Uncategorized

The major question is whether this is merely a tactical move: Austria’s Haider Resigns; Opponents Skeptical

‘Asked if he still hoped to be chancellor one day, he replied: “I do not exclude it.”

In Austria, Die Presse newspaper said Haider’s decision was a shrewd move to distance himself from

unpopular government decisions such as planned tax increases and to position himself for the next election,

due within four years.

The opposition Social Democrats dismissed the resignation as a sham. “It is quite clear that Haider is only

giving up his office but will continue to set the tone,” said new Social Democratic leader Alfred

Gusenbauer.

“He sees that this government is unpopular so he seeks the first opportunity to ditch responsibility,

formally, to distance himself from this government. Everything that has been said indicates he will continue

to keep the party on a short leash.”‘

Uncategorized

The major question is whether this is merely a tactical move: Austria’s Haider Resigns; Opponents Skeptical

‘Asked if he still hoped to be chancellor one day, he replied: “I do not exclude it.”

In Austria, Die Presse newspaper said Haider’s decision was a shrewd move to distance himself from

unpopular government decisions such as planned tax increases and to position himself for the next election,

due within four years.

The opposition Social Democrats dismissed the resignation as a sham. “It is quite clear that Haider is only

giving up his office but will continue to set the tone,” said new Social Democratic leader Alfred

Gusenbauer.

“He sees that this government is unpopular so he seeks the first opportunity to ditch responsibility,

formally, to distance himself from this government. Everything that has been said indicates he will continue

to keep the party on a short leash.”‘

Uncategorized

UPDATE! Tentative publication date for the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament, is set. My son and I spent several months of bedtimes reading the first three aloud together. Haven’t you got someone with whom you might be doing that?

Uncategorized

Newest issue of Phil Agre’s occasional notes and recommendations from the Red Rock Eater news service:

“In talking to all these people, I was endlessly struck by the chasm

between the telephone world and the computer world. Everyone in the

telephone world had superficial training and good manners; everyone

in the computer world had deep training and a bracing arrogance.

And with the sole exception of the one technical guy in the bowels

of Sprint, neither side exhibited the slightest comprehension of its

connection to the other. Hey, everyone: the telephone world and the

computer world are merging! This merger, it would seem, is not just

a technical matter.”

Uncategorized

From Medley: “One of Queen Elizabeth’s cooks was fired for making remarks about poisoning

her and wondering where to buy cyanide.” And I read somewhere today that, when the police came to help the Queen remove her personal effects from the Palace during that fire several years ago, she found one of them standing before an open dresser drawer in her personal bedchamber about ready to knick some of her knickers until he was aware of her standing there watching him.

Uncategorized

From Atlantic Unbound: Welcome to the Word Police Academy “The Word Police are looking for a few good people. As a

certified Word Police officer, you will be entitled to issue

Grammar Citations when you see or hear crimes against

the language. To be inducted into the force, you must

pass a Word Police Academy exam.

The Word Police Force has many divisions and squads.

The current entrance exam is for the Pronoun Patrol.

Coming soon: the entrance exam for Who Wants to

Marry a Word Police Officer? Just kidding!” [I passed the exam, despite any grammatical errors your finding in this blog…]

Uncategorized

Eugenics Archive: “materials from the

Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was

the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940.

In the Archive you will see numerous reports, articles,

charts, and pedigrees that were considered scientific

“facts” in their day. It is important to remind yourself that

the vast majority of eugenics work has been completely

discredited. In the final analysis, the eugenic description of

human life reflected political and social prejudices, rather

than scientific facts.”

Uncategorized

UPDATE! Tentative publication date for the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament, is set. My son and I spent several months of bedtimes reading the first three aloud together. Haven’t you got someone with whom you might be doing that?

Uncategorized

Newest issue of Phil Agre’s occasional notes and recommendations from the Red Rock Eater news service:

“In talking to all these people, I was endlessly struck by the chasm

between the telephone world and the computer world. Everyone in the

telephone world had superficial training and good manners; everyone

in the computer world had deep training and a bracing arrogance.

And with the sole exception of the one technical guy in the bowels

of Sprint, neither side exhibited the slightest comprehension of its

connection to the other. Hey, everyone: the telephone world and the

computer world are merging! This merger, it would seem, is not just

a technical matter.”

Uncategorized

From Medley: “One of Queen Elizabeth’s cooks was fired for making remarks about poisoning

her and wondering where to buy cyanide.” And I read somewhere today that, when the police came to help the Queen remove her personal effects from the Palace during that fire several years ago, she found one of them standing before an open dresser drawer in her personal bedchamber about ready to knick some of her knickers until he was aware of her standing there watching him.

Uncategorized

From Atlantic Unbound: Welcome to the Word Police Academy “The Word Police are looking for a few good people. As a

certified Word Police officer, you will be entitled to issue

Grammar Citations when you see or hear crimes against

the language. To be inducted into the force, you must

pass a Word Police Academy exam.

