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March 31, 2002

brooklyn keep on takin' it

''The pay was so horrifically bad that I just couldn't,'' he remembers. ''I was like, If I can write a rhyme, and somebody will put me on their record, that's $200 or $300. How long does it take me -- an hour or two?''
The mighty Mos Def, on taking it to the stage vs. rhyme-writin' on a page.

"It's a full time job because you have to be out until 4 o'clock in the morning"

Groupie Central is your one-stop destination for such goodies as biographies of notable groupies (as well as wives and lovers of rock stars) - like the legendary "Sweet Connie" and Bebe Buell - and info on album covers and music videos that have featured some of these folks, but the juiciest stuff is the gossip section - Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is likely to talk about his wife to groupies, Trent Reznor has "mommy issues," and Huey Lewis is reputed to be the most, ah, blessed guy in the biz.

originally posted by Chris

March 30, 2002

QM kicks it

The last Empress of India has gone to the big gin fizz in the sky. Now I'm hearing she was the nation's favourite grandmother. But mummy, why were her teeth made out of peanuts? A selection of responses: The Sun, the Independent, the Daily Mail and b3ta boards. And FYI, the Monarchy Out! links page, Mrs Majesty Queen food, the Private Eye Diana pages, and the Queen Mamagotchi.

Salon.com Life | Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry: Let us now praise hairy men!

March 29, 2002

IMC-Palestine may have to evacuate.

IMC-Palestine may have to evacuate. Tanks are entering from Beit Jalla now. Hopefully more to come but IMC-Palestine is evacuating. Two foreign volunteers are going to stay in the office as long as we can.

Palestine Indymedia Center

originally posted by zagg

Whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on?

originally posted by david rees


How to run a rock band, wherein Doc McGhee, the force behind Mötley Crüe and Kiss, offers his 10 golden rules.

The correlation between violent media

The correlation between violent media and aggression is larger than the effect that wearing a condom has on decreasing the risk of HIV. It's larger than the correlation between exposure to lead and decreased IQ levels in kids. It's larger than the effects of exposure to asbestos. It's larger than the effect of secondhand smoke on cancer.
I dunno, the methodology here seems a little sketch to me, but: Study Ties Television Viewing to Aggression. What really knocks me out are these Nielsen stats: "Nielsen Media Research reports the average American household has the television on for more than eight hours a day. Children and teens between 2 and 17 years old watch TV more than three hours per day. Adult men watch more than four hours, and adult women more than five." Who are these people? More than four hours?

The single most important thing

The single most important thing that a director does is to decide on a tone, whether it's sloppy or controlled or dark or absurd. And to me, this is a perfect example of a director who has picked a very specific tone and then every single thing, from the script to the performances to the way it's shot, serves that tone. And another thing: this is a movie where everyone, from the actors to the cinematographer, has been told that they are not making a comedy. If any of these actors had tried to play Dr. Strangelove as a comedy, it would have been a disastrous movie.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Men in Black) dissects Stanley Kubrick. Lots of good trivia and details here.

The idea of wearing just

The idea of wearing just these colors, having just the two of us on stage -- these are just boxes that we've cooked up to put ourselves in so that we can create better. If we had five people on the stage, all the opportunity of a 300-track studio, or a brand-new Les Paul, the creativity would be dead. Too much opportunity would make it too easy. We just don't want to be complicated, it seems unnecessary.
I'm also in love, but it's with the White Stripes.

Feed the model, and so

Feed the model, and so much more, at AdiosBarbie.

March 28, 2002

end of existence

End of Existence, brought to you by the Nuclear Age Peace Federation.

Washington, D.C. officials announced the

Washington, D.C. officials announced the book they want the city to read: Having Our Say: The Delany' Sisters First 100 Years, an oral history of sisters Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany. I'll probably read it, but I'm a little disappointed. Discussing non-fiction is, in my view, not as satisfying or interesting as discussing fiction. For me, it boils down to complexity. The complexities of fiction are more challenging to come to terms with, and therefore more interesting to discuss with others. What do you think?

This is why I so far have not felt compelled to post anything about Palestine, even though I finished reading it several weeks ago. It's not that I didn't like it, because I did. The art was fantastic, the stories were harrowing and sometimes gripping, and overall it was all very saddening but honest, and taught me a lot I didn't know about life in Palestine that is important to know as we watch the second intifada worsen. But one thing it was not, was complex. Instead, it was very straightforward. That's important and appropriate for the story it had to tell, but what do we say about it? What do you want to say about it?

empire burlesque

MECCA, March 22, 2005 -- President Osama B. Laden today called for a "regime change" in the United States, saying the military dictatorship led by unelected strongman George Walker Bush "is an ever-present threat to world peace."

Speaking in Mecca at a rally marking his first year in power, the Saudi president said that "issues of national sovereignty are beside the point when the civilized world is faced with the possibility of untold carnage. Bush has long been developing weapons of mass destruction. He has announced his willingness to use them. He refuses to abide by international treaties to curtail these tools of evil. I will not wait on events while dangers gather. We must act."

Chris Floyd polishes his crystal ball in the Moscow Times' Metropolis. Come for the clowning; stay for the links below it. I like the Concord Monitor editorial.

Here's a rundown of the

Here's a rundown of the extra scenes:

  • Bilbo's journal, "Concerning Hobbits": A brief introduction to the history of Hobbits, which comes after the introductory prologue about the creation of the ring.
  • The introduction of Samwise Gamgee ( Sean Astin)--a scene that had showed him doing his gardening work.
  • More footage from the Green Dragon Inn, with Merry and Pippin singing Hobbit songs.
  • Sam and Frodo ( Elijah Wood) on the road to Bree, during which they see an exodus of elves.
  • Aragon song: Viggo Mortensen singing an Elvish song foreshadowing his relationship with Arwen ( Liv Tyler).
  • Aragorn in Rivendell at the site of his mother's grave.
  • An extended scene in which the Fellowship leave Rivendell.
  • New scenes, pre-battle, from the Mines of Moria, which explain the history of the mines.
  • Cate Blanchett's character giving a special gift to each member of the Fellowship before they depart.
  • Thirty more seconds of footage from the film's climactic battle scene.
"Lord of the Rings" DVDs in August, November (E! Online)

March 27, 2002

Update on the Energy Department

Update on the Energy Department papers: today's New York Times reported that, by its estimate, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham met with 109 energy industry reps, not 36. The count on consumer or environmental groups? Still zero.

Nat Hentoff: Rumsfeld should read

Nat Hentoff: Rumsfeld should read the constitution

One can shampoo and pedicure a kangaroo, but it does little to change the appearance of a president's own private menagerie of justice."

originally posted by judlew


I just returned from Paris where I rushed repeatedly to gawp at the above beauty, the Institut du Monde Arabe. The south face of the museum is, according to greatbuildings.com, a 60m-high "ocular device of striking originality, made up of numerous and variously dimensioned metallic diaphragms set in pierced metal borders. These diaphragms operate like a camera lens to control the sun's penetration into the interior of the building. The changes to the irises are dramatically revealed internally while externally a subtle density pattern can be observed. Thus the whole effect is like a giant Islamic pierced screen, giving significance and an audacious brilliance to this remarkable building". Urban75 also has a nice shot of the south face, and these architecture pages contain more thumbnails of this amazing building. I'd thought that the panels were solar powered, but no, merely photo sensitive. The exhibitions are incredible, too. When you stand inside the museum right behind the panels, you can listen to them go 'sshhht' and open and close depending on the amount of light outside. Wow.

EO Natural Hazards: Black Water off the Gulf Coast of Florida

This image of black water off the coast of Florida was acquired on March 20, 2002, by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). Scientists and local fishermen are not sure what is coloring this typically turquoise water black. Amid growing concern, scientists are now trying to determine the source of the black water.
I saw an image of what they were calling a "red tide" off the same Florida coast a few weeks ago. Sounds ominous, doesn't it?

March 26, 2002

the basho of honk

I am insane now. I have become the honking, and the honking has become me. I cannot throw eggs. It is bad and wrong. But I can't just do nothing, either.
A nascent anti-honking movement organizes through haiku, in The New Yorker.

manuscript replica

I'm in love.

