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September 30, 2003

we're all wearing the blue dress now

Once the war began, I was driving to work and listening to Sean Hannity tell me what an asshole I was for not supporting it when I saw a sign hanging from a tree that said "Remind Me: "What did the people of Baghdad have to do with 9/11?", or something very close to that. (If anyone has a picture of this sign, PLEASE send it to me.) This was precisely how I felt about the war, (or rather, the bombing campaign.) I couldn't help thinking how, out of all the messages, images and "information" I'd been receiving in the media, the one that rang most true for me was a hand-painted sign on the freeway. And then it finally dawned on me: out of all the news, commentary and "information" being fed to me about the war, that sign was the only thing that had been generated by an individual, and not a corporation.
Freewayblogger Weblog (Check out the signs.)

steal this CSS

Will Listamatic and Layout-o-matic bring clean standards-based design to the masses? Stay tuned!

ultimate paradox, ultimate power

The Official Commie Webpage

September 29, 2003

modern furniture design on MetaFilter

Modern Furniture Design on Metafilter.

feeling sorry for the world

That's a loaded question. What I was listening to on the car ride to my office. I was listening to . . . oh, my god. I'm turning red. I don't know why that is. This is why I had to get out of psychoanalysis, because my analyst after three years was like, you know, after coming here three days a week for three years, I still don't know anything about you. I have this fear of being specific.
Mike White in the New York Times. White wrote and starred in Chuck and Buck and also wrote The Good Girl. His latest is The School of Rock.

could SPAM be next?

"The nation's largest telemarketing association yesterday said its members would comply with the government's do-not-call list on Wednesday, even though a federal judge has ruled that the registry is unconstitutional." Group Vows To Abide by No-Calls List (TechNews.com)

New York Times

In recent Times:
  • Street Scene in Gaza: An Outdoor Gallery of Gore and slide show: Street Scene in Gaza

  • The Whitest Black Girl on TV

    Call it what you will — nouveau blackface, hip-hop-face, or simply an "act black" routine — the white-as-black character that Ms. Regen has perfected is fast becoming an American comedic staple. In four recent films — "Malibu's Most Wanted," starring Jamie Kennedy; "Bringing Down the House," with Steve Martin; Chris Rock's "Head of State"; and the jailhouse rap sequence in "Austin Powers in Goldmember" — ultra-white people earn laughs by using phrases like "fo' shizzle," boogieing down to gangsta rap and wearing extra-large basketball jerseys.
  • The Role of the Delete Key in Blog is not about the Delete Key. It's about the desperate need to translucently "Track Changes" (as promoted by Rebecca and Cory and implemented by Brent and Mark) (which I am guilty of overlooking) and the associated unpacking of authorship; "...but the editors are committed to being available whenever I am ready to post" — huh?

  • Mahogany

  • Sneaker Stories: Following the Trail Of a Cultural Shift

    At one point, his editor asked him to cite the year, color and variation for every sneaker in the book. "That's virtually impossible," he told her, "but I'll do it."

September 27, 2003

blogging is fun again

Clean Sheets Erotica Magazine: Sex in the Blogosphere, 2003 reviews the new sex blogs and sees that they are good.

Birth of an Industry 1976-77

The very first ad for the Apple II.

When this ad ran, Jobs got a letter from a woman in Oregon, who felt it was sexist, so the ad was revised for subsequent insertions to show a woman using a sophisticated display and a man (me) with a low-resolution display. We got no further complaints.

He didn't mean to turn you on.

I hardly ever get asked about music. I do, however, get asked about the 'Addicted to Love' video and my suits on a daily basis.

ABCNEWS.com : Robert Palmer Never Meant to Turn Us On

September 26, 2003

Mothering Matters

Although tinkering with the tax code can help, we should start including child rearing in the GDP. Many European nations, including Britain and France, count care giving in their GDP, and offer a "salary" to parents of the very young. Based on that model, a similar child allowance here, paid directly to all caregivers, would virtually eliminate the "why doesn't she have to work syndrome" and really end "welfare as we know it." A child allowance given to all parents is truly "mommy neutral." The money can be used to pay for child care if parents work outside the home or offset bills if one parent stays home.

