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"I am the world crier, & this is my dangerous career...

I am the one to call your bluff, & this is my climate."

—Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)

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Friday, March 31, 2000

The Periodic Table of Poetry [via Calamondin]

  •  

Implode the KingDome yourself.

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Great use for the web. Create and publish a reading list, sharing books that matter to you. "Find others who share your tastes or...expand your horizons...Make new friends and start great conversations." Trouble is, I'm not sure I want to be part of a virtual community based on people who have read the same books I have. (Did Groucho Marx say that?)

  •  

Thursday, March 30, 2000

More for you Malcolm Gladwell watchers -- an interview by Toby Lester from the Atlantic.

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Recent research had turned the paleontological world on its head by indicating intermingling and perhaps even interbreeding of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon human ancestors. Now a new study using DNA derived from Neanderthal tissue samples concludes that we do not have Neanderthal in our bloodlines. [BBC]

  •  

Thanks to Jorn Barger for pointing us to this: Gillian Anderson's first journalistic assignment is interviewing David Duchovny! 'But maybe we should have therapy for long-running
series actors. It'd be good for the cast of "Friends" to
have group therapy. We'd have couples therapy,
because we're not an ensemble...(W)e do spend so
much time together, and it's a hard relationship to
navigate. As soon as I say, "No, we don't see each
other after work," then it's "You hate each other."'

  •  

Blood test results without venipuncture!

  •  

The saga of BlowTheDotOutYourAss.com:
"The Sams aren't trying to
stop the Internet from ruining San Francisco; they just want to
remind people how absurd it is to work like a dog, in a city
that is quickly forgetting leisure and humor, for a company
that's revolutionizing something as inconsequential as how
you purchase toothpaste." [Salon]

  •  

A Heartwarming Tale of Staggering Generosity
"This could perhaps be
the first time in domain-name history that a URL mix-up has
inspired such generosity, especially between an otherwise
unlikely pair. Truly staggering and, hopefully, inspiring." McSweeneys.com to host mcsweeneys.net.

  •  

Planets for Dessert
On April 6, 2000, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the
Moon will put on a delightful after-dinner sky show.



The quartet will
converge inside a circle just 9 degrees across. To admire the display, simply go outside after dinner on April 6 and look toward
the southwest sky. Around 8 p.m. local daylight savings time the slender crescent
moon will be easy to spot about 30 degrees above the horizon. The brightest
nearby "star" will be Jupiter. At magnitude -2.1, the giant planet is 8 times
brighter than Saturn, which glows pale yellow less than 3 degrees west of the
Moon. Mars will lie a scant 1.1 degrees north of Jupiter. The red planet
(magnitude 0.3) will be about 3 times fainter than Saturn (magnitude 1.4).

The article on this conjunction also includes a discussion on the May 5, 2000 grand conjunction of the moon and five planets. Will it be apocalyptic, as some predict?


  •  

Proposed flag desecration amendment again stopped in the Senate:
"...two Senators switched their positions
to join 35 of their colleagues in resoundingly
defeating a proposed constitutional amendment to
ban desecration of the flag. The amendment, which
fell four votes shy of the two-thirds majority was
stopped by a flood of constituent letters and calls to
Congress." [ACLU]

  •  

`Wonderland': Wrung Out, Strung Out in Bedlam: my profession, with its chaos uncensored, debuts on television tonight. "Because the patients in "Wonderland" are psychiatric cases,
the series has a surreal aura, sparing and effectively used.
Here a patient behind barred windows looks down at his
slippers and sees a tiny rhino step around them. Because
these shots from the patient's perspective are rare,
watching the show is not like existing in some mad state of
mind. The effect is more jolting, as if the sanity of the
doctors and the illness of the patients were present in the
air, at times colliding with a physical force.

What saves the series from total bleakness is the shaky order
the doctors impose. They are played by a spectacular cast." [New York Times] Update: I'm hooked.

  •  

[Slate]:Disrobed:
The Supreme Court upheld a ban on nude dancing. The
court ruled 6-3 that an Erie, Pa., law banning public nudity,
including that of nightclub dancers, does not violate the
First Amendment. Requiring pasties and G-strings "leaves
ample capacity to convey the dancer's erotic message."
Justice O'Connor's majority spin: "Being 'in a state of
nudity' is not an inherently expressive condition." Justice
Scalia and Justice Thomas' concurrent spin: What's more, a
community should be able to declare public nudity
immoral.

  •  

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

''Potter'' planted: Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man) selected by Warner Bros. to direct screen adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first installment of an anticipated long-running and lucrative "Potter" franchise.

  •  

Harry Potter's Wizardry Banned From School
Harry Potter, the fictional young wizard who captured children's imagination all over the world, has been banished
from one English school because his magical powers go against the teachings of the Bible.

  •  

A rogue wave smashed into a Navy destroyer seven miles west of the Golden Gate, leaving crewman with two broken legs.

  •  

Ben may freeze Jerry out of impending deal

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Study Links Agent Orange, Diabetes
"A U.S. Air Force study released on Wednesday showed a
significant link between Agent Orange and diabetes in veterans who took part in
spraying the dioxin-laced jungle defoliant in the Vietnam War."

  •  

Mayor Giuliani has given up his ill-advised assault on the First Amendment at the Brooklyn Museum [New York Times editorial]

  •  

Planet hunters find new worlds smaller than Saturn
"Planet-hunting
astronomers have crossed an
important threshold in planet
detection with the discovery of two
planets that may be smaller in mass
than Saturn."

  •  

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

WebRing: unusual museums of the Internet. {from Boing Boing}

  •  

Here and here are a couple of websites about the joys of trepanation. Some friends of mine are concerned that this will be The Next Big Thing among A Certain Segment.

  •  

Hilary Swank's Academy Award acceptance speech infuriated JoAnn Brandon, whose daughter Swank portrayed in Boys Don't Cry. (See this film!)

  •  

SSRI antidepressants may be effective against hot flashes

  •  

TopoZone: for people who don't like maps where all there is between the highways is white space. This one has my block on it.

  •  

'Harry Potter' to encounter love and death [Nando Times]

  •  

As if it weren't bad enough dept.: Chemotherapy may dull mental ability, research finds
"Ordinary doses of chemotherapy can sometimes appear to dull survivors' intellectual
powers, leaving them with poor memories, muddy thinking and inability to do math in their heads, new research suggests.

