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May 31, 2001

When I finally came in,

When I finally came in, Debbie was home from work. I told her everything about my dinner with Andre.
Annotations: the Findhorn Foundation, The Little Prince and the taming of the fox, and see also meet Martin Buber.

The camera has shaped all

The camera has shaped all of our sensibilities. Sympathetic to a pagan rather than a Christian appreciation of the world, the camera sees but doesn't think; it cares only for the sensation of the moment, for any tide of emotion strong enough to draw a paying crowd. A plane crash in the mountains of Peru commands the same slack-jawed respect as Mick Jagger in a divorce court, Monica Lewinsky eating Belgian chocolate, cruise missiles falling on Baghdad, Cameron Diaz in gold lame. Because the camera doesn't know how to make distinctions—between treason and fellatio, between the moral and the amoral, between an important senator and an important ape—its insouciance works against the operative principle of a democratic republic.
Sometimes, Lewis Lapham keeps me going.

Someday, when you spend more

Someday, when you spend more than $300 on patio furniture -- made of wood or wrought iron, into which you've put considerable thought about cushion color and pattern -- you will know that you've left a certain part of your old life behind, the salad days, the plastic chair days, when it was still possible that you would meet new lifelong friends, instead of just shaking hands with people and making small talk and getting by with nanoglimpses at the peekaboo flesh on somebody else's spouse.
Plastic outdoor chairs launch the Washington Post's Hank Steuver into an extended meditation on life in suburbia. Steuver is one of the few writers that can save the Post's sucky and schizoid Style pages--and I better stop there, because I can rant about the Style section for hours. Minutes, anyway.

May 30, 2001

It was just a certain

It was just a certain inclination to meet people. And as far as possible, to change something in the other, but also to let me be changed by him.
Meet Martin Buber.

Grandpa Rex's Allen was the

Grandpa Rex's Allen was the oldest living cat in the world when he died at age 34 (the equivalent of being over 150 years old in human years!). The hairless cat, belonging to Jake Perry of Austin, Texas, was fond of broccoli. He was also known to eat asparagus on occasion.
Life Extension For Your Pet.

originally posted by xowie

May 29, 2001

Una Escuela Separada

Una Escuela Separada

On April 15, the

On April 15, the same weekend the film premiered to glowing reviews in New York, Panahi was given a graphic, firsthand example of what Iranian men face in the underbelly of John F. Kennedy International Airport when they arrive in the United States without a visa: He was arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, handcuffed and chained to a bench overnight in leg irons before being unceremoniously expelled the next day.
Jafar Panahi, the director of The Circle, was detained when he didn't have the proper visa upon arriving at JFK. This is ironic because lack of mobility is one of the major themes of The Circle, which Panahi was touring in support of. (Thanks, dad)

On a related note, The Iranian's Naghmeh Sohrabi has an interesting take on the West's current fascination with Iranian cinema.

On crab-walking in the tunnels

On crab-walking in the tunnels under Colorado Springs.

May 28, 2001

Australia has Anzac Day (April

Australia has Anzac Day (April 25) and Remembrance Day (November 11).

On Anzac Day, some people march.

originally posted by xowie

"A lot of us were

"A lot of us were standing outside watching the planes flying overhead. But you don't see Japanese-Americans or other Hawaiians in the film. Maybe it was just the base they were showing? It's hard to tell. But it doesn't show us." The movie spends 40 minutes on the Japanese attack without showing that the Japanese not only bombed battleships, killing more than 2,000 sailors, but also bombed and strafed all over Oahu, this island where Pearl Harbor is situated, causing fires and reducing buildings to rubble. And the movie does not give even a glancing reference to the scores of Hawaiian civilians — the youngest a 3-month-old girl — who were killed in the attack, most of them from friendly fire as antiaircraft rounds missed their targets and landed several miles away in Honolulu.
The New York Times: Some Upset by Twist on Pearl Harbor. Count me in. Don't let Disney teach you history!

"There's no reason that we

"There's no reason that we would expect any acute reactions. What we're more concerned about is if people consume this over their lifetime, will it eventually catch up with them?" said an F.D.A. food safety official.
New York Times: Stressed Out? Bad Knee? Try a Sip of These Juices. Not concerned enough to require accurate labeling, apparently. Also in the New York Times: The Demise of the Stick Shift is Accelerating, As Others Abandon Plains, Indians and Bison Come Back.

