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February 28, 2002

The French Senate approved

The French Senate approved a bill proposing that Saartjie Baartman's, the so-called Hottentot Venus, remains be repatriated, nearly 200 years after she was exhibited in Europe as a sexual freak and scientific curiosity.
Via Daily Mail & Guardian

originally posted by zakia

The Sonic Memorial Project is

The Sonic Memorial Project is a joint project by NPR, Lost & Found Sound, and WNYC that is gathering audio recordings from the World Trade Center. A sampling of what they've gathered so far:

We never could have imagined all that is out there — tapes of weddings atop the World Trade Center, recordings of the buildings' elevators and revolving doors, home videos made by a lawyer in his 42nd floor office, sounds of the Hudson riverfront, recordings of late night Spanish radio drifting through the halls as Latino workers clean the offices, an interview with the piano player at Windows on the World sharing his recollections, video email greetings that tourists sent from the kiosks on the 110th floor, voicemail messages from people who worked in the World Trade Center.

(via Yay! Hooray!)

originally posted by Chris

This week, Portlanders have

This week, Portlanders have one last chance not only to emerge from the dark shadow of Michael Graves' Portland Building, but also to embrace the kind of architectural opportunity that comes here little more than once in a generation.

It's been more than 20 years since Portland had the chance to embrace architecture's cutting edge, and many civic leaders still bear the scars. In 1980, the city commissioned Michael Graves' Portland Building. Despite its pedigree as the world's first major postmodern building, it's viewed as a failure because of numerous structural problems, its incongruity with the rest of Portland's urban fabric, and the short-lived reign of postmodernism.
...
This isn't just about having our own billowing metal edifice, or curing the city's much-discussed design malaise with one building. It's about the rarer opportunity for architecture to transcend borders, to match a legendary designer with people who would normally never conceive of being his clients. If Portland lets Gehry go, it will have wasted the chance for an audacious act that would not even occur to leaders in most cities.

Brian Libby (www) urges Portland residents to attend a Portland Development Commission meeting, tonight, to decide the city's architectural and cultural priorities.

A new look at some

A new look at some familiar statistics: The Miniature Earth is a film dedicated to Donella Meadows (1941-2001), leading voice in the sustainability movement.

originally posted by faith

William H. Rehnquist, fashion cop.

William H. Rehnquist, fashion cop. Via MediaNews.

a farmers' international? an oxymoron?

When we said we would protest by dismantling the half-built McDonald’s in our town, everyone understood why—the symbolism was so strong. It was for proper food against malbouffe, agricultural workers against multinationals. The actual structure was incredibly flimsy. We piled the door-frames and partitions on to our tractor trailers and drove them through the town. The extreme Right and other nationalists tried to make out it was anti-Americanism, but the vast majority understood it was no such thing. It was a protest against a form of food production that wants to dominate the world. I saw the international support for us building up, after my arrest, watching TV in prison. Lots of American farmers and environmentalists sent in cheques.
José Bové, ‘Farmers against Food-Chains'.

February 27, 2002

tick, tick... boom

Doomsday clock moved closer:

"It came closest to midnight -- just two minutes away -- in 1953, after the United States successfully tested the hydrogen bomb. It has been as far away as 17 minutes, set there in 1991 in a wave of post- Cold-War optimism. "

Eek.

originally posted by Chris

Great Public Spaces is an

Great Public Spaces is an online effort of the Project for Public Spaces. It's a searchable collection of well-loved parks, markets, streets and buildings in urban areas all over the world. (There's also the "Hall of Shame" for well-hated spaces.) Representation of areas is spotty at the moment, but you can change that by nominating your own favorites.

who knew reading about gardening could be so entertaining?

I was going to do a post on gardening in the city, and then I found Urban Agriculture Notes, a Vancouver-based urban gardening publication chock full o' good stuff, and decided just to point you guys to that instead. Lots of good reading, including:

All sorts of things you probably didn't know about wasabi:

"Wasabi's stature as a highly prized condiment in Japanese cuisine is well known. However, a fact that is not widely recognized or appreciated is that Wasabi contains numerous bio-chemically active compounds, mainly from the isothiocyanate family, that have medicinal, pharmaceutical or industrial applications. These exciting applications are only just beginning to be investigated, most likely because of the plant's high commercial value and its scarcity."

"What's The Deal With Worm Composting?" - a proposed Seinfeld script:

"George moves his worm bin out to the balcony off his bedroom to avoid fruit flies. A roof rat eats through the plastic bin and nests in the bin. Unsuspecting, George opens the lid and is bitten. He is convinced he has rabies. Elaine shows no sympathy.

"Meanwhile they discover that Kramer is a master wormer. For years he has been letting worms eat his garbage in a deluxe mahogany bin which he keeps in his living room, an elegant piece of new age furniture, covered with African statuary. George has been sitting on it during his evangelical tirades."

"Confessions of a Lawn Moron":

"The more I learned about lawn, the more preoccupied I became. Obscure grass lore haunted me. I heard that raccoons roam the streets at night rolling up newly laid sod, looking for grubs. As a family of raccoons had moved in behind the garden and we had just laid a small test patch of sod there, I began to fret. Should I nail the stuff down? Bungy-cord it? Use Krazy Glue? How do you raccoon-proof your lawn?"

And an interesting old Times piece on New York City rooftop beekeepers:

"If pigeon-fancying was the rooftop recreation of choice during the ''On the Waterfront'' era, urban beekeeping is poised to become a hot new bull-market avocation. Two summers ago, David Graves, a veteran bee master who was on the roof helping Ms. Goodman tend the hives, knew of just one beehive in the five boroughs: now he is aware of 13 hives in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. And city beekeepers claim that there could be twice that number."

originally posted by Chris

College Town Confronts Issues of Race

Alvin Edwards, a former Charlottesville mayor and pastor who has three of the student suspects in his congregation at Mount Zion Baptist Church, believes class, not race, lies at the root of the assaults. He said many local teenagers, particularly African Americans, resent the university because they consider it largely inaccessible to them.

Everyone I know who has ever spent any time in Charlottesville, Virginia swears it is one of the best places on earth. On my few visits there I was always struck by how severely segregated it seemed. Literal railroad tracks and all.

The New Sexual Deviant

We've strayed from the original intent of women's liberation and limited women again, trading in the old prescription (sex will ruin a woman) for one that seemed more modern (lack of sex will curdle her). We can't seem to shake the need for a formula...

I had two friends in college who were virgins. Depending on how I was feeling about my own sexual status at any given moment, I either pitied or admired these women. My understanding of the situation was as limited as the language we use to discuss it. Either you are a virgin or you are not. Perhaps there is bit more to it than that.

February 26, 2002

The Eye Begins to See

The Eye Begins to See "will be spending the week discussing Kerouac's On the Road. We're starting today with a background on Kerouac and the Beat Movement." Woohoo!

Is Weblog Technology Here to

Is Weblog Technology Here to Stay or Just Another Fad?

originally posted by dm8k

I loved val's idea to

I loved val's idea to read Basquiat by Phoebe Hoban, sometime. Maybe not as an official book, but soon. Is anyone still having trouble finding Palestine? They still have copies at the Park Slope comics shop.

