February 28, 2005

More (wine) tasting notes

Opolo Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA
These folks, who I had never heard of before, had quite a spread. At least one of the owners (moustache) was present at the show. I tasted late on Saturday and they were almost out of wines and concerned about what they would do Sunday. Anyway...
Summit Creek Zin, 2003, $18, Not to my taste, a touch of turpentine, along with earthy flavors.
Mountain Zin, 2003, $24, Wow! It's 16% alcohol, so you get a noseful of that, plus the aromas of a very intense Zinfindel. An impressive piece of work. What would you eat with it? Darned if I know. (There were some Elk dealers over in the Minnesota Foods section...)
Syrah, 2001, $24, Okay, that's more like it. A complex wine, very tasty, a little bit of fruit, the slightest touch of spice, and a leathery aftertaste. Maybe the Zins were tasted too young?
Pinot Noir, 2002, $24, Reminded me a lot of the "Blue Moon" Pinot Noir (see review below). Very good, but perhaps not the best bargain.
Rousanne and Viognier, 2003, $20 and $22 respectively, I can't mentally separate the two of them. Lots of fruit in both of them, but quite a bit of alcohol as well. I must be out of touch, I was remembering yeasts finishing up around 14-15% and now I'm seeing wines 1-2% higher than that in alcohol.

Bridgeview Vineyards
The "Blue Moon" folks. I've had their Cab/Merlot and Pinot Noir before.
Riesling, 2004, $9, A bit sweet, but with genuine fruit flavor. This summer I might be tempted.
Merlot, 2001, $9, Hmmm...might have been better a year or two ago? Not all that complex. Tastes like Merlot. I'd drink it, but it's nothing special.
Cab/Merlot, 2002, $10, This is better. A nice blend. A little bit of smoke, a little bit of fruit, and a fair amount of tannin.
Pinot Noir, 2002, $15, Must be the movie surcharge. Anyway, a very good wine, I liked it as much as a number of more expensive Pinots (though not as good as those fine Oregon Pinots at World Class Wines).

Random selections
Rosemount Diamond Label Chardonnay, 2004, $10, Everything that's good about chardonnay, dry yet fruity, subtle yet with aftertaste, but no killer dose of oak! Yay!

Minnestalgia Winery, Minnesota wines, I tried the honey wine and the loganberry wine. It's cool that there is wine made in Minnesota, but I found these to be non-essential. Sorry.

Little Penguin, missed their booth, but the Shiraz is drinkable and a good deal I think. Plus the label is most excellent.

Rancho Zabaco, Dancing Bull Zin 2003, Sonoma Heritage Zines Zin 2003, and Dry Creek Valley Reserve 2001, Sometimes I think the winemakers go too far in making different wines. How many wines does Chateau Margaux put out each year? (Okay, it's more than one, but I think they put out their name wine and second line, Pavillion Rouge, and that's it.) Anyway, the 2003s were great, huge Zins, fruit, tabacco, leather, and smoke. They did taste a bit different, but I don't remember the distinctions. The 2001, no surprise, was a bit mellower, but more complex in flavor. Good stuff!

Okay...that looks like all that I can piece together. Enjoy!

Posted by duver001 at 8:35 PM

Tasting notes from the Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience (26 February 2005)

Well, I'd have to admit that the food part of the show exceeded my expectations, and the wine part was maybe a little disappointing. Not very disappointing mind you, but not thrilling. The wine and beer went to my head so I didn't write much down during the show, but did some writing when I got home. Here are the notes:

Mondavi Booth
Columbia Gewurztraminer, 2003, $10, Not as spicy as I'd like a 'traminer to be, but not appalling sweet either. Pretty good summer wine.
Columbia "Red Willow" Syrah, 2001, $25, Good, solid wine with a bit of tobacco aftertaste. I only saw the price after thinking that I would be willing to buy some. Maybe a bit too pricey for the taste.
Mondavi Napa Cab, 2001, $25, A big wine. Excellent wine but it doesn't really stand out as much as it should for the price.
Mondavi Napa Pinot Noir, 2001, $22, An excellent piece of work, long aftertaste, wonderful thick wine. More to my taste than the cab.

