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July 31, 2002

I don't think it's

I don't think it's that women are less sexual than men. I think they could or would like porn if the situation were different. There are still fairly big taboos about women admitting to being interested in porn - even for the ones who rent pretty racy stuff from upstairs. And the movies would have to be different. There'd have to be more about why these people are having sex. A better reason than Tab A fitting into Slot B, at least.

And, from what I do know about porn, the sex would have to be different. It doesn't look like the women on porn boxes are having that much fun. They're always being bent or twisted into uncomfortable positions, or trying to avoid sperm being shot directly into their eyes. The fact that the men watching want to see as much as possible means that the women don't seem to be getting touched much. They're just getting poled by some guy who's apparently deliberately avoiding their erogenous zones. Whee. So we don't get many women downstairs. I hope the few brave feminine souls who do go down there find what they're looking for.

Oh, by the way... Management found out about this journal and the NPR piece over the weekend.

I am not fired.

If you haven't yet read Ali Davis' True Porn Clerk Stories, make some time to do so. It is the best thing on the Internet since Get Your War On.

Kobun Chino Roshi

kobun chinoKobun Otokawa Roshi, 64, drowned Friday, July 26, in a pond near Lucerne, Switzerland, while attempting to rescue his daughter Maya, 5, who had fallen into the water. Maya also drowned. Roshi leaves his wife Katrine, their daughter Tatsuko, 7, and son Alyosha, 3. He also leaves two grown children: Yoshiko, 29, of Albuquerque, N.M., and Taido, 31, of Washington state. The loss of a great heart always leaves a void. His was a life worthy of celebration.
It's bizarre to see the death of a once-close family friend announced on MetaFilter, and in relation to Steve Jobs no less. I've always considered myself blessed to have been exposed to so much wisdom as a little one, and Kobun was no small part of that. Any conscious memory I have of him is almost certainly confabulated, but I've always cherished the conviction that if I were to look him up someday, we would greet each other as old friends -- no matter I was no older than five the last time I saw him.

he don't cause trouble, he don't bother nobody

Def Jam Launches 'Free Slick Rick' Petition -- yes, that's right, a petition.

Here's to those stylish hens

Steven Keel, the owner of Egganic Industries in Ringgold, Va., says that sales of his elaborate $1,500 Henspas — low-maintenance, high-comfort homes designed for urban and suburban chickens — are up 15 percent. The McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa, reports they're sending more mail-order chicks (ranging in cost from about $1 to $5 per chick) to addresses in upper-class suburbs.

Lucy has been brooding since Valerie died, so now the virgin Lucy's hatching some other hen's fertile egg. And just in time, because ABC News sez: Chickens Have Become Chic Urban and Suburban Pets.

originally posted by judlew

July 30, 2002

Who Elected Rupert Murdoch? Critics

Who Elected Rupert Murdoch?

    Critics have suggested that Blair wants to keep Murdoch sweet so that newspapers in his News International stable will be less hostile during any referendum on the euro.

Read this article, and please explain to my why corporations have so much power.

Pick Up Your Swords --

Pick Up Your Swords -- It's Time To Slay the Corporate-Media Beast

    The corporate media's stranglehold on the news causes crucial stories to receive little attention--or to be ignored altogether. The major media, as Sanders said, "deflect attention from the most important issues facing working people," so news on the health-care crisis or trade is buried under a mountain of sensationalistic stories about sex scandals and violent crimes.

From this article at Common Dreams


The New York Times' wine tasters hold forth on Wheat Beer, the Antidote to Summer Heat. (Don't miss the tasting report.)

July 29, 2002

war is over if you want it

Rest easy, old friend, your targets are covered.
Inscription on a plaque dedicating a dummy missile installed at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota which opens to the public around 2005. (Washington Post: Rethinking the Unthinkable.)

quis custodiat ipsos custodes

Priests tend to inflict maximum damage on their devout victims because Catholicism teaches that priests are God's representatives on earth, worthy of complete obedience and trust. To children, it often seems as though God is abusing them, a violation that can forever destroy the refuge organized religion provides.
Washington Post: How Deep The Scars Of Abuse?

i'll drink to that.

When these data were analysed, Dr Barefoot and his colleagues found that wine-drinkers ate less saturated fat and cholesterol, smoked less, and were more active than the rest. Those who drank no alcohol had the worst habits: they ate fewer fruits and vegetables and more red meat, and also smoked more. When the researchers controlled for connections between socio-economic status and beverage preference, they found that wine-drinkers with the same financial resources and social standing as beer-drinkers or teetotallers simply lead more sensible and healthier lives.

Despite allowing themselves the indulgence of wine-drinking, members of this group practised reasonable self-discipline in matters of diet, exercise and smoking. According to the researchers, the lifestyle led by wine-drinkers explains much of their better health. Whether encouraging the abstemious to drink wine would cause them to lead healthier lives is moot.
The Economist, "The key to gracious living"

July 28, 2002

Two from the New York

Two from the New York Times: first, Dylan returns to the Newport festival:

On that Sunday evening in July, with society's walls rattling, Pete Seeger introduced the final slate of performers by suggesting that they sing as if serenading a newborn baby, to tell it what kind of world they wanted it to inherit. In short order, Dylan mounted the stage wearing a black leather jacket, backed by members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and, with the sound system cranked up to ear-splitting level, he opened with "Maggie's Farm" ("I try my best to be just like I am/ But everybody wants you to be just like them"), from "Bringing It All Back Home."