What is the "garment"? Do

What is the "garment"? Do all Mormons wear it? Is it a onesie or separates? Is it true that women have to wear it under bra and pantyhose? Does it really have a Masonic symbol sewn over each nipple? Is it cotton? Poly-blend? Comfy? Restrictive? Spiritually protective? Magical?
The Post's Hank Steuver tries to cotton to the magic Mormon undies.

the sweet hell inside

"The Harlestons were light, and we didn't associate with people who were much darker than we were. Of course we didn't associate with white people either. We were a kind of in-between people. But we were Negroes all the same, and everyone in our circle was colored to one degree or another."
Edwina Harleston Whitlock of Charleston, S.C., helps Edward Ball shake their family tree one mo' 'gin.

in the words of lee ving: what would we do if there was no more beer?

With apologies to the National Rifle Association, beer doesn't riot, people riot. Specifically, people who are desperate for beer riot -- white people, to be precise.
The Invisible Whiteness of the Olympic Beer Riot. That sounds like it's a new sport or something.

xu xu fang: cantonese for glam rock

I AM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER I am the world trade center came about when I was the band alone. I was recording some sample/loop based songs on my laptop and I was living on my friend's couch in brooklyln. One day we were making a joke about how many bands on kindercore had geographic based names (of montreal, vermont, great lakes...). I thought my new "band" should have a geographic name so I started naming off cool places. Then I said "The World Trade Center" then on stage I could say "I am the World Trade Cetner". Once those words rolled off my tongue in that order, I knew that would be our name...
Various totally obscure bands explain the origins of their obscure names. Mixed.

February 25, 2002

rap prime ministers

For various reasons -- including hip-hop's historical pattern of sexism -- female DJs are rarer than female MCs. Baby D of the Bronx-based, late-'70s, all-female hip-hop crew Mercedes Ladies (which included Sha-Rock, later of the Funky Four + One), was one of the first female DJs.

Other female DJs -- such as Kim B, MK, Spinderella, Coco Chanel and Jazzy Joyce -- followed Baby D's lead, but few female DJs of the '80s got much respect or were allowed entry into the boys' club of DJ battles, such as the DMC or ITF.

addict.com's history of turntablism is a good read.

Jazzy Joyce helped produce the second Digable Planets album, which is now available repressed at Fat Beats. Only 1200 were made (1198 left, I bought two) so hurry. It's not the same quality as the original (once gifted to me by Jude) but much better quality than the UK reissue from a few years ago.



The Ex X-Men, now the X-ecutioners have released "Built from Scratch," they're follow up to "X-pressions," definitely one of my 20 desert island LPs (if I had to update the list). It's hot.

I wish I had a link to some Kuttin' Kandi for you to buy, but you'll have to do with this:


Kuttin Kandi, in addition to winning her share of turntablism competitions, is an outspoken activist in the Asian American community and a member of the all-female collective Anomalies.

from a U of W concert preview featuring Asian American artists.

The condition of the fan

The condition of the fan over time, however, is a complicated one. The fan's admiration may grow proprietary, neurotic and fussy -- no longer conducted in the language of love but in the unattractive tones of disappointed connoisseurship. Such a condition, with time, resembles something vaguely if unilaterally marital, replete with dashed hopes, eccentric pronouncements, insincere forgiveness, nagging, muttering and some occasional really extremely minor drinking.

So. . . . Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?


Hooray for Lorrie Moore. I just wanted to share this excerpt from her review of Philip Roth's The Human Stain, which I just finished. (Don't read the review if you're going to read the book -- she gives stuff away.) Ms. Moore, when's your next book coming out? And when will someone start an UpcomingBooks.com site so I can find out?

I started Palestine last night,

I started Palestine last night, and I know I'm going to need some help from other sources filling in the history, of which I'm largely ignorant. For example, who, exactly, was Lord Balfour? And why did he see fit to support the Zionists who were seeking a Jewish state? What motivated him? I'll research this on my own when I get a chance, but maybe rW books readers can recommend some good sites with a historical perspective on Palestine and Israel.

20 years on from Malvinas/Falkland war

Every so often, you would shake your head and think that it couldn't, at this late stage of the 20th century, be happening like this. Or at least not for this reason: perhaps it was all about mineral reserves of incalculable wealth in the Antarctic, which we would lose unless we retained the Falklands? But no, it really was as simple as Borges said it was: two bald men fighting over a comb ... The fact that the rest of the world viewed the war as a bizarre and brainless squabble between nostalgic imperialism and nostalgic fascism was irrelevant; we didn't care what the rest of the world thought, except to imagine that it was impressed.
British novelist Julian Barnes's essay on the worst reported war since the Crimean.
When the war started, the phone didn't stop ringing. Argentinian friends and people I didn't know called from all over the US and many parts of the world to express their patriotism and to insist on all kinds of actions to support Argentina. Support Argentina, yes, but what about the government, the torturers, those who coined the term "disappeared"? Never mind the junta, the callers would say, there is a worse enemy out there. Let's march in front of the consulates, the embassy, let's write letters to the media, to the representatives ... Patriotic feeling and a sense of reality clashed. The war was nonsensical even though the pain of those suffering was real. Nothing could be more upsetting than to see so many law-abiding old Argentinian buddies trapped in ecstatic oblivion.
Argentinian novelist Luisa Valenzuela recalls a time when patriotism allowed her country to forget the junta, both from the Guardian's special report on the Malvinas/Falkland war 20 years on.

Two from the Sunday NYT

Two from the Sunday NYT arts section: one, a documentary about the life of Richard Alpert, better known as Baba Ram Dass; and two, a version of the Christian gospel I can really get behind (emphasis added):

Scrolls found in the caves of Dunhuang, on China's northwestern frontier, recount a version of the gospel in Chinese, melding Christian, Taoist and Buddhist imagery.

"The scrolls describe a church in which men and women were equal and slavery was forbidden," Mr. Palmer said. "Its version of the Ten Commandments instructed Christians in vegetarianism and forbade the taking of any life. It taught the Taoist notion of original goodness, rather than original sin, and it said the answer to karma and the fear of perpetual reincarnation is Christ."


Ruins of an Old Christian Church on Lao-Tzu's Turf.

Winter OlympicsPhoto Galleries (BBC)

BBC photo gallery: Winter Olympics closing ceremony
BBC photo gallery: Winter Olympics opening ceremony

nobel peace nominee bush to make war

Blair and Bush to plot war on Iraq (Guardian Observer). Tony Blair will visit the White House in April in order to "finalise Phase Two of the war against terrorism" in which military action aimed at toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq will be "at the top of the agenda."

Breaking the Cycle of White Dependence

Breaking the Cycle of White Dependence: LiP gives you Tim Wise. Or is it the other way round?

We were dependent on Mexicans to teach us how to extract gold and quartz from riverbeds, both critical to the growth of the national economy in the mid to late 1800's. And had we not taken over half their nation in an unprovoked war, the emerging Pacific ports so vital to the modern U.S. economy would not have been ours, but Mexico's.