World Class Wines (Saturday they were doing Spain and Pacific NW)
Finca Antigua Tempranillo, La Mancha, 2002, $13, Vino of La Mancha I suppose. Tempranillo seems to be undergoing some hipness these days. This was an excellent, rustic wine. If tasted blind I would have said "typical Sicilian wine." Good stuff.
Conde de Valdemar Crianza, Rioja, 2000, $15, Good Rioja?!? Excellent wine and I'm not sure that I've had any well-aged Rioja before. A wine-type that I associate with sangria rather than with a good-drinking wine to go with, perhaps a tomato-based pasta dish? Reminds me of well-aged Sangiovese. I'd buy it.
Firesteed Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2002, $14
Benton Lane Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2001, $22
Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $50, A nice parallel tasting of these Oregon Pinots. Pinot seems to be pretty hot these days (am told that it's partly to do with the Sideways movie) and Oregon Pinots have been doing very well over the last few years. Maybe too well in that prices have been allowed to run high without any controls. The Firesteed nicely showed the fruit, but not a lot of complexity. The Benton Lane was more complex but had a little bit of a cardboard aftertaste. Not thrilling to me. The Domaine...blah...blah...blah was quite complex, a little bit of fruit, a little oak, a little tobacco, a little fruit (maybe peach?). A great wine. Not sure exactly what I'd eat with it. Maybe a cheese course or similar. But $50?

More to come later...

Posted by duver001 at 3:28 PM

Fossett's latest adventure

Around the world in 80 hours, unrefueled, by jet.

Posted by duver001 at 2:13 PM

February 25, 2005

Engrish: Continued weirdness in graduate admission essays

"I hate girls when I was in crotch-less panties."

"I was a hardcore fan of AL PACINO."

"Nothing filled my hollow chest ever."

"Before the suffer-more year, it was recorded as the DARK AGE in my life."

All from the same essay even!

Posted by duver001 at 7:38 PM

Annoying facts

Taken from the (oddly) rather tepid "No. 1?" article in the Minneapolis City Pages. As in, the US is #1 in which ways? Some of the items are so apalling as to demand repeating though. (Many of the others in the article reflect more on the author than the status of the US, in my opinion.)

  • Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

  • Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).

  • Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).

  • The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).

  • Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.

  • As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).

  • "Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (Rifkin, The European Dream, p.28).

Posted by duver001 at 7:21 AM

February 24, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson Appreciation Day

Shotgun Golf! The final article...

And the archive of his ESPN work.

"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die" — HST

They might just shot his (cremated) remains from a cannon. Fireworks!

HST on Dubya.

Although HST's work is done, others take up the slack. Jewish journalist infiltrating a neo-nazi hate group? That meets at Applebee's? Yup, hilarity ensues. Gonzo continues. Film at 11.

Will Duke pass away now? Go not quietly into the night unless you have a huge wad of case, night-vision goggles, and a drug-filled date with a pair of Madonna look-alikes.

Nixon always brought out the best in HST. Especially the RN Obit.

From the Doonesbury FAQ:

Q: What kind of relationship, if any, does Mr. Trudeau have with Hunter S. Thompson? --H. Delano R., Long Beach, CA

A: Non-existent. The two have never met, although there was a brief but acrimonious exchange of letters in the mid-70s. Since that time, Thompson has uttered numerous public threats against Trudeau's person, threats Trudeau takes seriously.

There are a pathetically large number of HST fan site out on the web, but some of them have really good content. Like this one. Well, mainly this one.

Bill Murray met Hunter S. Thompson in the late 70's, prior to portraying him in "Where the Buffalo Roam." He was driving a car back from the coast for Lorne Michaels (I believe) and met Thompson in Las Vegas.

They were sitting around a pool. Murray got tied to a chair (horsing around) and was thrown in the pool. He figured, no sweat, he could stand to his full height (6'1") and extricate himself from the socks that tied him to the chair. One thing though, when you are strapped in a chair, you are in a seated position and not able to extend to your full height. After momentary panic by the ever cool Bill, Thompson saw that Mr. Murray was floundering and hauled him out.

(This story was broadcast on "Focus with Bill Murray" hosted by critic Elvis Mitchell, and repeated last year by Bill Murray at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Film Festival devoted to him, 4/13/04). On the GettyWire Image page if you type in Bill Murray and scroll to all images within 12 months, and go back to April 13, 2004, you will see the photographs of the re-creation.

MsGeek.org thoughts on HST's death.

Longer quotes and stuff below...

"Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful." - HST, Nixon Obit

No relevance whatsoever for America. In 2005. Under the Dubya-crowd.