May 27, 2001

No Dog or Cat Feces

No Dog or Cat Feces in the Garden

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originally posted by xowie

From suggested lesson plans for

From suggested lesson plans for John Ashcroft's Dept. of Justice Bible study group:

MATTHEW 5:38-39 - "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Discuss the implications of this passage on the use of force by federal law enforcement officers.

The show came off

The show came off with amazing presentation, but at some risk. What if one of the artists featured in the show decided that they didn't like the connotation attributed to a piece of work? Do they have any say? Have artists become screenwriters, handing over their art to be misread by directors and actors as well as by the audience?
But Art will always be safe, as long as we slap around the policitians once and a while. Art grows and evolves and inspires into other movements. Music trends often change out of disgust for the trend that came before, but even if an artist completely rewrites the scene, you'll never hear any art student of Art say: "F**k minimalism" (at least not publicly). Art never turns on itself. Art at it's worst never sank to the level music did through disco in the 70's. "Open Ends" as a term suggests the types of timeless, universal catalysts, themes, and movements embodied by the categories in this show, the type that don't intend on dying. Art responds to questions society needs answered, the kind that doesn't go out of fashion.
My sister's reaction to the "Open Ends" exhibit at the MOMA. You wish your little sister wrote art history papers like that.

Asked if the Yankees

Asked if the Yankees do anything against him that other teams do not, he said: "Not really. They're not scoring that many runs. They go one or two. If they beat me with that, I tip my hat. They're not doing much. How many other teams do you see scoring three or fewer runs?"
He didn't say "three or less runs," as many people would say, incorrectly. He said "three or fewer runs." The man can do it all.
This Sunday's New York Times Sports section praises the grammar of Pedro Martinez, the best pitcher in baseball and probably of all time. The first in a series of rW grammar lessons.

May 26, 2001

Wiccan icon Fairuza Balk appeared

Wiccan icon Fairuza Balk appeared in the Sopranos finale.

originally posted by xowie

It turns out that tying

It turns out that tying a tie is equivalent to a so-called persistent random walk on a triangular lattice. Using this model, the number of all possible knots is calculated. The optimal knot is determined by the aesthetic conditions of symmetry and balance. Of the 85 tie knots found, our model duly predicts the four knots in widespread use and further introduces nine new aesthetic ones.
Tie Knots and Random Walks, Thomas M. Fink and Yong Mao. I don't know how to tie a tie.

Is it just me, or

Is it just me, or has this been the slowest-moving weather front you've ever seen come across North America? We're having crazy storms over here. Are we drastically changing our climate?

How many people will increase their chance of getting skin cancer this weekend? By how much? Will you please put on some sunscreen?

He has been totally dependent

He has been totally dependent on his father ... a spoiled brat.
Yoshihiro Tsurumi, City University of New York professor on former student President George W. Bush.

Taking note of: "3 color"

Taking note of: "3 color" q u i d d i t y. Very nice. Thanks ghost rocket.

Black Loyalists: Our History, Our

Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People - "This new online exhibit from Canada's Digital Collections Program documents an often overlooked group who fought for the British in the Revolutionary War: freed and escaped slaves. After the British government offered freedom to any slaves who fought on Britain's behalf, as many as 30,000 people of African descent escaped to aid the British war effort. When the war ended in an American victory, these free blacks were evacuated to Nova Scotia with the other Loyalists who left the former colonies. Although they had been promised land and a new life in Canada, black emigrants found harsh living and working conditions, prompting many to leave for Sierra Leone. This site tells the story of the black Loyalists with numerous illustrated vignettes, short biographies, a timeline, and descriptions and maps of black Loyalist communities." - The Scout Report via wood s lot.