Then we depended on Latino/a labor in the mid-20th century under the bracero program, through which over five million Mexicans were brought into the country for cheap agricultural work, and then sent back across the border when they were no longer deemed useful.


And we were dependent on Asian labor to build the railroads that made transcontinental travel and commerce possible. Ninety percent of the labor used to build the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860's were Chinese, imported for that express purpose, and exploited because the railroad bosses felt they could control them better than white workers.


In fact, all throughout U.S. labor history, whites have depended on the subordination of workers of color by the marking of black and brown peoples as the bottom rung on the ladder, a rung below which they would not be allowed to fall. By virtue of this racialized class system, whites received the "psychological wage" of whiteness, even if their real wages left them destitute. That too is dependence, and a kind that has marked even the poorest whites.

gender online

"Is Metafilter a men's room?" asks an insightful MetaTalk post. I have not yet read the thread.

did blacks love Bill Clinton?

Salon.com interview: Bill Clinton and Black America

My initial thought was, It can't sit well with African-Americans to call any white man, a black man. But you note that it was tongue-in-cheek, right?



It certainly was tongue-in-cheek on Toni Morrison's part. Anyone who reads the totality of what she said clearly understands that she's painting a picture. But I think that in many ways it diminished what Clinton did to suggest that he is black. Because if you're black and you did those things, now you begin to argue, "Man, you could have done more than that [for us], brother." But the fact that he is white and did that much is quite remarkable.



Why do you think white people might wrinkle up their noses at the idea?



Largely because they don't understand the history of the relationship between African-Americans and the 41 white men who have encumbered the Oval Office.

THUMBMONKEY

Looking through this slideshow of images (some are gross in a fakey monster movie kinda way) I got really irritated by all the candlelight vigils and mourning family members. THEY WERE DEAD! Come on! Boo hoo hoo- grandma was dumped in the woods and not crammed in an urn.
THUMBMONKEY

Read Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from

Read Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground (translated by Constance Garnett) at the UVA Library Electronic Text Center.

February 24, 2002

Diverse and Divided

A Diverse -- and Divided -- Black Community (washingtonpost.com)

America's black community, which now includes more West Indian and African immigrants than ever, is no longer the monolithic group that many politicians, civil rights advocates and demographers say it is.

A new African American community is being forged, sociologists and anthropologists say, in which culture and nationality are becoming more important than skin color. It is as diverse -- and as divided -- as the Latino community or the Asian American community, each made up of migrants from numerous nations.
My only thought as I skimmed the beginning of this article was, "I don't know that the black community could ever have been considered monolithic," and I was gratified to see that George had the same reaction.

February 23, 2002

The public radio talk show

The public radio talk show To the Point featured a great discussion Friday about city-wide book clubs and their purpose and effectiveness. Ray Bradbury even appeared. As of this posting the show is listed on their main page -- you'll need RealAudio to hear it.

maybe you don't want to know

The New York City restaurant inspection database has the results of the most recent health inspections at all your favorite NYC eateries (DJ - Taqueria D.F. had NO violations, woo), some of which you might not want to know about (umm... bad news about that falafel place). Several similar databases for other cities and regions are available online here, including Seattle, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

originally posted by Chris

Alpha Girl

In middle school, girls have the only power that counts at that moment, social power. These alphas are the brightest stars in their constellation, defining life as the young teen knows it. They decide that American Eagle shirts are what you wear with jeans, Dasani water is what you drink at lunch, Jen is persona non grata at their lunchroom table and Brittany must ask Adam to Courtney's party.

In middle school I was definitely a gamma. Then once I got to high school, a science and math magnet school that promised an adolescent world free of cliques, I devolved into something much further down the alphabetical line. Needless to say that promise was a lie. I so hated high school.

Still no Kiss-Kiss-ing at Hallmark

No gay bears will leave this store!
Hallmark gets homophobic on Grandma's ass.

February 22, 2002

(dumbest domain ever)

Enron Designed Fake Trading Floor (Click2Houston.com)

The bankrupt energy giant, Enron Corp., designed and maintained a fake trading floor at its Houston office.

According to former Enron employees, on the sixth floor of the company's downtown headquarters was a set, designed to trick analysts into believing business was booming.

"It was an elaborate Hollywood production that we went through every year when the analysts were going to be there to be impress them to make our stock go up," former employee Carol Elkin said.

Right Wing Myths Exposed

The Myth of the "Great Red Heartland" exposed, via your favorite Ashcroft-bashing cartoonist and mine, Tom "we are the majority" Tomorrow.

where da evidence?

From the 11217 I transmit
My area is thick my vision focused
My jitterbugs limp n' learn as I squirm
But I'm a team player so I waits my turn
And when I get the rock I'm going straight to the hole
My average per game is pure black soul
In the 13-X styles the ignorance
Got the clearance to speak intelligence on the block
Digable Planets - For Corners lyrics

what's your home page?

I usually set my browser to default to a blank page (by deleting the "Home Page" URL in preferences) but I think I'll try loading Daypop Top News Stories in new windows for a while. I haven't looked at it before, but I am coming to love Daypop like I love Google.

February 21, 2002

Asaf Oron's Statement

We are the Chinese young man standing in front of the tank. And you? If you are nowhere to be seen, you are probably inside the tank, advising the driver.
Asaf Oron explains why he joined a group of Israeli soldiers refusing to serve in the occupied territories.

I love you so much it makes me sick.

Mainstream Media Unites Behind The War.

Who's afraid of Wal-Mart?

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, e-commerce sales amounted to $32.6 billion in 2001. That was up 19% from 2000 while retail sales as a whole were up just 3.3%. So e-commerce is still the future, right? Well, to put it into perspective, Wal-Mart Stores had sales revenues of $218 billion last year, which will put it ahead of ExxonMobil as the number 1 company on the Fortune 500 list. With 1.2 million employees, Wal-Mart is also the nation's and world's largest private employer. Like e-commerce companies, however, none of Wal-Mart's employees are unionized.
For good or for evil, Wal-Mart is calling the shots now.

originally posted by zagg

Neuroscience Art Gallery: Louis Wain

Cats Painted in the Progression of
Psychosis of a Schizophrenic Artist

The progressive escape of reality towards delusion is expressed in the pictures below. They have been painted by Louis Wain, an European artist in the beginning of this century. Since Wain was young, he used to draw and paint cats for calendars, albums, postcards, etc. When he became 57 years old, he was affected by schizophrenia, which overtook his life as well his art. The last 15 years of his life were spent in psychiatric institutions.
suspicious cat
"This cat is alerted by an intuitional feeling that something is amiss."
His cats paintings started to change and to show startling images. Quite revealing of his psychotic condition were the cat's eyes. See how they become fixed with hostility, even in the earliest paintings, because the psychotic probably tends to think that the world is looking upon him in a menacing way. Another sign is the fragmentation of the cat's body. They become altered in a strange way under the psychotic's gaze, and almost always are represented as distorted and phantastic shapes.

what to do with the High Line?