  • rock!
  • When I busted out this record, I got thrown back in my seat by a sound effects-laden almost tribal-like drum intro to "Arcarsenal" and had to search for my glasses on the floor after the deep yelps from the vocals knocked them right off.
    This is the best album of music history! I had never heard something like this before. At The Drive-In's sound is unique. Relationship of Command reached the perfection! Buy it and you'll listen to it forever! Once you hear it, At The Drive-In's Relationship of Command is going to be your bible! Believe me.
  • rock!
  • ATDI is more comfortable using its music to drop-kick listeners in the chest. A locomotive of adrenaline-charged punk, Command is the coming-out party for a band that has toiled in small-club obscurity for nearly six years.
  • rock!
    If there was, like, a map of the Musical World, At The Drive-In would live at the intersection of Fugazi, Refused, and Rage Against The Machine.
  • rock!
    The combination of electric piano, coupled with techno drum beats beneath wonderfully sonic and sometimes beautiful guitar lines makes this record a giant pedestal against all else that it will be compared to.
  • rock!
I go insane listening to At The Drive-In's Relationship of Command every day. Sadly, I discovered it after the band split in half. One half is touring right now and will be hitting Brooklyn and DC in the near future.

New Guided by Voices June

New Guided by Voices June 18.

Not like we should be

Not like we should be surprised, but documents released by the Energy Department under court order reveal that the Dept. shaped its policy with much input from campaign contributors and business interests, and not one meeting with conservation or consumer groups.

Some Chinese gamblers have dropped

Some Chinese gamblers have dropped $10 million and cannot go home for fear of having to explain where the money came from, industry sources said. One Chinese businesswoman, known as the queen of scrap metal from the northeastern city of Dalian, lost $20 million last year in 10 months, gambling executives said. She cannot return to the United States because of her debts. Over the Chinese New Year, several Chinese gamblers blew $20 million in one night at the baccarat tables at one of MGM's properties, a gambling source said.
Chinese gamblers are losing staggering amounts of money in Las Vegas, much of it from questionable sources. Vegas is only too happy to have them.

The Warmth Of Oscar's Open

The Warmth Of Oscar's Open Arms (washingtonpost.com)

"I feel like I won the Academy Award last night. I leaped up and made a fool of myself," said director Warrington Hudlin, who watched the awards at a big party in New York. "I lost it, I can't be cool. It's too wonderful. It's too historic."

Entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw said she watched the faces in the audience at the Oscars as they listened to Berry's emotional acceptance speech and could see the import of the moment dawning on them.

"There was absolute shock on some of those faces, as they realized for the very first time they were witnessing history."

Author Marc Nesbitt, who is

Author Marc Nesbitt, who is mixed-race, takes on racial identity with dark humor in his new collection of short stories, Gigantic. Here's his story "The Ones Who May Kill You in the Morning."

Ned Wharton, music director of

Ned Wharton, music director of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, appears on the show every now and then to talk about music he's digging. Sunday's show featured Neil Finn, Monty Alexander, and John McLaughlin.

Brendan Sexton III, (Boys Don't

Brendan Sexton III, (Boys Don't Cry, Pecker, Welcome to the Dollhouse) who was in Black Hawk Down, responds to some of Salon's criticisms of him for speaking out against the movie. Brendan adapted his speech into an article reprinted at Counterpunch. There's also a page on "Alphabet" Kowalewski, the soldier Sexton played in the movie.

originally posted by zagg

Liberal media bias

Just to highlight another paper for a change, here's some nuggets from today's New York Post

originally posted by zagg

March 25, 2002

Terrorism Fears Push Maryland Toward

Terrorism Fears Push Maryland Toward Wider Police Power (washingtonpost.com)

"I realize that this bill basically says you can tap someone's phone for jaywalking, and normally I would say, 'No way,' " said Del. Dana Lee Dembrow (D-Montgomery). "But after what happened on September 11th, I say screw 'em."

A typical homeless child is

A typical homeless child is under 5 years old, very poor and living with a sibling and a single mother. The mother may well lack the education or job skills to lift her out of poverty; often, she has been the victim of domestic violence.

Reading Sunday's New York Times I was struck by the contrast between conditions for single mothers in the United States and in Europe:

Buoyed in part by policies that allow them substantial financial grants even when they return to work, single mothers in many European countries are considerably better off than in the United States, where some 45 percent to 50 percent of single mothers live beneath the poverty line.

And why is this?

"They've taken the marital status out of it and focused on the children," said Kathleen Kiernan, a professor of social policy and demography at the London School of Economics.

I conclude from this that the U.S. administration's newly proclaimed devotion to the theology-based, fairly recent and unrealistic notion of marriage and the nuclear family is, in fact, the beginning of a war on children.

originally posted by judlew

"John Ivers got tired of

"John Ivers got tired of waiting in line to ride a roller coaster so he decided to build his own...the Blue Flash!"

Oh, my God. I'm sorry.

Oh, my God. I'm sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. ... It's for every nameless, faceless woman of color who now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.

You said it, Ms. Berry. Seventy-four years of Academy Awards, and Halle Berry is the first black actress to win for a lead role. And as for Denzel Washington's lead actor win, the second for a black actor (following Sidney Poitier in 1963), all I'll say is it's about time.

Fact is, these particular nominations--

Fact is, these particular nominations-- if you actually look at the roles being considered-- are an embarrassment to every thinking American.

I can't wait to see what the slightly deranged, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence-obsessed film critic Armond White has to say about Halle Berry and Denzel Washington's Oscar wins. He was certainly plenty pissed about their nominations!

When Poitier receives his honorary Academy Award on March 24 and Washington likely wins one for Training Day, a torch won’t be passed, it’ll be snuffed out.

Ouch! Easy, Armond, easy!

It wasn't until I read White's first hyperbolic take on A.I. that I became fascinated with him, and the film. His writing style is truly maddening, and just about every issue of the New York Press carries letters demanding his termination.

originally posted by david rees

March 24, 2002

all about the benjies, what?

"The recording academy recognizes the work of its artists and their music, from the standpoint of art, which is considerably different from what country radio is about," said Mr. Allen of the Country Radio Broadcasters Association. "Country radio is purely about mass appeal music, and it has some very defined limits because there are some very defined demographics that the owners are tying to find through that music. Where the Grammys are about art, country radio is about the Benjamins."
The lowdown on the hoedown-showdown between country music and country radio.

changed tunes

"The whole L.A. corrido scene to a large extent has been a Mexican analog to the gangster rap world," says writer and musician Elijah Wald, author of a recent book about the narco-corrido. "Now you have groups cursing each other and their fans getting into fights, which is exactly where the gangster rap world went."
Some corrido bands are fresh-dressed and crossover-clean; others have discovered the art of the dis.

March 22, 2002

91st Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire

"Near closing time on Saturday afternoon, March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the top floors of the Asch Building in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. Within minutes, the quiet spring afternoon erupted into madness, a terrifying moment in time, disrupting forever the lives of young workers. By the time the fire was over, 146 of the 500 employees had died. The survivors were left to live and relive those agonizing moments. The victims and their families, the people passing by who witnessed the desperate leaps from ninth floor windows, and the City of New York would never be the same.

"Many of the Triangle factory workers were women, some as young as 15 years old. They were, for the most part, recent Italian and European Jewish immigrants who had come to the United States with their families to seek a better life. Instead, they faced lives of grinding poverty and horrifying working conditions. As recent immigrants struggling with a new language and culture, the working poor were ready victims for the factory owners. For these workers, speaking out frequently would end with the loss of desperately needed jobs, a prospect that forced them to endure personal indignities and severe exploitation. Some turned to labor unions to speak for them; many more struggled alone. The Triangle Factory was a non-union shop although some of its workers had joined the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

"New York City, with its tenements and loft factories, had witnessed a growing concern for issues of health and safety in the early years of the 20th century. Groups such as the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) and the Womens' Trade Union League (WTUL) fought for better working conditions and protective legislation. Fire inspections and precautions were woefully inadequate at the time. The Triangle Fire tragically illustrated these inadequacies. Workers recounted their helpless efforts to open the ninth floor doors to the Washington Place stairs. They and many others afterwards believed they were locked. For all practical purposes, the ninth floor fire escape in the Asch Building led nowhere, certainly not to safety, and it bent under the weight of the factory workers trying to escape the inferno. Others waited at the windows for the rescue workers only to discover that the firefighters' ladders were several stories too short and the water from the hoses could not reach the top floors. Many chose to jump to their deaths rather than to burn alive."

originally posted by Chris

Can you say, "Structutral adjustment programs?"

After reading case after case of the failures of World Bank/IMF prescribed "reforms," it still amazes me at how straight-faced world leaders can be in touting these same "solutions" over and over again. But, they do it anyway.

originally posted by zagg

The Cloud and post-modernism

The Cloud of Unknowing and post-modernism

Cultivating Compassion in Difficult Times

Tonglen means "taking in and sending out." This meditation practice is designed to help ordinary people like ourselves connect with the openness and softness of our hearts.
Cultivating Compassion in Difficult Times, Shambhala Publications.

meandering, eclectic

As a fervent dissenter, I'd love to think I'm taking an illustrious, courageous stand, but it worries me how easy this is when I'm preaching to the converted. If you don't like my cynical critique of everything under the sun, I know you won't be reading FmH regularly for long no matter if I'm the most thoughtful, literate, erudite weblogger on the planet.
Eliot reflects deeply (meandering, eclectic) on the significance of peaceblogging.