The Word Police Force has many divisions and squads.

The current entrance exam is for the Pronoun Patrol.

Coming soon: the entrance exam for Who Wants to

Marry a Word Police Officer? Just kidding!” [I passed the exam, despite any grammatical errors your finding in this blog…]

Uncategorized

Eugenics Archive: “materials from the

Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was

the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940.

In the Archive you will see numerous reports, articles,

charts, and pedigrees that were considered scientific

“facts” in their day. It is important to remind yourself that

the vast majority of eugenics work has been completely

discredited. In the final analysis, the eugenic description of

human life reflected political and social prejudices, rather

than scientific facts.”

Uncategorized

Behavioral Drug Use In Toddlers Up Sharply: This report confirms many people’s concerns. As a psychiatrist and the father of two young children, let me add my voice to theirs. I’m not as upset as many that the effect of the medications in subjects this young hasn’t been tested. What troubles me immensely is how in the world anyone could be so confident that a toddler’s overactivity, poor impulse control, or mood instability are pathological. And, if they are, isn’t that what parental nurturance and containment are for? And if the parental influence is lacking, how obscene is it to think that a medication can compensate? I have written and taught about “ADHD” since I was a medical student, and in my view the more popular it has become, the less and less meaning the diagnosis has come to have, and the more and more overused it is. To our children’s peril, and our society’s. Update: Dr. H Klasen writes in the current issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry on “The Medicalization of Hyperactivity.”

Uncategorized

Behavioral Drug Use In Toddlers Up Sharply: This report confirms many people’s concerns. As a psychiatrist and the father of two young children, let me add my voice to theirs. I’m not as upset as many that the effect of the medications in subjects this young hasn’t been tested. What troubles me immensely is how in the world anyone could be so confident that a toddler’s overactivity, poor impulse control, or mood instability are pathological. And, if they are, isn’t that what parental nurturance and containment are for? And if the parental influence is lacking, how obscene is it to think that a medication can compensate? I have written and taught about “ADHD” since I was a medical student, and in my view the more popular it has become, the less and less meaning the diagnosis has come to have, and the more and more overused it is. To our children’s peril, and our society’s. Update: Dr. H Klasen writes in the current issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry on “The Medicalization of Hyperactivity.”

Uncategorized

the body politic / Germ Warfare by RUSTY UNGER (02/28/00: a long article from New York about the vehement and bitter controversy dividing the medical community about Lyme disease. First noticed in 1975 as a novel type of arthritis in Lyme, CT and determined to be caused by a tick-borne bacterium called borrelia, some maverick physicians want to alert their colleagues to their contention that the disease goes on in some cases to a persistent systemic form despite treatment. Of particular interest to me, as a psychiatrist, are reports that it may be behind certain puzzling cases of neurobehavioral symptoms. Most MDs scoff at these claims and discount case reports of patients whose deterioration has been reversed by aggressive recurrent treatment for the infectious process. “In one corner is a group of those predominantly university-based physicians who

develop drugs, receive research grants from federal health agencies, and often

advise insurance companies. They contend that Lyme is usually simple to

diagnose and easily curable with two to four weeks of oral antibiotics. Chronic

Lyme, they say, is extremely rare, not a disease but merely a group of

symptoms remaining after the initial infection is treated that usually disperse.

In the other corner stands a group of primary-care

doctors, those on the front lines who see Lyme

patients every day, and a number of other

scientists — all of whom maintain that the illness

is far more complicated. Late-term or lingering

cases of Lyme disease, they say, may require six

months or more of oral antibiotic therapy and

intense intravenous therapy — which some like to administer in a hyperbaric

chamber. They believe that the increased oxygen of the chamber helps kill the

tenacious spirochetes — known as Borrelia burgdorferi — deposited by the

blood-sucking deer tick. Burrowing rapidly into the tissues, joints, and central

nervous system, borrelia slightly resembles the syphilis spirochete in the way it

feeds, sleeps, and reproduces.” Detractors have accused the more aggressive Lyme doctors of overdiagnosing and overtreating. But recently they’ve gone further. Several of the “Lyme literate” (as they are known by their supporters) are under investigation or have already lost their licenses. Bad medical practice or merely the unpopularity of their approach and beliefs? A case study in how illness definition has political as well as scientific influences…

Uncategorized

Readme Quick: Do you read too slowly, as most people who value reading complain about themselves? How do you measure up? Can you improve? The Slate reading test.