It was probably not the message Seeger had in mind for the baby; according to some accounts, he first threatened to cut the sound cables, then walked out. Alan Lomax, the folklorist who had recorded Woody Guthrie and Jelly Roll Morton for the Library of Congress, fumed and hollered, insisting that the volume be turned down, to no avail.

...and speaking of Lomax (again)...
Lomax started his work in the 1930's at a juncture when technology was perfectly double-edged, promising both salvation and destruction for local traditions. Salvation because the music could be recorded and then, conceivably, broadcast. And destruction because radio was breaking down the isolation of local styles on the way to promoting music that reached for a pop common denominator. Then World War II exposed people thrown together by military service to formerly isolated regional music; it also made America re-examine its identity and its folk heritage.

Recording and broadcasting were already changing the role of music from a live local event, demanding participation, to a commodity created by distant professionals, made for passive consumption. Lomax envisioned the relentless spread of a centralized pop that would erase eons of tradition. "We of the jets, the wireless and the atom blast," he wrote, "are on the verge of sweeping completely off the globe what unspoiled folklore is left."

public radio trolling

Culled from this weekend's public radio listening, for your enjoyment:

  • profile of Atom and His Package, hilarious Weird Al/TMBG-like songs with keyboard
  • the parents of Liza Lister, a six-year-old girl who died of leukemia, discuss her understanding of her approaching end; possibly the most despairing thing you will EVER hear, but also quite incredible, not for the easily depressed
  • intro to the theremin (third item down, a few supplementary links)

He's baaaaaaack . . .

And the Unabomber's host in the new media world is none other than, John Zerzan, who has published Ted Kacynski's latest dispatch from jail in his Green Anarchy magazine. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Zerzan claims that "There's not a total agreement with his point of view among the editors. . . .But very often his views are worth publishing. We definitely concur with his views on the dangers of technology."

I combed for a quote from "Hit Where it Hurts" (a PDF file, continued here), but found none of it quote worthy. I have two questions: Would anyone, even Zerzan, consider Kacynski "worth publishing" had he not killed and maimed for attention? And if technology is so evil, why is Zerzan using the Internet?

originally posted by judlew


Pornographer's Picks: "A subjective listing of excellent free and membership porn sites, as chosen by a pornographer, together with occasional musings on sex, the smut industry, or whatever else I feel like rambling about. Some of these links may make me money when you click on them, but the links will always be what they claim to be, and the best of what's out there. Oh yeah! Clicking on any links provided will likely result in explicit sexual content, so consider yourself warned."

ask metafilter...

What's a "ricer"?

July 27, 2002

joining the dots

THE BIG LINK THAT JOINS THEM ALL: How do we deal with the end of the road? I think the word "post-modern" should be uttered here because although it's been uncool for a long time, it actually describes the situation perfectly: stuff ain't modern no more. Rock music ran out of fresh ideas a long time ago, and (very) arguably, dance music has swiftly come to the same situation.
'90s indie solution: There's really no way we can sincerely get excited about rock & roll any more, so let's do it ironically, but with a genuine sadness for what we've lost. eg. Pavement's 'Filmore Jive', Beck's Odelay, an album all about the crumbling of rock.
Strokes solution: Let's rehash the past and add nothing new, act kind of like it never happened before, Orwell-1984-style. It doesn't really matter - let's just rock & roll the night away one more time.
Daft Punk solution: Let's rehash dance and rock past, but mix them in a fresh way. Let's be ironic and sad, but still fun and loving and exciting and believe in what we're doing. It doesn't really matter - this is just digital dance music after all. We're gonna celebrate One More Time.
Electroclash & LCD Soundsystem solution: Hey, we're arty intellectuals and we know about the history of music, we know that this has happened before, so we know how to deal with it. Let's rehash the past, but intelligently. Let's mix rock and dance in fresh ways and make serious statements that are also jokes. Sincerity is important to exciting art, but it doesn't have to be genuine. It does really matter.
Keith McD's "I Love Music" Greenspun thread contribution (via New York London Paris Munich) just feels right. Ten years ago, it was Nirvana over Michael Jackson; now we see all these movements and we (dot-dot-dot) only connect.

pixies demo

Half of the Pixies' Fort Apache demo tape was released as "Come On Pilgrim". The other half is just out with the title "Pixies".

a primer on Islam

It is absolutely clear that Islam stems from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, we should think in terms of the "Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition."
CounterPunch: Challenging Ignorance on Islam: a Ten-Point Primer for Americans.

TiVo, take me away

I'm not ashamed to say I'm a fan of John Ritter's work. I am a little ashamed to tell you that John Ritter is co-starring with Katey Sagal in a sitcom for ABC this fall, "Some Show Whose Title Is Eight Words Long" or something. If that's not enough, both ABC and WB have developed shows in which the main character is a thirtysomething man time-travelling back to high school in the 1980s. I'm not making this up!