May 25, 2001

If you tune in to

If you tune in to WFMU this weekend, you can hear DJ Glen Jones try to break the Guinness World's Record for consecutive DJing: 73 hours, 33 minutes. And he's not allowed to play any songs that exceed six minutes in length, so it's no fair to play Beethoven's 9th or the "Atom Heart Mother Suite," and he can't one song over and over, either. Amazing. Insane. But he is determined.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay haven't made a movie out of the Japanese bombing raid that commenced America's involvement in World War II so much as they've made a glossy, supercilious, hardcover tabletop picture book for your sitting room. Actually, they've done both: Pearl Harbor: The Movie and the Moment will set you back $35, but at least you can use it, four or five weeks from now, to prop up the sofa with the broken leg. Pearl Harbor the movie (sans moment) can be had more cheaply, but the only aspect of it that will still be with you next month is the crick in your neck from falling asleep waiting for things to start exploding.

from mrshowbiz.go.com


I ask you this: If you knew [there was] a pile of dog shit sitting on the ground would you still pick it up and eat it? NO! If you KNOW fire burns, would you still reach into the flame to test it to see if it still burns? NO! You’re not a fuckin idiot!....DO NOT SEE THIS FILM! DO NOT let films like this continue to be made! This is NOT "supporting the arts!" Go see MEMENTO! Go see SHREK! Go see THE DISH! Hell, go see THE MUMMY RETURNS if you HAVE to see mindless entertainment! Make a fuckin stand NOW!

from aintitcoolnews.com


You emerge from "Pearl Harbor" numbed and dazzled, but not especially moved or enlightened. It is not a terrible movie, but rather a defiantly, extravagantly average one. May 25, 2001, is hardly a date that will live in infamy. The Allied leader to paraphrase is not Roosevelt, but Churchill: never have so many spent so much on so little.

from nytimes.com

and many more, courtesy of rottentomatoes.com & marcos from work.

May 24, 2001

Everything you know is wrong.

Everything you know is wrong. (Another example.)

originally posted by xowie

Yes, a plane did


Yes, a plane did hit the Empire State Building, and yes, a dirigible did briefly dock to the mast of the building, but the photos of a dirigible docking to the top of the building are not real.

Yow! This from Pitchforkmedia.com (but

Yow! This from Pitchforkmedia.com (but I added the links):

Brandon Dameshek reports:
Superfreak of the 21st century, Beck, will be featured on radio station KCRW on May 26th with a taped performance from 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. The first hour will feature exclusively Beck at the DJ decks, spinning tracks of his choosing. The second hour will mix a live performance with new tracks from Air and the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. The show can be heard online at Kcrw.org during its initial airing, but if once isn't enough-- and for Beck, it often times is not-- Spinner.com will continue to feature the performance in archived form from May 30th until June 4th.

May 23, 2001

DON'T LET DISNEY TEACH YOU

DON'T LET DISNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT HISTORY!



  1. Pearl Harbor Was Not a Surprise Attack

    President Roosevelt, General George C. Marshall, General Leonard T.
    Gerow, Admiral Harold R. Stark, and Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner
    received several messages warning them of the attack.

    • Three days before the attack the Australian Intelligence service sent
      a message to the US military that the Japanese fleet had been spotted en
      route to Hawaii.
    • A British double agent working in Germany sent numerous messages
      warning of the attack.
    • 24 hours before the attack, the US Navy intercepted and decoded a
      message from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. It made
      explicitly clear what would happen on December 7th.

  2. The Attack Was Not Unprovoked.

    In October of 1940 Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum wrote a memo
    to FDR that began, "The United States desires that Japan commit the
    first overt act". The memo described an eight step plan for provoking
    Japan into attacking The United States. The steps mostly constituted
    the building of bases that would encroach on Japan's borders and making
    alliances with the Chinese to help fight Japanese expansion. Each step
    on the list was undertaken by FDR and in 1941 the last and most
    provocative of the eight steps was instituted. An embargo, cutting
    Japan off from all supplies of rubber, jute, tin, oil and iron was
    instituted. When FDR tried to pass this embargo Congress warned him
    that he would surely provoke an attack from Japan. A few weeks later
    they were proven right.

  3. Why Would America Deliberately Sacrifice its Soldiers at Pearl
    Harbor?

    There is no simple answer, but there are some simple facts. Before
    Pearl Harbor the American public was resistant to the idea of entering
    the war, but afterward support was plentiful. America entered the war
    in the midst of a severe economic depression and exited the war as the
    world's richest and most powerful nation. American corporate profits,
    as measured by Lawrence Wittner, rose from $6.4 billion in 1940 to 10.8
    billion in 1944.

  4. Assessing the Damage

    2,400 American soldiers died at Pearl Harbor. However over 100,000
    innocent Japanese civilians died with the dropping of the first atomic
    bomb. As if this wasn't already frightening overkill, the US dropped a
    second bomb killing another 80,000 civilians. In addition, the US
    imprisoned 110,000 innocent American citizens of Japanese descent in
    internment camps in California, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado,
    Arkansas and Utah.