Uncategorized

the body politic / Germ Warfare by RUSTY UNGER (02/28/00: a long article from New York about the vehement and bitter controversy dividing the medical community about Lyme disease. First noticed in 1975 as a novel type of arthritis in Lyme, CT and determined to be caused by a tick-borne bacterium called borrelia, some maverick physicians want to alert their colleagues to their contention that the disease goes on in some cases to a persistent systemic form despite treatment. Of particular interest to me, as a psychiatrist, are reports that it may be behind certain puzzling cases of neurobehavioral symptoms. Most MDs scoff at these claims and discount case reports of patients whose deterioration has been reversed by aggressive recurrent treatment for the infectious process. “In one corner is a group of those predominantly university-based physicians who

develop drugs, receive research grants from federal health agencies, and often

advise insurance companies. They contend that Lyme is usually simple to

diagnose and easily curable with two to four weeks of oral antibiotics. Chronic

Lyme, they say, is extremely rare, not a disease but merely a group of

symptoms remaining after the initial infection is treated that usually disperse.

In the other corner stands a group of primary-care

doctors, those on the front lines who see Lyme

patients every day, and a number of other

scientists — all of whom maintain that the illness

is far more complicated. Late-term or lingering

cases of Lyme disease, they say, may require six

months or more of oral antibiotic therapy and

intense intravenous therapy — which some like to administer in a hyperbaric

chamber. They believe that the increased oxygen of the chamber helps kill the

tenacious spirochetes — known as Borrelia burgdorferi — deposited by the

blood-sucking deer tick. Burrowing rapidly into the tissues, joints, and central

nervous system, borrelia slightly resembles the syphilis spirochete in the way it

feeds, sleeps, and reproduces.” Detractors have accused the more aggressive Lyme doctors of overdiagnosing and overtreating. But recently they’ve gone further. Several of the “Lyme literate” (as they are known by their supporters) are under investigation or have already lost their licenses. Bad medical practice or merely the unpopularity of their approach and beliefs? A case study in how illness definition has political as well as scientific influences…

Uncategorized

Readme Quick: Do you read too slowly, as most people who value reading complain about themselves? How do you measure up? Can you improve? The Slate reading test.

Uncategorized

Infiltration: Transit Tunnels FAQ: a guide to the art of exploring abandoned subway tracks and stations beneath several of our cities. Includes a discussion of the possibilities of attack by “mole people” who, in unrban legend, live in these tunnels. The FAQ includes a list of recent films featuring people infiltrating transit tunnels onscreen; I can’t believe I’ve seen every film on the list. Infiltration is a ‘zine “about going places you’re not supposed to go” and a part of an urban exploration webring.

Uncategorized

Wired notes the upsurge in weblogging:

“…For example, Memepool recently provided

links to sites for creating your own Old

Testament adventure, bubblewrap

lingerie, and entomophagy.

At the same time, Yahoo’s What’s New

linked to Philip Morris, Quaker Oatmeal,

and Clover Stornetta Farms.

Barger says in these days of

commerce-driven portals, weblogs are by

far the best way to explore the Net. So

efficient is the weblog circuit, Barger

estimates that anything new on the Web

will filter through the system within a

month.”

Uncategorized

“You’re probably wondering why I allowed you to

bang on my car, why I didn’t simply drive

away and leave you sputtering in my rear-view. So let me tell you: I was

considering the possibility of opening my glove compartment, pulling out the

handgun I keep there, and sticking that gun into your mouth until you forked

over whatever money you keep in your expensive-looking riding suit. I battled

the temptation. You gambled on a stranger’s decency, and this time you won.” [via World New York]

Uncategorized

Infiltration: Transit Tunnels FAQ: a guide to the art of exploring abandoned subway tracks and stations beneath several of our cities. Includes a discussion of the possibilities of attack by “mole people” who, in unrban legend, live in these tunnels. The FAQ includes a list of recent films featuring people infiltrating transit tunnels onscreen; I can’t believe I’ve seen every film on the list. Infiltration is a ‘zine “about going places you’re not supposed to go” and a part of an urban exploration webring.

Uncategorized

Wired notes the upsurge in weblogging:

“…For example, Memepool recently provided

links to sites for creating your own Old

Testament adventure, bubblewrap

lingerie, and entomophagy.

At the same time, Yahoo’s What’s New

linked to Philip Morris, Quaker Oatmeal,

and Clover Stornetta Farms.

Barger says in these days of

commerce-driven portals, weblogs are by

far the best way to explore the Net. So

efficient is the weblog circuit, Barger

estimates that anything new on the Web

will filter through the system within a

month.”