I'm just blown away by the whole thing, still; that it happened, that we accomplished what we did, and that we survived, and survived as friends, and that it was as positive an experience as it was.
C'mon, Page -- you're just on hiatus, right?

July 26, 2002

This article from the Urban

This article from the Urban Land Institute asks: "What makes a place a place?" (And why does a "sense of place" feel so scarce in America?)

Changing places has long been a peculiarly American trait: Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1835 that an American changes his residence ceaselessly. When things are going badly—a dead-end job, a failing marriage, rising crime—we cut our ties and move on. In such a vast country, space is our greatest safety valve. No horizon is out of reach. Our abundance of land and our pursuit of new horizons have made us the most mobile, and probably most restless, society on earth, writes David Lamb in A Sense of Place: Listening to Americans. We are refugees in our own country, notes Peter Schrag in Out of Place in America.

originally posted by Ben Fried


It's a way to get around without buying into the money economy, a way of consuming without waste, of living off the leftovers of American abundance in the same spirit as squatting unused land and subsisting on food that grocery stores and restaurants discard. Freight trains are like a communal garden that moves.
LA Weekly: The Hobohemians: On the rails with the new freedom riders.

July 25, 2002

theremin in NY

Renowned thereminist Pamelia Kurstin can play a bass line to a Sly and the Family Stone song on her instrument—how cool is that?

kangra paintings

Look at these beautiful Indian kangra paintings.

remember not to linger too long in the "ethnic" foods aisle...

Librarians have filled their listservs with e-mails sharing strategies for resisting law enforcement attempts to grab hold of their users' book lists. But the corporate world doesn't foster that kind of purist culture. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation came knocking for the names of scuba divers this spring, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors forked over a roll of more than 2 million certified divers without so much as being served a subpoena.
the Village Voice's Erik Baard on how Your Grocery List Could Spark a Terror Probe

originally posted by elihu

July 24, 2002

Just as some cities are

Just as some cities are stopping their recycling programs,
come out in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

There, across a 40-foot span of the Mullica River in Wharton State Forest, engineers will begin next month to build a bridge like no other on Earth. It will be made entirely of - Are you listening? - plastics.

The raw materials don't exactly inspire confidence behind the wheel: 30,000 tons of flakes, smaller than paper-punch dots, made of discarded milk, bleach and detergent containers, and Styrofoam products as ethereal as packing peanuts.

And a new use for old office buildings.

originally posted by Greer


If you spot somebody you believe may be a TIPS informant, do two things:
  • Mark the informant. In a subtle way, place the mark of the all-seeing eye (the eye-in-the-pyramid from the Great Seal, shown above) on their home, vehicle or person. Chalk is best, though it must be renewed. This is like Hobo Signs.
  • Register them here.
The widespread public ridicule TIPS has suffered gives rise to faint stirrings of hope for the US within me. Did I say that out loud?

wifi funnies

"Why would anyone pay for this stuff?" - Doonesbury 7/21/2002

internet radio back from dead?

Internet radio stations are closing by the hundreds because they can't afford to pay expensive new royalties. But a compromise may be on the horizon.
According to Minnesota Public Radio's Future Tense, all may not be lost.


Palestine Chronicle - 'Murder in Gaza' "contains images of the death and destruction created by the Israeli attack on the Gaza City, late Monday, July 22, where 12 Palestinians were killed and 140 wounded." If you don't think you want to see this, you don't. Don't click.

July 23, 2002

Follow Me Here

Go Eliot!

Oil and hydrogen don't mix

Production costs for fuel cells won't come down until demand increases. But demand won't increase until production costs come down. Likewise, there won't be a sizable demand for hydrogen as a fuel until there is a ready and available supply. But there won't be a supply until there is a demand.

Which is why the federal government's decision to throw what proportionately amounts to nickels and dimes at the problem won't make much of a difference, at least not for the foreseeable future. The main beneficiaries of this woefully underfunded program, of course, are the big oil companies that have long had a major influence within the Bush family's political machine.

Hal Plotkin has written a precise explanation of hydrogen technology embedded in a political treatise: A persuasive condemnation of Bush's insincere stab at developing hydrogen fuel cells, the "FreedomCAR" initiative. Read it here.

originally posted by judlew

A Writer Whose Work is

A Writer Whose Work is Worth Reading

I've just dipped into "Among the Believers," a book about Islam in four different countries. It is a great mix of an insider's and an outsider's viewpoints of religions and freedoms.

A challenging book. I think it would provoke very heavy discussion.

If you want to know about V. S. Naipaul please do so.

originally posted by DC

Shakespeare Gets Life in PrisonAs

Shakespeare Gets Life in Prison

As a prisoner, it's something I have to check everyday: to look at myself and say, "No, I am going to be human." ----Leonard Ford, inmate.

originally posted by DC

July 22, 2002

There's hope!New Director for Third

There's hope!

New Director for Third Harry Potter film!