Writing quickly and well: 13

Writing quickly and well: 13 secrets from Poynter Senior Scholar Roy Peter Clark. All great, but -- "texterity?"

New Scientist

With the smart eye band implanted, you'd set your eyes to read a book, say, by clicking a button on the device sitting behind your ear. This would generate a magnetic field to activate the eye band's artificial muscle.
Eyeball squeezing could correct sight (New Scientist). I want bionic eyes!

Cyberspace and Race

In the end, we will need to give up any lingering fantasies of a color-blind Web and focus on building a space where we recognize, discuss and celebrate racial and cultural diversity. To achieve that goal, all of us -- white folks and people of color -- will have to shed the defensiveness that surrounds the topic of race.
Cyberspace and Race: Henry Jenkins for MIT's Technology Review.

Yeast Infection: The Pitfalls of

Yeast Infection: The Pitfalls of Self-Diagnosis

A new study of customers in pharmacies and grocery stores showed only a third of the women buying over-the-counter vaginal antifungal product had accurately self-diagnosed their conditions.

Boing Boing seems to attract

Boing Boing seems to attract a knowledgeable crowd. Here, they discuss absinthe.

Age: 30 - "A simple

Age: 30 - "A simple project: Take a photograph of myself every day of my 30th year. Digital, 35mm, 120, webcam, Polaroid, whatever ? as long as I end up with 365 images documenting the year. No real reason, I don't care that I'm 30, it just seemed like a good project."

March 21, 2002

what the christ was the matter with nixon?

What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob?
Once-Secret "Nixon Tapes" Show Why the U.S. Outlawed Pot (AlterNet)

For any fans of the

For any fans of the elusive, reclusive Donna Tartt, whose only other novel, The Secret History, was published 10 years ago, the unthinkable has occurred. Another book, tentatively called The Little Friend, is finally scheduled to be published in October 2002. Knopf is still her publisher, but no word as to whether the advance for this one was as high as the $1.5 million she got for all pub. rights to The Secret History.

Some info for any fans wondering what the hell's happened to her:

originally posted by sideshow_val

net music swaps

With mp3s and CD burners commonplace, the art of the mix is being revived. Burn, Baby Burn! (closed), a "blogger CD swap", met with unanticipated interest upon being linked from MetaFilter and has closed registration early. The responsible MeFi thread spawned (predictably) an already popular MeFiSwap
and also points to a handful of similar projects around the net. I've got a couple hundred blank CDs looking for a purpose so I plan to get my hands into as many of these as I can:

bar code

"You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone's whole life as we know it pops up in front of you," said Paul Barclay, the bar's owner.

Mr. Barclay bought the machine to keep out underage drinkers who use fake ID's. But he soon found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing.

Now, for any given night or hour, he can break down his clientele by sex, age, ZIP code or other characteristics. If he wanted to, he could find out how many blond women named Karen over 5 feet 2 inches came in over a weekend, or how many of his customers have the middle initial M. More practically, he can build mailing lists based on all that data ? and keep track of who comes back.
Finding Pay Dirt in Scannable Driver's Licenses (NYT)

If a picture is

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine thousands of chatty teenagers in as many as 500 high schools, colleges, and universities taking a nine-hour vow of silence to demonstrate how discrimination can silence the voices of so many other youths.
The Sound of Silence. (via uffish)

March 20, 2002


The church says priests must be male because Jesus' apostles were male. So should women have stayed out of U.S. government because the founding fathers were male?

Celibacy is not church doctrine but a tradition from the Middle Ages. By that logic, hospitals would still be using leeches.

It may be a news flash to the Vatican, but it's been clear for years that the church is in a time warp, arrested in its psychosexual development. The vow of celibacy became a magnet for men trying to flee carnal impulses they found troubling. In some cases this meant homosexuality, in others pedophilia. (...)

Societies built on special privileges become far too invested in preserving those privileges. They will never do the kind of soul-baring and housecleaning that might raise questions about the kind of secret society that creates that kind of privilege.
Father Knows Worst, Maureen Dowd.


Furthurnet "is the first and only 100% non-commercial peer-to-peer network of legal live music created by fans for fans!" They've got java-based clients for Windows and for Linux and OS X.

12/06/1956 - 03/19/1982

I heard them tell me that this land of dreams was now.
I told them I had ridden shooting stars
And said I'd show them how.

Randy Rhoads Rocked.

A new breed of feminism

A new breed of feminism

originally posted by tragicM


If one looks at the map of the big American bases created for the war, one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.
Pipeline politics taint U.S. war (Chicago Tribune)

March 19, 2002

Bill & Ted's favorite album

Josh reviews the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs song by song, in alphabetical order, starting with "Abigail, Belle of Kilronan". This is the second time he's performed the feat, although previously he did it by track listing.

originally posted by LionIndex

From an old (12/01) Swizzle-Stick

From an old (12/01) Swizzle-Stick item that just came to my attention:

In related news (in a loose sense of the word) flaminglips.com is reporting that [Flaming] Lips members Steven Drozd and Michael Ivins are currently working on an album with Steve Burns, host of Nickelodeon's "Blues Clues." To any of you with children, or who have seen this show, you know just how incredibly bizarre this proposition is.

I can't wait to hear this.

dominant culture or genes or both...

where do eating disorders come from? quick to point to the patriarchy, i was interested to hear of a new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics that identifies a region on chromosome 1 that may contain genes that make an individual vulnerable to developing anorexia nervosa (AN). i'm wondering what Joellen thinks. hmm... [via nonharmful]

originally posted by elihu

The anti-globalization movement has been

The anti-globalization movement has been vibrant in communities and organizations of color in the US and around the world for hundreds of years, yet white supremacy was rampant in the movement against the WTO ministerial meetings in Seattle. In other words, racism is alive and well in social justice organizing, and the WTO was no exception.

Combatting White Supremacy in the Anti-globalization Movement By Sonja Sivesind

originally posted by elihu

A change of heart or

A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life. The "environmental crisis," in fact, can be solved only if people, individually and in their communities, recover responsibility for their thoughtlessly given proxies. If people begin the effort to take back into their own power a significant portion of their economic responsibility, then their inevitable first discovery is that the "environmental crisis" is no such thing; it is not a crisis of our environs or surroundings; it is a crisis of our lives as individuals, as family members, as community members, and as citizens. We have an "environmental crisis" because we have consented to an economy in which by eating, drinking, working, resting, traveling, and enjoying ourselves we are destroying the natural, the god-given world.
That ass-kicking Wendell Berry on the environment and the economy. Credit where credit's due: I think this was on wood s lot a while back, but it took the Harper's reprint to get me to read it.

go team!

go team!

originally posted by hcog

what is plastination?

What is plastination? It started 25 years ago when Von Hagens, using polymer chemistry, pioneered a preservation technique that replaces water in cells with plastic material. By 1990, he had plastinated his first whole body - a process that requires 1,500 hours' work and costs up to £25,000. The result is an odourless, dry, realistic-looking corpse that endures ...

All the bodies that Von Hagens preserves have been donated, mostly by people who declared while living that they would like their bodies to be plastinated to advance human knowledge. Each exhibition leads to a flood of volunteers, and Von Hagens now has a registry of 3,200 donors.
The Plastination exhibition has arrived in London: here are some of the exhibits.

Picking up the pieces in

Picking up the pieces in Ramallah (BBC News)

The men of Amari were taken bound and blindfolded to the Beitounia army camp, where they spent three cold nights under canvas, with little to eat or drink, before their release.

Some families, one of them including three small children, were held captive in their own homes while the troops used them for cover as they occupied the narrow alleyways deep inside the camp.

Their houses had great holes punched in the sides, where the troops had employed the controversial "walking through walls" tactic to avoid being exposed to sniper fire in the alleyways. (...)

The camp's inhabitants say this was not an "anti-terrorist" operation as the Israeli army maintains, but an operation to terrorise them - and it has worked.

Filters Block 'Sinful Six'

The temptation to be unproductive is so great. We're sucked into the fact that we now have this home entertainment system on our desks.
Filters Block 'Sinful Six' (wired.com)

Twins Killed

… and identical twins at that. Perhaps someone from upstairs had a say in this.
Found in rebecca's pocket.