  5. Don't Let Disney Teach Our Children History

    Disney likes to make things simple and easy to digest. They create for
    us good guys and bad guys and situations where choices are either right
    or wrong. The world doesn't work this way. World Wars One and Two were
    complex and tragic events that destroyed millions of lives. They are
    nothing to be proud of, or nostalgic for.

  6. Suggested Reading

    Day of Deceit by Robert B Stinnet, Betrayal At Pearl Harbor by James
    Rusbridger & Eric Nave, Pearl Harbor The Continuing Controversy by Hans
    Trefousse

If you, like the expected millions of others, are going to see Pearl Harbor this weekend, why not root for the Japanese? (thanks Chaz)


Disney maintains that the movie is a love story "like Titanic" (just what we need, right?) not a patriotic, white supremacist piece of propaganda. If that's true, then why is there a different cut for Japan and Germany? A Disney insider says "Most of the changes have been made with an eye for consideration for those countries... Words that would be culturally insensitive to the country where the film is playing have been altered or deleted." riiiight.


Unfortunately it's gone now, but Page Six's Cindy Adams quoted star Alec Baldwin a few weeks ago as saying "The movie [Pearl Harbor] is extremely rah-rah patriotic. Once it's out, there won't be a sushi restaraunt left in this country." He then continued "Make sure you print that I'm joking!" That and every other racist joke, you fuck.


This movie is total trash. Don't see it. If you must, buy a ticket for "Shrek" or "Spy Kids" instead and then switch theaters. Thanks.

Lord of the Rings wows

Lord of the Rings wows Cannes

I like big dogs and

I like big dogs and i cannot lie.






No one could find an

No one could find an obituary. One person called the newspaper in Kaycee's small town and they said that they had not heard of any girl with leukemia.
Unnnhhh... The Kaycee Nicole (Swenson) FAQ (and more).

originally posted by xowie

May 22, 2001

"Wrestling is fiction, too," Mankind

"Wrestling is fiction, too," Mankind explained. In wrestling, he said, "you establish your character, get sympathy for him." Wrestling has a story line and plot twists as well. "You want the match to be like a roller coaster, so you can't predict it," he said.
The New York Times profiles Mankind, author of the best-selling Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling.

May 21, 2001

Smithsonian Oral and Video Histories:

Smithsonian Oral and Video Histories: Steve Jobs.

The New York That Really

The New York That Really Never Was.

Throughout college and for two

Throughout college and for two years in Portland, the opening of drive-in movie season was another reason to count down to the days of spring. We may owe the Memphis Drive-In 150-200 dollars for all of the people we smuggled in under blankets or in the trunk.

Snot nosed kids like us are the reason a lot of drive-ins are closing down, but I will never forget the night me and two friends giggled in the back of a station wagon while our friend Katie Russell lamented to the ticket taker how alone she was and all she needed was a good movie by herself.


What are the best drive-ins near NYC?

``For us, Pearl Harbor

``For us, Pearl Harbor is more than just an event in history,'' said John Tateishi, national director for the Japanese American Citizens League in San Francisco. ``It's the moment when everything changed. We suddenly became in the eyes of the American public the enemy, even though we were American citizens.''

Part of the apprehension, Aoki said, stems from the fact that people still have difficulty understanding that men and women with Asian faces can be American, too. Even if the movie is balanced, he is concerned that audiences still may not understand the distinction between Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans.

``People have been trained to look at our faces and think foreign, despite the fact we don't know the language or may never had left the country,'' he said.

thanks, allaboutgeorge

May 20, 2001

Amazon Listmania: Picture Books About

Amazon Listmania: Picture Books About Interracial Families.

May 19, 2001

A gallery of photos from

A gallery of photos from Brooklyn Kings: New York City's Black Bikers.

Obligatory post from the new

Obligatory post from the new Apple Store in Tyson's Corner... I'm having too much fun to write more. (The new iBook is incredible.)