Still, many people will balk at the idea and ask, 'isn't it the parents' choice to have children? Why should my tax money go to help parents?' To which I say, yes, having children is a choice. It's also a commitment to a 'job' that adds economic value to society. And people choose all kinds of careers. Should a doctor or teacher work for free because that is what he chose? As for why we should support children with our taxes, the main reason is that it's an investment in everyone's future, not just theirs. Today's one-year-olds will someday fund the social security of today's 35-year-olds.

We are a wealthy nation with misplaced values. We could easily channel our money into raising children. It's all about what we value.

What is the value of childrearing?

[link courtesy of Rebecca's Pocket]

September 25, 2003

Cost of War

In FY 2003 (ending September 30, 2003), the U.S. will have spent $48 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as laid out by the $79 billion Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act. (1) pdf. For FY2004, Bush, as we know, requested an addition $87 billion. (2) Adding those two together produces the figure $166 billion, which a lot of people have now started to use as the cost of the war and occupation.

Here's a few takes on this: $166 B, $166 B, $166 B.

That $166 billion, over two years, breaks down into:

But I'm wondering if that figure itself is too low. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates next year's war related expenditures as $120 billion.

That figure includes $31 billion of the $79 billion package approved earlier this year, $60 billion of the $87 billion Bush just asked for and some other expenses. So the 2003-2004 total is $168 billion ($79 billion-$31 billion=$48 billion for 2003+$120 billion for 2004). But, that leaves $27 billion of the $87 billion unaccounted for putting the total cost of the war at $195 billion.

That's a staggering amount.

Think about it this way, here are the costs of each of America's other major wars, adjusted to 2002 dollars.

ConflictTotal Direct Cost
in $ Billions
The Revolution (1775-1783)$2.2
War of 1812 (1812-1815) $1.1
Mexican War (1846-1848) $1.6
Civil War (1861-1865)
Union:
Confederate:
Combined:

$38.1
$23.8
$62.0
Spanish American War (1898)$9.6
World War I (1917-1918)$190.6*
World War II (1941-1945)$2,896.3
Korea (1950-1953)$335.9
Vietnam (1964-1972)$494.3
Gulf War (1990-1991)$76.1

Sources:(3) pdf. Adapted from(4)

* (The World War I figure is a bit screwy. All the other figures were adjusted up from their 1990 equivalents, but the WWI went down. Seems like an error.)

Put another way, $195 billion spread over two years breaks down like this:

(I also posted this at Zagg)

originally posted by zagg

you know you want to improve your feed

Full Posts + Comments RSS Template for Movable Type: everybody's doing it.

September 24, 2003

Pictures of the Gone World

Lawrence Ferlinghetti: It is really much more interesting today than in the 50's. There has been all of this mythologizing of the 50's and the Beat generation in San Francisco and so forth, but it has been wildly overdone, because it was a really depressing period, I thought, on account of the general repressive atmosphere and the political climate.

The most interesting writing now is coming out of third world authors and women -- it takes hunger and passion to create great books.

New York Times: Beat Mystique Endures at a San Francisco Landmark

i am going to start work on my float today

I missed the Koreatown parade. Fuck! I knew I forgot some shit but I couldn't place what it was, like I knew there was something I had wanted to get done, but I did not write it down and my memory is not what it was. Now that makes me mad that I was not asked to ride on a float or be in a convertible sitting up on the back seat all waving with a lei on or some shit. I could have brought my own float. There have been times in my life where I have dealt with crepe paper. I know my way around a streamer. They have completely shut me out of the parade of my people. I feel like Little Richard. I INVENTED KOREA!!!!
Praise the lord, Margaret Cho has her own blog.

invisible ink a radio zine

invisible ink "is a weekly radio zine that features stories and commentaries from my favorite local (Bay Area) authors and my indie press heroes," writes producer Roman Mars. I was so hoping to discover an interview with Aaron of Cometbus in the show archives, but no such luck. Shows are available in real audio at the website, and are being converted to mp3 and posted at epitonic.

September 23, 2003

"the second most famous man to pass away on September 11, 2003"

Fametracker :: The Fame Audit :: John Ritter

I cheerfully tolerated Three's A Crowd, the ill-advised spin-off that was almost as ill-advised and unnecessary as AfterM*A*S*H*. I watched all the episodes of Hooperman, the before-its-time dramedy with no laugh track. And I will always sit through Hero At Large, the 1980 movie in which Ritter plays a guy who's mistaken for a superhero, whenever I catch it on cable, which is increasingly infrequently these days. (...)