Uncategorized

“You’re probably wondering why I allowed you to

bang on my car, why I didn’t simply drive

away and leave you sputtering in my rear-view. So let me tell you: I was

considering the possibility of opening my glove compartment, pulling out the

handgun I keep there, and sticking that gun into your mouth until you forked

over whatever money you keep in your expensive-looking riding suit. I battled

the temptation. You gambled on a stranger’s decency, and this time you won.” [via World New York]

Uncategorized

I’ve been pretty shaken since I learned last night about the death of a friend of mine, Phil Aranow. Phil was a beloved, deep, psychotherapist in Cambridge who wrote and taught about the integration of Buddhist theory into Western psychotherapy practice. I’d known Phil for almost thirty years since his younger brother and I became fast friends, and later roommates, the first day of college. His brother’s violent murder several years after college took me down for a closer look with Phil. Although we were in and out of each other’s lives, his marriage a decade later to one of my colleagues and friends at the hospital, and the birth of their first son around the same time my wife and I had our son, kept us pleasantly intertwined in spirit. I, who had found and lost my way with Buddhist teachings, was drawn to his even and mindful integration of Buddhist practice into this life. He was at the core of a group of psychotherapists, all practitioners of meditation, with whom my paths have crossed professionally in various ways in succeeding years. In recent times, as my work took me away from Cambridge and we were both busy with our families, we never got around to continuing to have lunch together as we had been doing. Phil and his family were driving to the airport last Friday night in Florida, returning from a working vacation and giving a workshop, when they were apparently hit head-on by a pickup truck. Thankfully, their two young boys are intact, but Phil succombed and his wife’s condition is uncertain after surgery today. I’ll be praying for her, for their children, and for the tragedy-stricken Aranow family. Phil, you’ll remain on my heart….

Calligraphy: Heaven and Earth by Daigu Ryokan (1757-1831)

Uncategorized

Why I won’t be reading Dave Eggers: I caught Christopher Lydon on NPR’s The Connection talking today to this 24 year-old new literary darling and author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (for those of you that are not yet aware of the buzz, yes, that’s the title, not my blurb). He also edits the literary quarterly, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and its net-spinoff, Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies. One caller to the radio talk show, fawning all over Eggers, made it sound as if his writing has single-handedly taken us past postmodernism and out the other side “to something clear and simple,” or something to that effect (it turns out the caller was part of Eggers’ little literary clique and a contributor to his magazine). To judge from his interview, simple at least is right! Lydon quickly realized that he wasn’t going to get any scintillating answers to his questions, beyond repetitious echolalia, so he began to lead Eggers around by the nose affirming points that Lydon wanted to make in the interview. Is this what they mean by the self-referentiality they apply to his work?? (I thought I liked self-referentiality ’til now…) It was uncomfortable to see Lydon squirm to maintain the obligatory stance that his current guest was the best thing since sliced bread, and to see Eggers eating it up, despite the fact that it was probably the least self-reflective interview I’ve heard in a long while. Not a literary movement I’ll be following, or a bestselling buzzbook I’ll be buying, I’m afraid. And if another nail was needed in the coffinlid, Eggers is equated as wunderkind with NPR’s This American Life host Ira Glass, to whose show he has apparently contributed. Glass is a smug self-satisfied commentator whose profundity I can’t see impressing anyone more than himself. Someone has described This American Life as driveway radio — you sit in your driveway when you arrive home, unable to bear shutting the car off ’til it’s over; but, even as an inveterate NPR listener, I scramble to turn the radio off when Ira Glass comes on. (And I’ve written to my local NPR station saying I won’t contribute to them anymore as long as they use Ira Glass’ demeaning and smarmy spots, based on gleefully shaming hapless non-contributing listeners, in their fund drives.) Maybe I’m just too old for these Gen-X’ers who think they’ve seen and realized it all. Listening to the interview with Eggers, it seemed he emoted mostly angst about having to live up to the adulation. It was hard to see what he’d ever have to offer in the way of a second book, unless it was something spun off of that angst…(And in case you were wondering, I don’t feel particularly ashamed in admitting that I don’t feel particularly awful about generating a diatribe like this without reading the book.)

Uncategorized

Galileo swoops by volcanic Io

“Jupiter’s strange moon Io is

literally bursting with volcanoes. Dozens of active

vents pepper the landscape, which also includes

gigantic frosty plains, towering mountains and

volcanic rings the size of California. The volcanoes

themselves are the hottest spots in the solar system

(not counting the sun) with temperatures exceeding

1800 K. The plumes, which rise 300 km into space, are so large that the Hubble

Space Telescope can see them from its low Earth orbit.”

Uncategorized

I’ve been pretty shaken since I learned last night about the death of a friend of mine, Phil Aranow. Phil was a beloved, deep, psychotherapist in Cambridge who wrote and taught about the integration of Buddhist theory into Western psychotherapy practice. I’d known Phil for almost thirty years since his younger brother and I became fast friends, and later roommates, the first day of college. His brother’s violent murder several years after college took me down for a closer look with Phil. Although we were in and out of each other’s lives, his marriage a decade later to one of my colleagues and friends at the hospital, and the birth of their first son around the same time my wife and I had our son, kept us pleasantly intertwined in spirit. I, who had found and lost my way with Buddhist teachings, was drawn to his even and mindful integration of Buddhist practice into this life. He was at the core of a group of psychotherapists, all practitioners of meditation, with whom my paths have crossed professionally in various ways in succeeding years. In recent times, as my work took me away from Cambridge and we were both busy with our families, we never got around to continuing to have lunch together as we had been doing. Phil and his family were driving to the airport last Friday night in Florida, returning from a working vacation and giving a workshop, when they were apparently hit head-on by a pickup truck. Thankfully, their two young boys are intact, but Phil succombed and his wife’s condition is uncertain after surgery today. I’ll be praying for her, for their children, and for the tragedy-stricken Aranow family. Phil, you’ll remain on my heart….

