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Thursday, September 04, 2003 - A case stranger than fiction - Sep. 3, 2003
-- Perc : Abortion Clinics Fear Execution Fallout -- Did you know abortion doctors have Rumsfeld-esque states of alert?
-- Perc

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Paradox regained: a conversation with an old comandante in Cuba Bella Thomas - openDemocracy -- very very good.
The coming first world debt crisis Ann Pettifor - openDemocracy
State: Born in U.S.A.? Not in Miami -- relatively obvious, no?
-- Perc
retroCRUSH: the world's finest pop culture and Leo Sayer website -- Retrocrush is, by the way, a totally badass site.
-- Perc
Bush-Cheney bumper stickers Some Bush-Cheney bumper stickers: Bush/Cheney '04: Over a billion Whoppers served Bush/Cheney '04: Compassionate Colonialism Bush/Cheney '04: Leave no billionaire behind Bush/Cheney '04: Get used to it! Bush/Cheney '04: Assimilate. Resistance is Futile. Bush/Cheney '04: Because the truth just isn't...

Does That Specter Still Haunt Capitalism? Plastic::Politics::Money: Galal Amin argues that Karl Marx wasn't as wrong as everyone thinks he is, although capitalism hasn't imploded in the manner he predicted.

Feds Cuff Fla. Man in Online Porn Scheme

Congratulatons to Chris Bertram His book, Rousseau and...

New Weekend Features Every Saturday, Legal Theory Blog...

Congratulations, Ms. Morality Despite the fact that she disagrees with me about Ashcroft's war on porn, Ms. Morality's blawg has been written up by The American Lawyer....


LA Weekly's current cover story is a lengthy look at Howard Dean ("Out of Left Field: Rolling with people-powered Howard Dean from the highs and lows of spring to the triumphs of summer"):

The most impressive thing about Howard Dean, and what seems genuinely to distinguish him from his fellow candidates, is his ability to think in three dimensions, to connect disparate ideas and concepts and problems in a remarkably intelligent and compelling way. It's a doctor's way of thinking: puzzling things out.

I've been thoroughly enjoying the Lydon/Winer audio bundle, which includes all three of Chris's Dean segments.

Disaffected Teenagers and Looming Calamity -- movie based on Columbine finally coming out...

A neato collection of Russian eBooks in English A neato collection of Russian eBooks translated into English mostly for propaganda purposes, which while not in the public domain are available for non-commercial use after the fall of the Soviet Union and certain copyright peculiarities, as described here. The archivist says: The main aim of this collection is to preserve the work of translators and give some information to historians. But whatever the reason, there's some good reading here to be had.

Lost Words The Compendium of Lost Words
Oh, I think his kicks a lot of ass, thank you.
Real map of Europe Geoff Cohen has been ranting entertainingly in his blog about something he calls "real maps." It's been long known that maps are distortive -- canonically, they're not the territory -- and out of proportion --the way that the mapmaker accounts for the Earth's curvature can be intensely political, as can the decision as to where the lateral boundaries of the map occur.

But Geoff's after a simpler form of "real map" -- he wants a map "with the actual names of countries on it. If you look at a typical American-produced map, it's full of countries with names like "Germany" and "India" and "Greece" and "China" and "Japan" and "Hungary" and "Egypt," etc. etc. etc. You might not think that's strange, but the fact is that there are no such countries. Sure, we in the English speaking world may have been calling certain countries by those names, but it's not what the people who live there call them. This is ridiculous. It's time to get rid of at least one vestige of colonialism and produce an accurate map."

He's gone ahead and produced a real map of Europe. It's nice. I'm going to print it out and hang it up in my bathroom, near my shower-curtain that has a map of the world on it. Link Discuss

Traffic congestion is a living animal "Aggregate Traffic Animals" -- a delightful, Richard Dawkins-inspired bit of speculation about the degree to which traffic patterns on freeways can be viewed as living organisms.
The author first became aware of the existence of ATAs while making his way through the hinterland of Canada on a long, mid-winter solo drive in a decrepit Dodge Charger with no functioning radio. Due to his dangerous penchant for immersive daydreaming in the absence of external stimuli, he began to parasite his driving decisions by locking in behind another car with comparable speed ambitions. By reserving a sliver of awareness for tracking the red brake lights of the "lead" car for changes in speed or direction, the author was able to comfortably enjoy his trance while a hefty burden of road awareness was outsourced to the other driver, causing the front car to function as a sort of early warning mechanism for changing conditions (including the Mounties' speed-traps)...