[It seems] somehow fitting that Ritter should be overshadowed even in death, because he was often overshadowed, or at least taken for granted, in much of his life.

feedback

Blindness Of The Majority @ OliverWillis.Com

We (the public-at-large) *want* to be colorblind, which is at least a step in the right direction. We need to work towards the goal in which race no longer matters to anyone--although I personally doubt this will happen until cosmetic nanotech happens, and we can all be Star-Bellied Sneetches or not, at will.

(Contrast the randomwalks view, in which everyone is achingly conscious of their race at all times, and how it impacts their value as a person. Black= self-image ++. White = selfimage --. Asian/Hispanic... *shrug*. Notice how people (and ESPECIALLY randomwalks) never talk about race in any terms other than black and white.)

[anonymous commenter]/January 4, 2002 10:51 PM

September 22, 2003

turning tables

i do think that iraq will one day be better...i do think that this country will enjoy basic freedoms...and i hope they will be able to take advantage of them...with out intervention from any outside source...they deserve it...because they are not all terrorists/freedom fighters/militants/what ever...they are people...and they hurt...and they worry...and they sweat...and they work...and they provide as best they can...that's what we do...all of us... and maybe that is why the 'micro' problems hurt me so...because i see now...like i've never seen before...the blinders are off...the eyes are wide...my heart is open...gut wrenching...and horrible...a problem we caused...that we have to end...and i wonder...at what cost...how many more will die...how many more will fight...how many more will feel the unquenched disbelief at this new situation...this situation that isn't exactly panning out like we might have imagined...i here the small arms fire...i feel the explosions...the 'micro' has slapped me in the face everyday that i woke up here...it has affected me...it will continue to affect for the rest of my life...i know all to well that people...iraqis...and americans...are dying everyday...i see the smoke from the car bombs...i feel the hurt in my heart...
Turning Tables has come home. An old interview with War in Context.

originally posted by zagg

September 21, 2003

sports

This farewell to Galileo reminds me that someday I will love baseball.

Wherefore art thou Dromminge?

The Conshohockon store is only the second IKEA unit to organize merchandise departmental grids. First-time customers will be directed onto the familiar IKEA trail, a traffic pattern designed to lead them through the entire store. But, with just a little familiarity, Cashman said, shoppers will be able to easily reach individual departments such as kitchen or lighting. So the new store becomes easier to navigate for the shopper who is accessorizing a room rather than organizing one from the ground up. To make things even easier, IKEA has repositioned the cafe at its new Philly metro location. With a central position that looks out across the store, it is an ideal point from which to plan a shopping excursion.
DSN Retailing Today: IKEA eyes aggressive growth: New Philadelphia prototype hints of future. I'm off the deep end with this IKEA obsession. Any advice?

Oh 'blast the holes in the night'

David: You'll get a free trip around the White House. You say, 'I wanna come and see it,' and they say. 'Oh yes, please come along.' I mean there aren't many people who can do that - you know, go and have a quick look around the Oval office. But that's about it. That, and maybe a restaurant reservation. And there's nothing else! Believe it, there is nothing else fame's good for.
David Bowie and Mos Def - Complex Mag - Aug/Sept 03.

"food was nearly all I thought about"

The Daily Gullet: Going Wild in Urban America
In addition to figs, I also ate apples, passion fruit, guavas, citrus fruits, fish, seaweed, arugula, and forty or so other wild foods that I gathered and hunted in and around the town of Isla Vista, California, during my last quarter at U.C. Santa Barbara. I was living off the land in an urban setting, and "My Project," as I called it, was my preoccupation for 10 long weeks.
[via boing boing]

"Once and for all, we have decided to side with the many."

The Journal News, serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York: Inside IKEA

Although IKEA is associated with a streamlined modern style emphasizing bright colors, bold patterns and wood a shade paler than blond, the company actually has four distinct style groups:

  • Scandinavian is reminiscent of that look made popular during the 1950s, wood stained to mimic teak and the use of minimum color.
  • Young Swede is geared toward a more youthful customer, either single or with a young family, with unfinished woods customers can personalize, pale wood, strong color and more daring designs.
  • Contemporary reflects current trends, which now include such '70s hallmarks as minimalism, bold colors and graphics.
  • Country features more traditional wood furniture, sometimes painted white, floral fabrics, and, recently, more Swedish folkloric patterns on rugs and embroidered pillows.