Calligraphy: Heaven and Earth by Daigu Ryokan (1757-1831)

Uncategorized

Why I won’t be reading Dave Eggers: I caught Christopher Lydon on NPR’s The Connection talking today to this 24 year-old new literary darling and author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (for those of you that are not yet aware of the buzz, yes, that’s the title, not my blurb). He also edits the literary quarterly, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and its net-spinoff, Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies. One caller to the radio talk show, fawning all over Eggers, made it sound as if his writing has single-handedly taken us past postmodernism and out the other side “to something clear and simple,” or something to that effect (it turns out the caller was part of Eggers’ little literary clique and a contributor to his magazine). To judge from his interview, simple at least is right! Lydon quickly realized that he wasn’t going to get any scintillating answers to his questions, beyond repetitious echolalia, so he began to lead Eggers around by the nose affirming points that Lydon wanted to make in the interview. Is this what they mean by the self-referentiality they apply to his work?? (I thought I liked self-referentiality ’til now…) It was uncomfortable to see Lydon squirm to maintain the obligatory stance that his current guest was the best thing since sliced bread, and to see Eggers eating it up, despite the fact that it was probably the least self-reflective interview I’ve heard in a long while. Not a literary movement I’ll be following, or a bestselling buzzbook I’ll be buying, I’m afraid. And if another nail was needed in the coffinlid, Eggers is equated as wunderkind with NPR’s This American Life host Ira Glass, to whose show he has apparently contributed. Glass is a smug self-satisfied commentator whose profundity I can’t see impressing anyone more than himself. Someone has described This American Life as driveway radio — you sit in your driveway when you arrive home, unable to bear shutting the car off ’til it’s over; but, even as an inveterate NPR listener, I scramble to turn the radio off when Ira Glass comes on. (And I’ve written to my local NPR station saying I won’t contribute to them anymore as long as they use Ira Glass’ demeaning and smarmy spots, based on gleefully shaming hapless non-contributing listeners, in their fund drives.) Maybe I’m just too old for these Gen-X’ers who think they’ve seen and realized it all. Listening to the interview with Eggers, it seemed he emoted mostly angst about having to live up to the adulation. It was hard to see what he’d ever have to offer in the way of a second book, unless it was something spun off of that angst…(And in case you were wondering, I don’t feel particularly ashamed in admitting that I don’t feel particularly awful about generating a diatribe like this without reading the book.)

Uncategorized

Galileo swoops by volcanic Io

“Jupiter’s strange moon Io is

literally bursting with volcanoes. Dozens of active

vents pepper the landscape, which also includes

gigantic frosty plains, towering mountains and

volcanic rings the size of California. The volcanoes

themselves are the hottest spots in the solar system

(not counting the sun) with temperatures exceeding

1800 K. The plumes, which rise 300 km into space, are so large that the Hubble

Space Telescope can see them from its low Earth orbit.”

Uncategorized

I’m on an arts rip today, it seems. As the Grammies approach, recording companies are raking in the cash.

But record executives say they can’t recall a bleaker time in pop music creativity. “They don’t like the

music, they don’t get it, and they’re horrified that people like

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are becoming stars,” said

Jeff Pollack, a programming consultant for more than 100 U.S.

radio stations. Are they elitists out of touch with mainstream taste? Or is mainstream taste no longer anything but what market forces make it?

Uncategorized

N.Y. arts group refuses regulations ‘The New York Foundation for the Arts has pulled out of administrating a major city-sponsored art project this summer to paint and display 1,000 fiberglass cows. The city had sought to have the foundation impose a rule on artists stating: “Designs that are religious, political or sexual in nature will not be accepted.”‘ [Arts Journal] First of all, after the wonderfully creative, zany and at times magical Chicago cows (which I was pleased to get to see), how derivative is this? I mean, why not thousands of fiberglass cats, or rats, or something? And hasn’t Rudy Giuliani learned anything from the city’s embarrassment in the Brooklyn Museum controversy? Update: Hew Orleans is doing fish.

Uncategorized

Portal of entry to the latest upgrade of the Jargon File, the canonical dictionary — and more — of computer/techie related terms. It also includes essays on such topics as “Jargon

Construction”, “Hacker Writing Style”, “Lamer-speak”, and appendices that include hacker

folklore, an extensive bibliography, and a portrait of “J. Random Hacker”. Netmeg.net offers one of the

better Jargon File search interfaces.

Uncategorized

I’m on an arts rip today, it seems. As the Grammies approach, recording companies are raking in the cash.