Cancer patients often complain of "chemobrain," or woolly-headedness during treatment. While they are typically reassured this will go away, little
attempt has been made until now to see if these subtle problems linger years later.

The new study, conducted at Dartmouth Medical School, found that people who get standard chemotherapy appear to be about twice as likely as other
cancer patients to score poorly on various intelligence tests an average of 10 years after their treatment."

  •  

Ban the 'Tubbies: "A coalition of child advocates today asked Public Broadcasting
System (PBS) President Pat Mitchell to stop broadcasting the Teletubbies, a television
program marketed to children as young as twelve months, because young children should
play instead of watching television, and fast food companies use the Teletubbies to market
junk food."

  •  

ZEN-- an experiential introduction.

  •  

The Military & CNN: My favorite muckraker Alexander Cockburn discovered that a Dutch journalist had discovered that, until recently, a handful of military personnel from the 4th Psychological Operations Group (i.e. PSYOPs)
based at Fort Bragg have been working in CNN's
headquarters in Atlanta assisting in the production of news stories. A U.S. Army spokesperson confirmed their assignment and commented that, "conceivably, they would have worked on stories during the Kosovo war." The liaison program reportedly ended only when the Dutch report on it broke. I'm as flabbergasted as Cockburn that no U.S. media have picked up this story!

  •  

Jobless white builder rules as African king
"HENK OTTE, a 43-year-old unemployed ex-builder from
Amsterdam, has been crowned King Togbe Korsi Ferdinand
Gakpector II following the discovery that he is the reincarnation
of the last great warrior king of the 250,000-strong Ewe tribe in
Ghana." Here is his homepage.

  •  

Doctors Advise Against Vitamin C With Cancer Therapy
"Taking high doses of vitamin C while undergoing traditional cancer therapy may interfere with radiation or
chemotherapy treatments and, in a perverse way, possibly protect the very cancer cells the treatments are designed to destroy,
doctors said on Monday."

  •  

Hackers Knew Bill Gates' Credit Card Details

  •  

Special issue of Feed on The New Brain: "At the end of our century, the science of the
brain has opened up a new frontier of understanding about how
our minds shape the self and the cultures we've built to house
it. Neuroscience research into human behavior and experience
is diverse and prone to unproven speculation, but even at this
early stage, a handful of broad conclusions seem unavoidable."

  •  

Monday, March 27, 2000

Now I know why Bush and Gore really won.

  •  

[Salon]:The inner Doughboy. 'Some onlookers are muttering that
the guardians of the brand icons have become so enraptured
by these happy little beings that they've lost their grip on
reality. "There are whole documents on what these characters
will and won't do," complains Court Crandall, creative
director at Ground Zero, a Santa Monica, Calif., advertising
agency. "The documents go into the thousands of pages ...
Meanwhile, no one ever stops to consider whether the
character even feels worth a damn in the first place. There's a
fine line between being a good brand custodian and being
certifiably insane."'

  •  

Prospect of Patriots' Stadium Name Controversial: Foxboro, MA officials are aghast about the possibility that Monster.com will buy the rights to name the new stadium slated for the New England Patriots.

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Sunday, March 26, 2000

Life 1936-72; '78-2000

  •  

Law & Order star sues eBay: "The actor
who plays Det. Lennie Briscoe on
NBC's "Law & Order" is suing
eBay, claiming it leaked his Social
Security number with disastrous
consequences to his credit rating."

  •  

A taxonomy of the ways in which good intentions go bad. [Nando Times]

  •  

BBC News: Racists 'stalked top athlete'
"British Olympic gold medal hope Ashia Hansen
was stalked by the racist gang which attacked
her white boyfriend, the couple believe.

Ms Hansen's boyfriend Chris Cotter is
recovering at a secret address after being
stabbed in the back and slashed across the
face by a gang of up to five men."

  •  

Embargo killed almost 10,000 in February, Iraq claims [Nando Times]

  •  

Name at issue in Northern Ireland dispute: Protestants link a return to a power-sharing government with the retention of the name of the area's police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

  •  

Is classroom decorum in higher education deteriorating?

  •  

Yay! Britain's Sellafield nuclear plant, "nuclear dustbin of the world", which reprocesses spent nuclear fuel, fights for its life. [BBC]

  •  

Some doctors are now saying that every 40-year-old should get a full-body CAT scan [MSNBC]

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Website welcomes wagers on your child's future [Nando Times]

  •  

Apex DVD Player capabilities worrying the Motion Picture Association of America [Wired]

  •  

Terabit lasers promise huge fiber-optic transmission rates. Net Speed Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet [Wired]

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Would you let your smart card figure out his/her potential compatibility with you?

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I probably won't get any argument from most of you that these are more meaningful than the Academy Awards.

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Saturday, March 25, 2000

More War on Drugs idiocy, this time British.

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CIA honors official Terry Ward whose firing Congress compelled for failing to report rights violations in Guatemala and allegedly condoning torture by his informants. Protests outside the award ceremony are led by human rights activist Jennifer Harbury, whose Guatemalan husband was tortured and executed by the Guatemalan military in 1992; her hunger strike outside the White House in 1995 led to disclosures that the murder of her husband had been ordered by a CIA operative. The ensuing public uproar led Congress to demand Ward's firing.

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More Bodies Found From Uganda Cult; Murder Is Suspected [New York Times]

  •  

More on the Fools Festival, April 1, 2000; and more on
the holy fool.

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Friday, March 24, 2000

British police said Friday they were hunting a thief who had stolen a secret service computer containing
confidential information on Northern Ireland.

  •  

Repetitive
transcranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS)
to the part of the brain that processes auditory and linguistic information can ease auditory hallucinations in patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  •  

Testosterone replacement may help post-andropausal men, a British scientist says.

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Floating away: another urban planning nightmare from Tokyo.

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Boston may see a replay of the December WTO outburst in Seattle this weekend.

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'Big Mama' Presumed Dead "She's a goner," police Lt. John Skipper told APBnews.com. "Sadly, I am certain she's dead."

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be God?

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Stopping mother's oral microbes may be the key to dental health of the child. "At the University of Alabama, Dr. Page Caufield
and his team are following the children of 500
women who carry very harmful strains of
Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that cause
cavities. Half the women had their teeth treated
with an antiseptic and varnished during their
children's “window of infectivity,” when about
80 percent of babies pick up S. mutans from their
mothers. This is at about two years of age, when
the babies’ back teeth grow in. If these 250
children grow up free of the S. mutans strains
that have plagued their mothers’ teeth, dentists
will have a powerful new tool."