" the typical Ikea shopper is more than likely a family with children"

Mercury News: Down-to-earth designs

After testing more traditional designs, flowery fabrics and cushions, the company returned to its core product line. ``We started to dilute our identity. I would prefer that we contribute with something else,'' Simonsson-Berge said.

But Ikea did have to make some adjustments for its U.S. audience. Beds here are larger and mattresses softer. Glasses had to be bigger, too, because we like ice in our drinks. Platters and plates were enlarged to hold Thanksgiving turkey.

Ikea replaces on average 20 percent of its product line every year, said Simonsson-Berge, and the hot category right now is ``the green room.'' That's indoor-outdoor furniture. ``Whether you have a garden or not, the outdoor atmosphere is good for your well-being,'' she said. ``People want more natural living.''

Rattan and wicker have turned out to be the raw material chameleons, she said, working well with either traditional or modern decors.

IKEA history at Epinions?

The company has faced a number of scathing criticisms, including an environmental crisis in the late 80s which led to a 'green' revolution within the company, which now prides itself on innovative manufacturing processes which minimize the environmental impact the blue-and-yellow giant has. Equally concerning was the founder's connection to Per Engdahl, the notorious Nazi sympathizer. I suppose those blonde-haired-blue-eyed Aryan types all band together, but I was still shocked at the torrid underbelly of the friendly furniture chain. However, I can much more easily stomach the management of the modern IKEA chain, which is owned by the charitable, Netherland-based Stichting Ingka Foundation. What a convenient excuse for unfettered consumerism -- it's all for charity!

Epinions.com review of IKEA: Welcome to Teutonic Design Supremacy World.

"Most Chilean growers mistook it for Merlot"

Chile, Carmenere do well together.

September 20, 2003

the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station

The sun will rise briefly over the [South] pole on Tuesday, the spring equinox, for the first time in months.

Crew on Way to Rescue South Pole Worker (washingtonpost.com)

"Things like that don't happen here"

N.Va.'s Land Of Plenty Learns To Do Without (washingtonpost.com)
"It amounts to a petri dish that is incubated at an ideal temperature," said James Warfield, the Water Authority's executive officer. "We create an environment that bacteria like. If it's there, we want to know about it."

"I never saw Burroughs without a tie"

Tangier is on the temperate northwest coast of Africa, just 10 miles from Spain, across the Strait of Gibraltar, and washed in the breezes coming off both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. But to the average Tanjawi, Europe is a distant dream. Tangier, population 600,000, is extremely poor, almost entirely Muslim, and, like many African cities, growing rapidly. Tangier is a place where you see an amputee child hunched on the sidewalk with a begging cup beside the dusty stub of his truncated leg. Much of Morocco's homegrown hashish travels through the port here, and the quieter beaches outside of town are a prime launch point for destitute Africans who risk their lives, and pathetically seek First World fortune, by sneaking makeshift boats across the strait, toward Spain. Old movies don't tell the whole story.

Under the Sheltering Sky (washingtonpost.com)

This week, I met the Sharif from the Clash song.

Rock the Casbah

Someone beat Nick Hornby to it

Thus, in order to solicit an honest, undiluted opinion about Radiohead, you'd have to find the proverbial People Living Under Rocks. As People Living Under Rocks are unavailable, let's use fifth graders.
Fifth graders draw the way Radiohead makes them feel. Via Anil.

September 19, 2003

liberal media bias

For months and months and months and months the Bush administration said to anyone and everyone that would or wouldn't listen that Saddam and 9/11 were directly connected. And all that time the media dutifully reported the lie without question, many times making it the lead story. So what happens in a 48-hour span when Rumsfeld, Rice and Bush all admit that they've found no connection? The media buries it, of course.

originally posted by zagg

September 18, 2003

pass it on to everyone you know

Tolerance.org's 10 Ways to Fight Hate on Campus is targeted towards college student activists but it should be recommended reading for everyone, in or out of school. You can read the whole thing online, download it as a pdf and print it out or order hard copies, thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

[ via angry asian man ]

'spiritual fiduciary misconduct'

'Homeless Hacker' speaks out by Declan McCullagh.

hank stuever

hankstuever.com gives some tidbits about the Washington Post writer and archives some of his best work, which deals with "the overlooked margins of our daily, or pop-cultural, lives."