The most basic form of multi-car life is the Asipetal Caterpillar, also known as a worm. Worms begin when a stable solo vehicle spawns a linear, single-lane chain of vehicles composed of loose monomers joining at the rear (a closely related, but dysfunctional, construct known as an Acropetal Caterpillar grows by adding vehicles to the front of the chain, generally leading to destructive diffusion or autolysis). Short, lithe worms are the fundamental building blocks of healthy ATA tissue. Perverse, long-form worms are the seeds of congestion and death.

The second atomic element of ATA tissue stands in stark contrast to the worm, for it is a fleeting thing, and when it takes concrete form at all it is often manifested as a single car. The Apparent Coxswain is a vehicle that appears, to the conscious or semi-conscious mind of one or more drivers, to be a leader of the worm. When the Apparent Coxswain changes lanes, there is a higher probability that a majority of the worm will follow suit than if the change were initiated by a less trusted vehicle. In many cases each car in a worm perceives the car immediately ahead of it to be the Apparent Coxswain, leading to domino-effect lane-transitions; such formations have high homeostatic integrity because of the worm's ability to "find a new head" should one Apparent Coxswain be lost to the currents.

Link Discuss

Court stays FCC rules A federal court has blocked the new FCC ownership rules which were supposed to go into effect on Thursday....

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The U.S. and 'Green Card Troops' Back in April, we wrote about Green Card Troops, the 37,000 non-citizen, green card holders in the military. A major...

memento mori Obitpage, dedicated to the writer's art of the obituary. Recommended among the greats in the (partial) "hall-of-fame" archive is Idi Amin's: "One of the Most Reviled Figures In Recent History."

Noney - what's it worth? Noney is money with a face value of zero. But the creator wants you to try buy stuff with it. Reminds me of the work of money artist J.S.G. Boggs. Link Discuss

Why the Nano Generation doesn't need us Over the Labor Day weekend, my 12-year-old daughter told me, "Dad, nanotech is cool and everything, but your blog is kind of boring."

NBC and Universal to Merge GE's NBC snags the bride Universal in deal with Vivendi: NBC and Vivendi said they intend to combine the assets...

Sunday, August 31, 2003

East Coast Blackout from Space Simply Amazing....

Kidnapped senator calls for rescue A Colombian politician urges the government to rescue her after a year and a half being held hostage.

21st Century Oliver Twist: Sniffing Glue, Sexually Abused, And Running For His Life Plastic::Work::International: They're not going home; it's better to live on the streets.

The Last Dive Of K159 (Or How To Quickly And Unsafely Dispose Of An Old Nuclear Submarine) Plastic::SciTech::Military: Now, once again, the Russians have lost a nuclear submarine. This one, the former K159, was decommissioned and being towed to a scrapyard for dismantling.

photojournalist stripped of award Press photographer stripped of award; accused of overly darkening some portions in the digital editing process. Nothing was added or moved. Explains N.C. Press Photographers Assoc. president Chuck Liddy: You might say, "Gosh, I don't like the way this background looks I can get rid of this with a couple of keystrokes". No contortions in the darkroom with your hands and a dodging wand. No making ten or fifteen prints over a two hour period to get that print just right. Nope, just go and use the lasso tool, yank those levels to the max and VIOLA! the background disappears. Burning has always been an acceptable action. Burning to "de-emphasize" a background is something all of us do. But deleting the background by using some of the powerful tools Photoshop offers is totally unacceptable and violates the ethics code we adhere to. Schneider, the photographer, responds in an NPR interview (scroll down to audio link). In this allegedly unethical photo, Schneider says he corrected for overexposure. Is this a backlash against digital manipulation, which rankles the old school because it is simply too easy?

Blogger denies slavery cause of Civil War

"In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States. "

-- The Constitution of the Confederate States of America