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Thursday, March 23, 2000

"Me in me
best Whistle and Titfer and me new Daisy's, and her in her
best bib and tucker with her new Tile. It's a long Frog but
we'd do it O.K. on Shank's Pony. That's if our Plates last out.
Probably see a couple of me Chinas there with the Arrows
and a Pig or two." Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary

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Lots of fun to visit The Museum of Advertising Icons

  •  

After lobbying for years, Palestinians have been given their own top-level internet domain. " The addition of the .ps domain to the list of 244 so-called
country code designations signals the first time the Internet's
new international coordinating authority, the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has granted a
new domain since it was selected in late 1998 to administer
the network's domain name system." [New York Times]

  •  

Massachusetts goes to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to leverage Burma into human rights via trading pressure.

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[New York Times]: Out of the Mouths of Babes, Wirelessly
"While toys often pose as children's versions of adult tools,
many of these new kinds of communications "toys" for
children possess advanced features not yet found in the
general consumer market."

  •  

New Line returns to sci-fi Planet
"New Line Cinema has purchased the remake rights to Forbidden Planet, the 1956 MGM sci-fi classic loosely based on William
Shakespeare's The Tempest."

  •  

Antidepressant may reduce clot risk in heart patients.
"By reducing the tendency of platelets to stick together, sertraline, an
antidepressant marketed as Zoloft, may reduce the risk of dangerous clots in heart patients, researchers
report."

  •  

Strict Vegetarians May Risk Blindness, Study Says. '``Vitamin supplementation is essential in persons who adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, especially because vitamin deficiencies may
cause severe, irreversible optic neuropathy,'' says the report by a team led by Dr. Dan Milea of the Groupe Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere
in Paris,'

  •  

Don't wear your body piercings through the metal detector if you don't want to be caught smuggling.

  •  

I was thinking Slate had taken a page from The National Enquirer, but William Saletan's Who Killed JonBenet? is actually a meditation on what's become of the presumption of innocence.

  •  

You've got to rejoice every time this Supreme Court upholds free speech: Students Cannot Censor the Use of Activity Fees, Justices Say [New York Times]

  •  

Is Giuliani falling apart? His tone on the police killing last week (again) of an unarmed African-American man "bewilders" Republicans. [New York Times]

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Wednesday, March 22, 2000

[Slate]: More of forensic anthropologist Mary Manhein's diary: in which she recalls digging up murder victims in rose gardens and pecan orchards.

  •  

List of Fixed Problems
in Service Release 1 for Microsoft Office 2000.

  •  

New York Times editorial supports putting an end to the Elian Gonzalez absurdity.

  •  

Teller, of Penn and Teller, writes of his discovery of the biennial Gardner Gathering, where
mathematicians, puzzle lovers, Carrollians, and magicians have gathered
from all over the world for a three-day conference to celebrate the fascinations they share.

  •  

Jorn Barger is posting a reformatted rendition of Molly Bloom's soliloquy from Ulysses. I return to this again and again; follow me there?

  •  

A fascinating argument in Lingua Franca that most eponyms are misattributions!
'Given that "eponyms are only awarded after long time lags or at great distances, and then only by
active (and frequently not historically well informed) scientists with more interest in recognizing
general merit than an isolated achievement," Stigler concludes, "it should not then come as a
surprise that most eponyms are inaccurately assigned, and it is even possible (as I have boldly
claimed) that all widely accepted eponyms are, strictly speaking, wrong."'

  •  

Mark Frauenfelder, in Digital Living Today, gives us Palm users all the necessary pointers on using the devices effectively as document- or book-readers.

  •  

Salon pans Clean Living, the new pseudo-anti-commercialism magazine from Time, Inc. 'It's like the old farmer's adage about breakfast and the difference between
involvement and commitment, the kind of thing you'll hear out in Nebraska.
"The hen was involved," the farmer says, "but the pig was committed."'

  •  

OptOut -- Internet Spyware Detection and Removal: Steve Gibson's freeware solution to the Aureate/Radiate "spyware" hysteria. Here is a complete list of the software carrying the Aureate/Radiate baggage.

  •  

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

What? Gov't at a standstill on an important issue?? Agreement on Internet Taxes Eludes Deeply Divided Commission "...with members trading heated
accusations and increasingly likely to go back to Congress
with no recommendation at all." [New York Times]

  •  

[Slate]: Diary by Mary Manhein, A forensic anthropologist describes how she reconstructs a face from a skull. 

  •  

Monday, March 20, 2000

bewitched: bewitching!

  •  

Curbing Use of Psychiatric Drugs for Children
"...the government will
inform parents and teachers about the risks of such drugs,
the Food and Drug Administration will develop new drug
labels, the National Institutes of Health will begin a huge
nationwide study of Ritalin use in children under the age of
6, and the White House will hold a conference this fall on
the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in very young
children." [New York Times]

  •  

Bill Joy, Killjoy? Robert Wright (author of the recent book Nonnzero) responds to Bill Joy's doomday scenario. [Slate]

  •  

Sunday, March 19, 2000

Police say sympathizers may be hiding ex-Black Panther accused of murder:
"The 56-year-old former black militant known as H. Rap Brown has eluded authorities since Thursday night. The FBI has joined the national
manhunt, issuing a federal fugitive warrant for his arrest." [Nando Times]

  •  

Sunset at the South Pole means the end of a very long day.

  •  

Stalking Site: Slick or Sick? "His identity isn't known, but he says he became infatuated with a young woman named Julie when she rented a movie in the Los Angeles video store where he works. He looked up her address on her video account, broke into her apartment, where she lives alone, and installed a voyeur cam in her bedroom that streams video directly to his website, ForTheLoveofJulie.com." But it's apparently not what it seems...

  •  

Vignettes
"Death Row IV lists all 3,392 death row inmates, including more
than 1,000 vignettes and photos. Here is a sampling of Death
Row's vignettes."

  •  

Web-surfing cellphones automatically transmit your phone number with every web page request, compromising your surfing anonymity.

  •  

Serial Killer Profile test.

  •  

[New York Times]: South Africa in a Furor Over Advice About AIDS
"President Thabo Mbeki's
decision to seek advice from two Americans who argue
that H.I.V. does not cause AIDS has touched off an outcry at
home and abroad and raised fears that South Africa's already
soaring infection rate will climb still further."