NPR's Jacki Lyden interviews Anissa

NPR's Jacki Lyden interviews Anissa Helou, author of a new cookbook, Mediterranean Street Food.

July 21, 2002

Massachussetts is moving to restrict

Massachussetts is moving to restrict media access to inmates in its prisons, following an example set by other states.

Am I the only one

Am I the only one who grins every time I read the name "Henry Blodget"?

July 20, 2002

best of npr july 2002

Now that OS X has a RealAudio client, I can bring you the best of NPR so far this month:


"We now have cultural machines so powerful that one singer can reach everybody in the world, and make all the other singers feel inferior because they're not like him ... Once that gets started, he gets backed by so much cash and so much power that he becomes a monstrous invader from outer space, crushing the life out of all the other human possibilities. My life has been devoted to opposing that tendency."
The New York Times' Jon Pareles remembers Alan Lomax.

July 19, 2002

i was wooed too...

The Israeli government, which provides funding for trips like birthright israel, knows where its interests lie. It recognizes that Jewish supremacy in Israel is highly dependent on the ideological support of American Jews and the $3 billion sponsorship of the US government. And what better way to buy the loyalty of the younger generation of Jewish Americans than by making them feel that they themselves are Israeli, their souls married to their homeland even if their bodies are divorced from it. (Despite their deeply felt connections, very few trip alumni choose to move to the Promised Land.)

But somehow, unlike most of my peers, i didn't buy in. Emma Pollin breaks it down over at Wiretap.

Ooh, and while you're (almost) there, check out Alana Kumbier's piece at Alternet: Bush's plan to fund the marriage initiative and abstinence-only education programs with welfare dollars is his administration's idea of the perfect wedding.

originally posted by elihu

July 18, 2002

After 29 futile and tragic

After 29 futile and tragic years, it is time to bring the curtain down on the institutionalized cruelty of the Rockefeller drug laws. There is no way to justify sentencing nonviolent low-level drug offenders to prison terms that are longer than those served by some killers and rapists.

The always-right Bob Herbert on New York's Ruinous Drug Laws.

originally posted by judlew


Game over, folks. The Classic Nick Homepage is the absolute best thing on the Internet.

Architecture and Death

Poll: Six WTC Site Proposals Lack Appeal.

Of course they do, but as I see it, we've now seen the six worst case scenarios. I'll update this post throughout the day.

July 17, 2002


Looking for Macworld info? Check out Xspot.

I picked up Everything is

I picked up Everything is Illuminated - a work of semi-fiction in which a young boy tries to find a woman in Eastern Europe who may or may not have saved his family from being taken to concentration camps.

I got it from Seventh Avenue Books (25% all new books) after seeing Jonathan Safran Foer read & sign this weekend at Book Hampton - where a friend noted "He looks like a completely lost 18 year old." The New York Times raved about it. I've also had 4 different subway sightings, and that's always a good sign.

About the Author (from the above Powell's link):

Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977 in Washington, D.C. He is the editor of the anthology A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by the Work of Joseph Cornell, a Book Sense 76 selection and a Boston Globe bestseller. His stories have been published in the Paris Review and Conjunctions. Jonathan traveled to the Ukraine four years ago to research his grandfather’s life. This is his first novel, parts of which appeared in The New Yorker.

Anyway, anyone care to join me?

July 16, 2002


I would have loved to have seen Tom Cruise's character use that fancy glove-based interface to make a warm and charming virtual greeting for his pregnant wife, instead of posing with her with no technology in sight.
Jaron "virtual reality" Lanier talks to DJ Spooky's future-culture mag 21C about designing the future for Minority Report. Also in 21C: Memories of a Forgotten War: A Filipino/American Ghost Story.

pesticides unhealthy?!

If it's true that commonly used pesticides compromise the immune system of a vertebrate organism, which is what these findings suggest, then we're looking at a much bigger problem than deformed frogs.
Washington Post: A Pesticide-Parasite Role in Frogs' Deformities?


It's sort of like alchemy to turn horror into humor or to see the absurd side of tragedy.
Paul Krassner's actually not talking about Get Your War On, but about his show, "The Return of the Realist."

"Can I see pictures of

"Can I see pictures of the actual demining team being sponsored by GYWO?" Yes, another Get Your War On post, but this time to spotlight the benefit work enabled by the incredible success of the comic and the integrity of its creator.

July 15, 2002

Here's to free, uh, statement . . . .

The word "medieval" (since it contains the javascript command "eval") is converted in Yahoo mail to "medireview". Google now shows over 640 sites (and 1,150 separate instances) of the word "medireview" being used as a synonym for medieval. University papers, bibliographies and book reviews, Indian newspaper columnists, and endless enthusiast sites drop it unseen into texts. People have begun to ask where it originally came from, and does it have a subtler meaning beyond "medieval"?

Why won't Yahoo let you say "mocha" in an HTML email?

originally posted by judlew

When asked to explain any

When asked to explain any new insights he may have gained into his character, Tony Soprano, he shrugged and said, "We've just finished the season so it's very hard for me to answer that. I almost need to clear my head a little bit and then look back at it." In trying to explain the enormous appeal of the mob boss, he likened his character to Ralph Kramden of "The Honeymooners": "It's like this moron is just doing the best he can and he just keeps screwing up. But I think that is changing a little bit."
The Sopranos returns on September 15th. It sounds like they just wrapped up shooting.