IRON CHEF SHOWDOWN IN

IRON CHEF SHOWDOWN IN LAS VEGAS Actor William Shatner will host two one-hour specials of IRON CHEF SHOWDOWN IN LAS VEGAS, UPN's all-new Americanized version of the phenomenally successful Japanese culinary show "Iron Chef." Staged like a sporting event, IRON CHEF SHOWDOWN IN LAS VEGAS features frenetic culinary battles between the world's top chefs who race against the clock to create outstanding original cuisine. William Shatner contributes his trademark sense of humor and entertaining style to his role as "Chairman."

In each show, a Challenger (chef) is sent into the Chairman's "Kitchen Stadium," a giant cooking arena, where he or she competes against one of four Iron Chefs who specialize in American, Italian, French and Asian cooking. The competing chefs are given one hour to prepare an exotic meal in which each course must feature a secret ingredient that is revealed only moments before the battle begins. A panel of four celebrity judges taste and critique the food before determining whose cuisine will reign supreme. Based on format rights of Fuji TV, IRON CHEF SHOWDOWN IN LAS VEGAS is produced by the Larry Thompson Organization and Lions Gate Entertainment. Larry Thompson ("And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny and Cher Story," "Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter") is executive producer.

Why wasn't I told before? Aren't my so called friends supposed to alert me to
this

kind

of
thing?

May 18, 2001

My computer literacy is zero.

My computer literacy is zero. It's partly because it wasn't easy to learn, so I just gave up.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is spending this week in Silicon Valley.

May 17, 2001

The news organization has to

The news organization has to elevate the significance of stories about communities of color. Those stories have to be seen as part of the path to success and not part of the path to obscurity.

The boxes are supposed to

The boxes are supposed to help you focus your attention on one post at a time. The prominent dates floating to the left ought to help you see what's new since your last visit. The thin border around the list of links is similarly intended to help you isolate that part of the page mentally as you scan for information. The title is supposed to be murmured more often than shouted, and the strip is just for fun. What works and what doesn't?

"Where the hell did they

"Where the hell did they get these kids?"
"It doesn't matter."

May 16, 2001

"It could have been better.

"It could have been better. It could have been a lot better" - Ewan McGregor at Cannes, on the George Lucas-penned script of "The Phantom Menace"

May 15, 2001

You'll probably enjoy this.

You'll probably enjoy this.

The appeal of laissez-faire capitalism,

The appeal of laissez-faire capitalism, as it spread around the world until it vanquished even the Soviets, was simple: You need neither a change in structures nor a change in human nature. Instead, the bad side of human nature -- the greed, competitiveness, and materialism -- could be counted on to magically produce enough wealth that many people could actually enjoy the easy life that the utopians and commissars could only promise. That is the revolutionary idea of our time, and it has cast into a sepia shadow both Gandhi and Lenin. We distrust moralizing as thoroughly as we distrust government; in a cynical age, our ultimate trust is in the notion that trust is unnecessary, that we should each simply advance our own cause.
Bill McKibben writing for Mother Jones about the joys of renunciation.

If you saw my check,

If you saw my check, you'd understand.
Pedro Gomez sets up portable toilets in New York City.

I love outdoor art. Washingtonpost.com

I love outdoor art. Washingtonpost.com has a small photo gallery depicting murals from throughout the nation's capital. The best murals are probably found in the West and SouthwestLos Angeles (the mural capital of the world), Austin, San Francisco, Tucson and San Diego have some great ones.

Phil Greenspun's online photo-illustrated Travels

Phil Greenspun's online photo-illustrated Travels with Samantha makes me long for the open road and the beautiful countryside my wife and I saw on our honeymoon. Her favorite spot was Yellowstone. I'll never forget skinny-dipping in Lake Powell.

"frontwheeldrive humbly attempts to bring

"frontwheeldrive humbly attempts to bring intelligent reporting to emerging sciences such as Artificial Intelligence, Memetics, Complexity, Chaos Theory and the like with a nod toward design and an open eye on new media. Forever forward in the pursuit of positive stimuli. Information in formation." It does a good job, and boasts some big names.

"PliNkit! is a collection of

"PliNkit! is a collection of useful links that work very well, or are designed for viewing on a palmtop computer. It is designed to be a no frills easy to navigate listing of these sites." One day I will have my cell phone hooked up to my Palm III and that day I will come to randomWalks and search for "lynx" and find this post because it has the word lynx in it. Then I will bookmark PliNkit! on my Palm and never think about this post again.