"Built in the 1930s as an elevated passageway for freight trains, the High Line runs for 1.45 miles, from 34th Street, along the edge of the Hudson River, through West Chelsea's tree-lined blocks and art galleries, into the heart of the Meat Packing District. Friends of the High Line believes this neglected landmark offers New Yorkers the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind recreational amenity: a grand, public promenade that can be enjoyed by all residents and visitors in New York City. Preservation and reuse will protect the High Line's potential for future transportation use and link the residential, cultural, commercial, and industrial components of these dynamic Manhattan neighborhoods."
image

Friends of the High Line is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing the demolition of this unique urban space and making it into something new and beautiful - which has been done before quite successfully in Paris.

Their web site has some pretty spiffy stuff, including a very nice gallery, this recent Daily News opinion piece urging Bloomberg to continue his support for preserving the High Line, and other current news about the fight to preserve this lovely piece of old New York.

Elsewhere on the web, you can take a virtual tour of the high line, see what the Preservation League of New York has to say about the high line, and view even more lovely photographs. What would you like to see done with the High Line?

originally posted by Chris

what the hell is this

It is the latest in a series of companion robots created by Matsushita. Previous efforts included cats and a surprisingly appealing wombat.
Sincere Kourien's furry contribution to caring for Japan's ageing population.

The okayplayers take on interracial

The okayplayers take on interracial sex scenes in movies.

February 20, 2002

I usually try to post

I usually try to post links of a more light-hearted nature here, but this is one of the things that really gets me fired up.


Marketing to children is but one of many ways the food industry encourages Americans to eat non- nutritious food, and to eat it in enormous quantities.

Simply appalling.

originally posted by dm8k

Ashcroft Invokes Religion In U.S. War on Terrorism (washingtonpost.com)

If you don't believe in his God, John Ashcroft says you're uncivilized and ignorant.

css for the rest of us

Read Eric Glish's (he wrote the literal book) introduction to CSS layout for Apple.com and drink from the holy grail itself -- a 3 column liquid page layout with a header, (and fully and clearly explained) with CSS (no tables). But that's just a warm-up:

To make things interesting, I took the Apple Internet Developer home page, which makes extensive use of tables, and I re-coded it using CSS for all layout. (...)

February 19, 2002

you've got a racist friend in pennsylvania

"Over 100,000,000 people live withing a single day's drive of Potter County, Pennsylvania." Do you?

online comics

The Tomb of Horrors weblog (it's not scary) points out an excellent overview of online comics worth reading in the Comics Journal called "Tape This to Your Cubicle Wall". I recognize some of my favorites from the sample panels. Even if you don't think of yourself as a comics reader, it can't hurt to click on the panel that most grabs your eye and read a few screens.


See also: John Ridley on comic books for NPR

E Pluribus Unum

Dr. Pepper Under Fire for Promoting Godless Pledge.

wood s lot

I'm going to steal some (unvetted) links from wood s lot today:

New York's Newest Night Owls

New York's Newest Night Owls (NYT)

note to self: read Wild Nights soon.

Chicago campaigned for its citizens

Chicago campaigned for its citizens to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" last summer. Some people want to start a similar program in New York.


"Chicago is different," said Ann Douglas, a professor at Columbia and author of "Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920's." "The New Yorker disdains to be a booster, of his own city or of his own culture. That is for the provinces."

"As far as reading goes," she continued, "we are the most important group of readers and critics in the country and even possibly in the world. I would prefer to let us go on our merry way as we have for the last hundred years, deciding what everyone else should read."


The rest is here. It's challenging enough to try and find books relevant for all the rW readers, and we've fallen flat on our face so far. Giving out copies of "A Different Mirror" and "Race Matters" to every student at Oberlin was a great success. What are the limits on these experiments? When does a community become too large, diverse, snotty, or anything else to all read the same book?

oscar acceptance speech generator

You see, many people today don't understand the issues involved in plastic surgery addiction, which is why I decided to take the part. When I was a kid back in North London, not many people knew that the bulldogs I used to watch frothing at the mouth on my porch had plastic surgery addiction. And when I found out, I stopped punching them. I wouldn't touch them.
Create your own stupid Oscar acceptance speech with the Beeb's random speech generator.

February 18, 2002

mnftiu get your page 8 on

Holy fucking shit, man, you'll never guess who just walked in--
www.mnftiu.cc: get your page eight on.

Yummalucious restaurant. Uncle Vanya's Cafe

Yummalucious restaurant.

Uncle Vanya's Cafe (good russian food, good american prices)

In Manhattan, just across the street from a courthouse at 315 W. 54th St. (between 8th and 9th Aves, phone 212-262-0542).

DJ, two friends, and I finally met for the dinner we were supposed to have on September 11th. Uncle Vanya's was chosen for its proximity to the auditorium in which we would be spending almost four hours later that night. It turned out to be a wonderful restaurant, and I will go back. The lighting was just right. The music was "russified" Beatles hits. The waitress was patient and funny (cracking subtle jokes that made me smile). The food was great. (Go eggplant salad!) Some of the entrees were less large than one might expect, but the appetizers make up for that. DJ's tea came with cookies and a little bowl of cherries. Good times were had by all. Hilarity ensued.

originally posted by Greer

Since Kavalier & Clay is

Since Kavalier & Clay is kind of an honorary rW book club title, it's worth mentioning that McSweeney's issue 7 (link not working yet but will soon) features an "Un-told Tale of Kavalier and Clay." It's a nice little postscript with cover art by Chris Ware. Issue 6 featured a They Might Be Giants companion soundtrack and an article by Zadie Smith.

call this a "math" post.

Strat-O-Matic XL didn't have quite the pageantry of Salt Lake City XIX, but when, shortly before official distribution began at 1 p.m, Hal Richman pulled the curtain aside on a gigantic version of the Bonds card, well ... I swear I saw tears rolling down many of the cheeks. "This is the greatest slugging card in history," said Richman. "One home run for every 6.5 at bats."

Which is more of a sport, Strat-O-Matic or Ice Skating?

will america go it alone?

George Bush's argument that Iran, Iraq and Korea are producing weapons of mass destruction is and his concern on this score seem hypocritical in the face of vast stockpiles of these weapons in the US and Israeli arsenals while the presence of American troops in the Gulf region and in South Korea and Japan poses a threat to the security of the so-called "axis of evil". It is strange that George Bush did not censure the state terrorism of Israel, nor did he condemn the arch terrorist, Ariel Sharon, and instead, chose to declare war on the national resistance forces, Al Hamas and Hezbollah, fighting against foreign occupation. This may be a crusade but it is not a just war.
Will America go it alone?, from Pakistan's Dawn via Smirking Chimp.

February 17, 2002

Hollywood's Big New Minstrel Show

Fat suits - Hollywood's new blackface:

"See, it’s fairly acceptable to satirize a group of people we envy. (Movies like Legally Blonde and Clueless work because we’re laughing at rich white girls. Their problems are supposedly our fantasies—which boy to date, which pair of Manolos looks better with the Versace dress, which color SUV to drive—and these comedies treat them with the utmost affection.) But when the punchline is a group euphemistically (and often erroneously) called a minority, things start to get dicey. Over the past several decades, comedy has gradually become less broad and more sensitive to overt racism (and, to a lesser extent, sexism and homophobia). Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker may trade black and Asian jokes in the Rush Hour series, but we've come a long way since Peter Sellers was cast as bucktoothed Chinese sleuth Sidney Wang in Murder by Death. By now, the cardinal rule of humor—you can only make fun of a group if you’re part of it—is familiar enough to be a punchline itself. (Remember Jerry Seinfeld’s outrage over his Catholic dentist’s Jewish jokes?) But fat people are the last remaining exception."