San Jose Mercury News: Gay

San Jose Mercury News: Gay hip-hop innovators refute common stereotypes by Davey D.

We could go on and on naming gay artists who have made an impact on hip-hop. Gays have always been down with hip-hop. The question is: Do we accept our gay brothers and sistas?

July 14, 2002

Happy birthday, dadaism!

On this day in 1916 Tristan Tzara and others published the first Dadaist manifesto:

Some people think they can explain rationally, by thought, what they think. But that is extremely relative. Psychoanalysis is a dangerous disease, it puts to sleep the anti-objective impulses of men and systematizes the bourgeoisie. There is no ultimate Truth. The dialectic is an amusing mechanism which guides us / in a banal kind of way / to the opinions we had in the first place. Does anyone think that, by a minute refinement of logic, he has demonstrated the truth and established the correctness of these opinions? Logic imprisoned by the senses is an organic disease. To this element philosophers always like to add: the power of observation. But actually this magnificent quality of the mind is the proof of its impotence. We observe, we regard from one or more points of view, we choose them among the millions that exist. Experience is also a product of chance and individual faculties. Science disgusts me as soon as it becomes a speculative system, loses its character of utility-that is so useless but is at least individual. I detest greasy objectivity, and harmony, the science that finds everything in order.

originally posted by Chris

We have a short attention

We have a short attention span, and a love of language. A passion for thoughtful discussion, witty repartee, and the vital exchange of ideas, and a congenital impatience sharpened by our engagement with the cyber world. We love the idea of stimulating conversation where each word must be considered. We love the idea of editing a journal where we can attentively read through each potential contribution. But mostly, we're excited about the possibilities to be explored - discovering together what this constraint will enable.
83 words at Swank Writing .

originally posted by hcog

July 12, 2002

it's funny ha-ha

I always forget to read the Funny Paper column in the Baltimore City Paper.

Somewhere, six feet under the fruited plain, the corpse of Hank Ketcham stirs from its fitful dreams of Swiss mountain sunlight and rolls over in dismay. Its dead bony hand scrabbles restlessly at the earth, fumbling for a chilled martini.

Even yet more streaming fun:

Even yet more streaming fun: new Beck cuts.


Lobot Is Lando Calrissian's #1 helper. Lobot runs plant operations in Cloud City for Lando. But one day, something happened. Now you should look at the story.


By all rights, Metapop should be bigger than bread.

July 11, 2002

Mendler: I think the major

Mendler: I think the major resistance we see is not to the idea of green architecture — because it's an attractive, common sense idea in a lot of ways.

The resistance has to do with the fact that everybody is under so much time pressure. So there's a reticence about adding yet another concern to what people already have to do.

Now that we've seen more and more successful projects, people are a little more familiar with the issues, and that reticence is eroding. But I think that's where it comes from: not that doing a green building is a bad idea, but just concern about being able to address that issue with all the others. There is also some concern about costs.

Something I've always been interested in, once I have a place of my own. This website focuses on Texas properties.

Deconstruction is the process of selectively and systematically disassembling buildings that would otherwise be demolished to generate a supply of materials suitable for reuse in the construction or rehabilitation of other structures. The benefits of deconstruction, ranging from the diversion of demolition debris from landfills to the creation of jobs and job skills, have been documented elsewhere. Numerous examples from across the country illustrate how buildings can be successfully deconstructed and how salvaged materials can be collected and distributed for reuse.

originally posted by Greer

DanteMa gia volgeva il mio


Ma gia volgeva il mio disio e' l velle,/ si come rota, ch'igualmente e mossa,/ l'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.


originally posted by DC

Zippy the Pinhead appears in

Zippy the Pinhead appears in today's Family Circus—see the top of the right-hand totem pole? (Thanks to rW reader John for the link.) This is not the first intermingling of the two universes. And it appears that the other totem pole sports the likeness of a moribund Bil Keane creation, Silly Philly.

dream, dream, dream

On a Slope of Dune, a Big Mixed Salad

The Flaming Lips' new album,

The Flaming Lips' new album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, comes out Tuesday, but you can hear it on their website now! now! NOW!

It was only in 1999

It was only in 1999 that Oregon passed a law saying that it was legal for women to breastfeed in public.

I learned how to perform circumcisions yesterday and was interested to learn that a big argument for circumcision was based on a study on military folks in the pacific theater in world war two- with the extreme hygiene difficulties while fighting in hot environments, uncircumcised american GI's had pesky foreskin infections that were inconvenient for the war machine. Could part of why 60% of American males are circumcised be to keep them war-ready?

Also, check out a new blog by some of my newly graduated med school classmates on residentblog.

originally posted by Amanda

July 10, 2002

Robert Holt filed a kick-ass

Robert Holt filed a kick-ass review of Grand Theft Auto III for NPR's All Things Considered. Catch the reference to Emerson's "Nature": Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.