Look here: say you have

Look here: say you have a disk that can spin, and so you put a pail of milk on it and you make it spin. You will see the milk go up the side of the pail, and fly over and out onto the disk. No big deal, eh? The spin will make a pull. But now what if you said that the pail of milk is your "at rest"? Then you have you and the sky and all that in a big huge spin, and the disk with its pail of milk is the only body that is "at rest", yes? How can you say then why the milk goes up? What can make the at-rest milk fly out of the pail like that?
Brian Raiter explains the theory of relativity in very short words of no more than four letters.

May 14, 2001

In pre-Columbian mythology, Aztlan was

In pre-Columbian mythology, Aztlan was the homeland and origin place of the Aztecs. Situated north of Mexico City (Tenochtitlan before the Spanish), Aztlan was believed to be an island that the Aztecs departed, by one account, around the 10th-century A.D. The Aztecs saw Aztlan as a primordial place of emergence and gave it sacred symbolism, just as Judeo-Christian cultures did with Eden.

Redefining nations...A New Aztlan?

originally posted by faith

According to the survey

According to the survey firm NDP Group -- which tracked the everyday habits of thousands of people through the 1990s -- this country is reading printed versions of books, magazines and newspapers less and less. In 1991, more than half of all Americans read a half-hour or more every day. By 1999, that had dropped to 45 percent.
I must admit, I had never heard of aliteracy until today. I am very afraid.

originally posted by dm8k

This is Virtual New



This is Virtual New York! Thanks, globalistic.

May 12, 2001

I was hitchhiking around Europe

I was hitchhiking around Europe in 1971, when I was 18, with this copy of A Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe. At one point I found myself lying in the middle of a field, a little bit drunk, when it occurred to me that somebody should write a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It didn't occur to me that it might actually be me years later.
CNN is reporting that author Douglas Adams died of a heart attack on Friday. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

rft's photography / Tips and

rft's photography / Tips and Tricks contains "helpful information for working with digital photos [and especially those] taken with the Nikon Coolpix 950 or Nikon Coolpix 990."

OH. Now I get it!(doing

OH. Now I get it!(doing a V-8 head slap)...getting your system to run Myst III is the first puzzle of the game! Ubisoft is pure genius...(where's the cheat?)...
Overheard on the Myst III: Exile tech support forum.

May 11, 2001

OC Weekly regular Alison M.

OC Weekly regular Alison M. Rosen is the funniest writer in the history of free papers. Her recent master-works cover phallic Christian vegetables, Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light (tm), and penis duplication kits.

originally posted by xowie

With concern about Mad Cow

With concern about Mad Cow Disease, McDonald's nearly shut all their British outlets until one exec said: "What're we doing? There's no meat in our burgers."

I think everyone has pages they look at religiously and feel guilty about. At least I hope they do, because otherwise I'd feel very guilty. Anyway, I love the New York Posts' gossip page, Page 6. And today they posted the above tidbit. There's nothing more to the story, but I'm enamored by the possibility that their french fries aren't vegetarian but their hamburgers are.

May 10, 2001

Read CNN.com without the ads.

Read CNN.com without the ads. You can thank me later. Also, Nic's tricks filter Salon and Slate, stripping out the tables and graphics with a short perl script and serving up the articles like it's 1994. Dig it. This page of lookups looks handy too. I wonder when I'll get around to making one of my own.

I usually really like Rob

I usually really like Rob Neyer. He's one of the few baseball columnists that doesn't just take things at face value and doesn't just bow down to "conventional wisdom" when trying to understand the game. Today his ESPN column tread on interesting ground and it seems like he struggled quite a bit to try to get his ideas across without offending anyone. I'm not sure what I think of this piece, but maybe some of you have some thoughts Neyer's answers to the questions "Was Babe Ruth black? More important, should we care?"

originally posted by zagg

Enlightened Sol is right! Maybe

Enlightened Sol is right! Maybe the New York Liberty will be the next team to embrace it's large, vocal, and loyal lesbian fan base. Either way, that Liberty sure is a likable bunch! Especially Becky Hammon, who sat next to rW editor oldwabbles in high school art class, but could not recall later when I asked her about it after a game last year. It's OK Becky, I still carry your collector's card in my wallet, and you can email me any time.