"This talk of sincerity, I confess, fatigues me. If the fellow was sincere, then so was P. T. Barnum. The word is disgraced and degraded by such uses. He was, in fact, a charlatan, a mountebank, a zany without sense or dignity. His career brought him into contact with the first men of his time; he preferred the company of rustic ignoramuses. It was hard to believe, watching him in Dayton, that he had traveled, that he had been received in civilized societies, that he had been a high officer of state. He seemed only a poor clod like those around him, deluded by a childish theology, full of an almost pathological hatred of all learning, all human dignity, all beauty, all fine and noble things. He was a peasant come home to the barnyard. Imagine a gentleman, and you have imagined everything that he was not. What animated him from end to end of his grotesque career was simply ambition — the ambition of a common man to get his hand upon the collar of his superiors, or failing that, to get his thumb into their eyes. He was born with a roaring voice, and it had the trick of inflaming half-wits. His whole career was devoted to raising those half-wits against their betters, that he himself might shine." - H. L. Mencken, on William Jennings Bryon (not Dubya believe it or not)
Posted by duver001 at 2:13 PM

Anything into oil...

"If a 175-pound man fell into one end , he would come out the other end as 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water. While no one plans to put people into a thermal depolymerization machine, an intimate human creation could become a prime feedstock." Read all about it here.

Keeping in mind Negroponte's work with the Central American death squads and his new promotion, let's not mention the person into oil business again, okay?

Posted by duver001 at 1:31 PM

While we once again ignore the horror: Genocide in the Sudan

East Timor? Nope, the Indonesians were our friends. Cambodia? Bad commies, but what could we do? Rwanda? Just Africans killing each other. Bosnia? A European problem. The Congo? Which one? Good thing that we've been preventing genocides since learning the whole "never forget" lesson.

The Sudan.

Posted by duver001 at 1:25 PM

Names of children

A very cool little web toy which plots name popularity as a function of decade this past century in the US. There must be a bunch of stories in there...the fall of anne and annette, the fall and resurrection of Annabel (and various spellings), the rise of elena and z names!

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Posted by duver001 at 12:56 PM

February 23, 2005

Here a galaxy, there a galaxy, where a galaxy?

Looks like a dark-matter only galaxy! Pretty cool.

Posted by duver001 at 6:32 PM

February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson pulls a Hemingway

I had sort of figured that Dr. Thompson would go more quietly, and follow William S. Burroughs into aged crankiness. Nope, shot himself instead. NYTs obit. The Guardian notes his oncoming beatification and links to proto-blogs. And then the comments degenerate from there. A bland AFB obit. The SF Chronicle has a bit better one.

Guess he didn't want to see the rest of Dubya's IInd.

Posted by duver001 at 2:27 PM

February 20, 2005

Strip club artwork

Make a silly law, and someone will figure out a silly way around it. Still, the novelty of making a strip club into an art class is quite profound. Or something like it.

Posted by duver001 at 8:41 PM

February 18, 2005

George Orwell on nuclear terror

The newspapers have published numerous diagrams, not very helpful to the average man, of protons and neutrons doing their stuff, and there has been much reiteration of the useless statement that the bomb 'ought to be put under international control.' But curiously little has been said, at any rate in print, about the question that is of most urgent interest to all of us namely: 'How difficult are these things to manufacture?...

Had the atomic bomb turned out to be something as cheap and easily manufactured as a bicycle or an alarm clock, it might well have plunged us back into barbarism, but it might, on the other hand, have meant the end of national sovereignty and of the highly-centralized police state. If, as seems to be the case, it is a rare and costly object as difficult to produce as a battleship, it is likelier to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging indefinitely a 'peace that is no peace.'

-- George Orwell, "You and the Atomic Bomb," October 19, 1945

Posted by duver001 at 4:11 PM

February 17, 2005

CNN nuclear plant pictures...was that Iran or North Korea?

Turns out that the photos of the Iranian and North Korean reactors are the same picture. Seems the government sources of the pictures aren't sure where this reactor is. The replacement picture has snow, so that probably is from Idaho or North Korea.

Posted by duver001 at 7:41 PM

Do the math

A Bush-plan Social Security calculator. Figure out how much better you'll make out once the Bushites spend an extra $4.5 trillion on SS. Oh, you'll lose money? What a surprise!

Posted by duver001 at 7:36 PM

February 16, 2005

Mercury isn't as dangerous as people say says the power industry, I mean Congress

Bush's EPA will be raising limits on mercury in the environment. To pave the way, industry lobbyists had Congress read their theories into the Congressional Record.

Posted by duver001 at 6:59 PM

Emo? Emo Philips?

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious?" He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist" "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off. (Emo Philips)

Posted by duver001 at 3:14 PM

Grad admission files (Engrish and other disasters)

Having been on the graduate admissions committee in Physics for, oh I guess it's been four year or maybe five now, I've come across a good collection of Engrish submissions and other unfortunate occurances. Fortunately, I have written some of them down, so I can share the warmth, share the love, with all. (Actually, technically some of these, including the first one, are not Engrish, but rather are bizarre turns of phrase which probably are due to lack of familarity with English, or lack of familarity with writing in English.) Obviously these are totally anonymized and no small furry animals were harmed in the making of this post.

