January 31, 2003

Clear-eyed assessments of facts seem very rare these days, even in the gray lady. So be sure to read this inside take on Saddam & his poison gases. And then there's the water angle.

Posted by dbrown at 11:04 AM
January 30, 2003
Modern Primitives

My new favorite magazine: Primitive Archer. Not a full-featured site. But still. The message boards, for instance. "I'm working on a juniper stave that Gartooth sent to me a year or so ago..."

Posted by dbrown at 03:59 PM
Not The Onion, part 672

New Hampshire Man Breaks 20-Year-Old Super Zaxxon World Record. super-elite skillz. "Donald played on what is known as Twin Galaxies tournament settings, or 'TGTS'..."

Posted by dbrown at 01:46 PM
"C Students From Yale"

Kurt Vonnegut sounds off on Iraq, art, and TV drama.

Posted by tmonkey at 07:19 AM
January 29, 2003
Statistics and other lies

Three cheers for the serious grinds! The good folks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have been checking Dubya's math.

Posted by kio at 05:51 PM
This is the Diamond Age

Paging the mysterious Dr. X. Your engineered smart dust is ready. sort of almost. via /.

Posted by dbrown at 05:40 PM

You know I like my pathos raw. Sometimes I get burnt, or close to it. Eating snowflakes with plastic forks. As I often do, I think, if I can write something this moving someday, I'll be in good stead.

Posted by dbrown at 02:55 PM
January 28, 2003
How to get kidnapped

step one, hike the Darien Gap. "It's an absolute pristine jungle but it's got some nasty sections with thorns, wasps, snakes, thieves, criminals, you name it. Everything that's bad for you is in there."

Posted by dbrown at 10:03 AM
January 27, 2003
state of the union

well, when you want to go one step beyond the memory hole, you just re-edit footage and make politicians say what we all know they're thinking.

Posted by elia at 06:28 PM

So it's interesting [via this story in Scientific American] that "the brains of people who were depressed and died by suicide contained fewer neurons in the orbital prefrontal cortex," but even more so that there is a "relation between activity in the prefrontal cortex of people who had attempted suicide and the potential deadliness of the attempt."
n.b. for word-watchers, "suicidology" is a real word in the world of psychiatry

Posted by dbrown at 12:36 PM
January 24, 2003

It never occurred to me until now that Asian languages are 2 bytes/character (as opposed to 1 byte/alphabetic character for us) which is why Japanese Emoticons are different than Western ones.

Posted by tmonkey at 12:13 PM
January 23, 2003
tray tables down

AirlineMeals.net collects photographs of airline meals. What more can I possibly say? Though it reminds me of a light to paris on air france, where I devoured this delicious butterlike spread that I'd never tasted the likes of, eagerly dipping a hard roll into it, only to realize when I was done that it was (real!) mayonnaise and my American palate was just stupid, stupid, stupid. Sri Lankan Air looks pretty good.

Posted by dbrown at 12:05 PM
January 22, 2003
smart kid

you know, you always hear about kids like alia sabur - reading at 8 months, in college by age 10, etc - but what happens to them when they're like 30 or 40? it's like the people with tattooed faces on st. marks - you never see any old ones.

Posted by elia at 05:01 PM
January 21, 2003
paging Dr. Tufte, again

also: so that's how they do that. Original dubbing chart for reel 15 (last? penultimate?) of Kubrick's The Shining. More, including another chart, here. This was found in my search for Bill Blakemore's explication of the film as being about the elimination of the American Indian. Found it.

Posted by dbrown at 06:09 PM
January 19, 2003
but does it play space war!?

2d 10h to bid on your very own 1974 PDP-12. I love the sound of a teletype in the morning.

Posted by dbrown at 01:51 PM
January 18, 2003
The Last Three Percent

No one will ever know what Coca Cola's got in the bag, but if you clear doubleplusultra, securitywise, you can see something far more useful at the sovereign state cloaked in Redmond WA.

Posted by at 02:00 PM
January 17, 2003
mickey speaks

Mickey weighs in on Eldred vs. the devil. "Look at my skin. Look at my face. Look at this glove."

Posted by dbrown at 05:14 PM
100th Penguin

"We've lost complete control. It's a free-for-all in here." I say stay clear of those from Ohio!