Washington women prepare their casseroles

Washington women prepare their casseroles with tears streaming into their saucepans. They begin to sniffle at the first strains of "Che gelida manina" and sob right through to the final curtain of "La Boheme." How can they cook without Puccini and Verdi and Mozart?
All hail the Washington Post's Mary McGrory, one of my favorite columnists. Anyone who writes like that deserves a strong fan base.

Things in nature often move

take a random walk
Things in nature often move in complicated ways. You have probably watched the way a butterfly moves. The molecules of the air that you are breathing move in a similar way. This type of motion we call a random walk. You can also take a random walk.

May 9, 2001

Hot pepper burning remedies. Ouch!

Hot pepper burning remedies. Ouch!

This is a page where

This is a page where a guy keeps track of all the material he sees people reading on the New York subway. I found it through Open Letters's excellent page of links.

Suppose the Earth is all

Suppose the Earth is all one big single living organism, with all the elements of it connected like cells in a body. Suppose the goal of evolution is to link up individual human minds, bringing an explosion of intelligence and even global consciousness to this mammoth being.
Now suppose the above quote leads into a Washington Post article on ... bird watching? Apparently this guy, and by "guy" I mean French Jesuit Scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, proposed this notion back in 1940 but it was hard to take seriously for a lot of people for a long time until the Internet appeared and here and there folks began to say "wait a minute" and now you get folks like John Perry Barlow, erstwhile Grateful Dead lyricist and founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, suggesting that worldwide changes in human development, agriculture and preservation in response to real-time bird observations resulting in a virtuous circle of renewed habitats and rejuvenated populations reflect the beginnings of a global consciousness evidenced by "large-scale interaction between the greater 'us' and the greater 'them'". Don't look at me. Is that a sparrow?

Who was Jeremy Bentham? What

Who was Jeremy Bentham? What is utilitarianism? (Why am I asking?)

May 8, 2001

Put down that Coke! So-called

Put down that Coke! So-called President Bush, hypocritical Congressmen, and greedy soft drink companies are contributing to slavery and famine in Sudan. Nat Hentoff tells you how.

"There are a number of

"There are a number of excellent sites out there for people wanting to shave their heads, or just connect to others who share the hairstyle," and Head Shaver's Information and FAQ is probably the best of them.

On Alt-log: Apparently Baltimore City

On Alt-log: Apparently Baltimore City Paper has a regular
column called Funny Paper
in which they humorously deconstruct the comics. It reminds me of a less straightforward version of the wonderful "Comics
I Don't Understand."

May 7, 2001

If you have seen the

If you have seen the remarkable photos in The Empire That Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated (A Library of Congress Exhibition), you will certainly not begrudge me the sharing of them with anyone else. (In the early 1900s, Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorskii created color images by shooting simultaneously with three black and white cameras fitted with red, green, and blue filters. The resulting images were projected back through colored filters onto a screen for display.) The photos are technically marvelous, but more striking is the dissonance between the "modern" medium and "historic" subject matter, if you take my meaning. Have a look!

Finally! A sighting of the

Finally! A sighting of the Scary Movie 2 trailer.

Huntley Meadows lies in a

Huntley Meadows lies in a wet lowland that was carved out by an ancient meander of the Potomac River. The resulting freshwater wetland is one of the rarest habitats left in Fairfax County. Acre for acre, a healthy wetland supports more life than almost any other habitat. Wetlands also purify polluted waters and control the destructive power of floods and storms.
Huntley Meadows Park is a nice place to spend an afternoon. I'm reminded that it's a stone's throw from our home by this Washington Post article. Last summer I went with some family and took pictures. Friends of Huntley Meadows Park runs a good website with news, events, history and photos.

Eric of Kestrel's Nest, how

Eric of Kestrel's Nest, how does your garden grow?

The partnership of Cannabis and

parke davis cannabis bottle

The partnership of Cannabis and man has existed now probably for ten thousand years — since the discovery of agriculture in the Old World. One of our oldest cultivars, Cannabis has been a five- purpose plant: as a source of hempen fibres; for its oil; for its akenes or ‘seeds,’ consumed by man for food; for its narcotic properties; and therapeutically to treat a wide spectrum of ills in folk medicine and in modern pharmacopoeias.