  • "When I was seven I was at the beach. I looked up and saw a flight of seagulls. Ever since then I've wanted to be a solid-state physicist." Maybe aerospace engineer and I'll buy it.
  • From a letter of recommendation, "He said that he wanted to conduct pathfind in lately science." I'll assume that that is a good thing.
  • From another letter (for the same candidate, "All of these reflected his strong ability to be a young man with the thought of team working and cooperation working."
  • "...starting his experiment as early as 9:30." Yeah, that sells the candidate pretty well.
  • From a personal statement, "Although I never exert my full strength for grades and ranks in any course." Thanks Bruce Banner for not harming your course.
  • Mentioning that you want to work with faculty members who have passed away is generally considered a good sign that you haven't looked at the website recently. "Mostly I would work with [deceased]."
  • "Due to exempting to study from 'Master English', I could have to study more time and energy other special courses." Ooops!
  • Sample courses taken: Military art theory, Cultivation of ethnics (that one scares me quite a bit), Culture of USA (barely passed), Plutonomy, Moral Accomplishment for Students, Mao Zedong Thoughts (quite a spread in grades there), Special Physical Education (the semester after failing Mao's Thoughts)...
  • "Foreign langue: English, excellent profish" Me, I'm anti-fish, I like sashimi.
  • Continuing the seagull bit, here's student did research work on "Sulidae Gannets and Boobies." Those would be seabirds I'm pretty sure. Though I fully support mid-career transitions.
  • "My life belongs to Condensed-Matter Physics." Run while you can!
  • "In life I want to be living with Theoretical Solid State Physics like Superconducting." Don't we all?
  • Remove the "admissionsletter.com" advertisement from the bottom! We know that you bought the essay, but we would like some mystery in life to remain.
  • When the letters of recommendation come from multiple institutions, do use different letterhead for each institution.

    Posted by duver001 at 12:10 PM
  • February 15, 2005

    Sometimes I miss Chicago

    Kasmir S. Pulaski Day - Big Black

    Saw something go wrong today when along, when a car went by
    Grey car blew up today when along, when a car went by
    Never thought it really happened that way
    Never thought it really happened that way
    Never thought it really happened that way
    Drew a rod and they blew him away
    Down on the south side, out on Pulaski
    There were pieces of a man all over the skyway
    Well I suffered real bad today, just like in the movies
    Why did mm get an mm mm like that?
    I even felt a little sick
    I never thought it really happened that way
    I never thought it really happened that way
    I wouldn't want to check out in that way
    Drew a rod and they blew him away
    There were pieces of a man all over the skyway
    There were pieces of a man
    mm mm in the ashtray
    What are you trying to prove now, Benny?
    What are you trying to call me, Benny?
    Better stay out of it, Benny
    Stay out of my wayski

    Mayor Daley Observes Pulaski

    by City News Writer Tiffani Helberg

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, March 7, 2000 (CN)--While Chicago city offices were closed Monday Mayor Richard Daley took time to officially celebrate a polish leader. Daley visited the Polish Museum of America in honor of Kasmir Pulaski. Pulaski died in the revolution while fighting as a military officer.

    Daley spoke about the importance of remembering diversity. He said, “We have to teach our children and grandchildren, not only about Kasmir Pulaski, but about the other heroes that really have made this country.”

    Posted by duver001 at 8:06 PM

    Celebrity gossip, sounds true!

    From Big Wacko.

    Swinging Mick Jagger
    New York--He's a legend, he's got big lips, and he likes to swing in Central Park. No, we don't mean something of a sexual nature, we mean he actually likes to swing back and forth on a kid's swingset.

    Our Big Apple source, Suzi Cannarozzi, says she's seen Mick Jagger "Hogging the children's swings for over an hour, just going back and forth, singing at the top of his lungs." Suzi says the kids seem to enjoy watching Mr. Rolling Stone frolicking in his satin red bellbottoms, but they wish he'd move over to the merry-go-round so they could have a shot at the swings.

    One little five-year-old became so impatient he dumped a rainbow snowcone right on top of Mr. Jagger's head. Mick merely smiled and licked off the dribbling juice with his very handy tongue.

    Posted by duver001 at 3:55 PM

    Scott Ritter on NMD

    Scott Ritter on NMD. Though he is approaching it mostly from a Russian-watching perspective, commenting on the SS-27 which is laser-hardened, solid-fueled, and carries decoys. The North Korean rocket might be very different.