Marisa Meltzer breaks it down in Bitch Magazine (via Boing Boing)

originally posted by Chris

play ball

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it goes .... And Summer is gone."

A. Bartlett Giamatti


Mike Piazza, seen here taking out the Red Sox in the bottom of the 9th, wonders if the Mets can take down the Yankees this year. We've lost Omar Minaya, now the first Latino GM in baseball, but gained Mo Vaughn, who can dunk a basketball (although I can find nothing on the Internet to corroborate that trivia). rW readers will henceforth be spared my baseball posts thanks to Sportsfilter.

February 16, 2002

Changes in World Economy May Doom Many Towns

Changes in World Economy on Raw Materials May Doom Many Towns (NYT)

Stretched across the southern tier, from Arizona and New Mexico through Texas and Georgia and into Virginia, these small rural communities form the base of the national supply chain. They produce most of the oil and much of the ore, fiber and food. In past recessions, even if they did not bounce back entirely, at least they survived. But this time around, as the overall economy begins to show some signs of healing, things are ominously different in many of these towns.

white like me

Let’s work toward leadership that reflects the cultures and communities where Hip-Hop was born. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be active and feel invested in the culture, but we must be aware of how racism plays out in the power paradigm of America, and how it is controlling Hip-Hop culture.
Dig the musings of a prominent online hip hop community in response to this article on the role of white people in hip hop.

February 15, 2002

hungry?

"The meathead illustrated is a ham meathead, which gives the appearance of a severe burn victim. You can also use corned beef, for the look of someone with the outer layer of his skin peeled off, or turkey for a nice zombie appearance."

originally posted by Chris

i understand dido less than electric relaxation

Are you part of the dido demographic? Check out this list of 25 CDs. If you have 12 or more of them, you're a dido.

February 14, 2002

‘We chose Valentine’s day to

‘We chose Valentine’s day to launch Peaceful Tomorrows because our families have been comforted by the love, compassion and sympathy of people all over the world,’ said Colleen Kelly who lost her brother William Kelly Jr. at the World Trade Center. ‘It is this spirit of healing and understanding that we want to bring to the world in memory of our lost loved ones.’

The September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was born today.

originally posted by zagg

word to God hon, I don't get down like that!

Since it's Valentine's Day, let's settle the "Electric Relaxation" chorus debate (referenced here) once and for all. The ohhla lists it as "Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down (4X)" but that's not even close. I think it's "Relax yourself girl / be set clear" but I'm not 100 percent sure. Pop in Midnight Marauders (panned by Rolling Stone) and let me know.

What's the civilian death toll in Afghanistan?

How many Afghani civilians have been killed in the War on Terror?

The Financial Times reports less than 333.


The Associated Press' recent study revealed 500 to 600.

The
Project on Defense Alternatives puts the number at 1,300.


University of New Hampshire Prof. Marc Herold’s study of media reports says 3,767.



When reading anything on civilian casualties in Afghanistan, it’s also worth remembering the corporate media’s reported policies on the subject, according to FAIR.

originally posted by zagg

europenis

In the interest of introducing some real, heartfelt puerility into this otherwise serious week, here's the Europenis. Thanks, John.

Given the heated nature of

Given the heated nature of recent discussions here, perhaps this would be a good time for some folks to brush up on their online debating skills via a good old-fashioned Guide to Flaming:

Rule #1: There Are No Winners. If you were defeated, or merely a Firefighter on the periphery, then you know your place - you may be so humiliated that you may have to leave that group. But if you defeated a Damp Squib who dared to oppose you, you may be the Flame Master - but you have been seen to be a bully, and who wants to risk a few rounds with you? You can stay in the group - but how welcome are you?

Something else y'all might find interesting is the handy-dandy Guide to Rightwingnut Posers, from Unknown News. Not that that implies anything about anyone here. I'm just sayin'.

originally posted by Chris

February 13, 2002

PopPolitics.com ponders over how much

PopPolitics.com ponders over how much the Enron mess could damage the GOP in the long run...

It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to hold onto a warm and fuzzy image of modern multinational corporations, or, for that matter, their political benefactors. To believe that the GOP can somehow escape being harmed by an Enron-induced anti-corporate backlash is sort of like thinking that the beef industry would not be damaged if everyone in the county became a vegetarian.

The Big Business Backlash

originally posted by Chris

*smooch*

Just as children are frequently freaked after learning the truth about where they really came from -- "Wait! Wait! Daddy did what?" -- it's quite certain that many modern lovers will be appalled and revolted to learn that the act of kissing began with prehistoric mothers chewing up food -- then pushing it into their children's mouths with their tongues. "Hungry, honey? Then come give Mama a kiss!"
First Kisses - a look back on the history of liplock, from AlterNet.

originally posted by Chris

The Lower East Side Tenement

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is engaged in an ugly Real Estate dispute. I see both sides of this argument, and I have noticed this animosity even in the tours, where they are constantly bad mouthing the neighboring building's owners. Regardless, the Tenement Museum is an incredible place worth visiting multiple times.

a secular history of Islam

Mullahs and Heretics, a secular history of Islam by Tariq Ali at the LRB.

a plague on both your houses

'Besides everything over here is earnest and deadly serious, so there has to be something to counter that, to make light of all that nonsense ... This episode has made me more determined to go on with The Portadown News. The people that got me sacked were mistaken if they think they can stop the site.'
Unemployed Newton Emerson, the editor of the Portadown News pisses a lot of people off. Gems include the Vatican sending a Holy Water Cannon to Drumcree to be used against Orangemen, and 'The Red Finger of Ulster'. His ISP Freeserve pulled the plug on the site last year without warning, and then a West Belfast paper revealed Emerson's identity and alerted his employer to the number of times the website was updated during working hours. Satire is dead, long live satire!

Following up on this classic

Following up on this classic discussion, I ventured out with Chris to "Taqueria D.F." I am pleased to report the tortillas were perfect, the beans (refried, vegetarian) a nice consistency and the rice acceptable. I would rate it far superior to Burritoville, but not in the same league as BB or (insert favorite SF burrito spot here). I also found the guacamole slightly thin. I'll definitely be returning.

Talk to me a little

Talk to me a little bit about myth.
In parts of the world where I come from and also in Asia, and all those ancient, ancient cultures, myth is still a mover and shaker. When I was growing up, for example, my mother would say to me, when she sent me out to the market, "Go buy a pound of sugar, but when you pass by this kind of bush, if you hear your name mentioned recite the name of the Virgin Mary three times, and when you pass by this empty well throw this pinch of salt into the hole, and when you do this, do that." To you this sounds like, What a life to live! There are so many instructions on going from home to the market! But that's the power of myth. And in a way it was the glue to that society and culture. It forms your view of the world and your father's, and your prejudices.
An interview with exiled Ethiopian writer Nega Mezlekia, who no longer carries salt in his pocket.