  •  

WebTV's 'Non-Virus' Virus

  •  

Former CIA Director James Woolsey's response to European Echelon accusations: 'Get Real'; most European technology not worth stealing.

  •  

Could you confuse Dan Marino with Janet Reno???

  •  

In-Flight Breakfast Has Team in Panic: eating rolls with poppy seeds would have led to wholesale positive urine doping tests for the Brazilian Flamengo soccer team.

  •  

Criminal Probe in Alaska Airlines Flight 261 Crash: an inquiry into the falsification of maintenance records at Alaska Airlines' Oakland CA facility predated the disaster by more than a year. If safety were more important than profit, it would seem that publicizing substantial suspicions that an airline is lying about factors relevant to the airworthiness of its aircraft would be crucial!

  •  

Ugandan Doomsday Cult in Mass Suicide Blaze [Reuters]

  •  

Saturday, March 18, 2000

New paleontological finds in China suggest ancestral primate was Tom-Thumb-sized.

  •  

$99 Netpliance I-opener Internet appliances sold out nationwide after an electronics engineer in
Las Vegas figured out
how to tweak the $99
terminal for an additional $100 so that it
works like a fancy PC.

  •  

Furor over British proposal to detain non-criminals with personality disorders:
"UK government proposals to detain dangerous people who have a severe personality disorder but no
criminal conviction should be applied to individuals only when an assessment predicts that it is almost
certain that they will commit a very serious criminal offence, a report from a cross party committee
of MPs said this week." [British Medical Journal]

  •  

Thoughtful About "Virtual Voting":
"...it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Arizonans with
home Internet access enjoyed a tremendous voting advantage
in this primary. Yes, unwired Arizonans were encouraged to
vote at libraries and other community centers scattered around
the state. But essentially none did. Several librarians told me
that not a single person came to vote by Net during the
four-day remote-voting period. By the party's own estimate,
90 percent of the Internet votes were cast by people voting
from home or work—and that population is disproportionately
white..." [Slate]

  •  

Thursday, March 16, 2000

Bill Joy: Why the future doesn't need us.
"Our most powerful 21st-century technologies - robotics,
genetic engineering, and nanotech - are threatening to
make humans an endangered species." [Wired]

  •  

[Salon:] Big Bouncer is watching you. "To get into the Alcazar Pleasure Village, a
nightclub in the Netherlands, you'll have to make it past more
than just a velvet rope. A vigilant "cyber-bouncer" will scan
your fingerprint and face, refusing to let you in if you're a
known troublemaker or waving you through if your file comes
up clean."

  •  

One of the most spectacular business flameouts ever.

  •  

Research shows why sex is better than asexual reproduction.

  •  

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

"There seems to be no
critical culture
in America today. A critical culture is one that struggles actively over how human beings should live and what our
life means. Most of us can remember living in the critical culture of the sixties-a few of us can even remember the critical culture
of the thirties-and we can feel the difference. When a critical culture breaks down or wears out or fades away, sources of joy dry
up. What makes this happen? Why has it happened now? Is the loss permanent? Or are there traces, fragments, intimations of a new
critical culture just around the corner? Where might it come from? How can it come together? Is there anything people like us can
do to help it come?" [Marshall Berman writes in Dissent]

  •  

Musical Ballots (washingtonpost.com): Would it make a differennce to your Presidential choice to know what kind of music each candidate listens to? [Washington Post]

  •  

Museum takes Howdy Doody to court- CBC Infoculture

  •  

Cultural revolution: women allowed onstage in Iran for the first time since 1979. [The Globe and Mail]

  •  

Mapping the Cab Driver's Brain: The posterior hippocampus of London cabbies hypertrophies in proportion to their years of driving a cab. This area, thought to be involved in memory functioning, probably stores the detailed navigational information they learn on the job.
``There seems to be a definite relationship between the navigating they do as a taxi driver and the brain changes,'' researcher Eleanor Maguire told the BBC.

  •  

Woman Seeks Sex Before Divorce

  •  

Lilly Files for Approval of Once-Weekly Prozac. Faced with declining sales from competing SSRIs, and the looming expiration of its patent rights in 2003, this is one of several slightly different formulations of fluoxetine (Prozac), the first of the new generation of antidepressants, that Eli Lilly proposes to market.

  •  

[Thanks, Abby; no, really!] Tennessee Farm Is Laboratory of Human Flesh

  •  

Valdis Krebs has updated his fascinating Internet Industry Map - Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, Technology Development, Partnerships with network metrics and printability.

  •  

Take 2: A Photo Archive of City Streets: The New York Public Library embarks on a project to create an archive of photographs of nearly every street in the five boroughs of New York City. (Does this remind anyone of Geoff Nicholson's Bleeding London?)

  •  

Newest influence-mongering trend: get the President's ear by contributing to his wife's Senate campaign. Surprising?

  •  

More media consolidation.

  •  

Both Slate and The New York Times focus on what the Pope didn't say in his apology for the sins of the Catholic Church.

  •  

New York Times: 'Americans have become used to hearing nutty talk from
leaders of the National Rifle Association. But Sunday's
outrageous assertion by the group's executive vice president,
Wayne LaPierre, that President Clinton is "willing to accept a
certain level of killing to further his political agenda"
deserves special condemnation.

Mr. LaPierre made his sick suggestion that the president
relishes having gun tragedies to exploit in an interview on
ABC's "This Week." He was there to push the N.R.A.'s
demonstrably false line that the nation already has enough
gun laws on the books if only the administration would
enforce them.'

  •  

Europe is in love with Short Message Service. [New York Times]

  •  

Microsoft to Back a Browser Keyword System. Companies pay RealNames Corp. hefty fees to lock up ownership of keywords; you type a keyword into your browser and are magically taken to the site that owns the keyword! RealNames gets revenue from every referral to the corporate sites as well. Microsoft takes 20% of KeyNames, which has just filed for an IPO.

  •  

This site gushes about the goings-on at some of the hippest night spots on Sunset Boulevard.

  •  

"Who is Gladwell kidding?
Scientists have been harping on
so-called nonlinear effects for decades. Nonlinearity is the basis
of catastrophe theory, chaos, complexity, self-organized
criticality, punctuated equilibrium, and other scientific fads.
Everyone knows about the butterfly effect, which holds that a
butterfly flitting through Iowa can trigger a cascade of
meteorological events culminating in a monsoon in India.