    The "missile defense" system, which has mostly been a corporate welfare system, has any number of other problems. Including not working. Not making a whole lot of sense, and fueling an arms race. Take a look at the APS report on boost intercept missile defense as well.

    Posted by duver001 at 3:33 PM

    Russia vs. Soros

    I haven't linked MosNews lately, but Soros's statements on the loss of Russian democracy are pretty strong. He's advocating removing Russian from the G-8 and supporting the new Serbian, Georgian, and Ukrainian "revolutionary" governments.

    Posted by duver001 at 9:50 AM

    February 14, 2005

    The changing taste of American men, as revealed by Playboy

    Centerfolds, averaged together by decade. 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Thanks to Ryan for bringing this to my attention.

    Posted by duver001 at 5:27 PM

    No dirty gold

    For Valentine's Day, a campaign to remind folks of how dirty the whole gold mining enterprise is. The focus was mostly on the environment, but a lot of the arguments about the social and economic impacts of mining in the 3rd world could also be made. Of course, it's nowhere near as dirty politically as the bloody African diamond enterprise.

    P.S. The article notes that Wal-Mart is one of the three largest (maybe largest?) gold dealers in the U.S. Kinda scary!

    Posted by duver001 at 11:08 AM

    Light and dark for Valentine's Day

    The "parents" of the Tsunami survivor "baby 81" are the parents.

    "Already the foreboding sky grows dark and silent!" -Renzo Novatore Arcola

    "...this time however I come as the victorious Dionysus, who will turn the world into a holiday...Not that I have much time..." -Nietzsche (from his last "insane" letter to Cosima Wagner)

    (It came from research, I swear!)

    Posted by duver001 at 6:33 AM

    Happy Valentine's Day

    It's the 75th anniversary of the publishing of The Maltese Falcon. No more would detectives have to merely cope with curare, dinner parties, and socialites with antisocial tendancies. "She tried to sit on my lap while I was standing up."

    Posted by duver001 at 5:13 AM

    February 13, 2005

    Southern Poverty Law Center on the Washington Times

    Favored by Republican presidents, that good old mix of Sun Myung Moon and white supremacists. Mix in a hatred of immigrants (kinda weird considering), worship of the British National Alliance, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Holocaust Revisionists, and generally dodgy characters.

    Not to mention the fnords.

    Posted by duver001 at 6:00 PM

    Plame Leak Timeline

    Follow the twists of turns of Karl Rove and his legion of paid hacks. All because someone told the truth about one of the Bush lies about the war with Iraq...

    A not-work-safe link to more information about Jeff Gannon's gay prostitute by day/white house shill by night jobs.

    Posted by duver001 at 5:53 PM

    Cabinet magazine

    I thought I was the only person who had heard of them! Anyway, there's a New York Times article that just came out. Very positive. Makes me realize that I might just have missed my calling... You can check the magazine out online as well.

    Some of their great links include:
    The infinite regression of cats.
    The Hand Up Project: Helping hermit crabs.
    Computer paradigms by Ted. Expressed as one liners.

  • A history of airborne propaganda.

    Posted by duver001 at 5:35 PM
  • February 12, 2005

    Five people hospitalized...

    ...at the opening of a new Ikea in England. People were almost killed, for cheap sofas.

    Posted by duver001 at 8:11 PM

    The missing Los Alamos hard drives

    Never existed. A $5.8 million fine. People fired. Disciplined. A witch hunt. Turns out that the "missing" hard drives never existed so they probably weren't actually missing. And let's not even talk about the Wen Ho Lee debacle.

    Posted by duver001 at 6:03 PM

    February 11, 2005

    Library in a town with a population of one

    She runs the tavern/restaurant and manages the five thousand volume library. Sometimes I can be a sucker for the human interest story. Especially late on a Friday afternoon/evening at work. Maybe I should go home soon, or go out.

    Posted by duver001 at 7:32 PM

    Rumsfeld in Iraq

    Posted by duver001 at 11:27 AM

    The science-humanities divide, carefully described, by The Onion

    Snow's two cultures, for Valentine's Day.

    Posted by duver001 at 11:19 AM

    Arthur Miller Obit

    Arthur Miller is more important than just his best known plays "Death of a Salesman" (which I never cared a whole lot for...not sure why) and "The Crucible" (that mandatory early high school play, how obvious can we be in comparing the witch hunts of Salem to the witch hunts of McCarthy?). It seems to me that he represents in many ways a canonical 1900s man---put himself through college working as a loader and shipping clerk, his first play failed on Broadway, he was married to Marilyn Monroe ("To have survived, she would have had to be either more cynical or even further from reality than she was," he wrote. "Instead, she was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes.") for five years, never stopped writing, and traveled the world seeing his plays performed and meeting people. What more could one ask for? Marilyn, though she was a self-destructive nut, success with art, a long life, humble upbringing, everything that we're told is part of an American success story. AFP announcement. BBC Obit.