September 17, 2003

Weather Underground

Ms. Boudin, 60, walked out of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in northern Westchester at 8:45 a.m. dressed in black slacks and a white blouse. She looked relaxed, with no evident sign of a smile, and very fit and slim.

After making her way to the parking lot, she stood beside a green sport utility vehicle and, in an emotional way, waved for up to three minutes in the direction of the state women's prison.

At the New York Times, there's an article about Kathy Boudin's release from prison. At MediaRights.org, Sam Green, director of The Weather Underground, writes about the outreach efforts surrounding his film.

floors

dwell forums: unusual flooring materials

boy scout's motto

Re: Taping of Windows During Storm
As for tape, I have heard more people than not say it is not worth it. It may help with glass cleanup a little bit, but my personal experience in Florida says you could use your preparation time much better by boarding up (this takes a lot of time.... be organized before the storm); bagging your computers, electronics, and important papers/photographs/heirlooms and getting your post-storm cleanup and repair supplies in order.

mama, can I nurse?

National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center is the mother of Isabel news.

September 16, 2003

the eyewall of the storm

Hurricane Hunters: Cyberflight
As your eyes adjust to the glare of sunlight, you gaze out at one of the most awesome scenes in nature: the "stadium effect" inside the eye. A solid wall of clouds circles around the WC-130, as though you are floating in a giant football stadium made of clouds. You are inside a giant well that opens up miles above your head into a bright, blue sky. Congratulations...you've just joined an exclusive group: those few people who have entered the eye of a hurricane.
These photos from a NOAA flight over Hurricane Isabel's eye are rather astounding. The Goddard Space Flight Center has some great Hurricane Isabel satellite images, NASA's Multimedia gallery has a boggling picture of the eye taken from the International Space Station, and, in the Washington Post's Camera Works, Preparing for Hurricane Isabel.

astrology, phrenology... hypnology?

One in ten people like to cover themselves entirely with the duvet.
BBC News: Sleep position gives personality clue. As Tom Petty sang, I'm freefallin'.

halfway to 'blog all tabs'?

macosxhints - Saving and restoring tabs in Safari

Footing the Bill

How to pay for an $89B war, $300M in tax cuts and a massive deficit:

Think outside the box. And don't worry about penny-pinching. Every last bit can help. For example, how about billing injured soldiers for their hospital food?

‘It’s not a good precedent to have when a servicemember, having received wounds in Iraq, to see the first correspondence from his government after he gets out is a bill to pay for the hospital stay,’ said the 16-year Army veteran, who asked his name not be used for fear of reprisal.

(via screed)

originally posted by zagg

September 15, 2003

rooting for Microsoft?

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble
Besides paying over half a billion dollars to the patent holder, Microsoft is supposed to cripple its market-leading browser so that IE/Windows will no longer seamlessly play Flash, Quicktime, RealVideo, or Adobe Acrobat files, Java applets, and other rich media formats. Once the company does this, any site that uses these technologies will no longer work in the browser most people use.
Zeldman explains why this is a nightmare for usability and interface design -- imagine having to read a web page as though it were a scientific manuscript with related figures labeled and referenced and attached, rather than allowing your browser to present it laid out like a magazine. This patent seems to lay claim to the very concept of multimedia — is this something that can be 0wnd?

Raise a glass at the Regal Beagle

"Three's Company" looks goofy enough in memory, basing almost every plot on Roper or Furley overhearing something and completely taking it out of context, but the writers get credit for making their slapsticky situations feel real. And Ritter gets the most credit, for carrying the whole goofy enterprise on his broad shoulders. His Jack was never cruel, never a jerk. You could write a book about the show's attitudes towards gays and women, but you never got a sense that any of that came from Ritter.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper: Test Pattern — Raise a glass at the Regal Beagle

September 14, 2003

simple networking how-to

Macintosh: How to Create a Small Ethernet Network - "This document explains three simple types of Ethernet network that you can create in your home or office."