Plants of the Gods: The Nectar of Delight by Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hoffman takes a look at the intimate relationship humans have had with this plant for thousands of years. I had no idea how central marijuana was to Tibetan Buddhism. Schultes, ethnobotanist and, as best I can tell, father of ethno- (and recreational- and sacramental-) pharmacology passed away on April 10. I guess I didn't notice because I had not heard of the man before I happened across Ethel the Blog's link-packed Schultes obituary.

Why do you think there

Why do you think there have been so few chronicles about the realities of working at Wal-Mart or Comfort Inn, which employ more people than the dot-coms did even at their height?
James Fallows asks Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America in which she spent three months trying to survive in three cities on three minimum-wage jobs. The in-progress Fallows and Ehrenreich dialog in The Atlantic immediately brought to mind a recent piece in the Washington Post titled Dot-Com Vets Turn Job Loss Into Second Spring Break which inexplicably glamorizes the downturn in the job market by looking at how folks who, according to Fallows, find it "hard to understand people for whom a million dollars would be a fortune" are making do with movies, massages, and trips to Madrid in these lean times.

May 6, 2001

The question that comes up

The question that comes up over and over again, and I don't really have an answer still -- really, I don't know any other people who have answers to them -- is, "It's terrible, awful, getting worse. What do we do? Tell me the answer." The trouble is, there has not in history ever been any answer other than, "Get to work on it."
Chomsky: For One Thing, There's No "It". There is injustice where you live, and tomorrow you can either oppose it or allow it to persist. Why don't you sleep on it?

May 4, 2001

listen missy has the longest

listen missy has the longest list of DC area bloggers that I've seen. Inexplicably, randomWalks is not included.

May 3, 2001

They say billions and

They say billions and billions served. I say billions and billions deceived," said Harish Bharti, who filed the lawsuit earlier this week on behalf of the two Hindus and a third, non-Hindu vegetarian.

Deceived by McDonald's? Join this lawsuit. "Yes, your honor, I have eaten McDonald's fries for 4 years, every day. This should be worth at least $400,000."
Also, Inside.com is covering the remarkable success of Fast Food Nation, an expose of the Fast Food industry, especially McDonald's.

May 2, 2001

The site says sight

hollywood sign
The site says sight yields insight, but if anything this is sight beyond sight! NASA is hosting animations which employ photographs from various satellites of various resolutions to "rush in towards the surface at what would be an impossible speed for any known vehicle." If you can download a few megabytes of mpeg, don't miss this one! (The Hollywood zoom is on another site.)

May 1, 2001

Friends, you are being

Friends, you are being misled and hoodwinked by a bunch of professional "liberals" who did NOTHING themselves for eight years to clean up these messes -- and now all they can do is attack people like Ralph Nader who has devoted his ENTIRE life to every single one of these issues. What unmitigated gall! They blame Nader for giving us Bush? I blame THEM for being Bush!
Michael Moore lets you have it. Read every paragraph twice.

What's the word? New iBook.

What's the word? New iBook.

The goats have been bred

The goats have been bred with a spider gene so their milk provides a unique protein. The company then plans to extract the protein from the milk to produce fibers — called BioSteel — for bulletproof vests, aerospace and medical supplies.
Old news, but I missed this somehow.

45 minutes until Apple's just-announced,

45 minutes until Apple's just-announced, invite-only "press event" (promising "exciting announcements," of course). Everybody expects a new iBook, since the old ones have disappeared from retail channels & the Apple Store alike, but beyond that it's anybody's guess. ZDNet rounds up the rumors that seem grounded in reality, and if that's not enough reading for you then keep an eye on MacSurfer for the latest headlines from the best of the Mac news sites.

I'd really love to know who gets invited to these things -- I wonder how Apple treats sites like MacCentral and Macintouch which have all but replaced the mainstream media as the papers of record -- so to speak -- in terms of Apple news.

"I still wish we had

"I still wish we had been able to buy [Palm]," he says. Okay, then, how about making a run at Handspring, a maker of Palm-compatible handheld computers? Or co-branding with a maker of portable MP3 players or digital cameras or camcorders? After all, wouldn't Jobs like to have Apple profit more broadly and directly from this new digital lifestyle? And wouldn't that strategy work best if Apple's own stores were stocked with a wide array of Apple-branded digital gadgets? "I don't know what you're talking about," Jobs replies, looking at the ceiling. Then he smiles and changes the subject.
Fortune.com - Steve Jobs: The Graying Prince of a Shrinking Kindgom (What a lousy headline.)