But record executives say they can’t recall a bleaker time in pop music creativity. “They don’t like the

music, they don’t get it, and they’re horrified that people like

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are becoming stars,” said

Jeff Pollack, a programming consultant for more than 100 U.S.

radio stations. Are they elitists out of touch with mainstream taste? Or is mainstream taste no longer anything but what market forces make it?

Uncategorized

N.Y. arts group refuses regulations ‘The New York Foundation for the Arts has pulled out of administrating a major city-sponsored art project this summer to paint and display 1,000 fiberglass cows. The city had sought to have the foundation impose a rule on artists stating: “Designs that are religious, political or sexual in nature will not be accepted.”‘ [Arts Journal] First of all, after the wonderfully creative, zany and at times magical Chicago cows (which I was pleased to get to see), how derivative is this? I mean, why not thousands of fiberglass cats, or rats, or something? And hasn’t Rudy Giuliani learned anything from the city’s embarrassment in the Brooklyn Museum controversy? Update: Hew Orleans is doing fish.

Uncategorized

Portal of entry to the latest upgrade of the Jargon File, the canonical dictionary — and more — of computer/techie related terms. It also includes essays on such topics as “Jargon

Construction”, “Hacker Writing Style”, “Lamer-speak”, and appendices that include hacker

folklore, an extensive bibliography, and a portrait of “J. Random Hacker”. Netmeg.net offers one of the

better Jargon File search interfaces.

Uncategorized

Evidence of Mystery Particles Stirring Excitement and Doubt: Researchers at the University of Rome have stirred both doubt and excitement by reporting evidence of a heavy particle predicted by supersymmetry theory. Proof of the existence of this particle could account for the long-sought “dark matter” that may make up at least 70% of the mass of the universe. It would be exciting evidence of the validity of the supersymmetry hypothesis, a possible first step toward the holy grail of a “grand unifying theory”.

Uncategorized

Evidence of Mystery Particles Stirring Excitement and Doubt: Researchers at the University of Rome have stirred both doubt and excitement by reporting evidence of a heavy particle predicted by supersymmetry theory. Proof of the existence of this particle could account for the long-sought “dark matter” that may make up at least 70% of the mass of the universe. It would be exciting evidence of the validity of the supersymmetry hypothesis, a possible first step toward the holy grail of a “grand unifying theory”.

Uncategorized

“Fight the Real Enemy”: “Now, if I were to go out and take down some Internet sites, I wouldn’t waste my time with Yahoo! That’s for kids … which is what you are, cyberstupids. It’s pointless. There are sites out there that are begging for a large, steaming serving of whupass. If you had any guts, cyberwussies, you would make a new list. And the ten sites below are where I would start.”

Uncategorized

Winning entries from the Adbusters Creative Resistance Contest:

“…we challenged people to

create social marketing concepts that best represented their

concerns about the world we live in. Here are some of the

best. The contest generated submissions from over 300 people

around the world: activists, students, graphic designers,

illustrators, photographers, painters, filmmakers, digital

artists, writers and poets. Their entries ranged from spoofs

to caustic commentary and included everything from school

projects to guerrilla protests. All of the submissions were

designs to change the way people think and act.”

Uncategorized

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: ‘Our country did not go the way of Nuremberg, to bring the perpetrators

of such crimes to trial…Our country rejected the other extreme of a blanket amnesty, as

happened in General Augusto Pinochet’s Chile….

Our country chose a middle way of individual amnesty for truth. Some

would say, what about justice? And we say retributive justice is not the

only kind of justice. There is also restorative justice, because we believe

in Ubuntu — the essence of being human, that idea that we are all

caught up in a delicate network of interdependence. We say, “A person

is a person through other persons.” I need you in order to be me and

you need me in order to be you.’ [via iBoy]

Uncategorized

Honoring a Heretic Whom Vatican ‘Regrets’ Burning. Freethinkers and atheists gathered to honor Giordano Bruno in observance of the four hundredth anniversary of his burning at the stake. Bruno, a Dominican priest whose scientific investigations led him to believe that the universe was infinite and the teachings of the Church irrational, refused to recant to save his life. ‘The pope has marked this Holy Year as a time for the church to

apologize for past errors and excesses, from the Inquisition to the

persecution of Jews. Today, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican

secretary of state, said the church “regretted” that it had resorted to

violence in Bruno’s case, but pointed out that Bruno’s writing was

“incompatible” with Christian thinking, and that he therefore remains a

heretic.’

Uncategorized

A coronal mass ejection is headed for Earth:

“Yesterday, a medium-sized solar flare erupted from a sunspot group near the

middle of the solar disk. It was accompanied by a

coronal mass ejection (CME) that appears to be

headed directly for our planet.