Nick Cave on Family Life

Having a family is so much work. It would be a shame if it weren't important. I've been a father for 12 years now. This isn't some kind of new thing. It's important [...] Also, if I don't speak about my family and I don't speak about the office, then what the fuck do I speak about? That's all there is. A vast amount of my time is spent in those two worlds. I don't have a separate creative life from my family life. This is just my life. It's all part of the same thing. And somehow all of this seems to work for me.

from an interview in Punk Planet #57

September 13, 2003

Tell 'em Elvis said so.

[I]t's bound to be recognized as a movie worthy of the kind of Oscar attention occasionally given to films that challenge audiences subtly. Mr. Murray could collect the Academy Award that he didn't get for "Rushmore."

Anna Faris, who barely registers in the "Scary Movie" pictures — and she's the star — comes to full, lovable and irritating life as a live-wire starlet complicating Charlotte's life. Ms. Faris has already had work; this movie will secure her a career.

But as a result of Ms. Coppola's faith, this is really Mr. Murray's movie, and his respect for his director couldn't be more visible.

Tell 'em Elvis said so. I used to be critical of Mr. Mitchell, but I've come around, and now he's my second favorite film critic. (#1 is Armond)

September 11, 2003

rW 9:11

Our archive (start at the bottom) and mnftiu.

September 10, 2003

Bringing Democracy

Grassroots Democracy, American Style

[H]is neighbors pushed him forward. Majid was a natural community leader. When the garbage had piled up in streets, threatening the health of the community, Majid used his own money to have a truck come clear it up. When robbers were entering the shop on the corner, Majid quickly gathered a group of men to chase them out of the neighborhood. He was a local hero and the people clamored for him to represent them. "I reluctantly entered the race at the last minute and got 55 of the 80 votes," he recalled. Then he broke into a smile and said, "Imagine if I had campaigned. It would have been a landslide."

Five local councils members were selected from a slate of 11. Majid, the highest vote getter, was made president. (...)

A few days later the Americans came to Majid's house with an assignment. They wanted him and the council to do a report about the neighborhood's problems and suggest solutions. (...)

Majid set about the first task with great enthusiasm. He and his fellow council members went from house to house, asking for input. They came up with a thick report chock full of suggestions that ranged from turning off the electricity during the day so it could be on in the evening to keep away the nocturnal looters to outlawing dark windows in cars so they could see who was driving in them.

With a great sense of accomplishment, the council finished its report on June 11, a mere 9 days after they were elected. When they went to turn in the report, however, they were told that the council had been disbanded and they should go home. (...)

"Perhaps we made too many suggestions. Perhaps they didn't like our suggestions," said Majid, struggling to find an explanation. "Or perhaps this is democracy, American-style. In any case, what can we do? They are the occupiers and we are the occupied."

Medea Benjamin brings us Occupation Watch.

originally posted by zagg

"Silly Novels by Lady Novelists" - George Eliot, 1856

They (or should I say we, as a thirtysomething woman myself) have been carefully schooled since childhood to perform a meticulous and continual self-inventory in which they compare themselves from teeth to tits to toenail polish, salary to sling-backs to cellulite, to a constantly massaged, omnipresent, and unattainable ideal that appears in its myriad versions everywhere from women's history month filmstrips in grade school to the pages of Working Woman. For the workin'-girl twenty- and thirtysomethings that are the primary audience for Chick Lit, the resonance is deafening.
Hanne Blank on what's wrong with Chick Lit, via Uffish.

September 9, 2003

jhumpa lahiri

I've always been very ambivalent about things Indian. I don't feel pride when I see this stuff happening -- I don't feel that ''we've made it.'' I don't feel part of any we. And it's funny. Nobody I know in India practices yoga. You don't have people rushing home from their jobs to make it to the 6 o'clock yoga class. And I'm amused to see Indian clothing becoming popular -- I rebelled against it as a kid because I wanted to wear jeans. So when I see someone like Madonna sporting the Indian look, it's very ironic to me. I grew up with people saying, ''What's that on your mom's forehead?'' And not in a good way.

Jhumpa Lahiri, interviewed in the New York Times magazine. Her first novel, The Namesake, was just published.

ack!

After far too long an absence, Berke Breathed and Opus the Penguin are coming back to the comics pages. By the way, in case your paper (like mine) was too chickenshit to run Sunday's Doonesbury, here it is. (Much more about the Doonesbury flap, via Romenesko.)

field guide to ethics

Where have I seen this guide to turbans before? Oh, yeah.