    Posted by duver001 at 10:46 AM

    February 10, 2005

    Japanese sex manual

    Taken from a blog, so I'd exercise caution... Ah, heck, it's just funny.

    See also his Weird Tokyo Guide. The esperanto shop, noise cds, punk venues, 20000Volts... Man, I miss Tokyo sometimes!

    Posted by duver001 at 7:59 PM

    Fake reporter, with a fake name, reporting for a fake new organization outed

    In more than one way... Gay-porn purveyor by night, conservative "reporter" for "Talon News" by day. And maybe even involved in the Plame Affair.

    Will this news even last a week? Note that he had white house passes with his fake name on it even though there's a Secret Service background check. Looks like just another paid shill for the White House. Even the NY Daily News coverage is pretty funny.

    Just remember, the Republican leadership have no moral sensibilities at all. They killed a hundred thousand Iraqis just so their cronies could profit. Your life and death mean less to them than the setting on their office thermostat.

    They will do anything they think they can get away with, and at the moment, they own the government. The only hope we have is that they have managed to alienate the military to the point where they can't get support for a coup. - Jimmy Havok

    Posted by duver001 at 7:39 PM

    Why digital music players may not be for everyone

    Don't eat the iPod!

    Posted by duver001 at 7:21 PM

    February 9, 2005

    Deep Throat speculation renewed

    You can check out the discussions on plastic.com or look at some news stories pointing to Bush Senior as the Deep Throat. More speculation can be found on Wikipedia along with the mention that Deep Throat is sick. William Rehnquist is an interesting possibility as well---very sick, assistant attorney general under Mitchell and then put up for the SCOTUS by Dick in 1971. That would make for a complicated story...

    Posted by duver001 at 3:32 PM

    89.3 FM

    Minnesota Public Radio's newest station, 89.3FM "The Current" (huh? why does it have to have a lame name?), seems to have addressed the need of a particular demographic. That would be white, both male & female, in their mid-30s.

    Off of the webpages there are discussion forums on the radio station, on the music, and general bitching. This demographic does like to criticize! But this town used to be a Clear Channel town, though Radio K is for ever, and this is a huge step in the right direction. Will public radio listeners support it? Will the Morning Show play less polka? Will our demographic accept advertising-free music?

    Jim Walsh asks us to not nit-pick about the deatils. At the radio station, and maybe other places as well. Still, bringing up Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is like bringing a knife to a pillow fight.

    A couple of sample playlists from the last couple of days are in the extended entry if you're interested.

    Six hours of 89.3FM on the afternoon of the 8th of February.

    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    Von Bondies - Poison Ivy
    Beastie Boys - Jimmy James
    Earth, Wind & Fire - Serpentine Fire
    Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots
    !!! - Hello, Is This Thing On?
    The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes
    Depeche Mode - Stripped
    The Futureheads - Hounds Of Love
    Tegan & Sara - I Won't Be Left
    Mojave 3 - Love Songs on the Radio

    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Robyn Hitchcock 'N' The Egyptians - Madonna And The Wasps
    DeVotchKa - viens avec moi
    Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Hard Life
    Robert Johnson - Kindhearted Woman Blues
    The Black Keys - All Hands Against His Own
    Gomez - Silence
    The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
    Sam Cooke - For Sentimental Reasons
    Atmosphere - @ It Again
    Run Westy Run - Dungarees
    The Good Life - Lovers Need Lawyers
    R.E.M. - Shaking Through
    Rilo Kiley - Love and War (11/11/46)
    Lemon Jelly - '88 aka Come Down On Me
    Goldfrapp - Lovely Head

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Built To Spill - Center Of The Universe
    Balloon Guy - Incidentally
    Magnet - Nothing Hurts Now
    New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
    Arcade Fire - Neighborhood 1 Tunnels
    Flogging Molly - Screaming At The Wailing Wall
    Frank Black - Men In Black
    Little Walter - Juke
    Radiohead - No Surprises
    The Wonsers - Mess
    The Good Life - Album Of The Year
    The Cardigans - Lovefool
    Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Heart Problems
    Kings of Convenience - Homesick
    Yo la tengo - From a motel 6

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Old 97's - Murder Or A Heart Attack
    Pete Yorn - I Feel Good Again
    Soul Coughing - Rolling
    Otis Rush - So Many Roads
    Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love Is Blind
    Devendra Banhart - Water May Walk
    The Jayhawks - Blue
    Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat
    The Twilight Singers - Please Stay (Once You Go Away)
    The Hangups - Jump Start
    Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die
    PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
    Hem - Redwing
    Jolie Holland - Goodbye California
    Elliott Smith - Ballad of Big Nothing