February 12, 2002

Anyone who's ever done

Anyone who's ever done any food-related websurfing at all has probably already seen this, but it's spiffy nonetheless, and it was recently redesigned: The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

originally posted by Chris

On the subway:It is always

On the subway:

It is always rude to bleed near someone, especially in a crowded train station.

In bars:

We won't even go into how to pick up men or women at a bar, except: if you don't know how, no one can help you. And if you do know how, no one can help you. You're helpless, any way you cut it.

In restaurants:

In the case of being served wine that you didn't order but is obviously better than you wanted, accept immediately and play it cool. Drink your fair share, and stick your friend with the check; the next day, when he brings it up, say "Yeah, but man, that wine was really good, right?"

On the street:

It's impolite to broach strangers on the street and tell them how awful they look. It's also impolite to start fights with homeless people. However, it is unbelievably rude to do both at the same time, while impersonating a homeless person. This has been witnessed.

The Morning News Guide to Urban Etiquette: New York City (via BoingBoing)

originally posted by Chris

new stuff is the new old stuff

POINTLESS, UGLY, STUPID CRAP: 'Just look at all this stupid crap! We found that minibar on Brick Lane, after the market. I nearly died of happiness. But now I just think it's pointless. If there's booze in the house, we drink it. We don't need a minibar!

'And these [red suede ruched] boots! They're just like the ones Suzanne Sulley wore with that trenchcoat in the Don't You Want Me video. But they're ugly. Really ugly. All my friend are so jealous of me for finding them. But I hate them.'
Jessica, 29, is sick of thrifting. I know how she feels.

The racist and classist undertones

The racist and classist undertones of a lot of these debates have really offended me. Some parents are up in arms because they are terrifically self-interested, and concerned their kids won't get into TJ. They feel [admission to Jefferson] is an entitlement. People were saying the same kinds of things 30 years ago in Virginia when they were desegregating schools.
Big Education Week article about efforts to achieve racial integration at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., where there are two black kids in this year's class of 430 students. The article also features links to other reports on race, class and education.

Alton Brown on KPA

Ever since Martha Stewart wrapped our planet (and others as far as I know) in her chilly perfection many people have become so uncertain of their decor that they simply quit having people over. They sit at night, alone, fumbling paint chips like rosary beads while pining for the perfect valance for the "keeping room". This sort of miasma drives us to abandon all sense of personal style and as an extension, our very personalities. Unable to trust ourselves at flea markets or antique shops, we flock to Pottery Barn to buy artificial flea market finds.
Alton Brown looks at Kitchen Performance Anxiety.

Islam is a religion in

Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.
-- Minister of Hate John Ashcroft
Ashcroft Disputes Report on Islam Views (washingtonpost.com)

Lord of the Ring (NYT)

It's like my whole life was waiting for this moment, so I knew what to say. I said: ''Here's how I want to open the show tonight. We've got Sting, who beat you last night. Controversial -- Sting is now a freshly turned heel. I want to send him out with his buddy Lex Luger. He's going to cut a heel promo on the fans. We're in the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill. He's going to call it a dump, and that's going to get the entire crowd going bananas.'' I ran through the whole scenario for Hulk: ''Lex Luger's going to have a bat, like he's batting. Sting's down like a catcher saying, Come on, bring it, we're going to put you out of the park. You get up on the ropes, outnumbered. Then Bret Hart's music starts up and Bret comes down the ramp.'' Anyway, I went on, and at the end Hogan's like: ''That's pretty good, brother. Couple of holes in it, but pretty good.''
Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) on his dream gig, scripting pro wrestling.

virtual communities during war

Sleepless in Belgrade: A Virtual Community during War by Smiljana Antonijevic at B92.

This is fantastic. Unfortunately we're

This is fantastic. Unfortunately we're in this situation that no matter how good the fish is, it won't equal this parking spot.

NYT: For [Calvin] Trillin, Parking Is an End, Not a Means. I'd like to point out here, for no good reason other than name-dropping, that Mr. Trillin once gave me a steamed vegetable bun direct from Chinatown. Those were the days.

Yesterday I noticed that someone

Yesterday I noticed that someone had stuck this web style guide in the "flux" sidebar on randomWalks, so being a fan of style guides I checked it out. The author contends:

irony

Always identify ironic sentiments as such. Even the most obvious instances will inevitably be misunderstood.

. . .

sarcasm

Writers are somehow tempted to employ sarcasm far more often when online than off. This is usually a mistake. Sarcasm should only be employed with extreme reluctance, and should always be identified as such, either with a parenthetical remark (saying, for instance, "(Just kidding.)") or a statement (or even an emoticon) indicating amusement.


Now, I wonder, is this in itself irony and sarcasm, and I'm just missing it, or is the author serious? I really hope it's the former. Do you really think we should just stop using irony and sarcasm simply because people don't get it? And why is the online world any different from the old media of newspapers, books and magazines? If you carry the argument through to its logical conclusion, we should stop using irony and sarcasm everywhere, right?

February 11, 2002

Nader on Enron

I told you so!
Enron? Nader Is Glad You Asked (the Nation)

too obvious?

sitting vs. squatting

Nature's Platform

We must bear in mind that while we regard the use of the [chair-like toilet] as natural, we represent only a relatively small percentage of the world's population, and a percentage that may be said, in an absolute sense, to be wrong, insofar as we have allowed civilization to interfere with our biological functioning.
I'm definitely interested in trying out this technique. Is anyone qualified to debate the merits of both positions?

Maybe today we should all

Maybe today we should all go vegan in honor of go vegan's birthday. Happy Birthday!

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick

Read The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by R. Crumb from from Weirdo 17 online.

A liberal will tell you

A liberal will tell you the system isn't working properly. I will tell you that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to. After reflection on my two decades plus of service, I am convinced that I only served the richest one percent of my country. In every country where I worked, poor people's poverty built and maintained the wealth of the rich.

This piece from Stan Goff has been posted here before. It reminds me a lot a speech by former Marine Smedley Bulter, part of which is available here. He also wrote a longer piece, War is a Racket.
One part of the speech:
I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country's most agile military force -- the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
...
Thus I, helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

... inspired a Billy Bragg song.

originally posted by zagg

February 10, 2002

"Isn't the whole accusatory concept

"Isn't the whole accusatory concept of 'self-loathing' rather flamboyantly stupid?" Indeed.

I've found a new





I've found a new favorite falafel place. It's on Coney Island Avenue (near the Charlottesville section of Brooklyn) and it's too large to fit in one picture. You pay for your container, pita (3.5), half pita (3), plate with chicken (6) - there are tons of options. Then you approach this salad bar where you jam as much falafel, green onions, salad, pickles, and much more into your pita. At first I was a little intimidated by the hordes of people reaching into the falafel bin with their fingers and wolfing them down 2 or 3 at a time, but I got over that quickly since it tasted so delicious.