September 8, 2003

Some people feel sorry for Leo: WTF?

Adam pointed me to 3650 and a 12", a good web site about (you guessed it) using a Nokia 3650 with a Mac. The tone of frustrations is very similar to mine, which is that the potential is enormous but largely unfulfilled. I was very grateful for the applications buyer's guide, since I didn't know about AppMan, which is exactly what I've been looking for.

54,926,865

"Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out." [via Pop Culture Junk Mail]

"Organic Matter" by Elena Kachuro-Rosenberg

28MM.ORG | Issue 010 | "Organic Matter" by Elena Kachuro-Rosenberg, Click!

September 7, 2003

all but one of the animals were injected not with ecstasy but with methamphetamine, or "speed"

Results Retracted On Ecstasy Study (washingtonpost.com)
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University who last year published a frightening and controversial report suggesting that a single evening's use of the illicit drug ecstasy could cause permanent brain damage and Parkinson's disease are retracting their research in its entirety, saying the drug they used in their experiments was not ecstasy after all.

know your enemies: separation, reductionism, idealisation

"A democratic civilisation will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection - not an invitation for hypnosis." - Umberto Eco

Here is the three-minute flash animation used as a preliminary investigation for Kevin Lo's thesis project, over at LOKi design labs. "The animation presents a criticism of advertising's adverse role in society, the means by which it commodifies meaning (separation, reductionism and idealisation) and presents a call to arms for designers to challenge it." (via ActionPixel, "an [excellent] resource for both designers interested in promoting social change, and activist groups in need of graphic design", in turn via the War page (check out the KFC - AKA Kuwaiti Field Chicken - logo!) at bodyprojectnet.)

September 5, 2003

Losing the Washington Commons

commons-blog: Losing the Washington Commons

From one end of the Mall to the other, billboards and huge television monitors stream across the green lawn, promoting Vanilla Pepsi all in celebration of the first NFL game of the season. It seems particularly disgusting to me that the Mall, our nation's commons, is stripped of its value even for one day.

America, Brought To You by . . . (washingtonpost.com)

The event was deemed so auspicious that George W. Bush took yet more time off from fighting the war on terrorism to appear, via videotape, at the end of the concert and just before the game, in the manner of a TV huckster. He tried to make some connection between football and "the spirit that guides the brave men and women" of the military, much as the concert had done.

He also said pro football "celebrates the values that make our country so strong." Like what, violence and greed?

Then, in intense close-up, the leader of the Free World asked the trademarked rhetorical question, "Are you ready for some football?"

give back Coca-Cola’s money

commons-blog: Coca-Cola Lobbyist Joins National PTA Board

"A prominent lobbyist and pr flak employed by the Coca-Cola company has been tapped by the PTA to join its National Board of Directors, giving the company significant influence over an organization with a long history of participating in public school policy. The New York Times reported that John H. Downs, Jr., the company's chief lobbyist and senior vp for public affairs, joined the PTA board on June 23."

Commercial Alert has an overview of the issue.

We urge you to give back Coca-Cola’s money. Then the National PTA will be able to speak with an uncompromised voice about health effects of junk food, and carry out its worthy mission.

September 4, 2003

a surprising amount of planning

Transblawg: Where IKEA gets the names

how do I love clear channel? let me count the ways

"Curious about who owns your local media, telephone and cable company? This searchable database contains basic information on every radio and television station in America as well as every cable television system and telephone company. You may search by company, by call sign or by area. Searchers will find basic information on some of the most important telecommunication companies, including a brief corporate profile and basic financial information." (Via Current.)

United Kingdom, France, Portugal, España, Polska, Helvetica, Türkiye, Magyarorszag

The Real Map of Europe names each country in its own (primary?) language—a simple democratic idea that delivers a blow to the anglocentric tradition.

another fluffy auction

As of this writing, an unplayable iTunes Music Store-encoded AAC file of Double Dutch Bus by Devin Vasquez is at auction for $15,099. I don't think I've ever heard this song; have you?

September 3, 2003

red red wine

Rebecca has a roundup of red wine recommendations. A bit late, I'd like to share a wine column in today's Washington Post, "Where Are the New Everyday Reds?" Also of interest may be this list of wine weblogs Dr. Bacchus has collected.