Gladwell cites none of this work, and understandably so. His
utopian message is that by manipulating tipping points we can cut
down on crime, reduce teen-age smoking, and sell lots of
sneakers without massive efforts. But the lesson of nonlinear
research is that many phenomena are unpredictable, and
especially the complex social phenomena upon which Gladwell
focuses. Our culture is awash in potential tipping points. When we
try to tip events in one direction, they activate other tipping points
and careen down the wrong path. This is the law of unintended
consequences, about which you have written so eloquently, Ed." [Slate]

  •  

Sunday, March 12, 2000

Today is the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's (1922-69) birth, Charlie Parker's (1921-55) death, and Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman's wedding (1969).

  •  

Sociologists launch online journal to study the mundane: '"The idea is to sort of step back from everything that we take for granted and say, `What's really going on here, anyway?"' said William Roy of the
University of California, Los Angeles. "A fish is the last creature to ever notice water." (...)

The idea sprang from a 1998 article published in the journal Sociological Theory. Wayne Brekhus of the University of Missouri complained that there were
many journals devoted to extreme behavior but nothing concentrating on the mundane. (...) Brekhus' half-joking call for a journal to study the mundane caught the attention of Schaffer and Orleans. They sent out e-mail notices six months ago
requesting papers and launched the Web site, www.mundanebehavior.org .

They received a handful of e-mails wondering if it was a hoax. They also got three times as many submissions as they could use for the debut issue.' The table of contents from the first issue includes:

  • Myron Orleans, Why the Mundane? or, "The Unassailable Advantage": Reflections on Wiseman's Belfast,
    Maine

  • Terry Caesar, In and Out of Elevators in Japan

  • Andy Crabtree, Remarks on the social organisation of space and place

  • Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, Constructing Mundane Culture: "Plain Talk"

  • Michael John Pinfold, "I'm sick of shaving every morning": or, The Cultural Manifestations of "Male" Facial
    Presentation


  • I'm sure everybody knows by now about the first binding web election, sort of.

      •  

    Saturday, March 11, 2000

    The disclosure of several new heretofore secret Justice Department memos [New York Times editorial] shows the lengths to which Janet Reno went to protect Al Gore and other senior administration officials from a thorough-going independent inquiry into alleged campaign finance improprieties. And all the time you watched the administration fretting about the impeachment inquiry, its senior members were probably laughing up their sleeve that that's all the country was agonizing over. And now the only choice you have beyond Dubya is their poster boy?? (It's getting to that quadrennial point where I begin to toy with the idea of emigrating again...but where?)

      •  

    U.S. Sets Another Record for Winter Warmth: the average winter temperature in the 48 contiguous states was the warmest in 105 years. Twenty of the last thirty years have been above the century's average; and each of the past three years has seen a briefer warmer winter than the last. [New York Times]

      •  

    A searing, riveting film I just watched: Bryan Singer's 1998 Apt Pupil with Ian McKellen as the ex-Nazi war criminal next door and Brad Renfro as the high school student who attempts to control him with the knowledge of his identity. Except for a spluttering performance by the risible David Schwimmer...

      •  

    Consider that if you lived in Japan you too might empathize with this woman. [Washington Post]

      •  

    Someone pointed me to this gentleman's main webpage, which documents his collection of chopsticks. However, the real gem is this sidelight, the Gallery of the Absurd: "This site is dedicated to exposing absurdity hiding in such obvious places that nobody seems to notice!...These are all my own photographs* taken in public places mostly in the Boston area. They are 100% real and
    not digitally manipulated. I've been capturing images like this for many years, to document things that strike
    me as odd or bizarre, or just plain stupid."

      •  

    Is your computer possessed? [from Honeyguide]

      •  

    Friday, March 10, 2000

    Dr. Laura Backs Off Gay Comments. Could she see some jeopardy to the Paramount cash cow from the GLAD-driven protest movement she has the nerve to characterize as "fascist"?

      •  

    Chrissie Hynde and three others were arrested for protesting in the window of a Gap clothing
    store against what she said was the clothing chain's use of leather from cows slaughtered in India, where cattle are
    sacred. Despite the company's claims that the "Made in India" labels in its leather jackets did not mean that the leather originates in India, Hynde stated ``India does not import leather, and it is the largest exporter of leather in the world....So it seems highly unlikely that the Gap buys its leather from America, where the slaughterhouse practices are considered humane
    and legal, and send the leather to India, stitch up the jacket and send it back to America.''

    PETA director Dan Mathews said Gap was buying its leather ''from a black market ... where it's illegal to kill cows. And they have
    assumed no responsibility.''


      •  

    Clues to sleep disorders may lie in the flies: Recent research by Dr. Giulio Tononi and colleagues at The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego suggests that flies must rest to perform their biological functions, like higher animals. The rest periods of flies share important attributes with mammalian (and human) sleep. This finding provides '...``the opportunity to employ fly genetics to figure out the function of sleep and
    to develop new, safe drugs for improving sleep as well as vigilance,'' Tononi explained.

    The fruit fly apparently ``shares a sophisticated brain function with us,'' Tononi said. ``However, the
    difference between what goes on in the brain of a fly and a human when they are asleep, is probably as
    large as the difference between what they think when they are awake,'' he added wryly.'

      •  

    Remember this: chew vigorously![New Scientist]

      •  

    Unheeded warnings: Predictions by a climatologist from the University of Zululand in South Africa of floods in Mozambique were ignored. Flood damage could have been reduced if dam managers in the region had begun to empty their reservoirs sooner.

      •  

    I found it hard to believe that Morphine would survive Mark Sandman's death, but it appears to be reborn, joyously.

      •  

    Thursday, March 9, 2000

    Some antidepressants change rat brain cells. In animal studies, high doese of SSRI antidepressants (such as Prozac) cause damage to brain cells similar to that produced by Ecstasy (MDMA).

      •  

    Abortions rise 20 percent in Britain after millennium party season, group says
    "A British family planning organization noted a 20 percent increase in the number
    of abortions during January and February after the intense millennium party season."

      •  

    Time Cube
    "I will give $1,000.00 to any person who can disprove 4 days in each
    earth rotation. It's
    a pity that religious and academic word is a
    crime against Nature and enslaves Children.
    4-cornered Truth is ineffable by man or god.
    Until Word is Cornered, all Math is Fiction."

