Allegedly seen at one of the rallies last weekend:

“Bush has it backwards–abortion is surgical; bombing is murder.”

Then there’s this one: “Send Jenna.”

Or:Blame Florida.”

But if you want make your own, here is a list of slogans that were used in previous antiwar demonstrations…”

Some will say that all antiwar activism is empty-headed sloganeering; if so I’m just playing into my critics’ hands with this post. But even thoughtful antiwar indignation has use for catchphrases, it seems. I love ’em. For example:

  • “Hans Blix — look over here.”
  • “Let Exxon send their own troops.”
  • “War is so 20th century! “
  • “9-11-01: 15 Saudis, 0 Iraqis. “
  • “Don’t waive your rights while waving your flag. “
  • “Drop Bush not bombs. “
  • “Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. “
  • “I asked for universal health care and all I got was this lousy stealth bomber.”
  • “How many Lives per Gallon?”

[more] AlterNet

Scratchy, swingy and stringy:

Radio Thrift Shop: I’m not a big fan of twangy stuff, but this sounds interesting. “Host Laura Cantrell scours the bargain bins, church bazaars and yard sales for those forgotten rekkids of all RPM. Often scratchy, swingy and stringy.”

“She has the sort of east Tennessee accent that seems to keep your coffee warm. Her decidedly uncatchy signature line — ‘Well, there you have it folks’ — has become a lazy weekend mantra for her fans. And over the last six years, her noon-to-3-P.M. show, ‘The Radio Thrift Shop’ on WFMU, the famously eclectic New Jersey radio station, has made her one of the city’s best-known deejays among music lovers with a country-and-western bent.” — The New York Times [via Outside Counsel]

Iraqi Roswell?

Is Hussein Owner of Crashed UFO? ‘ “An (sic) UFO-related incident that occurred four years ago poses a troubling question whether any kind of cooperation is possible between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and extraterrestrials,” UFOlogist Joseph Trainor declared in his review UFO Roundup (issue 51 of December 17, 2002). “On December 16, 1998, during Operation Desert Fox against Iraq, a video clip aired on CNN showed a UFO hovering over Baghdad; it moved away to avoid a stream of tracer anti-aircraft fire. At that time we all thought it was another UFO sighting, although captured on videotape. But now, ufologists think it was much more than a mere incident.” ‘ Pravda [via Confederacy of Dunces] Could the rush to war with Iraq be a race to prevent Iraq from reverse-engineering the crashed spacecraft and becoming a truly unstoppable world power? Arab journalists are non-committal, except:

Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar said on the basis of strange stories coming out of that valley: “Saddam gave the aliens sanctuary, so that they couldn’t be captured by Americans. Nobody can reach the citadel Qalaat-e-Julundi at night. They say that the aliens created “watchdogs” for Saddam. The aliens took ordinary desert scorpions and used their bio-engineering to grow the scorpions to giant size. Scorpions of a cow-size! They are wonderful watchdogs: they blend in with the desert, swiftly and silently move on their warm-blooded prey for a decisive attack. Luckless intruders hear just some strange sound from behind stones, then a pincer crushes their necks, another pincer crushes their legs; then the victims is slammed to the ground and beaten with a barbed tail six or seven times. Death comes almost immediately.”

Word ‘bursts’ may reveal online trends

“Searching for sudden “bursts” in the usage of particular words could be used to rapidly identify new trends and sort information more efficiently, says a US computer scientist.

Jon Kleinberg, at Cornell University in New York, has developed computer algorithms that identify bursts of word use in documents.

While other popular search techniques simply count the number of words or phrases in documents, Kleinberg’s approach also takes into account the rate at which the word usage increases.

Kleinberg suggests that the method could be applied to weblogs to track new social trends. For example, identifying word bursts in the hundreds of thousands of personal diaries now on the web could help advertisers quickly spot an emerging craze.” New Scientist [via bOing bOing]

The scientists applied the algorithm to State of the Union addresses and, lo and behold, saw evidence of the emergence of the depression, the atomic age, the Communist ‘menace’, etc. At first blush, my response was, “How different is this from the word frequency analysis of Dubya’s 2003 SotU I did in my weblog last month?” Next question: “How different in import is this analysis than, for example, Wired magazine’s ‘wired, tired, expired’ feature?” The authors would respond that watching not so much frequencies as their first derivative, the rate of growth in a word’s frequency, is the significant measure, but is it really a boon? Is this going to identify any trends before we already notice them? I mean really?

Closer to a national ID plan?

“A little-known company called EagleCheck is hoping to

provide a standardized identity check technique that governments and

corporations will use to verify that you are who you claim to be

EagleCheck, a privately held firm in Cleveland proposes that whenever

someone uses a driver’s license or a passport for identity

verification, the ID’s authenticity will be checked through

EagleCheck’s network that is tied to state motor vehicle and federal

databases. The databases will respond by saying whether the ID is

valid.” — Declan McCullagh, CNET News