Posted by armin at 04:37 PM
no, we have no bananas

or at least we might not in 10 years, according to the experts. just the kind of tidbit of information that might come in handy at a party this weekend.

Posted by elia at 04:36 PM
copywriters needed

A snippet from the officials in Pyongyang: "As seen above, the U.S. loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a painted cake pie in the sky . . ." Also, earlier, these fighting words from the DPRK: "The U.S. President, Vice-President and other senior U.S. officials let loose a whole string of sheer sophism misrepresenting the nature and cause of the grave situation. "

Posted by dbrown at 11:24 AM
January 16, 2003
Reading Is Fundamentalism

Granted, I haven't picked up my copy of "The No-Spin Zone" yet, but damn.

Posted by hirmes at 09:50 PM
Insert Card Cat Joke Here

Someone asked if had seen the map of library cats, and I had no idea what they meant, but now that I do, I have larger questions.

Posted by at 04:25 PM
January 15, 2003
I hate you american child

you thought the evil kid painting was scary? Try crib toys that whisper I hate you to your kid all night. Question the source, though.

Posted by dbrown at 04:19 PM
wild nature

sculptor Elie Nadelman, in a letter back to Europe soon after arriving in New York in 1914: "There is nothing but money. It is a country of bluffers and snobs and it is still quite wild (savage.) Everything is disgraceful and brutal here."

Posted by dbrown at 03:09 PM
January 14, 2003
Accidents are elsewhere

Paul Virilio is on the case. Somebody's case. My case. Your case. In Japan. In Bhopal. In Arizona. Everybody loves a train wreck.

Loading times are slow. Vive la France.

Posted by kio at 03:26 PM
"wear" you going?

Well, looks like someone one-upped Admiral Poindexter. RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Good if you want to nab shoplifters. Bad if they keep in radio contact after you've purchased something. (link found on /.)

Posted by elia at 01:35 PM

How can I get any work done when there are pictures of pets with their heads stuck in bags available for free?

Posted by dbrown at 01:28 PM
January 13, 2003

While we're thinking about Thoreau. From "Economy."

Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d'appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely, or perhaps a gauge, not a Nilometer, but a Realometer, that future ages might know how deep a freshet of shams and appearances had gathered from time to time. If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality. If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business.

Posted by dbrown at 07:11 PM
talk the talk

learn how to talk like a gamer.

Posted by elia at 04:30 PM
January 12, 2003
Not so crypto after all.

Is it just me, or does the Okapi (here among other late-discovered freaks of Nature, in the good way) prove evolution beyond a shadow?

Posted by dbrown at 11:03 PM
anyone dont like these pictures dont like potry, see?

a side project. Pictures found.

Posted by dbrown at 10:58 PM
January 08, 2003
1.5 ads per minute

"America's Moving To…," a new half-hour lifestyle program from Mansfield Television Distribution, ad sales firm WorldLink, and WENA Productions, is set to bow later this month and will present a product integration opportunity for brands in the home buildings/furnishings categories.

Toni Erickson Knight, WorldLink CEO, is busy pushing the weekly, syndicated property to advertisers to supplement the deal with presenting sponsor Ryland Homes, a leading homebuilder. Erickson Knight noted the aim is to have four-five advertisers integrated into any one show at varying levels.

Madison & Vine, Jan 8

Posted by at 05:00 PM
excuse me while i kiss the sky

Just a fun flash game/app. Reminds me of those Bill Plympton MTV animated shorts. Make sure you fly around everywhere. Onward and upward.

Posted by elia at 01:21 PM
etes-vous ma mere?

One good reason to have a kid. But also a good reason to visit whatsthefuss

Posted by dbrown at 11:42 AM

Love this casual sentence in the New Scientist's interesting piece on the measurement of the speed of gravity. (for those of you in a rush, gravity moves very, very fast.) "He reworked the equations of general relativity to express the gravitational field of a moving body in terms of its mass, velocity and the speed of gravity. If you could measure the gravitational field of Jupiter, while knowing its mass and velocity, you could work out the speed of gravity." Yes, elementary.

Posted by dbrown at 10:49 AM
January 06, 2003
mustard seeds and all that

all trees were once small. that's a fact. These trees you may recognize -- top center image -- from the Central Park, much smaller in the 1860s.