      •  

    The Decline and Fall: "Baby Bank" for Unwanted Newborns
    "HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Social workers in Hamburg have opened a controversial "baby bank"
    where new mothers can leave their unwanted newborns.

    The center, which is near the "Reeperbahn" red light district, was set up to reduce the number of
    newborns abandoned on the streets of the city.

    A woman can anonymously pass her child through a "letter box" and into a crib. An alarm alerts staff
    that a new child has been left."

      •  

    God, the Devil and Bob: Okay, so we're a little puzzled, but not at all unhappy, that God is the spitting image of Jerry Garcia. But the James Garner voice doesn't quite work. Update: Not ready for primetime with Idaho, Mississippi and other NBC affiliates.

      •  

    Wednesday, March 8, 2000

    Tragic Irony: Psychiatrist dies after alleged attack by her daughter: Dr Katherine Thomsen-Hall, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist at UMass Medical School (where I taught until 1994) was allegedly murdered by her 16-year-old daughter Valerie on Sunday night. The girl apparently is in treatment for bipolar disorder; friends of the family are quoted as reporting that there was little more than normal tension between mother and daughter, although the police had been called to their home once previously after an altercation. Dr Thomsen-Hall worked treating the often violent inmates of the Framingham Women's Prison, Massachusetts' only facility for the detention of female convicts. She had given up a thriving private practice and mental health advocacy work in Little Rock to attend a one-year forensic psychiatry fellowship at UMass in 1997, and then decided to remain on the faculty.

    I was impressed by something that receives scant notice in the news story. A friend commented that Valerie had "appeared a little mellow. She told me she was on a new prescription that was supposed to keep her calm.'' One of my ongoing concerns and teaching points in my work is that psychiatrists do not more readily recognize the disinhibiting properties of the benzodiazepine anti-anxiety sedative medications (e.g. clonazepam [Klonopin], diazepam [Valium], alprazolam [Xanax], lorazepam [Ativan]) prescribed with such impunity for agitation, anxiety, sleep, etc. I began to speculate that the new medication Valerie had started on "to calm her" was one of these and that, untested on her, it may have lowered her barriers against acting out her anger. Think of it as akin to becoming uncharacteristically violent when drunk, which happens in a small proportion of drinkers (we psychiatrists have a diagnosis for it: "pathological intoxication"); the effect on the CNS is very similar. I don't suppose we'll ever know in this case...


      •  

    U&lc: Look at the Underside First: Crystal Inks. Bruce Sterling is writing for U&lc, the typography journal of the wonderful ITC font foundry. "U&lc" is "upper and lower case", by the way.

      •  

    Down at the bottom left of the page you'll see this:

    << 5 ? | webloggers | # 5 >>

    I just joined the webloggers webring. You can navigate to other blogs in the ring as follows:




    KEY


  • <<
    - takes you to the previous
    site in the webring


  • ?
    -
    takes you to a random
    site in the webring


  • 5
    -
    shows you the previous
    5
    sites


  • webloggers -
    takes you to the webloggers webring
    page


  • #
    - takes you to a complete list
    of sites in the webring


  • 5
    - shows you the next
    5
    sites


  • >>
    - takes you to the next
    site in the webring


  •   •  

    Do you more appreciate the digest function of this 'blog (telling you what I've read so that you don't have to) or the pointing function (suggesting what might be interesting for you to read)? In other words, should the posts generally be long or short?

      •  

    Deliberations resume in trial of defendant in date rape drug death. Joshua Cole, 19, is accused of slipping gamma-hydroxybutyrate - GHB - into Samantha Reid's glass during a party. She died on Jan. 17, 1999,
    after being taken off of life support. The National Institute on Drug Abuse site on GHB and other club drugs is here.

      •  

    Of course, the defendant could have used the argument from biological imperative. A Natural History of Rape : Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion by Randy Thornhill (University of New Mexico) and Craig T. Palmer (University of Colorado), takes an evolutionary perspective critical of the prevailing view that rape is a crime of violence and power. They suggest that sexual coercion evolved to increase the reproductive fitness of those men who would otherwise be poor competitors as mates, and that it was therefore selected for. The authors suggest that women dress conservatively and that school curriculums teach alternate ways to channel this natural urge. A review by two scientists, Jerry Coyne of Chicago and Andrew Berry of Harvard, in tomorrow's issue of the journal Nature accuses the authors of scientific shabbiness. I agree.

      •  

    New York woman charged after staking claim to thousands in bank error. The woman said she thought the mistaken $700,000 deposit, which occurred because her bank account number was one digit off from a United Nations account, was her winnings in a lottery. Her credit card records failed to substantiate her alleged lottery ticket purchases (Why didn't she report having paid cash??)The deposits were made between February 1998 and October 1999 by the governments of France, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Namibia, Uruguay,
    St. Kitts and Dominica, according to court papers. By the time the error was discovered last fall and the assets in the account frozen, only $450,000 remained. If convicted, she faces a maximum 30-yr sentence and a $1 million fine. (Let's hope some of the missing funds were transferred to her attorney's account as a retainer...) [Nando Times]

      •  

    Mardi Gras ended, leaving New Orleans ankle-deep in trash. Officials plan to weigh the detritus deposited by the estimated 1.5 million revellers to see if it set a record. Tied as it is to the lunar calendar, Mardi Gras fell later than usual this year, and balmy weather encouraged the crowds.

      •  

    There's this scurrilous piece of psychiatric humor I get emailed to me, or psychiatric mailing lists in which I participate, with regularity, likening web use to a mental illness and "diagnosing" it in DSM-IV terms. May not be so scurrilous. Caught in the web: UF/Cincinnati study shows internet addicts suffer from mental illness. Twenty interviewees self-selected because their web use was problematic -- with problems including marital strife or loss, work or school failure, going without sleep, shirking family responsibility, isolation, and consequent social and legal consequences -- were found to have a variety of diagnosable psychiatric problems. "Every study participant's Internet use met established diagnostic criteria for the family of psychiatric
    illnesses known as impulse control disorders, which include kleptomania, a recurrent failure to resist impulses to shoplift, and
    trichotillomania, the recurrent pulling out of one's hair..." Most qualified as well for diagnosis with various other psychiatric disorders including manic depressive disorder, other psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, other impulse control disorders and eating disorders. Participants described spending over 30 hrs./wk. online in such puruits as chatrooms and MUDs. (When you think about it, as internet use becomes more pervasive, people with psychiatric illnesses will of course be a segment of those online. Why would we anticipate that their web use would be any less difficult for them than other spheres of their life? Indeed, the convenience and anonymity of use make it so attractive that pathological web use may become disproportionate.)

