July 30, 2005
So now this religious war too, I like this one better

The Guardian reports:

"Pope Benedict XVI was yesterday immersed in the first big diplomatic crisis of his papacy after the Vatican issued an unusually blunt statement criticising Israel for its response to Palestinian attacks.... In a 1,300-word communique, the Vatican said: "It has not always been possible to follow every attack against Israel with a public declaration of condemnation." It said one reason for this was that "the attacks on Israel were sometimes followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the norms of international law ... It would thus be impossible to condemn the [terrorist operations] and pass over the [Israeli retaliation] in silence". The statement also expressed irritation with the reaction of the Israeli government to the Pope's original comments and said it was not prepared to "take lessons or instructions from any other authority on the content and direction of its own statements".

So if the catholics are thugs and the israelis are whining self-involved cry-babies, who wins? detente?

Posted by dbrown at 09:26 AM
July 25, 2005
Atlas Shrugged

For years, scientists have struggled with creating just the right environment
for this idea to really work.
For years, scientists have struggled to understand the genetic code, until now.
For years, scientists have struggled to understand why a certain type of infection - known as biofilms - are often resistant to antibiotics
For years, scientists have struggled to model RNA at its most basic level.
For years, scientists have struggled with the mystery of how fish behave in the
For years scientists have struggled to understand how an inhibitor can act to
stimulate the brain responses which promote addiction to alcohol.
For years, scientists have struggled to understand the inner workings of hurricanes,
For years, scientists have struggled to explain the declines in wild silk moths
in the Northeast,
For years scientists have struggled to explain the functional significance of
the elongated necks common to these reptiles.
For years scientists have struggled to find the pathways along which a protein
would move from an un-folded to a folded state and back.
For years, scientists have struggled to understand what is causing the
disappearance of frogs and other amphibians around the world.
For years, scientists have struggled with the idea that biology is "really" chemistry and chemistry is "really" physics,

Posted by dbrown at 03:01 PM
July 18, 2005
Postal Service

from another blog, writing about post offices: "Usually I try to get a stamp with a scientist or a black person on it."

It's true! I'm also partial to stamps with photographers (duh), obscure female figures from American history (Virginia Apgar!), and country & western musicians.

Posted by dbrown at 05:30 PM
July 13, 2005
Drag City


"....at a New York flea market, inveterate collectors Michel Hurst and Robert Swope discovered a large body of snapshots: album after aged album of well-preserved images, taken roughly between the mid-50s and mid-60s, depicting a group of cross-dressers united around a place called Casa Susanna, a rather large and charmingly banal Victorian-style house in small-town New Jersey."

The book is just out through PowerHouse. A few more images are here.

Posted by dbrown at 02:23 PM
Anyone who helps China with energy is a friend.

The WaPo looks at Cnooc's bid for Unocal and its relationship to the Iraq War. Or vice versa.

"If the world oil stocks were exceeded by growth, who would provide energy to China?" said Shen Dingli, an international relations expert at Fudan University, who advises the government on security policy. "America would protect its own energy supply. The U.S. is China's major competitor."
Many energy experts say owning oil fields provides no real energy security. It does not cushion against a rising cost of energy because no one country is large enough to determine the market price. Neither does it ensure access, because getting oil where it is needed depends largely upon shipping lanes policed by the U.S. Navy."

Posted by dbrown at 02:10 PM
July 12, 2005
Remembrance (II)

So I have been interested for a while in how our digital selves are, can be, will be remembered and retained once we're gone. Email, for instance, where will you really save the emails from your dead friends?

Boingboing today notes the passing of Keith Alexander, who I did not know, but now do, through his blog. Which is untouched, as of this writing. Keith died on his bicycle; his blog this year has a lot to say about his joy in riding in the city. Especially this entry "...I finally found a good enough opening where I torqued it up to 22MPH or so and was starting to get a head of steam on. I was going for a few dozen yards when a flash of blue blows past me on the left. It was a guy in full US Postal kit, right down to the Trek Madone he was riding. I dropped a few gears and got right on his wheel and we were going at a great clip of 31MPH or so for a nice bit."

At this point it seems I should leave instructions for what happens to saturation... ashes into the East River.

Posted by dbrown at 02:55 PM
Remembrance (I)

Dorothy Gibson Cully obituary

On June 3, 2005 at 10:45 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee, Dorothy Gibson Cully, 86, died peacefully, while in the loving care of her two favorite children, Barbara and David. All of her breath leaked out.

[more after the jump]

The mother of four children, grandmother to 11, great-grandmother to nine, devoted wife for 56 years to the late Ralph Chester Cully and a true friend to many, Dot had been active as a volunteer in the Catholic Church and other community charities for much of the past 25 years.

She was born the second child of six in 1919 as Frances Dorothy Gibson, daughter to Kathleen Heard Gibson and Calvin Hooper Gibson, an inventor best known as the first person since the Middle Ages to calculate the arcane lead-to-gold formula. Unable to actually prove this complex theory scientifically, and frustrated by the cruel conspiracy of the so-called "scientific community" working against his efforts, he ultimately stuck his head in a heated gas oven with a golden delicious apple propped in his mouth. Miraculously, the apple was saved for the evening dessert. Calvin was not.

Native Marylanders and long time Baltimore, Kent Island and Ocean City residents, Ralph and Dot later resided in Lakeland, Florida and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Several years after Ralph's death, Dot moved to Raleigh in 2001, where she lived with her son, David.