March 18, 2002

Exhuming McCarthy

During this time of heightened security awareness, we will report suspicious or questionable requests for printing or document reproduction to law enforcement authorities.
"OfficeMax Rats Out Its Customers" says The Progressive magazine's McCarthyism Watch

this one's for dj

My inspiration to take up engineering actually came from watching the TV programme Mission: Impossible. The character played by the black actor Gregory Morris was a whiz with gadgets. He wasn't Shaft, his clothes weren't 'street,' but he stood out. The black men on American TV programmes were normally either gangsters or pimps. Morris was a black nerd. Whenever they had any problem getting equipment to work, he did the job. He was my hero, and I thought, yeah, I want to be an engineer.

So diversity standards might matter after all. At least when it comes to television shows.

originally posted by judlew

"Central Park is like the

"Central Park is like the Mona Lisa of landscape architecture," says Christo. "The conservative vision is that the park should be closed like the Metropolitan Museum. If they had a chance they would charge for tickets, like a museum. On the liberal side, the park is the only place where underprivileged people can go in the summertime; the only place."

Christo has a new vision for Central Park

originally posted by judlew

What would Kerouac think?

HERMENAUT: The B Side of Paradise: The Ten Best Jazz Records for Driving

i am style

You're the STYLE tag- you are very dramatic, but when you mess up or overdramatize something, you know it and you change.

March 17, 2002

I was thinking the same

I was thinking the same thing myself, but many of my friends love this terrible movie for some reason.

World Press Photo of the Year 2001

World Press Photo of the Year 2001

March 16, 2002

A review of Web-based color

A review of Web-based color pickers will come in handy.

Newsnight: Anthrax attacks (BBC) Three

Newsnight: Anthrax attacks (BBC)

Three weeks ago Dr Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged authority on US bio-defence - claimed the FBI is dragging its feet because an arrest would be embarrassing to the US authorities. Tonight on Newsnight, she goes further...suggesting there could have been a secret CIA field project to test the practicalities of sending anthrax through the mail - whose top scientist went badly off the rails...


Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. Intellect, Emotion and Unconscious Thought were made divinities or demons so that we, like Faust, might better know them; deal with them; become them.

Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably ezdst, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love's name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred?

The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish.
alan moore: magician is a small collection of Moore's writings.

Putting aside the bad

Putting aside the bad experiences of him, I have to say that he made a
positive impression on me as an artist. He really had what I call
"second nature" which means that his art was utterly direct and
not at all intellectual. I do think of his art as being poetic, and also
about the alchemy of signs and symbols. He definitely made powerful
art about the problems of race, but I think that his most important
contribution was his approach to art making.

John Seed, who worked as an assistant to Jean-Michel Basquiat, recounts some experiences from their brief relationship. The attitude in the above paragraph displays a racist attitude that transcends art - when Black people are successful it's often attributed to a "raw, natural ability" rather than hard work or intellectual prowess.

nyt mag / music 2002

Actually, I'm a big fan of what I guess they call electronica. My favorite albums these days are Basement Jaxx and Underworld and Groove Armada.
Who writes the songs that make Barry Manilow cry?
I hate these Hutus, these de-Hutuized Hutus, who have renounced their identity, dear comrades. I hate these Hutus, these Hutus who march blindly, like imbeciles. This species of naive Hutus who join a war without knowing its cause. I hate these Hutus who can be brought to kill and who, I swear to you, kill Hutus, dear comrades. And if I hate them, so much the better.

''For a Rwandan, it's easy to see the virulence in the text,'' says Ephrem Rugiririza, a Hutu journalist. ''Renouncing identity'' implies marrying a Tutsi, Rugiririza explains, and ''naive Hutus'' is a reference to an army colonel who defected to the invasion force with his men.

Alison DesForges, the lead specialist on Rwanda for Human Rights Watch, says that Bikindi's songs are subtle, using poetic language and oblique references. ''There's a Rwandan proverb,'' she says. ''A message is given to many, but those who are meant to understand, understand.' There's always a subtext in Rwanda. You don't have to resort to brutal language. People understand.''
Simon Bikindi is accused of killing Rwandans softly with his songs.
''If you look at his CD collection, he only likes hits,'' she said. He had been an underground musician for 10 years before ''Play'' made him a pop sensation, she noted, and maybe the music was underground because he created it to be, or maybe because that's where the music found an audience, but either way, all that was over. ''Every new CD he has, he bought because it has one hit on it,'' she went on to say. ''He doesn't want to hear the other songs. He plays that hit over and over. He's intrigued by hits, what those songs have. He doesn't say, 'That's a good song.' He says, 'That's such a hit.'''
Like James Brown in "The Big Payback," Moby needs those hits.

March 15, 2002

At Airport Gate, a Cyborg Unplugged

At Airport Gate, a Cyborg Unplugged (NYT)

Steve Mann has lived as a cyborg for more than 20 years, wearing a web of wires, computers and electronic sensors that are designed to augment his memory, enhance his vision and keep tabs on his vital signs. Although his wearable computer system sometimes elicited stares, he never encountered any problems going through the security gates at airports. On Feb. 18, his experience was entirely different. This time, he said, he was told to turn his computer on and off and put it on the X-ray machine. Still not satisfied, the guards took him to a private room for a strip-search in which, he said, the electrodes were torn from his skin, causing bleeding, and several pieces of equipment were strewn about the room.

The best journalist you've never

The best journalist you've never heard of, Greg Palast, has a new book out, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

originally posted by zagg

LA Weekly: A Considerable Town: Guerrilla Drive-In: Film on the Wall

Everything it takes to stage a guerrilla drive-in fits neatly into the back of a Honda Civic: a VCR, a video projector, an FM receiver and a generator. The only other things you need are a film and a wall.
Film on the Wall (laweekly.com)

Chicago Tribune | Experts say love of nicotine is all in mind

It would be hard to design a drug that acts on the reward center that would be more effective than nicotine.
Girl, you know it's true.

Experts say love of nicotine is all in mind (Chicago Tribune)

boom selection/bsXtra"The bootleg scene is

boom selection/bsXtra

"The bootleg scene is ... one of the most interesting things happening in music right now," he said after listening to exactly part of exactly 2 different tracks. He didn't, you'll notice, indicate whether he particularly cared for the music itself.

What's Buzzin' in My Garden


March 14, 2002

The Mighty Organ online magazine| Politics & opinion | Language and race

The Language and Rhetoric of Race (Robert Jensen in The Mighty Organ)

White people who struggle against racism need not deny what they have achieved. In fact, it is by acknowledging those achievements that we open up the space to go further, both individually and collectively, in resisting the society's racism and one day eliminating it. It doesn't mean we are off the hook; it means we are on the hook even more publicly.

The balance in all this is tricky. The tendency among progressive whites toward self-congratulation, denial, and avoidance is well-known, especially to non-white people.

Washington, D.C. librarians have picked

Washington, D.C. librarians have picked a book for the city to read and will announce it next month. A coordinator was tight-lipped but says a movie version of the book does exist. So what's it going to be? The Unbearable Lightness of Being? The Trial? Affliction? Ulysses?

Central Booking - "a Fat

Central Booking - "a Fat Albert club house full of fun stuff to read, useful book-related information and a place for bibliophiles to meet, share, hang out and drink Tang (sort of)."

kcgeek>>Gary Gygax

I ignore the weapon speed factor, the effects of weapons vs. armor, generally don't pay attention to anything but gross violations of encumbrance, and never use psionics.
How Gary Gygax plays original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

March 13, 2002

When Working came out, a

When Working came out, a librarian sent me a letter. She wrote: 'A librarian's job is not the most exciting in the world, but it has its piquant moments. One of my colleagues is a spy for the Reverend Jerry Falwell, and he spies on me to see that I don't order dirty books. One day he came to me and said, Miss Cooper, I see you've ordered a pornographic book. A pornographic book? Yes, he said. I believe it's called Working Studs, by Terkel.' That's when I knew I had a bestseller.
Oral historian Studs Terkel, profiled by the Guardian. (Hey, who coined the term "oral history," anyway?)

Spin treats us to its

Spin treats us to its roster of the top 40 "most important" artists in music today. (Well, top 20, at least. Where are 21-40?) I guess Nelly Furtado, #20, must be important if "she looks sexy even covered in mud." I'm glad the editors had such stringent requirements to make it into this prestigious line-up.

How come existence?

How come existence?

"It will perfume a whole

"It will perfume a whole room," Ms. Goldman said. "And it's incredibly beautiful. It tastes horrible, but that doesn't matter."
The Queen Anne's pocket melon is an heirloom melon.

Heirloom GardeningHeirloom seeds pre-date hybridization

Heirloom Gardening

Heirloom seeds pre-date hybridization (which does not breed true), disease and insect resistance straining, and genetic engineering. Heirloom seeds have been handed down from one generation to the next, preserving the diversity and the beauty of our gardens, the taste of our food, our ability to adapt to changing environments, and now to preserve plant reproduction itself.