July 9, 2002

Yet another visionary lost

Gene Kan, who in his early 20s transformed Gnutella from a kludgy sprawl to a vigorous Napster subsitute, has been found dead in his apartment. He was 25. He was a true forward-thinker and a great wit. "It pains me to say it," he told The Atlantic, "but I'm going to make an unbiased observation: Industries are occasionally made obsolete by technological advances. Carrier pigeons, for example, are largely on the dole."

Wired News remembers Gene in Quiet, Sad Death of Net Pioneer. And Gene's blog lives on here.

originally posted by judlew

Tivo, I thought you knew

Tivo, I thought you knew me well. You recorded Lawrence Welk and not Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends?

In a poem, one line

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line--
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.
So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide
The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another
On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe;
One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia Antica one tomb
May hide a number of other tombs.
Kenneth Koch, one of my favorite poets, died of leukemia Saturday. Along with John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara and James Schuyler, Koch was a member of the New York School. His poetry is funny, surreal and heartfelt. NPR's Robert Siegel read Koch's "Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams" in memoriam. Here's the NYT obit, which informs us:
He and his contemporaries — the poets John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara and the painters Jane Freilicher and Larry Rivers — took up the brash, anti-establishment mantle of their beatnik predecessors, but with a more classically European touch and with less machismo and facial hair.

July 8, 2002

Hey Rush, remember the "Fairness Doctrine?"

Political opinions expressed on talk radio are approaching the level of uniformity that would normally be achieved only in a totalitarian society, where government commissars or party propaganda ministers enforce the acceptable view with threats of violence. There is nothing fair, balanced or democratic about it. Yet the almost complete right wing Republican domination of political talk radio in this country has been accomplished without guns or gulags.

Read this whole thing, everybody, it's so good: Commentary / Edward Monks: The end of fairness: Right-wing commentators have a virtual monopoly when it comes to talk radio programming - The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA.

'splains a lot, if you ask me. In a very non-hysterical, lawyerly tone, Monks gives the reasons for the overwhelming number of reactionary talk-jocks, including the political rewards behemoth corporate broadcasters gain from anti-estate tax, anti-environmentalist, anti-social investment radio hosts. So much for "liberal bias" in the media.

originally posted by judlew

i never held the hand of dying before

Scientists in Barcelona have finished two years of testing a new drug in the fight against AIDS,and the results look good.

The drug, T-20 or Enfuvirtide, is a member of a new class of drugs called fusion inhibitors that fight H.I.V., the AIDS virus. When added to combinations of standard drugs, T-20, reduced high levels of H.I.V. in the blood in at least twice the percentage of patients with documented resistant virus than among those who took the standard drugs.

Tell you what: buy my

Tell you what: buy my book, cut out the copies of the documents contained in it, paste them to your television set, and then turn it on. If you don't see anything that matches what I show you in print, then TURN IT OFF. As long as televisions have an Off-button, there's hope for the USA.
Greg Palast talks with an employee of Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. (If you're in D.C. July 17, you can catch Palast at P&P -- and Howard Zinn will be there Wednesday.)

July 7, 2002

Vegetarians come in more than

Vegetarians come in more than half a dozen flavors, from sproutarians to pesco-pollo-vegetarians. The most notorious are the vegan (rhymes with intriguin' or fatiguin') vegetarians. The Green Party of the movement, vegans decline to consume, use or wear any animal products. They also avoid honey, since its production demands the oppression of worker bees. TV's favorite vegetarian, the cartoon 8-year-old Lisa Simpson, once had a crush on a fellow who described himself as "a Level Five vegan - I don't eat anything that casts a shadow."

Time magazine discovers vegetarianism.

now, there are good guys and there are bad guys.

We went to Mammoth to do some songwriting, but it started snowing really hard. And we made a toboggan out of a plastic trash can. We’d get three of us in it. We kind of went through an embankment and straight down into this culvert. We all landed on Chris [Derson, drummer] and broke his arm. We had to walk to the clinic in the snow... Victor’s [Krummenacher, bassist] dad was a pharmacist, so he kind of needled the doctor into giving Chris more and stronger drugs than he really needed. So we bought some beer, walked home in the snow and popped some pills. That is when we decided to record Tusk.
Camper Van Beethoven reunite at the Knitting Factory later this month. Their 1986 song-for-song cover of Fleetwood Mac's double album Tusk comes out on August 13 and is available at www.pitch-a-tent.com. Unless this is some kind of April Fool's in July. Take the skinheads bowling; take them bowling!

Bejeweled strategy

Well, the truth is that there is a lot of luck involved. Some people prefer to pick matches from the top rows of gems, leaving a couple potential matches on the lower reaches as a ‘reserve.’ On the other hand, particularly in the timed game, some players prefer to make matches on the bottom rows to maximize their chances of a big cascade, with its correspondingly big time bonus. But if you’re playing the non-timed version, probably the most useful strategy is just to cross your fingers and pray.
The best strategy is no-strategy according to the creator of Bejeweled, the most addictive game since Tetris. You can play Bejeweled (a.k.a. 'Diamond Mine') online at the Popcap Games site. See also these 'best games on the web' picks.