Posted by dbrown at 11:24 PM
Item #251789217


Posted by at 09:52 PM
You Label Me, You Negate Me

from the Adidas vs. Nike story in the Times mag, a moniker for all of us: "Fastidious Eclectus -- the ''SoHo architect,'' Liedtke says, who craves hip, distinctive sneakers. (Adidas guidelines: ''age 15-35''; ''I think weirdness and confidence are sexy.'')" Not as brilliant a breakdown of the world as occurs in Stephenson/Bury's Interface ("Depression-haunted can stacker," "Trade School Metal Heads," e.g.), but still just fine with me.

Posted by dbrown at 01:37 PM
'[aeiou]{3}', # agreeable

Here's the Python script to generate haiku from pre-existing text. They've run some predictable meat into the grinder, but there's one that stands out in my mind:

When we speak of free
software, we are referring
to freedom, not price.

Posted by at 01:20 AM
Go Ahead

It's a cross post from memepool while I work on another unreadable and hyperlengthy post.

It's just that it's one of the most extraordinary things I've heard recently, not that I've been listening to much. It's someone posing as a deaf person, using a web-based TTY relay to have phone sex with some Australian guy.

It's the "go aheads" that spook me, and if you can't listen to the whole thing, do advance to about 30 seconds before the end, where it approaches supermax memetic density.

Posted by at 01:00 AM
January 03, 2003
Phantoms in thick shellac

in Greil's top 10 this week, the idea (and expression) of " 'phantom artists': people whose names can be found on the labels of old 78s, but about whom nothing is known." I wish there were mp3s involved. alas, we must make do with idea. Number 10, scroll down.

Posted by dbrown at 10:39 AM
January 02, 2003
Heineken? Fuck Heineken.

A trailer-trash beer wins over the ultra-hip crowd. ""It's definitely a hot beer, especially among trendsetters," says Catherine Stellin, director of marketing for Youth Intelligence, a New York firm that polls young adults about their product loyalties. "It's a little under the radar. There's a sense of authenticity to it." DraftWorldwide Consumer Intelligence, which does similar polling, says young revelers prize Pabst for its "retro" and "white trash" vibe."
... "If someone came in who wanted to [advertise that hipness], I'd leave," [PBR brand manager] says. "I would not work on the brand anymore, because that's not Pabst."
don't let the door hit you on your way out.

Posted by dbrown at 11:40 PM
what happens after you die, part 2

This valuable news from Surfer Mag. Friends of the late surfer Mickey Dora recently contacted him via psychic. "He says the surf up there is great. He's been surfing a right point that's longer, cleaner, and hollower than Malibu... He (Dora) got burned by Napoleon the other day.... He said Napoleon rode a huge longboard, and had a wide butt-stance. He flapped in front of Mickey the whole way. Dora called him on it, and Napoleon just started raving in French. Dora has nicknamed him Nappy Fain. He said Genghis Khan is a total kook, too."

also from Surfer, this report on the dumbest surfer-terrorist ever, who tried to join al qaeda 'cause he was "sick of surfing Rat beach closeouts."

Posted by dbrown at 01:55 PM
January 01, 2003
oh fuck the design profession is in sorry, sorry shape

There are six finalists for the Pentagon Memorial. Maybe one is palatable (to me, natch), and I may be biased 'cause I knew one of the designers years ago, I think. (Design Four.) But okay if we take as a given the shittiness of the proposals/ideas, we can still be mightily disappointed by, first, the lame-as-shit renderings of said ideas. This is 2003, people. If you can airbrush the pockmarks out of Joan Jett's face for the Times, you can make a wall look like a wall. Second, grad school bullshit. No verb necessary there. For instance, Shane Williamson's project description. "184 trees representing the artifact of subtractive operations totaling the number of victims of the Pentagon attack. As the operands subtract from the object they also subtract from each other. The resulting voids in the object serve to remind us of the immeasurable loss of life." And, for seconds, Julie Beckman's "A memorial field is inscribed with 184 memorial units with each unit being dedicated to an individual victim. " Hey Beavis, she said "unit." The collective and almost total lack of human emotion -- replicants? -- reminds me of a review of Cindy Sherman's children's book for Rizzoli, Fitcher's Bird, back in the day: "Has anyone at Rizzoli ever met a child?"

Posted by dbrown at 03:41 PM