Of their own free will,

Of their own free will, knowing who they're with and who they're supporting and who they're encouraging and who they're assisting...
Woman and children in the 0peration Anconda "battle zone" are "a good target," says the Pentagon.

"When they built the road

"When they built the road there in the first place, people were cringing, as we knew what was underneath," said James Spollen, a Fire Department spokesman.

For months firefighters had suspected that many of their colleagues might be buried in this southern section of the site.

The south tower was the first to fall, so there was little sense of the extreme danger among the firefighters in the lobby, on the sidewalk, on the adjacent street, as well as those trying to help rescue victims in the lower floors.
Remains of 11 firefighters, unknown number of victims found at Trade Center (NYT)

"Booklend is an Internet lending

"Booklend is an Internet lending library by post. Sign up, choose a book, and we'll mail it to you. When you're done, mail it back. ...Booklend is like your local library. Except smaller. And less convenient."

March 12, 2002

Sharbat Gula, then and now

The image of a young Pashtun refugee with blazing green eyes became indelibly ingrained in America's consciousness when it appeared on the cover of National Geographic as part of a 1985 story on refugees in Afghanistan, but in the years since then, her fate has been a mystery. Sharbat Gula has finally been found. The details of her life continue to illustrate the bitter difficulties of life in her country:

"It is the ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan. Invasion. Resistance. Invasion. Will it ever end? 'Each change of government brings hope,' said Yusufzai (Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Pakistani journalist who acted as interpreter for the television crew that found her). 'Each time, the Afghan people have found themselves betrayed by their leaders and by outsiders professing to be their friends and saviors.'

"In the mid-1990s, during a lull in the fighting, Sharbat Gula went home to her village in the foothills of mountains veiled by snow. To live in this earthen-colored village at the end of a thread of path means to scratch out an existence, nothing more. There are terraces planted with corn, wheat, and rice, some walnut trees, a stream that spills down the mountain (except in times of drought), but no school, clinic, roads or running water."

originally posted by Chris

every thang's gonna be all white

A group of Native American students who also have an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado has come up with a fitting response to sports mascots like the Redskins and the Braves: give them a taste of their own medicine. Let's go, Fighting Whities!

originally posted by Chris

"When I was still with

"When I was still with the Fugees I would pick up the guitar and I used to always say, 'Wyclef, just get out there and do that thing with the guitar,' " she explained shortly after the show. "He chose what path he chose, but interestingly enough, when God shows you a thing, we always encourage others to do what we were meant to do. But over a period of time [God] caused me to take it more seriously. He said, 'This is your accompaniment. Don't think it's going to be what you thought it was.' It's just by way of passion. How do we learn anything?

"I don't know if I taught myself," she continued. "I just evolved by way of necessity, by way of grace. [My skills] just grew, and grew and grew."
Anybody get to watch Lauryn Hill unplugged?

hey jack kerouac, happy 80th

belief & technique for modern prose

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Babies and Toddlers

The Bruderhof company "community playthings" makes beautiful wood toys and furniture for babies and toddlers.

we have brains is a

we have brains is a collaborative writing project for feminists.

Race and gender policies on trial -- The Washington Times

As with all arguments over affirmative action, a little knowledge of history is helpful here. Today's equal-opportunity policy in the Army largely evolved after President Jimmy Carter made Clifford Alexander the first black secretary of the Army.

As Mr. Alexander later described it to me, he was dissatisfied with the absence of women and nonwhites on the first list of colonels he received who were candidates for promotion to general. He sent the list back and asked for it to be expanded, with an eye on including a more racially and gender-diverse pool of applicants.

One of the colonels on the new list was Colin Powell, later the nation's first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and currently its first black secretary of state.
Race and gender policies on trial (The Washington Times)

The All New KRUD Radio - kinda... sorta...

"The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
—Hunter S. Thompson
The All New KRUD Radio - kinda... sorta...

As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting

As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting

When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything. Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible.
Harold Kushner (When bad Things Happen to Good People) is a co-editor of Etz Hayim (Tree of Life), a newly issued version of the Torah and commentary which refutes literal interpretations of traditional Bible stories.

March 11, 2002

"If I can't learn it in an O'Reilly book..."

O'Reilly, long considered the definitive technology publisher (I can see 19 O'Reilly books from where I'm sitting; 17 if I don't turn my head), is increasingly becoming a destination for subversive and insightful technology analysis. Andy Oram's Stop the Copying, Start a Media Revolution is a good example:

It's thrilling to enter the cathedral in Rouen, France, and ponder how I am walking the same nave trod by the medieval residents of that town. But of course, my modern upbringing grants me a very different experience of the cathedral from theirs. In fact, if I go back the next day I am not having the same experience as I had the day before. My subjective experience of the cathedral at Rouen changes as rapidly as the light captured by Monet in his series of paintings of the cathedral's facade.

The new art may be built on an understanding that an experience cannot be repeated. The artist may change it at whim, or build in an automatic form of evolution like the video I used to like at the MOMA. Like the river in Buddhist theology, art will be both eternal and evanescent.

Today is the unscheduled third

Today is the unscheduled third day of elections in Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe, the country's president since it gained independence in 1980, faces a challenge from the grassroots Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe's election 20 years ago was hailed as a major victory in Left circles. Now he's viewed as a tyrant. What went wrong?

Moreover, Zimbabwe another casualty of World Bank/IMF—imposed debt and austerity programs, has an inflation rate of about 100 percent while unemployment hovers between the 40 percent and 60 percent range. Meanwhile, its annual debt payment has represented between 40 percent and 60 percent of the country's GDP for at least the last eight years. Zimbabwe also has one of the highest AIDS infection rate in the world with 1 in 4 adults carrying the disease. Here are some starting points:

  • Zimbabwe and …

  • Mugabe’s slow fall from grace.

  • The Daily News (Zimbabwe).

  • The Movement for Democratic Change.

  • Coverage from The Guardian.

  • A Democracy Now! (real audio) interview with South African activist Patrick Bond.

  • Coverage from All Africa.

  • Coverage from Indymedia.

  • Time Magazine’s Time Trail on Zimbabwe.

  • An International Crisis Group report on Zimbabwe.
  • The The Daily Mail and Guardian Zimbabwe.

  • The CIA on Zimbabwe.
  • A profile of the country's economy from its Standard Bank in pdf format.

  • An interview with Zimbabwe activists from Socialist Worker.

  • Some information from Global Exchange.

    originally posted by zagg

  • dollyvision

    Meet Dara and Sara, dolls developed by an Iranian government agency to counteract American culture in the guise of buxom figurines. According to toy seller Masoumeh Rahimi cited on this BBC page, "every Barbie doll is more harmful than an American missile". And here's Shimmy, the first 'kosher' doll, who has four fingers on each hand instead of five - a way of getting round the Ten Commandments' ban on making "graven images", and who says a prayer when you squeeze his hand. A flat-chested and modestly-dressed female doll named Rivkele will follow.

    U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of

    U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of Terror Suspects (washingtonpost.com)

    Since Sept. 11, the U.S. government has secretly transported dozens of people suspected of links to terrorists to countries other than the United States, bypassing extradition procedures and legal formalities, according to Western diplomats and intelligence sources. The suspects have been taken to countries, including Egypt and Jordan, whose intelligence services have close ties to the CIA and where they can be subjected to interrogation tactics -- including torture and threats to families -- that are illegal in the United States, the sources said. In some cases, U.S. intelligence agents remain closely involved in the interrogation, the sources said.

    March 10, 2002

    http://www.darpa.mil/iao/ - "The Information Awareness

    http://www.darpa.mil/iao/ - "The Information Awareness Office (IAO) develops and demonstrates information technologies and systems to counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness useful for preemption, national security warning and national security decision-making."

    I submit that "total information awareness" means exactly what it sounds like. Got privacy?

    suggested reading:

    No more Mr Scrupulous Guy, John Sutherland in the Guardian

    March 9, 2002

    i HEART the berlin wall

    I am objectùm-sexual that is to be sexually and emotionally attracted to objects; in my case The Berlin-Wall and other constructions. I am married to the Berlin Wall (and have been since 1979). Hence my married name (Berliner-Mauer), which means Berlin Wall in German. It is the actual Wall I love, not the border - like some intolerant people seem to think. They fail to see difference between the Wall and the purpose, which are two completely different things. If you fail to see that - well, too bad!
    Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer just loves that wall.

    not bored

    Though this may be hard for some to believe, especially in these sentimental times, the so-called Twin Towers at the World Trade Center were hated by many New Yorkers, who before September 11, 2001 would have been happy if the goddamned things had never been built and after September 11th are glad that they're gone. An entire neighborhood was emptied out and destroyed to make way for them. Them -- not just one spectacular tower, but two. And this in a city known for singularities and differences, not repetitions and resemblances! ... "The analogy of the Chicago fire is important. What happened there is that a lot of wood structures burned down. And in their place, of course, wood structures were not put up. The city became a sort of testing ground, the laboratory for the development of the [steel-framed] American skyscaper. So let's imagine that New York can become a laboratory right now -- a laboratory of what?" ... The New York Psychogeographical Association sees only one viable option: turn the site into a huge community garden that would be open to the public twenty-four hours a day and year-round. All kinds of flowers, fruits and vegetables would be cultivated. (The produce could be divided among the gardeners, sold to pay for expenses and/or donated to soup kitchens.) Unlike memorials or parks, which do not change after their creation, gardens are living, growing things.
    The New York Psychogeographical Association proposes A New Garden of Eden for the WTC site at NOT BORED!, where you can also find the New York Security Camera Players and these murals in NYC community gardens. Oh, and don't forget to go puppy bowling this weekend.