At the time of her death, Dot was visiting her daughter, Carol in Memphis. Carol and her husband, Ron, away from home attending a "very important conference" at a posh Florida resort, rushed home 10 days later after learning of the death. Dot's other children, dutifully at their mother's side helping with the normal last minute arrangements - hospice notification, funeral parlor notice, revising the last will, etc. - happily picked up the considerable slack of the absent former heiress.

Dot is warmly remembered as a generous, spiritually strong, resourceful, tolerant and smart woman, who was always ready to help and never judged others or their shortcomings. Dot always found time to knit sweaters, sew quilts and send written notes to the family children, all while working a full time job, volunteering as Girl Scout leader and donating considerable time to local charities and the neighborhood Catholic Church.

Dot graduated from Eastern High School at 15, worked in Baltimore full time from 1934 to 1979, beginning as a factory worker at Cross & Blackwell and retiring after 30 years as property manager and controller for a Baltimore conglomerate, Housing Engineering Company, all while raising four children, two of who are fairly normal.

An Irishwoman proud of and curious about her heritage, she was a voracious reader of historical novels, particularly those about the glories and trials of Ireland. Dot also loved to travel, her favorite destination being Eire's auld sod, where she dreamed of the magic, mystery and legend of the Emerald Isle.

Dot Cully is survived by her sisters, Ginny Torrico in Virginia, Marian Lee in Florida and Eileen Adams in Baltimore; her brother, Russell Gibson of Fallston, Maryland; her children, Barbara Frost of Ocean City, Maryland, Carol Meroney of Memphis, Tennessee, David Cully of Raleigh, North Carolina and Stephen Cully of Baltimore, Maryland. Contributions to the Wake County (NC) Hospice Services are welcomed. Opinions about the details of this obit are not, since Mom would have liked it this way.

Posted by dbrown at 02:43 PM
July 11, 2005
Speaking of Karl Rove


Elliott Erwitt at Robert Koch in San Francisco

Posted by dbrown at 09:06 PM
July 08, 2005


"At 36, this was probably [Mengin's] last chance to win a Tour stage. Coming into that fateful final corner - when Vinokourov and Bernucci were zeroing in on his wheel - Mengin's tires slipped from under him on the rain-splattered stripes of white paint on a pedestrian crossing.... 'I know the roads well here. I even know that bend where I crashed,' explained Mengin. 'I didn't have great legs today, but I had the morale to try something. That's life. You have to give 100 percent when you've got the chance.'"

Posted by dbrown at 12:23 AM
July 07, 2005
No Cat, No Cradle

Recent script sale. Lord I hope it ends the same way. (No one optioned this like 30 years ago?)

Title: Cat's Cradle
Log Line: A large number of people, scientists and regular citizens included, are caught up in a game that involves them chasing each other around in search of the world's most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature.
Writer: James V. Hart and Jake Hart
Agent: Jon Levin of CAA and atty. Stuart Rosenthal of Bloom Hergott Deimer Rosenthal La Violette (James V Hart)
Buyer: Appian Way & Elkins Entertainment
Price: n/a
Genre: Science Fiction Drama
Logged: 7/6/05
More: To be adapted from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel. Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio and Elkins Entertainment's Hillard Elkins will produce.

Posted by dbrown at 06:46 PM
Old Folks


Selections from the Landon Center on Aging's photo contest.

Posted by dbrown at 02:45 PM

1. “The world is more likely to run out of uses for oil than Saudi Arabia is going to run out of oil,” Adel al-Jubeir, top foreign policy adviser for Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah, told the Associated Press last week.

2. At today's prices, the world will need the cartel to boost its production from 30m to 50m barrels a day to 50m by 2020 to meet rapidly rising demand, according to the International Energy Agency, the energy watchdog for consuming countries. But senior Saudi energy officials have privately warned US and European counterparts that Opec would have an “extremely difficult time” meeting that demand.

Posted by dbrown at 11:11 AM
July 05, 2005
Freedom on the March

Taking Photos in Public Places to Be Allowed

JEDDAH, 6 July 2005 — Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that photographing in public places will be allowed except in prohibited areas.... Prince Sultan ibn Salman, secretary-general of the commission, said the new decision allowing photographing in public places and tourist centers would be implemented after 10 months. The nearly one year gap is to provide relevant agencies and parties enough time to make necessary preparations.

Posted by dbrown at 11:44 PM


Zabriskie hit the ground hard 1.5 km from the finish today; the announcer says, with a touch of real sadness, "the maillot jaune has been sullied."

Posted by dbrown at 11:43 PM
July 04, 2005
Homeless and broke at age 53

short update on jorn barger aka robotwisdom (Wired)

Posted by dbrown at 11:59 PM

Love in the Time of Coca-Cola
Love in the Time of Smallpox
Love in the time of Botox
Love in the time of spam
Love in the Time of Street Fairs
Love in the Time of Irony
Love in the Time of No Time
Love in the time of Nostalgia
Love in the Time of Benzene
Love In The Time of Metallica
Love in the Time of Gonorrhea
Love In The Time of SARS
Love in the Time of Depleted Uranium
Love In the Time of Insurgency
Love in the Time of Helicobacter
Love in the time of crappy relief pitching

Posted by dbrown at 11:49 PM
North Korea's Long Emergency

"Even the children always knew they were dying."

Posted by dbrown at 05:58 PM
July 01, 2005
Sandra Day

Memory lane: "Newsweek confirms that Sandra Day O'Connor shouted "this is terrible" when Florida was called for Gore early on Election Eve. Her husband explained to the surprised party goers that the O'Connors wanted to retire to Arizona, but if Gore won Sandra would stay on four more years just to keep Gore from appointing a "Democrat" jurist."

Posted by dbrown at 10:40 AM