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Tom Waits - How's It Gonna End
    The Specials - Gangsters
    Olympic Hopefuls - Holiday
    The Shins - Caring Is Creepy
    Air - All I Need
    The Penguins - Earth Angel
    Blur - Tender
    Sondre Lerche - The More I See You
    Magnetic Fields - I Looked All Over Town
    Moby - Honey
    Joseph Arthur - Wasted
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Easy Money
    Cake - Daria

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Nico - All Tomorrow's Parties
    Autolux - Here Comes Everybody
    Cat Power - Free
    Low - California
    The Dismemberment Plan - Spider_in_the_Snow
    Hank Williams - Jambalaya On The Bayou
    Guided By Voices - Chasing Heather Crazy
    Dan Israel - Brings you Back
    Martin Devaney - Nobody Writes Letters Anymore
    The Smiths - Shoplifters Of The World
    Interpol - Slow Hands
    Andrew Bird - Tables and Chairs
    Idlewild - Little Discourage

    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    Ray LaMontagne - Jolene
    The Walkmen - The Rat
    Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
    Jason Moran - Aubade

    And the morning of the 9th.

    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    Trip Shakespeare - Two Wheeler
    Chuck Berry - Maybellene
    Eleni Mandell - Can't You See I'm Soulful
    Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone with You
    Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
    Portishead - Sour Sour Times
    Mission Of Burma - That's When I Reach For My Revolver
    Visqueen - Manhattan
    Martina Topley-Bird - Anything
    Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth
    Arcade Fire - Neighborhood 3 Power Out
    M83 - Farewell / Goodbye
    Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill
    Jen Trynin - Getaway February

    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Baby Fox - Rain
    Tom Waits - Make It Rain
    The Twilight Singers - Please Stay (Once You Go Away)
    Robert Johnson - Stop Breakin' Down Blues
    The Black Keys - Act Nice and Gentle
    Longwave - Tidal Wave
    Bauhaus - She's in Parties
    Barry White - You're The First, The Last, My Everything
    Belle & Sebastian - Asleep On A Sunbeam
    Elliott Smith - Let's Get Lost
    R.E.M. - Finest Worksong
    Old 97's - Murder Or a Heart Attack
    Drive-By Truckers - Where the Devil Don't Stay
    The Jayhawks - Poor Little Fish
    Doves - Catch The Sun

    10:00 am - 11:00 am
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Hiding All Away
    Sinead O'Connor - Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
    Kings of Convenience - Misread
    American Music Club - Love Is
    Pixies - La La Love You
    Sam Cooke - Wonderful World
    Air - Kelly Watch The Stars
    Low - Broadway So Many People
    Juana Molina - El cristal
    Yo La Tengo - What Comes Next
    Matt Wilson - Raking Service
    Luna - Speedbumps

    9:00 am - 10:00 am
    The Hangups - Sleepy
    Delays - Wanderlust
    Verve - Dizzy Gillespie , Manteca Funky Lowlives Remix
    Chet Baker - Time After Time
    Ulrich Schnauss - On My Own
    Nick Drake - Black Eyed Dog
    Styrofoam - Misguided (feat. Valerie Trebeljahr + alias)
    Guided By Voices - Twilight Campfighter
    The Glenrustles - Last Hurrah
    Halloween, Alaska - State Trooper
    Peter Gabriel - I Have The Touch
    Olympic Hopefuls - Shy
    Neko Case & Her Boyfriends - Guided By Wire

    Posted by duver001 at 3:31 PM

    More democratic success!

    The winners of the Iraqi elections will be...Iran! Sistani's folks. The next PM of Iraq will be someone who wants Islam to be the official religion of Iraq, who wants the Koran to be the main basis for writing a Constitution, who will take directives from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani when writing the nation's laws, and who will be very close to Iran.

    I can't imagine that the neocons will be too happy with this. Or maybe they were closet Islamists all along? Bringing fundamentalist Islamic governments to Afghanistan and Iraq, and bringing up a new generation of Islamists from the Netherlands to Indonesia.

    "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." -- Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, about Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvador Allende in 1973

    Posted by duver001 at 3:02 PM


    Okay, some of these have appeared here before. Some are just funny word lapses, but there are so truly bizarre thoughts buried in here.