    March 8, 2002


    ArtCoup: 20 Photos by Boogie - a very spiffy urban photo essay.

    originally posted by Chris

    Sal 'N Pep and Heavy D up in the limousine

    Nineteen-seventy somethin', nigga I don't sweat the date
    My moms is late so I had to plan my escape
    out the skins, in this world of fly girls
    Tanqueray and Hennessy until I cold hurl
    Ten months in this gut, what the fuck
    I wish moms'd hurry up so I could get buck
    wild, juvenile rippin' mics and shit
    New York New York, ready for the likes of this, uh
    Then came the worst date, May 21st
    2:19, that's when my momma water burst
    No spouse in the house so she rode for self
    to the hospital, to see if she could get a little help
    Umbilical cord's wrapped around my neck
    I'm seein' my death and I ain't even took my first step
    I made it out, I'm bringin' mad joy
    The doctor looked and said, "He's gonna be a Bad Boy"

    Tomorrow (March 9) is the 5th Anniversary of the murder of the Notorious B.I.G. Maybe not the Greatest Of All Time, but definitely great. R.I.P.

    March 7, 2002

    a rose is a rose is a rose

    The Help Me Find/Everything Roses site has tons of information on roses, including their Roses E-zine (with stuff like how they name roses), a rose glossary, and a huge list of rose varieties. Did you know there are lots of roses that share names with rW editors? There's Jude the Obscure, Adam's Smile, St. David's, two Georges - George Burns and George Will (yes, George Will), and there are four Clementines (but none with photos, unfortunately). As for myself, I have a strong fragrance and large bloom form. So there. (via Making Light)

    originally posted by Chris

    sanitized for your protection

    At this point it might be worth recalling the prophetic words of Gil Scott Heron, the inventor of rap. "The revolution will not be televised," he intoned nearly 30 years ago. In fact, the revolution was televised - or at least its more graphic, faster-moving bits were. Hence State of Emergency, a new present-day sensation on TV monitors, and a target for political denunciation by some.

    The Glasgow Herald examines the new video game State of Emergency.

    originally posted by zagg

    Arundhati Roy leaves jail after

    Arundhati Roy leaves jail after paying fine (Guardian)

    Metafilter thread on city-wide book

    Metafilter thread on city-wide book clubs. (and ours' (s: where are the comments!?))


    A cache of personal

    A cache of personal writings attributed to Malcolm X has turned up for auction in San Francisco and on eBay, infuriating members of his family who are trying to stop the sale and alarming scholars who worry that the material could disappear into private hands.
    I couldn't find this on ebay - can anyone else? Malcolm X Family Fights Auction of Papers

    Portland's Shelley Siripatrapa is the

    Portland's Shelley Siripatrapa is the best chef in the world. So where does she go for a quick fix?

    "The Dog House," she says (2845 E Burnside St., 239-3647). "That's the very first place that popped into my head.... I normally get the Vegetarian Dog ($2.75)."

    March 6, 2002

    We talked about this at

    We talked about this at work yesterday, so it's funny that it should turn up in everyone's favorite UK paper today.

    Cohabitation and second marriages also lengthened people's lives, but not as much as an enduring first marriage.

    Married workers earned 10% to 20% more than single workers. The difference got stronger as the marriage got longer, Prof Oswald said.

    With more from RAND
    Numerous studies covering 140 years have shown that married persons tend to live longer than their unmarried counterparts. Attempts to explain this advantage have typically focused on the following questions: Does marriage have a direct protective effect, reducing the risk of mortality by providing benefits such as improved health? Or does increased longevity reflect the possibility that healthy people are more likely to get married--and therefore that married people are simply healthier from the start of their married lives?

    The focus of these questions suggests that the connection between longevity and the married state can be explained only by "protection" provided through marriage or by "positive selection" into marriage because of good health. However, a third consideration may also offer insights into the relationship between marriage and health. If being married is a way of gaining increased protection against illness and death, then persons in poor health may have a greater incentive to seek these benefits by marrying and staying married. This mechanism may be termed "adverse selection" into marriage and, theoretically, could be as significant a factor as positive selection. Yet, while it is often suggested that selection may account for at least part of the marriage advantage, previous empirical work has concerned itself with positive selection and has not considered the possibility that adverse selection may also play a role.

    originally posted by Greer

    One good thing about

    One good thing about music, when it hits you
    Feel no pain (repeat)
    So hit me with music, hit me with music
    Hit me with music, hit me with music now
    I got to say trench town rock
    I say don't watch that
    Trench town rock, big fish or sprat
    Trench town rock, you reap what you sow
    Trench town rock, and everyone know now
    Trench town rock, don't turn your back
    Trench town rock, give the slum a try
    Trench town rock, never let the children cry
    Trench town rock, 'cause you got to tell JAH, JAH 

    You grooving Kingston 12, grooving, Kingston 12
    Grooving woe, woe, it's Kingston 12
    Grooving it's Kingston 12
    No want you fe galang so
    No want you fe galang so
    You want come cold I up
    But you can't come cold I up
    'Cause I'm grooving, yes I'm grooving

    I say one good thing, one good thing
    When it hits you feel no pain
    One good thing about music
    When it hits you feel no pain
    So hit me with music
    Hit me with music now
    Hit me with music, hit me with music
    Look at that
    Trench town rock, I say don't watch that
    Trench town rock, if you big fish or sprat
    Trench town rock, you reap what you sow
    Trench town rock, and everyone know now
    Trench town rock, don't turn your back
    Trench town rock, give the slum a try
    Trench town rock, never let the children cry
    Trench town rock, 'cause you got to tell JAH, JAH why
    Grooving, grooving, grooving, grooving

    The tiny Pacific nation of

    The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu, which is threatened by rising sea levels and could be washed away within 50 years, is ready to take on the world's big polluters and has already hired law firms in Australia and the US to take its case to the International Court of Justice.

    Here's to Tuvulu!

    originally posted by judlew

    March 5, 2002

    Beams of Light

    twin beams of light in nyc skylineSix Months After, A Memorial Built On Beams of Light (washingtonpost.com)

    The two light beams, made up of 88 intense searchlights arrayed in two side-by-side 50-foot squares, will cost about a half-million dollars, which covers the installation, security and a lighting technician.

    The beams will be lighted from nightfall until 11 p.m., but are subject to temporary shutdown based on Federal Aviation Administration concerns about how the light plays in certain weather conditions and conservationists' concerns about the impact on bird migratory patterns. They worry the lights could draw migrating birds to their deaths.

    dead men walking?

    "We freed 13 innocent men who were nearly strapped to a gurney in the state's death chamber so that fatal doses of poison could be injected into their bloodstreams. That is the ultimate nightmare ... If government can't get this right, it ought not be in the business of passing such final, irreversible judgment"
    Illinois Gov. James Ryan thinks outside the pine box.

    Grief is a constant presence

    Grief is a constant presence for the 15,000 Oglala Sioux on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and it has produced something rarely seen here: a business that lasts. Now in its 15th year, Sioux Funeral Home is one of the oldest privately owned enterprises on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Last year, it handled 175 funerals -- about 40% more than the average for a community of this size

    Sometimes when you scratch the surface of a Wall Street Journal article, you find something amazingly subversive and beautifully written. This is one of those stories. Ostensibly about a successful businessman -- an undertaker on a Sioux reservation -- it's really about the terrible legacy of war, broken treaties and a legal drug called alcohol.

    The Oglala Sioux at Pine Ridge were forced to settle here in the late 19th century. They and other bands of Sioux resisted the European invasion so fiercely that they eventually forced their enemies to the bargaining table. But after they secured a huge portion of land, the U.S. government reneged, cut their property into small, scattered parcels, and suppressed nonviolent protest with guns.