February 8, 2002

But even Bush ran a sports franchise

Kennth Lay has sold his interest in the Houston Texans. The Houston Texans remind me a lot of Enron in that they are completely fake - they've never played a game and they have no players. Shouldn't Lay be the right man for the job?

patriotism could erupt into full-scale jingoism

Still, this year there's a real possibility (threat?) that patriotism could erupt into full-scale jingoism. There's a chance that other nations could look at cheesy attempts at patriotism and see the most blatant attempt at using nationalism to hijack the Olympics since 1936.
Not what I expect from ESPN - but certainly a welcome sentiment. Does anyone else feel that these olympics are going to stink for around 2000 reasons, one of which is definitely this "America #1" attitude? (another of which is "Utah?")

pacifica 4.8 mil in debt. ouch.

the only reasonable conclusion can be that management's primary concern was solidifying their positions of power, an all-too-common phenomenon amongst entrenched management of any organization. This graphically illustrates the real problems with top-down management in non-profit and supposedly democratic organizations. Your radio network can't be a voice for democracy when it organizes itself like a mob of cronies.

mediageek, with further analysis and links, on the massive debt at Pacifica.

originally posted by elihu

While a tree may

While a tree may grow in Brooklyn, statistically speaking it’s more likely to be in Queens -- almost half of New York City’s trees (43.6%) are in that borough, according to the latest city tree census. The most common tree in New York is the Norway maple (perhaps because it does very well in sidewalk plantings, as you see here), which, along with London plane trees, comprise over 40% of the city's total tree population. You might be surprised at all the benefits street trees have to offer. Learn a bit more about street trees and how you can help them thrive from NYC Oasis and the most recent issue of the Brooklyn Gardener newsletter.

originally posted by Chris

Money-Grubbing Games

First there is a promise. Then there is no promise. Then there is a promise — until your attention is diverted again.
Paul Krugman breaks down why Bush will never give us the money he promised. [NYT link now gone. dj 2/11] [Rest assured that motherfucker is not going to give us our money!!]

Administration Shifts Focus on Colombia Aid

This is no longer about stopping drugs, it's about fighting the guerrillas.
Senator Patrick Leahy (Dem. Vermont) on the Bush administration's plan to expand military "aid" to Colombia for the protection of a 500-mile-long oil pipeline.

Why Do You Think They Call It "Propaganda"? (LA Weekly)

It does not matter how many people ridicule these ads; the idea will propagate without public consent. It works on an emotional level, not an intellectual one. It galvanizes fear. It frames the debate.
Judith Lewis says the drugs fund terrorism message is a powerful meme. I wonder how a free drug market would compare to the black one operating now? I wonder why the capitalists aren't lobbying for an end to prohibition?

Utah's native people recognized in Olympic ceremonies

They know about us, but they think we're in a museum. The man you see riding the horse in the museum is not dead. I'm actually alive.
Tribes to Get Their '15 minutes' (nytimes.com)

February 7, 2002

pay what forward

Enron has a 30-year, $100 million naming rights deal on the Houston Astros stadium and it is up-to-date on this payment. (Workers? What former workers?) On top of that, Enron has the gall to attempt to get the Astros to pay it to break the deal. Meanwhile the bankruptcy court is behind it on this. Somehow, this is rational.

originally posted by zagg

wacky punchard emulator

wacky punchard emulator

originally posted by dm8k

Super Bowl Propaganda

Bush's Sickening Super Bowl Propaganda (AlterNet)

U2 first rose to fame off a breakthrough album in the early '80s called "War" -- the band, born of a country plagued by war and terrorism, was against it, and later songs like "Bullet the Blue Sky" specifically ripped U.S. military adventurism and its impact on poor countries.

Yesterday, Bono finished the band's short halftime show with the inevitable tribute to 9-11 victims, literally wrapping himself in the American flag, as though honoring 9-11's dead -- many of whom weren't Americans -- somehow required solidarity with the U.S. flag and with the waging of yet another war, or three, or five. Permanent war, reduced to emotional spectacle and a brandable moment. (...)

It's not drugs that fuel political violence throughout the world -- it's their prohibition, and the forcing of drug transactions into the black market. There, as the CIA well knows, lies the world's most efficient system for funneling large amounts of untraceable money.

The effort to eradicate certain popular drugs -- including the War on Drugs touted by yesterday's TV ads and the Drug Czar office that paid for them -- has literally created, and perpetuated, the very black market now accused of being a source of cash for al Qaeda's jihad. Ending drug prohibitions would do far more to thwart terrorism than the War on Drugs ever could.

drugs at root of modern civilization

Faults Suggest a High Calling for Delphi Priestesses (washingtonpost.com)

Evidence is growing that the priestesses, known as pythia, were ripped on hydrocarbon gases, especially ethylene, a sometime anesthetic which, taken in modest doses, can induce lively conversation of a somewhat incoherent nature.

American Family

The entertainment industry executives who decide what goes on television can't seem to grasp the reality of a Hispanic experience in America that transcends that of the domestic servants who tend to their Malibu mansions. On television, we see the maids and the gardeners, but we rarely catch a glimpse of the families they support with their scrubbing or lawn trimming.
PBS series displays complexity of Hispanic family life (dallasnews.com)

'Sesame Street' Getting Huge Makeover

"Sesame Street," which was loosely modeled after the old variety show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," is essentially becoming a series of individual stories. "I've never seen `Sesame Street' get worse through changes," said Peggy Charren, founder of Action for Children's Television.
Lorraine was at the doctor Monday morning, so naturally I turned on the television to watch "Sesame Street" with my 14-month old son. I found myself thinking the show had changed a lot over the years -- what I didn't know was that we'd happened to catch most of the first episode of a completely re-worked "Sesame Street".

February 6, 2002

Gigantic Mr. Potato Head Is Rascist

Damn, why did Slashdot's Rob Malda have to turn out to be an over-the-top asshole?

Calculating Cartoons

The huge challenge is making these things "directable"... Suppose the director wants [a mug dropped onto a table] to land upright, but in an accurate physics simulation, the vessel always ends up on its side. By adding subtle unevenness to what had been a perfectly flat table top, the scientists showed that they can create conditions in which the mug bounces a few times and then settles upright.
Calculating Cartoons is a substantive, accessible look at how animators and game creators program physics simulations to acheive ever-more realistic special effects.

I've mentioned Bee before because

I've mentioned Bee before because it's one of the best online comics, but I bet you didn't know Bee's creator, Jason Little, is (according to Boing Boing) married to Myla Goldberg, author of the bestselling Bee Season.

Along with other ethnic seasoning

Along with other ethnic seasoning mixes, such as curry, garam masala and quatre epices, five-spice powder has become part of the international culinary language. It is a versatile and charming seasoning that adapts to many ingredients.
This guide to five-spice powder looks promising. Coincidentally, I picked up my first bottle the other night, and I'd like to make the potatoes with poppy seeds in this article--though now I'm more interested in grinding my own. Back to the Asian supermarket down the road...

Lexington, Va.

Most people pull off the interstate and expect to find a bumpkin town, not a good piece of chocolate, a good cup of espresso, a good theater and streets lined with art galleries and interesting shops.
There is apparently more than one reason to visit Lexington, Va.