>

There’s no cause for

alarm — CMEs aren’t dangerous to people — but this

one could trigger beautiful aurorae and other

geomagnetic activity when it passes by our planet

around February 20.” [via Abby, thanks]

Uncategorized

“Fight the Real Enemy”: “Now, if I were to go out and take down some Internet sites, I wouldn’t waste my time with Yahoo! That’s for kids … which is what you are, cyberstupids. It’s pointless. There are sites out there that are begging for a large, steaming serving of whupass. If you had any guts, cyberwussies, you would make a new list. And the ten sites below are where I would start.”

Uncategorized

Winning entries from the Adbusters Creative Resistance Contest:

“…we challenged people to

create social marketing concepts that best represented their

concerns about the world we live in. Here are some of the

best. The contest generated submissions from over 300 people

around the world: activists, students, graphic designers,

illustrators, photographers, painters, filmmakers, digital

artists, writers and poets. Their entries ranged from spoofs

to caustic commentary and included everything from school

projects to guerrilla protests. All of the submissions were

designs to change the way people think and act.”

Uncategorized

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: ‘Our country did not go the way of Nuremberg, to bring the perpetrators

of such crimes to trial…Our country rejected the other extreme of a blanket amnesty, as

happened in General Augusto Pinochet’s Chile….

Our country chose a middle way of individual amnesty for truth. Some

would say, what about justice? And we say retributive justice is not the

only kind of justice. There is also restorative justice, because we believe

in Ubuntu — the essence of being human, that idea that we are all

caught up in a delicate network of interdependence. We say, “A person

is a person through other persons.” I need you in order to be me and

you need me in order to be you.’ [via iBoy]

Uncategorized

Honoring a Heretic Whom Vatican ‘Regrets’ Burning. Freethinkers and atheists gathered to honor Giordano Bruno in observance of the four hundredth anniversary of his burning at the stake. Bruno, a Dominican priest whose scientific investigations led him to believe that the universe was infinite and the teachings of the Church irrational, refused to recant to save his life. ‘The pope has marked this Holy Year as a time for the church to

apologize for past errors and excesses, from the Inquisition to the

persecution of Jews. Today, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican

secretary of state, said the church “regretted” that it had resorted to

violence in Bruno’s case, but pointed out that Bruno’s writing was

“incompatible” with Christian thinking, and that he therefore remains a

heretic.’

Uncategorized

A coronal mass ejection is headed for Earth:

“Yesterday, a medium-sized solar flare erupted from a sunspot group near the

middle of the solar disk. It was accompanied by a

coronal mass ejection (CME) that appears to be

headed directly for our planet.

>

There’s no cause for

alarm — CMEs aren’t dangerous to people — but this

one could trigger beautiful aurorae and other

geomagnetic activity when it passes by our planet

around February 20.” [via Abby, thanks]

Uncategorized

R.U.Sirius interviews Stephen Gaskin on Al Gore, cannabis, and hypocrisy. I’ve followed Gaskin’s pilgrim’s progress since the ’60’s as one of the enduring honest presences in the counterculture whose actions are on the scale of his words.

Uncategorized

Biar Witch Project sequel lost in the woods seeking product promotions.

According to a promotional packet entitled “The

Blair Witch Franchise,” kids will soon be able to play

four different “Blair Witch” PC and PlayStation

games, read “Blair Witch” comic books, collect

“Blair Witch” trading cards, and play with “Blair

Witch” action figures designed by “Spawn” creator

Todd MacFarlane.

The packet also promises “Dozens of New Licensed

Products — Computer Accessories, Jewelry, Apparel,

Leather Goods, Stationery … and many more.”

Uncategorized

R.U.Sirius interviews Stephen Gaskin on Al Gore, cannabis, and hypocrisy. I’ve followed Gaskin’s pilgrim’s progress since the ’60’s as one of the enduring honest presences in the counterculture whose actions are on the scale of his words.

Uncategorized

Biar Witch Project sequel lost in the woods seeking product promotions.

According to a promotional packet entitled “The

Blair Witch Franchise,” kids will soon be able to play

four different “Blair Witch” PC and PlayStation

games, read “Blair Witch” comic books, collect

“Blair Witch” trading cards, and play with “Blair

Witch” action figures designed by “Spawn” creator

Todd MacFarlane.

The packet also promises “Dozens of New Licensed

Products — Computer Accessories, Jewelry, Apparel,

Leather Goods, Stationery … and many more.”

Uncategorized

International experts worried about U.S.-based Internet racism

‘Experts at a U.N. meeting Wednesday said Wednesday that the United States could

do more to curb the use of the Internet for racist material while upholding freedom of speech.

“New forms of communications technology such as the Internet are being used to support the dissemination of racial hatred,” Mary Robinson, the U.N.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, told participants in a three-day seminar on racism.

Speakers noted the legal challenges of controlling Internet content in, and originating from, the United States, where the First Amendment of the

constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

There are an estimated 250 to 400 self-proclaimed hate groups in the United States with their own Web sites.’