    The WSJ requires a subscription, so I've copied it for my nonsubscribing friends here (I consider rW "personal" use). Sorry this post is so long. These people have been pretty much forgotten.

    originally posted by judlew

    Work Freak author Stefan Fatsis

    Work Freak author Stefan Fatsis proposed to his wife Scrabble-style. (Incidentally, their union adds them to the surprisingly long list (probably 40-plus and counting by now) of married couples on the payroll of National Public Radio.)

    Joe Sacco's Palestine was based

    Joe Sacco's Palestine was based on the creator's experience in 1990-91, as the first intifada was winding down. Now that you've read more of the book, does it help you to understand why there is a second intifada? Does Palestinian anger (explanations of which are wholly lacking in most of the mainstream press) seem as foreign to you as it once did? Have your reactions to terrorism and/or other attacks changed? Has the word "occupation" taken on a new meaning for you? An excellent, short, "seconf initfada" companion to Sacco's book might be "Gaza Diary" by former NYT MidEast chief Chris Hedges. They're not online, but new Sacco drawings accompanied Hedge's article.

    da, da, da, DA-DA

    A few days before the film's premier, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and President Lyndon Johnson, burdened by Vietnam's ongoing quagmire, had just announced he would not seek reelection. Attorney General Robert Kennedy's assassination was just two months away, with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to follow. Youth across the world were burning bras and buildings.

    At the same time, President Kennedy's dream of American astronauts reaching the moon was within our grasp. As Kubrick and co-screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke understood, excitement over the pending 1969 moon landing, and over space exploration in general, gave us license to consider a greater purpose and more enlightened future for humankind, even as the world seemed to be crashing down -- perhaps especially then.
    Masterpieces - "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Brian Libby.

    Utne Reader presents America's 60

    Utne Reader presents America's 60 Best Public Places

    An eclectic assortment of favorite hangouts from Key West to Seattle. In drafting the list, we drew upon the work of the Project for Public Spaces, a national advocacy group, and Gianni Longo’s book A Guide to Great American Public Places, as well as suggestions from friends around the country and happy memories of our own travels. We define the idea of public place broadly here, ranging from rib joints to the Grand Canyon, art museums to Coney Island. Our only firm criterion was that these places must be open to everyone at no more than a modest cost.

    another reason to love New York City

    Mr. Karlov, originally from Moscow, glanced over at his fellow passenger and smiled. "He does not bother me, and, in fact, I find him rather amusing," he said.

    Waiting for the A Train, the Sophisticated Pigeon

    milk is chillin'

    "I went to the teacher to ask what I should do ... I was told to just pretend I was black. It was the hardest paper I ever had to do. I needed a lot of help from my friends. But I guess I did a good job because I got an 'A' in the class."
    Freshman essays on being black in the 21st century can be tough. Just ask Howard University's first white basketball player.

    In Africa and Europe, people

    In Africa and Europe, people are listening to CJ Campbell.

    Peak oil is a turning point for Mankind. The economic prosperity
    of the 20th Century was driven by cheap, oil-based energy. Everyone had the
    equivalent of several unpaid and unfed slaves to do his work for him, but now
    these slaves are getting old and won't work much longer. We have an urgent
    need to find how to live without them.

    On the end of oil.

    originally posted by judlew

    March 4, 2002


    Jello Biafra interview in The Progressive. I particularly dug the part in which he talked about his childhood:

    "...The boyfriend of the student music teacher came in: 'Hey, kids, this is a real Air Force pilot.' I asked him something to the effect of how it felt to be dropping bombs on children in Vietnamese villages. And it got very icy in there all of a sudden, and finally the teacher said, 'Oh, well, Eric reads a lot of newspapers. Next question.'"

    originally posted by Chris

    batman, napster, cipro, d'oh!

    The Privatization of Our Culture by Bret Dawson

    Here is a convenient thesis statement for you: The discoveries, eureka-moments, fables, characters, songs and jokes that form the only common ground we share as citizens -- the set of ideas collectively known as ‘The West’ -- are now the property of a few multinational corporations. Our entire culture has fallen into private hands, taking with it our right to tell our stories, our right to keep our personal lives personal, even our right to heal our sick. Most of the thoughts passing through your head at any given moment are private property, subject to the whims and desires and litigious controls of the companies that own them. (...)

    They can be stopped by large and small acts of civil disobedience, by the willful and deliberate and unauthorized use of those precious trademarks in media large and small -- on your school notebook, on your website, on your TV show. Eventually, they’ll lose their power, becoming as generic and empty and valueless as ‘Kleenex’ and ‘Aspirin’ and ‘Thermos’ have become.

    This almost-perfect article is basically the essay I've been writing and rewriting in the back of my head for several years. (via Follow Me Here.)

    Visible Darkness is down on

    Visible Darkness is down on Kerouac for all the wrong reasons. Kerouac's contribution to literature was an unimaginable honesty. The trouble is most people simply aren't interesting enough to create a masterpiece out of an honest accounting of their lives. His contribution to humanity, however, was much greater than his contribution to literature -- the revelation of his tragic spiritual journey, and through it, his compassionate soul.

    Some nice thoughts on children's

    Some nice thoughts on children's books at Open Brackets, via wood s lot.

    I don't know a single

    I don't know a single Arab or Muslim American who does not now feel that he or she belongs to the enemy camp, and that being in the United States at this moment provides us with an especially unpleasant experience of alienation and widespread, quite specifically targeted hostility. Hundreds of young Arab and Muslim men have been picked up for questioning and, in far too many cases, detained by the police or the FBI. Anyone with an Arab or Muslim name is usually made to stand aside for special attention during airport security checks. There have been many reported instances of discriminatory behaviour against Arabs, so that speaking Arabic or even reading an Arabic document in public is likely to draw unwelcome attention. And of course, the media have run far too many "experts" and "commentators" on terrorism, Islam, and the Arabs whose endlessly repetitious and reductive line is so hostile and so misrepresents our history, society and culture that the media itself has become little more than an arm of the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. All with what seems like great public approval in the United States. (...)

    I have come to deeply resent the notion that I must accept the picture of America as being involved in a "just war" against something unilaterally labeled as terrorism by Bush and his advisers, a war that has assigned us the role of either silent witnesses or defensive immigrants who should be grateful to be allowed residence in the US. The historical realities are different: America is an immigrant republic and has always been one. It is a nation of laws passed not by God but by its citizens. Except for the mostly exterminated native Americans, the original Indians, everyone who now lives here as an American citizen originally came to these shores as an immigrant from somewhere else, even Bush and Rumsfeld. The Constitution does not provide for different levels of Americanness, nor for approved or disapproved forms of "American behaviour," including things that have come to be called "un-" or "anti- American" statements or attitudes. That is the invention of American Taliban who want to regulate speech and behaviour in ways that remind one eerily of the unregretted former rulers of Afghanistan. And even if Mr Bush insists on the importance of religion in America, he is not authorised to enforce such views on the citizenry or to speak for everyone when he makes proclamations in China and elsewhere about God and America and himself. (...)

    The US position has been escalating towards a more and more metaphysical sphere, in which Bush and his people identify themselves (as in the very name of the military campaign, Operation Enduring Freedom) with righteousness, purity, the good, and manifest destiny, its external enemies with an equally absolute evil. Anyone reading the world press in the past few weeks can ascertain that people outside the US are both mystified by and aghast at the vagueness of US policy, which claims for itself the right to imagine and create enemies on a world scale, then prosecute wars on them without much regard for accuracy of definition, specificity of aim, concreteness of goal, or, worst of all, the legality of such actions.
    Edward Said's Thoughts about America in Al-Ahram Weekly.

    See also Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Prayer for America speech reproduced in The Nation:
    The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill-equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President.

    Let us pray that our country will stop this war. "To provide for the common defense" is one of the formational principles of America.

    Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September 11. We licensed a response to those who helped bring the terror of September 11th. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.

    Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.

    We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.

    We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

    We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.

    We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.

    We did not authorize national identity cards.

    We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.

    Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.

    We did not authorize war without end. Yet we are upon the threshold of a permanent war economy.

    Yet the defense budget grows with more money for weapons systems to fight a cold war which ended, weapon systems in search of new enemies to create new wars. This has nothing to do with fighting terror.

    This has everything to do with fueling a military industrial machine with the treasure of our nation, risking the future of our nation, risking democracy itself with the militarization of thought which follows the militarization of the budget.

    People keep telling me the war is over, but ...

    The U.S. unveiled a brand new bomb that was used in Afghanistan this weekend. Moreover, it appears that at least nine U.S. soldiers and 100 al-Qaida or Taliban soldiers have been killed in action today. Meanwhile, Bush has Saddam in his sights.

    originally posted by zagg

    Quiet, polite and reserved.

    The Asians that I have met have all been really quiet, polite, and reserved. Is it wrong of me to think that these are good qualities?