      •  

    The BBC reports on Bacteria with a silver lining. "A strain of bacteria that can manufacture
    tiny crystals of silver has been reported
    by Swedish scientists. This skill may
    eventually prove useful to engineers who
    want to fabricate extremely small optical
    and electronic devices."

      •  

    Coincident with the item below about the corporatization of weblogging is this review in today's Slate on The Rise of the Newsportal  by Chris Suellentrop. Discusses six of these, which are essentially political news blogs, right?

      •  

    Jupiter's terrible tides: "Powerful tidal forces from Jupiter have molded two of the solar system's
    most bizarre worlds, fiery Io and icy Europa. Images released this week
    reveal new details of tidal action on the two moons." [from the SpaceScience.com mailserver]

      •  

    The Corporatization of weblogging?? "...will probably be fine
    with many of the thousands of independent Webloggers
    who pioneered the concept. Romenesko says as
    Weblogging becomes more widespread among
    corporations, there's likely to be some resentment from
    the pioneers who see it as an anti-corporate concept.

    Cooper, meanwhile, thinks Weblogs make sense in the
    corporate environment, and suggests that they would be a
    useful feature of company intranets. A Weblog pioneer
    herself, Cooper says that when she announced she would
    be taking the Weblog concept to Star Tribune Online, the
    reaction from the Weblog community was overwhelmingly
    supportive." [E&P]

      •  

    Afraid to Go Outdoors As Crime Spirals
    BOGOTA (Reuters) - Almost three-quarters of Colombians are frightened to go out at night and most avoid talking to strangers because
    of a rising wave of violent crime, a poll published on Sunday suggested.

      •  

    ``It just spoils the fun of it,''
    said a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the Wall Street Journal's push to do a political-style poll of Academy members to forecast the Oscar winners. ``The Academy Awards are important to the people who win, and they're important to the
    people who don't win, but it's not like electing a president, and part of the fun of it is waiting until they open the envelopes to see
    who wins.''

      •  

    Annals of Depravity: 84-Year-Old Nailed into Room for more than a year. {APB}

      •  

    Tuesday, March 7, 2000

    Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley outline a potentially elegant way to solve the problem of the broken hyperlink.

      •  

    An archive of New Yorker articles by Malcolm Gladwell, author of the recent book The Tipping Point. Without even being aware until recently of who this author is, I realize scanning the list of articles in this collection that it has been his writing that has recently been the most compelling in my intermittnet relationship with the New Yorker. Among other topics, he writes about: fads, "spin", public opinion and mass psychology, "who decides what's cool", the "six degrees of separation", the Belgian Coca Cola hysteria, whether parenting matters... I'm sure you'll find something you'll want to read. Update: summary of critics' opinions about The Tipping Point here, from Slate.

      •  

    Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections,
    images and information from one of the world's largest collection of well-preserved, sectioned and stained brains of over 100 different species of mammals (including humans) representing 17 mammalian orders.

      •  

    "The American Museum of Natural History
    yesterday bluntly refused to give back a
    10,000-year-old, 15-ton meteorite to the Oregon
    Indian tribes who say their ancestors once treated the
    behemoth as a sacred object.

    In papers filed in Manhattan federal court to block
    the Indians' claim to the "Willamette Meteorite" --
    one of the museum's oldest treasures and a
    centerpiece of its renovated planetarium -- the
    museum argued the extraterrestrial isn't covered by
    federal law that allows Indians to "repatriate" some
    cultural items." [New York Post]

      •  

    Banned in Turkey:
    The Turkish government confiscated all available copies of Jonathan Ames’ novel The Extra Man last week, and
    will try both his translator, Fatih Ozguven, and his publisher in Istanbul, Iletisim, on charges that the book is
    "corrupt and harmful to the morality of Turkish readers," according to a fax Ames’ international rights agent
    Rosalie Siegel received from Istanbul. The book had been out a few months, and had been submitted to
    government censors for approval before publishing, as is required in Turkey. [New York Press]

      •  

    Before he died, "Peanuts" creator Charles M. Schultz told his
    family he didn't want anyone else drawing his strip, and that
    animated shows based on the characters should end as well. But
    when Schultz began the strip in the 1950s cartoonists routinely
    gave up their copyrights to distributors. United Media owns the
    "Peanuts" copyright and it got 61 percent of its $84.9 million in
    1998 revenues from the comics, TV shows and licensing deals.
    Think they'll let the franchise go dark? [SF Examiner]

      •  

    This TV show has been criticized for offending human dignity; what else is new on television?

      •  

    New Meaning of "Shop 'til You Drop"

      •  

    Think vitamin therapy is innocent?[Reuters]

      •  

    Monday, March 6, 2000

    Arianna S. Huffington remixes the Slate 60 list of top philanthropists, " Last June, I criticized "The Slate 60" for treating every philanthropic dollar the same. I was appalled to find the Slate 60 citation that winemaker Robert G. Mondavi had dropped $20 million on the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in his hometown of Napa, Calif., only a click away from the news that Ron Burkle, Ted Fortsmann, and John Walton gave $30 million to the Children's Scholarship Fund for low-income children. This overemphasis on raw dollars implies some sort of equivalence between these acts of generosity, when we know the Mondavi gift shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as the one from Burkle et al. One gift advances the giver's personal interests, the other addresses a pressing social need. "

      •  

    Aurora Alert for northern US and Canada. "Residents of Canada and the northern United States should be on the alert for aurora borealis during the night of March 5 and morning of March 6. The best time to view aurorae is usually around local midnight. Tonight's new moon will make even faint activity easy to see. Early on March 5, 2000, the interplanetary magnetic field measured by NASA's ACE spacecraft developed a significant southward-directed component. This condition often means that solar wind plasma can penetrate Earth's magnetosphere and trigger aurorae. ...If this high level of activity continues, auroral displays could be visible as far south as the Great Lakes states and in New England."

      •  

    Sunday, March 5, 2000

    Where's George? Interesting idea, not sure if it will work, but I tried it. You go to this site, enter the serial number of one or more bills of any denomination in your pocket, and write the URL of the site on the bill. If anyone who subsequently receives the bill notices the URL, logs on and enters their location, you're notified by email and can track the meanderings of the currency. They report that they're tracking over $2,000,000 in currency entered by over 175,000 registrants.