Uncategorized

NPR’s Instrumental Bits Become an Online Music Show

“Although NPR makes some of its on-air shows available on

demand through its Web site, the leap by a major radio

organization into Internet-only programming helps validate

the concept of using the Web to “narrowcast” to a smaller

listener base. The eclectic material heard on “All Songs

Considered” might have limited appeal among NPR’s 600

member stations, which can be as rigidly formatted as their

commercial counterparts. Yet the show can still reach an

audience by going online.”

Uncategorized

International experts worried about U.S.-based Internet racism

‘Experts at a U.N. meeting Wednesday said Wednesday that the United States could

do more to curb the use of the Internet for racist material while upholding freedom of speech.

“New forms of communications technology such as the Internet are being used to support the dissemination of racial hatred,” Mary Robinson, the U.N.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, told participants in a three-day seminar on racism.

Speakers noted the legal challenges of controlling Internet content in, and originating from, the United States, where the First Amendment of the

constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

There are an estimated 250 to 400 self-proclaimed hate groups in the United States with their own Web sites.’

Uncategorized

NPR’s Instrumental Bits Become an Online Music Show

“Although NPR makes some of its on-air shows available on

demand through its Web site, the leap by a major radio

organization into Internet-only programming helps validate

the concept of using the Web to “narrowcast” to a smaller

listener base. The eclectic material heard on “All Songs

Considered” might have limited appeal among NPR’s 600

member stations, which can be as rigidly formatted as their

commercial counterparts. Yet the show can still reach an

audience by going online.”

Uncategorized

BBC News | EUROPE | Pinochet ‘brain damaged’: The Spanish press

and ABC reportedly have extracts from the crucial medical report

into the former Chilean dictator’s health which prompted British Home Sec’y Jack Straw to say he intends to allow him to return home. Pinochet, who has diabetes and a pacemaker and has reportedly suffered two recent strokes, is said to have extensive frontal and temporal lobe dysfunction from progressive cerebro-vascular injury. A medical analysis in lay terms explains this.

Uncategorized

The Peculiar Practice of Dr. John Ronald Brown: The story of a California back-alley surgeon convicted of murder after his patient died in the aftermath of the amputation of his healthy leg on demand, apparently to gratify the patient’s bizarre sexual fetish. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of this graphic and disturbing story.

Uncategorized

Music lovers ‘have fish to thank’: Researchers suggest that a vestigial part of the vestibular system passed on evolutionarily from fish to humans, and without significance to normal hearing, is sensitive to loud sounds at the frequencies that predominate in music. We may have fish to thank for the pleasure we experience in listening to loud music.

Uncategorized

BBC News | EUROPE | Pinochet ‘brain damaged’: The Spanish press

and ABC reportedly have extracts from the crucial medical report

into the former Chilean dictator’s health which prompted British Home Sec’y Jack Straw to say he intends to allow him to return home. Pinochet, who has diabetes and a pacemaker and has reportedly suffered two recent strokes, is said to have extensive frontal and temporal lobe dysfunction from progressive cerebro-vascular injury. A medical analysis in lay terms explains this.

Uncategorized

The Peculiar Practice of Dr. John Ronald Brown: The story of a California back-alley surgeon convicted of murder after his patient died in the aftermath of the amputation of his healthy leg on demand, apparently to gratify the patient’s bizarre sexual fetish. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of this graphic and disturbing story.

Uncategorized

Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead: “the site that helps you keep track of which famous people

have died and which are still alive!” Journalists can avoid those embarrassing gaffes; you can settle those arguments with friends or family; search for your own name…

Uncategorized

Music lovers ‘have fish to thank’: Researchers suggest that a vestigial part of the vestibular system passed on evolutionarily from fish to humans, and without significance to normal hearing, is sensitive to loud sounds at the frequencies that predominate in music. We may have fish to thank for the pleasure we experience in listening to loud music.

Uncategorized

Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead: “the site that helps you keep track of which famous people

have died and which are still alive!” Journalists can avoid those embarrassing gaffes; you can settle those arguments with friends or family; search for your own name…

Uncategorized

Seeing Is Deceiving ‘”Once upon a time, Antonio J. Mendez, 59, a lifelong student of the “accumulation of millimeters” that form the human identity, could alter your appearance so profoundly that not even your mother could tell who you were.

Though his disguises often had to work only for a day, or an hour, or a split second, his audience could be extremely judgmental. A sloppy job could mean death.

Nine years ago, Mendez, the son of a Nevada copper miner, retired from the CIA after a quarter-century. He had worked his way up from the lowly forgery unit–bogus signatures, altered documents, counterfeit currency and the like–to become head of the espionage agency’s division of disguise, with a rank equal to that of a two-star general.

He created some of the CIA’s most elaborate, if little-known, productions–the ploys, skits, scams, masquerades and sleights of hand designed to dupe foreign agents and enemy surveillance teams. His specialty, he writes in a new memoir, “The Master of Disguise,” was “exfiltration,” wherein endangered persons are whisked away from bad guys and taken to safety.’