    Whenever anybody says, "you Asians are all so polite," I want to do something very rude to them. Let me explain why. It isn't that I'm just an arrogant American.

    It's rather that while "polite" sounds good, it's actually ambiguous. To be polite is also to be submissive, deferential, to "know your place." I'm not making this up: the image of politeness is coupled to, and I suggest inextricable form, these other less complimentary interpretations.

    I'd rather be an individual, and if I can't be accpected as an individual, I'd just as soon be accepted as no different than the next person, who's likely to be white. Why? Because if I'm expected to be bowing, shuffling, and obedient, and I turn out to be assertive, bold, and original, some may react negatively due to the influence of race.

    Consider gender (and images of Asians, as many have noted, are often cast in gender terms; we are effeminate). Women, expected to be polite, who behave not one bit differently than men, especially women in non-traditional supervisory roles, are described in extraordinarily negative terms.

    There's polite; then there's polite.
    Howard University School of Law Professor Frank H. Wu responds to a question from a Oshkosh, Wis., reader in a Washington Post Live Online forum discussion last month.

    March 3, 2002

    Three exhibits I plan to

    Three exhibits I plan to see: The Flowering of Florence: Botanical Art for the Medici and Goya: Images of Women, both at the National Gallery of Art; and Places of Their Own: Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo at The National Museum of Women in the Arts.

    ethical philosophy selector

    While online personality tests can sometimes be amusing, they're generally a mindless waste of time - and, I think, not the caliber of thing we usually post here at randomWalks - but a somewhat brainier quiz is the Ethical Philosophy Selector. I don't know much about philosophy myself, but I took it and it said my moral/ethical outlook on life is most in line with Kantian theory, and the more I read about it, the more it seems that this particular online test is dead-on. (via evanizer.com).

    originally posted by Chris

    March 2, 2002

    Empowered with a special exemption

    Empowered with a special exemption from copyright law, Bookshare hopes to avoid the bitter legal fight that bogged down Napster and prove Napster's subversive technology can be applied for social good.

    Bookshare, based in Palo Alto, California, is building an online library of books scanned into audio and Braille formats for the exclusive use of the blind and people with reading problems such as dyslexia.

    Peer 2 Peer book sharing for those who have trouble reading. Awesome.

    Co-operative Community Energy will focus

    Co-operative Community Energy will focus its efforts to make renewable energy systems familiar and affordable to average consumers so that the choice to install a renewable energy system becomes as simple as, and preferable to, buying electricity from the centralized power utility.

    Cooperative Community Energy: Now that's deregulation!

    originally posted by judlew

    The first of the papaver

    The first of the papaver somniferum of the spring bloomed yesterday morning in my garden, a Persian White. I have other poppies, Icelandic and Shirley, Oriental and California, but they aren't nearly as spectacular as the ones that yield opium. This one is an eerie shade of translucent ivory, and the Danish Flags that follow later will look like the white ones stained with blood. I don't harvest them; it's illegal and I don't need it. But I save the dried pods for decorative purposes, and consider them part of my arsenal of herbs: If the world were ending, I'd make some tea.

    I've been obsessed with poppies ever since I read Michael Pollan's April '97 Harper's article, "Opium Made Easy," reprinted here. It also got me thinking about addiction, interdiction and the general landscape of therapeutic plants.

    originally posted by judlew

    Sylvia Rivera, one of the

    Sylvia Rivera, one of the initiators of the Stonewall Rebellion that sparked the queer liberation movement died February 19th, 2002 at age 50.

    originally posted by hcog

    when you get here: simple

    when you get here: simple motions click on the asl representation. a person in my poetry workshop brought this video of a deaf poet signing his poem and it was beautiful...

    originally posted by hcog

    When Jeremy Northam's Ivor Novello,

    When Jeremy Northam's Ivor Novello, sitting at the piano, entertains the guests with charming romantic songs, his voice drifts up into the house, and servants gather raptly on the stairs, and at the windows, as if basking in sunshine on a winter day. "Gosford Park" suggests that popular entertainment will eventually help liberate the lower classes.

    In the last month I’ve seen two fantastic movies whose climaxes occur as a character sings pop songs at the piano, surrounded by unappreciative snobs of a higher social class. The scene described above, from Roger Altman’s Gosford Park, gave me goosebumps. So did a similar moment in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much, when Doris Day belts out "Whatever Will Be, Will Be" in a foreign embassy—a full-throated bird brazenly calling for her lost son. (He’s been kidnapped!) Both films "show" the pop song moving through the hallowed, empty halls of the upper crust, bringing hope to the afflicted. Too romantic? There’s an article in the latest issue of Reason magazine (another eyesore) called "In Praise of Vulgarity" relating this idea to the current situation in Afghanistan.

    Another connection: Ivor Novello, played by Jeremy Northam in Gosford Park, was a real actor. He starred in Hitchcock films!

    originally posted by david rees

    March 1, 2002

    food for those in solitude

    As we grow to human maturity and care for the lives of others, we become creatively and beautifully silent. We evoke words from the other and generate life by our listening... The silent person is not the one who never speaks but the one who knows how to listen well.
    Thomas Merton quoted in the quarterly newsletter for hermits and those interested in the eremitical life, "Raven's Bread."

    go there now

    "Look inside" Ram Dass' Be Here Now.

    News organizations have a special

    News organizations have a special duty to abide by basic ethical practices. That is just as true, perhaps moreso, for those of us who claim an "alternative" status.

    That's why Narco News and I have, from our first day of publication, publicly disclosed any and all relationships, financial or otherwise, that could create even the appearance of conflict of interest. That information appears on our links page and is been regularly updated when necessary.

    Alternet, an "alternative" news organization, which according to statements by its own director has received an estimated million dollars for editorial product, has been less forthcoming. Some of Alternet's ethical lapses have entangled Narco News, and so we feel duty bound to clear the air.

    What follows is Al Giordano going apeshit on Alternet. Giordano asked permission before posting one of my comics to Narco News. Indymedia, on the other hand, printed two of my comics in their newspaper without bothering to ask if that was OK. (If they had asked, I would’ve given them something better than a 72 dpi file which came out looking all illegible and crappy!) Why can’t hard-lefty media act professionally? Related topic: How many people think Z Magazine looks like ass? Regardless of some of the content—see the god-awful "Hotel Satire" column—it must be one of the ugliest magazines I’ve ever read.

    originally posted by david rees

    Howard Zinn does his thing.

    So the so-called war against terrorism, to me, is absolutely an enormous waste of our resources. This connects to the economy because here we are—we don't have enough money for education, they're cutting funds for Medicare and Medicaid, they're cutting funds for social services of all sorts and they're demanding an increase in the military budget.

    Gadfly, which is put out by the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute, interviews Howard Zinn.

    originally posted by zagg

    A double quartet of diggable quotes.

    JazzTimes plays the tracks; D.C.'s own Thievery Corporation states the facts.

    Agent Vulga wins. The ten

    Agent Vulga wins. The ten millionth blogger post (http://agentvulga.blogspot.com/?/2002_02_17_agentvulga_archive.html#10000000) of an old yellow page ad is certain to jump to daypop/blogdex #1. Perhaps the blogger gods wanted to pay homage to the original blogs - phone books, classifieds & want ads?

    Here's another article - by

    Here's another article - by our own John Kearny (from Time Out NY).

    Interview with Joe Sacco. I

    Interview with Joe Sacco. I have just started reading Palestine and have been blown away by both the content and the art. What has impressed me the most is how acutely Sacco describes the people he speaks with, both in ink and in text. I can sense that this book will change me and my perspectives quite a bit, even though I am already quite well-read on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    On tonight's NOW with Bill

    On tonight's NOW with Bill Moyers, Moyers will use recent remarks by John Ashcroft as a starting point and discuss war, politics and religion with several theologians and members of the clergy.

    Sensitive Brit Badly Drawn Boy,

    Sensitive Brit Badly Drawn Boy, aka Damon Gough, is recording the soundtrack to the film version of Nick Hornby's About a Boy. The album is due out in April. The Beeb's site has the first single in RealAudio, "Silent Sigh." A little slicker than the Hour of Bewilderbeast material, innit?

    Look, people get drunk. People

    Look, people get drunk. People chase girls. And the point is, it's a hell of a lot better for them to get drunk than to take drugs. It's better to chase girls than boys. Now that's my position and let's stop this crap. Understand?
    Ah, the men who run this country. It's Nixon on tape.

    3 Louima Cop Convictions Overturned

    3 Louima Cop Convictions Overturned

    originally posted by tragicM

    A guy I went to

    A guy I went to high school with interviews Guy Picciotto of Fugazi. (What is randomWalks if not clubby?)