My mainstay is the (cheap!) Concha y Toro "Frontera" Cabernet Sauvignon, and I've recently been pleased by Bogle's "Old Vine" Zinfandel as well as Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet.

Deanial

"They nodded. Behind me I heard the puppy yipping at the cops. Back at the event, Dean was already speaking. I didn’t go inside, but the speech was being broadcast on a loudspeaker outside the restaurant. When we got there, he was just settling into "four."

"We need jobs in America. We’ve got to build roads and infrastructure, and invest in renewable energy," he was saying. "And we’ve got to bring broadband internet communications to even the most remote parts of America, so that those communities can share in the economic development of this country."

I raced back across the street, where the cops were finishing up with the Wickers.

"Forget something?" John said.

"Nah," I said. "I was just listening to this guy’s speech. He was saying that we need to bring broadband internet communications to the country, so that there would be more jobs. I was just wondering if you thought that was a good idea."

"Jeez, I don’t know," John said. "I guess it would be nice. I think they got that—what is it?"

"Broadband internet communications," I said.

"Well, I don’t know," John said. He turned to Cynthia. "Do they have that at the Salvation Army center?"

Stumping by Numbers with Howard Dean

originally posted by zagg

Happy Belated Labor Day

Labor Day 2003 finds unemployment hovering near a nine-year high and people thankful to have work nevertheless feeling anxious because of the jobless recovery.

I was going to start here in making a long post-Labor Day post with stats and links illustrating how we're getting the shaft. But I soon discovered that drublood beat me to it. Instead I've rounded up links for Joe Hill and Phil Ochs.

originally posted by zagg

NYT: Designing for the Dispossessed

NYT profile of Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity.

September 2, 2003

california is one fucked up state

WIRETAP - Affirmative Action Showdown

[T]he October 7th election itself has come into question by U.S. District Court Justice Judge Jeremy Fogel, as reported in the California Contra Costa Times on August 16th. The Times reported that The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Jose has filed a lawsuit under the federal Voting Rights Act demanding that federal officials examine the recall election process before it moves forward. They claim that Monterey County has consolidated polling locations to the disadvantage of people of color and has hired very few Spanish-speaking poll workers. The Times explains that the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to protect minority voters primarily in the South who faced discrimination at the polls.

This is an excellent example of the kind of civil rights violations that would not be investigated if Prop 54 were passed. If Prop 54 were currently in place, such a lawsuit would be unsuccessful because there would be no official record of where people of different races or ethnicities lived in California. CFJ's BJ Victor says simply, "Without the data, we can't prove that institutionalized racism is alive and kicking."

Iranonymity

This month Anonymizer began providing Iranians with free access to a Web proxy service designed to circumvent their government's online censorship efforts. In May, government ministers issued a blacklist of 15,000 forbidden "immoral" websites that ISPs in the country must block. [...]

The U.S. responded to the filtering this month by paying Anonymizer (neither the IBB nor Anonymizer will disclose how much) to create and maintain a special version of the Anonymizer proxy which only accepts connections from Iran's IP address space, and features instructions in Farsi.

The deliberately generic-sounding URLs for the service are publicized over Radio Farda broadcasts and through bulk e-mails that Anonymizer sends to addresses in the country. The addresses are provided by human rights groups and other sources, says Anonymizer president Lance Cottrell.
An article on the "Iranonymizer" at The Register. Spamming email addresses gained from human rights groups?!

new releases

If you want to know what Apple's releasing next, check out Small Dog Electronics. Without fail, "new" items that are back ordered are soon to be replaced. So my prediction is that we'll have new iPods and PowerBooks within the next two weeks.

September 1, 2003

king/coulter

KING: [...] but the question comes, you praise Joe McCarthy, why?
COULTER: For one thing, to tell the truth about Joe McCarthy, most of the history about McCarthy you'll notice doesn't have many facts or details. It's just enunciations. He was a demagogue. He was a bully and told lies.
KING: All that's true.
COULTER: It isn't true.
KING: He was not a demagogue? Joe McCarthy was not a demagogue?
COULTER: No, I think he was a great speaker and a politician, no more than your average Senator. He was more popular than your average Senator. He was extremely popular, in fact...
Aimé Dontigny (a_dontigny)'s Larry King/Ann Coulter cut-up.