‘I Am God’

Sniper Letter Linked to Movement: “An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment Saturday on whether authorities were looking into the possibility that the writer borrowed from the language of the Five Percent movement, which teaches that education and family are of central importance. It rejects drinking, drugs and fornication, as well as most accepted history, authority and religion.

The 39-year-old movement started as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, but Five Percenters say they are not Muslims. The group teaches that black men are to be called ‘God’ and black women ‘Earth,’ and that only five percent of the population is enlightened.” Yahoo! News

Annals of Depravity (cont’d.):

Self-styled ‘vampire’ prisoner denied conjugal visits: ‘The Utah State Court of Appeals on Thursday dismissed Robert Paul Rice’s claims that the Utah State Prison is violating his right to practice his religion by failing to provide him with a “vampire” diet.

The court also showed no sympathy for Rice’s complaint that he wasn’t allowed a conjugal visit when a “vampress” is available so he can partake “in the vampiric sacrament (drinking blood.)” ‘ CNN

‘So many answers, so little insight…’

The media’s role in the sniper hunt was debated

from long before his capture LA Times

, but just watch what happens now that the facts are compared with the press’ influence and the pundits’ predictions

sunspot.net. Almost everything the TV press told us about the sniper was wrong Washington Post; the white van was an egregious red herring Austin American-Statesman. Not only that; after the arrest, the Maryland prosecutor made a statement accusing the press of creating a climate of fear


R.I.P. Paul Wellstone

One of the most passionate and liberal members of the Senate is killed less than two weeks before his reelection. There are major implications for the struggle to retain Democratic control of the Senate. Flags fly at half-staff over the Capitol; though beloved across the political spectrum and being eulogized in superlatives, I wonder if the Rabid Right privately dance on his grave despite public restraint. And will the conspiracy theorists voice suspicions of foul play?

Walter Mondale is reportedly about to bow to intense Democratic pressure and run for Wellstone’s seat. Washington Post

Newsblaster: An Automatic Weblogger

A review: “Newsblaster, a project developed by the Columbia NLP (natural language processing) Group, represents the next level of evolution for news on the web. The service monitors seventeen major web news services, and groups related stories together for easy access.

What’s so special about that? Isn’t that what other news aggregators do?

Yes and no. What makes Newsblaster different is that it ‘reads’ the news, using natural language and artificial intelligence techniques, and then actually writes short summaries of each major news event based on what it has ‘understood.’ And it’s remarkably good at what it does.” SearchDay [Columbia NewsBlaster itself can be found here.]

Pop!Tech 2002

Artificial Worlds: John Benditt. Amy Bruckman. Will Calhoun. Bruce Damer. Tom DeMarco. Judith Donath. Maya Draisin. Simson Garfinkel. Dan Gillmor. General Paul Gorman. Henry Jenkins. Gerard Jones. Amy Jo Kim. Angus S. King, Jr.. Ray Kurzweil. Polly LaBarre. Jaron Lanier. Steve Larsen. Bob Metcalfe. Joe Pine. Jordan Pollack. Lauren Rabinovitz. Howard Rheingold. John Sculley. Alexander Shulgin. Alvy Ray Smith. Elliot Soloway. Warren Spector. Linda Stone. Noel Paul Stookey. Sherry Turkle. Vernor Vinge. Stephen Wolfram.

Star Speeds Around Milky Way’s Black Hole

“After tracking its motion for 10 years, astronomers have caught a star careening around the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center. Their observations, reported in tomorrow’s issue of Nature, provide definitive proof that a roughly 2.6-million-solar-mass black hole lurks at the core of our galaxy.” Sky and Telescope

A movie of a star orbiting the black hole, and an explanation of the significance of this finding, are here.

In related news, astronomer sees distant black hole ‘eat’ star. CNN

You don’t have to hold your nose?

For Massachusetts voters: consider disarmament activist Randall C Forsberg‘s write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate. Anyone appalled at presidential aspirant John Kerry’s support for the Congressional resolution on Iraq can go in another direction. It’s riskfree, too, because Kerry has no major-party opponent on the ballot. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw out the thinly-veiled anti-immigrant agenda of the bilingual education referendum question (2), and to uphold the Clean Elections preferences we voted in four years ago.

Drop Bush, Not Bombs:

Anti-War Activists Rally in Washington:

‘One graphic sign showed Bush’s face at the end of two bright red bombs with the caption: “Drop Bush, not bombs.” Another demonstrator’s sign said: “Regime change begins at home.” Bush administration policy holds that a “regime change” must come about in Iraq, by force if necessary.

Saturday’s march around the White House coincides with anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Mexico City. Organizers say they expected the combined participation of hundreds of thousands of people.’ Washington Post