      •  

    Doubleclick's retreat from plans to tie personal data to now-anonymous web cookies is A Turning Point for E-Privacy, says Wired.

      •  

    Get rid of that babyfat by age two or else:
    "Children as young as ages 2 to 5 can experience elevated blood
    pressure due to obesity, study results suggest. The elevated pressure may be a harbinger of obesity-related
    health problems later in life, such as heart disease..."

      •  

    Adult victims of domestic violence may suffer from a version of "shaken baby syndrome", according to the discussion in a case report from British emergency medicine physicians. Rapid recognition is key in this potentially deadly and recurrent manifestation of abuse.

      •  

    Friends of the late blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins are searching for the 57 children he's pretty sure he fathered but couldn't keep track of.

      •  

    England ugly and grey, say tourist guides. I'm going, nontheless.

      •  

    ebpd - The ebay password daemon by Richard Fromm: "This script sniffs traffic on the network watching for ebay userids and passwords. This is only possible because (as of this writing), ebay does not encrypt passwords -- they are sent in the clear. It is hoped that the writing and dissemination of this program causes this situation to change. (Repeated attempts at resolution of the situation through other means, prior to the posting of this script, failed.). This isn't rocket science. I don't pretend to have discovered anything fundamental or new here. It's a simple little script that countless
    other people could have written. The pitfalls of sending passwords in the clear have been recognized for many years. The only surprising
    thing is that too many people still don't take security seriously and continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again."
    [via Phil Agre]

      •  

    Report on the Privacy Policies and Practices of Health Web Sites from the Health Privacy Project at Georgetown University: "Although health Web sites now provide a wide range of clinical and diagnostic information; opportunities to purchase products and services; interactions among consumers, patients, and health care professionals; and the capability to build a personalized health record, they have not matured enough to guarantee the quality of the information, protect consumers from product fraud or inappropriate prescribing, or guarantee the privacy of individuals' information. This last point is the subject of this report. Health care Web sites have access to an unprecedented amount of personal information about consumers. What are their policies about the privacy of that information? How easily can consumers find and understand them? Do they afford sufficient protection? And do the actual practices of the health sites reflect their stated policies?" [via Phil Agre]

      •  

    Saturday, March 4, 2000

    ZDNet: News: Intuit scrambles to plug Quicken leaks
    "A design quirk in some e-commerce Web sites allows
    sensitive information that consumers provide about their
    personal habits, tastes or finances to be attached to Web
    page location codes used by third parties such as
    ad-placement companies. In the case of Intuit (Nasdaq:
    INTU), both a mortgage calculator and a
    credit-assessment feature on its Quicken site collect
    information from customers regarding income, assets and
    debt, and then send the data to DoubleClick Inc.
    (Nasdaq: DCLK), a company that sells and places
    advertising on Web sites. DoubleClick says it doesn't
    keep any of the data it receives."

      •  


    From BBC News: Satellite snaps a mighty sandstorm The satellite photo shows a giant sandstorm the size of Spain, off the west African coast. "Such storms, combined with rising warm air,
    can lift dust 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) above
    the desert and then out over the Atlantic. The
    dust can reach right across the ocean to the
    Caribbean where local weather forecasters
    sometimes have to issue air pollution alerts."

      •  

    From Wired: A Ralph Nader Plan That 'Sucks'

      •  

    Join me here?


      •  

    Friday, March 3, 2000

    From CNN.com: A timeline of mass shootings in the U.S., prompted by the latest killing rampage by a Philadelphia man reportedly motivated by racial hatred.

      •  

    From CNN.com: US - Death row inmate whose lawyer slept at trial to stay in jail. Calvin Burdine's murder conviction had been thrown out because his lawyer had allegedly slept through long segments of his trial. The state of Texas missed a deadline to file an appeal and on Wednesday a federal judge ordered him released. The Texas AG called the missed deadline for a new trial a "regrettable mistake." But he said the error does not justify "releasing a convicted murderer." Two days later, an appeals court has agreed and is blocking his release. Texas Gov. George W. Bush says, "He's a really violent person. I hope he gets retried soon."

      •  

    Consider Mr. Death, a fascinating documentary by Errol Morris and its subject Fred Leuchter Jr. Leuchter, an engineer from Malden, Mass., was a self-taught expert on methods of execution and a consultant to a variety of states with the death penalty. In 1988, he was commissioned by Ernst Zündel, a neo-Nazi being prosecuted in a highly-publicized trial in Canada for publishing literature claiming that the Holocaust had never occurred, to conduct a forensic investigation into the Nazi use of poison gas in the WWII death camps. He claimed to have "proven" that the Holocaust had never happened by failing to find traces of poisonous substances in brick and mortar samples he had obtained illegally from the walls of the Auschwitz gas chambers. "The Leuchter Report is out there in dozens of languages, and I would dare say in millions of copies. We will not go down in history as being a nation of genocidal maniacs. We will not. We can, with historical truth, detoxify a poisoned planet," said Zündel.


    And while we're on the subject of Holocaust deniers, Salon updates us on British author and Hitler apologist David Irving's libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, the Emory University professor of history who has called Irving "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial." Irving argues on his own behalf and the presiding judge has given him considerable leeway in presenting his case so as not to present the appearance of putting a person with no legal experience at a disadvantage. Irving thus gets massive exposure for his insidious arguments. To assist Lipstadt in her case, the Israeli government this week decided to release over 600 pages of Adolph Eichmann's memoirs. Holocaust survivors attending the trial to bear witness are concerned about how much easier it will be for such Hitler apologists to plant seeds of doubt after the last survivors of the Final Solution are gone.


      •  

    From Wired: "France Agog, Aghast Over Echelon", the US- and UK-run surveillance network that can allegedly intercept email, faxes, and phone conversations. This article is full of links to extensive earlier coverage of the Echelon phenomenon, which is becoming a major acute irritant to chronically tense Anglo-French relations.

      •  

    Kenyon College examines the rave scene: electronic dance music, its various sub-genres and styles. "As we dance into the next millennium, we must not forget our past. It is my hope that ravers, DJ's, music critics, students, and anyone else interested in electronic dance music will be able to use this site to learn more about the sounds and subcultures that have provided the style and soundtrack to the end of the 20th century."

      •  




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