Figure drawing: Basic Pose and

Figure drawing: Basic Pose and Construction. Via xblog.

July 6, 2002

who gets to go? and when? and why?

we're headed for space, or somebody is.

the earth is dying and all that.

Humans must colonize space by 2050

originally posted by DC

July 5, 2002

Alter Ego

With Alter Ego, you can live your whole life in the course of a few hours. Spiffy!

originally posted by Chris

Dear Arjuna,     How was

Dear Arjuna,

    How was the They Might Be Giants concert? I would have loved to go, but poker was great so I'm not upset about missing it.

    When you and your iBook move to L.A. this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for these warchalking symbols which indicate WiFi Internet access points. L.A. isn't quite as saturated as, say, San Francisco (scroll down), but it couldn't hurt to bring along your iBook and a copy of MacStumbler when you go apartment hunting, could it?

    Can you make it to dinner on Sunday?



it is a great time to be alive

COM chat transcript: Singularity with Venor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil

ChatMod: Tonight we're pleased to welcome science fiction writer Venor Vinge, and author, innovator, and inventor Ray Kurzweil -- the founder of Kurzweil Technologies. Tonight's topic is Singularity. The term "singularity" refers to the geometric rate of the growth of technology and the idea that this growth will lead to a superhuman machine that will far exceed the human intellect. (...)

RayKurzweil: the event horizon of the Singularity can be compared to the concept of Singularity in physics. As one gets near a black hole, what appears to be an event horizon from outside the black hole appears differently from inside. The same will be true of this historical Singularity. (...)

vv: When dealing with "superhumans" it is not the same thing as comparing -- say -- our tech civ with a pretech human civ. The analogies shouldb with the animal kindgom and even more pershaps with things enve further away and more primitive (...)

RayKurzweil: The Singularity emerges from many thousands of smaller advances on many fronts: three-dimensional molecular computing, brain research (brain reverse engineering), software techniques, communication technologies, and many others. There's no single Singularity studies. It's the result of many intersecting revolutions. (...)

ChatMod: For both guests -- will we notice the Singularity when it happens, or will life seem routine until we suddenly wake up and realize we're on the other side?

RayKurzweil: Life will appear progressively more exciting. Doesn't it seem that way already. I mean we're just getting started, but there's already a palpable acceleration.

vv: Yes, I know some people who half-seriously suggest it has already happened (...)

RayKurzweil: I do think that the entire Universe will be changed from "dumb matter" to smart matter, which is the ultimate answer to the cosmological questions.

don't look here, look over there.

What are the odds that if the corporate media really picks up on this story that we'll have another warning of a terrorist attack?

On June 22, Bush sells his Harken stock at $4 a share, for a total of $848,560. He uses most of the proceeds to pay off a loan he had taken out the previous year to buy a partnership interest in the Texas Rangers for $600,000. ... On Aug. 22, Harken files a second quarter report disclosing for the first time that it is hemorrhaging. Total losses for that quarter are $23.2 million. Stock plunges to $2.37 a share.

The Public i on Bush's 1990 insider trading

originally posted by zagg


An article about Christianity's affect on animals.

In case you wanted to know.

Animal cruelty

originally posted by DC

what to the slave is the fourth of july?

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

originally posted by zagg

this is not an article about cooling

Project Cryo: "I'm not sure if you want to place a Lego figure inside your mouse but if you do now you know how."

Harry Potter fans in China

Harry Potter fans in China receive book five well before the rest of us?

the state of file-sharing in 2002

How to survive without audiogalaxy: a guide to file-sharing alternatives

The leading clients are less user-friendly, slower, and sometimes shady. Using, and protecting yourself, from these apps takes more work and research.

Not only that...

The Wall Street Journal/MSNBC: Music labels go after song-swappers
Major music companies are preparing to mount a broad new attack on unauthorized online song-swapping. The campaign would include suits against individuals who are offering the largest troves of songs on peer-to-peer services. The suits would be part of a broader effort, including a public campaign that may feature prominent artists urging music fans to respect copyright rules.


The New York Times: Grudgingly, Music Labels Sell Their Songs Online

July 4, 2002

Reviews of two books about

Reviews of two books about the Middle East that look worthwhile: Anton La Guardia's War Without End: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Struggle for a Promised Land and Michael B. Oren's Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

In case you didn't make

In case you didn't make it to Ripley, W.Va., in the U.S. today, where President Bush spent his holiday, here are some highlights. First, a prayer from the Rev. Jack Miller of West Ripley Baptist Church (according to the Washington Post):

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of your word in the name of multiculturalism. We have been forced to honor sexual deviance in the name of freedom of expression. We have exploited the system of education in the name of the lottery. We have toyed with the idea of helping human life in the name of medical research. We have killed our unborn children in the name of choice.

Bush went on to speak of the freedoms "granted to each one of us by Almighty God," and said, "The founders humbly sought the wisdom and the blessing of Divine Providence. May we always live by that same trust, and may God continue to watch over the United States of America."