This slipped by me when

This slipped by me when it first aired: Terry Gross vs. Gene Simmons.

Terry Gross: Has it come to this? Is this the only way you can talk to a woman, with that shtick?

Gene Simmons: Let me ask you something - why is it shtick when all women have ever wanted since we crawled out of caves is, ‘Why can't a man just tell me the truth and speak to me plainly?' So if I do that, you can't have it both ways.

Gross: So you really have no sense of humor about this, do you?

Simmons: I was going to suggest you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you and get out into the world and see what everybody else is doing.

Gross: Having sex with you?

Simmons: Well, if you choose but you'd have to stand in line.

Via MediaNews.

February 5, 2002

AIDS and evolution

The severity of the epidemic in some parts of the world is so profound that it will clearly impact human evolution.

Last week's NYTimes suggests that the human race will, as have the monkey and cat populations mentioned in the article, become predisposed to live with the virus. What do you think?

And on a lighter note, while you're thinking about evolution, where do you stand on the all important Pinky Toe - Stay or Go? debate?

originally posted by Greer

POEMThe spirit likes to dress

POEM

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body's world,
instinct

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
sweetness
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is --

so it enters us --
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

by Mary Oliver, from Dream Work

with apologies for not knowing how to code indents

originally posted by hcog

patriot registration

Your registration is appreciated.

originally posted by zagg

Today is the 25th

Today is the 25th annual Empire State Building Run Up, sponsored by the New York Road Runners Club. A group of 150 hearty athletic types will be running 86 flights up a total of 1576 steps - a task that the recordholder managed to do in 9 minutes and 37 seconds.

Clearly, this whole thing is both nifty and insane.


originally posted by Chris

Chap?

I say, Chaps, this certainly is a treasure trove of information to help such rum coves as our good selves to survive in an hostile age of consumate vulgarity. Thanks again to Wing Commander J. R. Wright, MBE, FRCS, etc. etc.

The Bluffer's Guide to Goth

The Bluffer's Guide to Goth. Thanks, John!

'Stripping the ethnic crap' from Sarajevo

"There was only one design criterion for the flag: that no one had died for it." 'Stripping the ethnic crap' from Sarajevo.

February 4, 2002

This simple survey on geographical

This simple survey on geographical linguistics is kinda interesting - particularly the very clear showing of what parts of the country say "y'all" for the plural you. And, apparently, I've been using the New York term for carbonated cola beverages since long before it was geographically appropriate for me to do so.

originally posted by Chris

One reason I, an aspiring

One reason I, an aspiring journalist in the nation's capital, will never work for the Washington Times. Here's another one.

Where is her husband's voice

Where is her husband's voice on these matters? Oh, he is not speaking on advice of counsel. Well, says Dr. Ink, screw counsel. How about facing the public like a man rather than sending your wife out to run interference. When Dick Nixon made his famous Checkers speech, he may have praised his wife's modest Republican cloth coat, but at least he didn't send Pat out on her own to make the case for him.
The Poynter Institute's Dr. Ink weighs in on Kenneth Lay, Mrs. Lay (whither their Chihuahua, Frito Lay?), and the troubling trend of "family spin."

February 3, 2002

I know not of the

I know not of the upper class, but if my experiences on the penny-ante poker circuit are any indication, the "aspiring hipster/struggling artist" class is all over the game. In the last year, I've played in dozens of late-night games, at which men talk about manly things and forget the rank of hands, and where women, when they show up, usually win.
Since some randomWalks editors have been known to play poker, and many of the same have even lived in New York, I thought they might want a window into playing poker in New York. Of course, one, dj, already knows about this, since a recent late-night game in Brooklyn gave him "allergies."

dj, uffish wef pics

Uffish already broke down our afternoon, and I've got the some of the pictures on line now, despite shitty iPhoto. Let me just underscore how difficult it was for us (late, admittedly) to join up with the march/rally. We walked from Columbus circle down to 50th & 5th, where they told us to head down to 47th, where the told us to try 53rd, where they told us to try 59th. We got over on 55th. The only reason they let us cross from Park to Lex was because we said we wanted to get on the subway. There were 5000 people, easily, but it reminded me more of waiting in line for the Phatom Menace than the World Bank/DC protests since we were kept in such a narrow area.


highlighted pics:

Morpheus users' hard drives could

  • Morpheus users' hard drives could be accessible to other users, according to some security expert dudes. I don't use it cos it's only for PCs, but I hear that KaZaA will have a Mac version soon. I also heard it wipes the floor with Limewire et. al.
  • My heroine and love of my childhood has been arrested for shoplifting. No, not the one you're thinking of.

February 2, 2002

74th Street Between West End

74th Street Between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive: An 1896 Row of 11 Town Houses With One Architect. Streetscapes, from the New York Times.

Michael Moore on Enron

George W. in the Garden of Gethsemane: An Open Letter to George W. Bush from Michael Moore

The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference

The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference not only features a decent list of sushi joints around the globe, but also a handy glossary (did you know monkfish liver is called ankimo?) and all sorts of wildly conflicting sushi etiquette tips.

Mmmmmm. Sushi.

originally posted by Chris

1. Ninjas are mammals.2. Ninjas

1. Ninjas are mammals.
2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.
3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.
The Official Ninja Homepage is packed with REAL ultimate power. True: my friend once ran over a ninja in his car, because the ninja was INVISIBLE. wow.

Motorola says listing Palestine as country was error

Motorola says listing Palestine as country was error (Yahoo) Shrug.

February 1, 2002

news from the beeb

If you from Kansas, represent wheat.

You just gotta be true to your lifestyle. I mean, if you come from a place where you got space around you, don't pretend and act like you squooshed up. Or if you come from squooshed, don't front and represent, like you spaced out. Just be who you are. If you from Kansas, you know, represent...wheat or whatever. I got respect for that. Be yourself.
Danny Hoch as Emcee Enuff.

Romanticizing the De-Evolution of the

Romanticizing the De-Evolution of the State (The Thresher)

Non-hierarchical networked societies are a grand ideal. I'm no fan of nosey and anal governments poking their fingers into every act, regulating away all vitality. But a total de-evolution of the state at this time would be M.A.D. Over-optimistic fantasies aside, the techno-libertarian reality is a grim Social Darwinist one. We've already seen how this oligarchy functions, with its networked corporate drone-hives, their virtual trillions circulating the globe out of the grasp of the Job-like-masses, who've been permanently downsized and temped (pimped) out, suffering for their faith in the market. And far-left/anarchist fantasies about the potential perfection of wo-man (alleged to have lived in harmonious hunter-gatherer, agrarian or even Neolithic golden ages), after the corrupting state is removed, demonstrate an even more unsophisticated form of wishful thinking. Anarchist devolutionists don't only ignore most of the historical and evolutionary evidence, they fail to explain how we could get there from this far away, without killing off the several hundred million people who really want to go shopping at the mall.
Sigh.

80 years ago tomorrow, James

80 years ago tomorrow, James Joyce's Ulysses was first published. The Guardian guide to Ulysses is worth a quick read, especially as I haven't actually read the book in question. Have you?