smith is becoming sort of a cult figure, I guess, and in a weird way I can't wait for her next book. My friend Sarah pointed out that it's neat she's our peer, and i think that explains my enthusiasm.
Didn't you all call Chinese Burns, Indian Burns? Perhaps Zadie Smith is trying to make the point that worrying about terms like that is a small issue compared with the bigger issues we all deal with?
And I thought the male characters were all overloaded with personality while the female characters were relatively light. Irie had the most potential I thought, but it ended up being completely unrealized. And when did Alsana and Claire become friends? It is completely unclear. and WHY did irie go crazy and start shagging away? I don't think Joyce was that well written. I think it's easy to make someone a caricature like that. I would have enjoyed it more if there was SOME redeeming value in her role.
Zadie said oops, I only have 30 pages left, I better jump from m to z.
The mouse escaping the Chalfen is clearly a statement that no one can control our perceptions of past (tense.) and future (perfect?) but why was Archie the enabler for the mouse to escape? That doesn't make sense. And we didn't get to see the confrontation between FATE and Marcus, or FATE and KEVIN, or FATE and KEVIN and the JWs and Marcus. That was very unsatisfying. What are we reading next? I think we should read both Orientalism and Buber's Arab and Jew.

WFMU is running a 128k

WFMU is running a 128k stereo broadband MP3 stream. Check it out if you're connected at 156k or higher. Good stuff.

December 4, 2000

I got points for three

I got points for three Fucked Companies today. Check it out and then [discuss] pud's take on unionizing Amazon.

Imagine a city designed based

Imagine a city designed based on the principle of justice for all. That's roughly what Curitiba, Brazil is.

Curitiba's citizens separate their trash into just two categories, organic and inorganic, for pick-up by two kinds of trucks. Poor families in squatter settlements that are unreachable by trucks bring their trash bags to neighbourhood centres, where they can exchange them for bus tickets or for eggs, milk, oranges and potatoes, all bought from outlying farms.

Check out these pages, just for starters.
Global Ideas Bank . Dismantle . Buses . Sustainable

originally posted by zagg

Dr Daniel Levin, a psychologist

Dr Daniel Levin, a psychologist at Kent State University in Ohio, said the inability to recognise faces of people from another race is usually explained by saying that people have less experience of seeing them. His study shows the problem is not that we cannot identify the details, it is that we don't pay attention to them.
The gently-worded wire story goes on to suggest that whites do significantly worse at recognition than Blacks (it's unfortunate that other groups don't seem to have been included). This is the psychology of racism folks -- do you recognize yourself in this story? Dr. Levin has published a page summarizing his face categories research.

Corners on the Curving Sky

Corners on the Curving Sky by Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Our earth is round, and, among other things

That means that you and I can hold

completely different

Points of view and both be right.

The difference of our positions will show

Stars in your window. I cannot even imagine.

Your sky may burn with light,

While mine, at the same moment,

Spreads beautiful to darkness.

Still, we must choose how we separately corner

The circling universe of our experience

Once chosen, our cornering will determine

The message of any star and darkness we


December 2, 2000

A: "the sound of 20

A: "the sound of 20 erasers rubbing against paper"

Q: What is a typical art class response when a male model gets an

How sexy can a woman

How sexy can a woman be if she hates her body? She can act sexy, but can she feel sexy? How fully can she surrender to passion if she is worried that her thighs are too heavy or her stomach too round, if she can't bear to be seen in the light, or if she doesn't like the fragrance of her own genitals?
Media activist Jean Kilbourne explains the psychopathology of advertising.

December 1, 2000

randomWalks is observing A Day

a day with(out) weblogsrandomWalks is observing A Day With(out) Weblogs today.

Please make an appointment today to get tested for HIV if you're not sure of your status. Make an effort to bring a friend along -- you'll both be glad you did.