Girls just want to be pathologized . . . (or do they?)

Mean-girl books have struck pay dirt because they hit a nerve in the national parental psyche and because the solutions they offer fit the country's conservative political mood. They speak to a current cultural hysteria about protecting children, and to our interminable, restless uncertainties about the roles and "nature" of women and men.

From the "I wish I would've written this," department: The fabulous Carol Tavris asks, Are Girls Really as Mean as Books Say They Are?

originally posted by judlew

Every day downtown Soul City

Every day downtown Soul City saw Huggy Bear Jackson smooth by in that pristine money-green 1983 Cadillac Cutlass Supreme custom convertible with gold rims, neon-green lights underneath, and a post-state-of-the-art Harmon Kardon system with sixteen speakers, wireless remote, thirty-disc changer, and the clearest sound imaginable. ...
I find it hard to express the joy I'm getting out of each short story, from the first one on, in Touré's debut collection "The Portable Promised Land."

DEP --> Online: Air Quality

Washington Metropolitan Area Air Quality Forecast

He's methodical, detail-oriented and a

He's methodical, detail-oriented and a little bit obsessive, but in a good way.
My kind of commute...

10.000 clothespins

Did you know you have a clothespin on your shirt?
clothespins for the revolution

July 3, 2002

In an outstanding series on

In an outstanding series on weblog usability (30 days to a more accessible weblog), Mark Pilgrim argues convincingly that web designers should not have links open new windows by default. I agree without reservation.

Shameless Secrets of the Chefs

New York Times: Shameless Secrets of the Chefs

Yes, culinary snobs of the world: Coca-Cola has nuance. And, if you are to believe some of the country's top chefs and take a peek into their pantries, so do Heinz ketchup, Werther's caramels, Hellmann's mayonnaise, Hungry Jack potato flakes and other pedestrian ingredients. You may have even had them in a $30 entree without knowing it.

i always feel like...

Wired News: Routes of Least Surveillance

The demonstrated tendency of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) operators to single out ethnic minorities for observation and to voyeuristically focus on women's breasts and buttocks provides the majority of the population ample legitimate reasons to avoid public surveillance cameras.
iSee maps routes across Manhattan as free of surveillance as possible.

Washington Post: Cameras To Oversee Festivities For Fourth

Washington Times: ACLU, NAACP oppose police cameras

NYC Surveillance Camera Project

Surveillance and Privacy by Stephen Lafferty for Free Pint

Freedom Network spotlight on surveillance cameras

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warned today that America might not send its forces to join future peacekeeping missions without a grant of full immunity from the jurisdiction of the new International Criminal Court.

microwave melting of metals

This page on melting metals in a domestic microwave describes a technique by which one could for example cast silver jewelery at home.

our namesake!

The domestic diva cancelled her appearance on the CBS morning news program late Tuesday after being told she would be asked about the investigation into her stock dealings.

She had been booked to talk about ice box desserts.

It means there will be no repeat of her memorable appearance on the program last week, when Stewart continued to chop cabbage for a salad as host Jane Clayson asked her questions about alleged insider trading.

"I want to focus on my salad, because that's why we're here," Stewart said then.
You know those Martha Stewart Strawberry Planters at K-mart? When they go on clearance at Astor Pl., we pounce!! Looks like the Martha Stewart Everyday Collapsible Tip Bag already is. I guess enough "tips" have already collapsed on her. I'll stop now.

Is Playboy's first Jewish bunny a role model?

Now you have Jewish men who will go home and masturbate to a Jewish girl for a change.

Is this supposed to be one of those "We've come such a long way" moments? Cause if it is, I'm missing the picture. And apparently, it is all about the pictures. (Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture)

July 2, 2002


As seen on slashdot, the future of Internet radio just might be decentralized "swarming" networks of p2p hosts which broadcast copies of the stream they're enjoying. streamer: pirate radio for the digital age; OPENdj: GPLed swarming streamer for Linux. Thanks to Cory for both of these.

"Know Your Place! Shut Your Face!"

Everyone has linked to these outstanding satirical propaganda posters, but somehow you haven't seen them yet.


I've never heard of Aloha, but on the strength of this review I sure will try: Sugar high (Metro Times Detroit).

July 1, 2002

a good week for judges and justice

A federal judge in New York declared the death penalty unconstitutional today, saying evidence has shown that there is an "undue risk" that a meaningful number of innocent people have been executed.

The ruling by Judge Jed S. Rakoff is the first to declare the current federal death penalty unconstitutional. And while it applies only in a pending case before Judge Rakoff, the ruling is certain to rekindle the debate over capital punishment.


"In brief, the court found that the best available evidence indicates that, on the one hand, innocent people are sentenced to death with materially greater frequency than was previously supposed and that, on the other hand, convincing proof of their innocence often does not emerge until long after their convictions," Judge Rakoff wrote in his 28-page opinion.

"It follows," he continued, "that implementation of the Federal Death Penalty Act not only deprives innocent people of a significant opportunity to prove their innocence, and thereby violates procedural due process, but also creates an undue risk of executing innocent people, and thereby violates substantive due process."