    "It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America." - Dakar, Senegal, July 8, 2003

    "Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace." - Washington, D.C., July 25, 2003

    "I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves." - Washington, D.C., Sept. 21, 2003

    "See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction." - Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003

    "[W]hether they be Christian, Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, people have heard the universal call to love a neighbor just like they'd like to be called themselves." - Washington, Oct. 8, 2003

    "The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the - the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice." - Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003

    "So thank you for reminding me about the importance of being a good mom and a great volunteer as well." - St. Louis, Jan. 5, 2004

    "And if you're interested in the quality of education and you're paying attention to what you hear at Laclede, why don't you volunteer? Why don't you mentor a child how to read?" - St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 5, 2004

    "[T]he illiteracy level of our children are appalling." - Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2004

    "I was a prisoner too, but for bad reasons." - To Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, on being told that all but one of the Argentine delegates to a summit meeting were imprisoned during the military dictatorship, Monterrey, Mexico, Jan. 13, 2004

    "More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than - I say more Muslims - a lot of Muslims have died - I don't know the exact count - at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there's been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill." - Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004

    "See, one of the interesting things in the Oval Office - I love to bring people into the Oval Office - right around the corner from here - and say, this is where I office, but I want you to know the office is always bigger than the person." - Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004

    "God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear." - Los Angeles, Calif., March 3, 2004

    "Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off." - Washington, D.C., Feb. 19, 2004

    "This is historic times." - New York, N.Y., April 20, 2004

    "My job is to, like, think beyond the immediate." - Washington, D.C., April 21, 2004

    "I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein." - Washington, D.C., May 25, 2004

    "I want to thank my friend, Sen. Bill Frist, for joining us today. ... He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. (Laughter.) Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me." - Nashville, Tenn., May 27, 2004

    "I mean, if you've ever been a governor of a state, you understand the vast potential of broadband technology, you understand how hard it is to make sure that physics, for example, is taught in every classroom in the state. It's difficult to do. It's, like, cost-prohibitive." - Washington, D.C., June 24, 2004

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - Washington, D.C., August 5, 2004

    "Secondly, the tactics of our-as you know, we don't have relationships with Iran. I mean, that's-ever since the late '70s, we have no contacts with them, and we've totally sanctioned them. In other words, there's no sanctions-you can't-we're out of sanctions." - Annandale, Va., Aug. 9, 2004

    "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country." - Sept. 6, 2004, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

    Posted by duver001 at 12:55 PM

    February 8, 2005

    Ward Churchill

    You might as well read the original documents, instead of the op-ed pieces from both sides. This site collects the Dean's statement, the very bizarre letter from the Co Gov. Evans (to the College Republicans), and the controversial essay. The Wikipedia also has good coverage.

    My take on it? It hurts to be compared to Eichmann and, therefore, the banal evil of the aggressive US government. Maybe I'm becoming a softie, but I have trouble equating even those investment bankers on the 90th floor with the murder of Iraqi children, or with child labor in China. Maybe it's my failure to follow the money, or follow the chain of command, but it's too tentative for me to wholehearted latch onto.

    Posted by duver001 at 11:12 PM


    Yeah...well, it's, ummm, special.

    Posted by duver001 at 6:57 PM

    A scalping in Idaho

    16 year old gal scalped! Thanks Kelley for sending me this! Remember, if you're tied up and someone comes after you with a knife...hair pretty much grows back, but most other body parts do not.

    Posted by duver001 at 4:04 PM

    February 7, 2005

    Soldier who took the cyanide to Goering

    One of the historical oddities of WWII---where did the poison come from? A former soldier reveals what probably did happen.

    Posted by duver001 at 3:22 PM

    I hope my 5 year old twin girls don't get any ideas!

    Four year old boy drives mom's car to the video store, and returns home. Hitting a couple of parked cars and a police cruiser along the way. New rule, stick-shifts only if there are little ones in the household.

    My girls have really enjoyed the times when they have been able to "drive the car" sitting in my lap...up the dirt driveway in Idaho, or doing donuts in the empty parking lot after the ice storm... And they're going to try cart racing in the Spring.

    Posted by duver001 at 12:56 PM

    Should we worry when the American Conservative warns us of the Fascist threat in America today?

    Another reminder that political labels are just labels. The American Conservative is antiwar. The map is not the territory.

    Posted by duver001 at 12:21 AM

    More on the Presidential Bulge

    Though the most interesting parts are on the limitations imposed on the press, mostly by themselves, to not stir up trouble. A good article from the FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) folks. It could have been a huge story, the President, unable to do a debate without a cueing device.

    Or maybe it's just bad blood at this point, so far after the election?

    Posted by duver001 at 12:15 AM

    February 6, 2005

    Rumsfeld uneasy about visiting GErmany

    For fear of being prosecuted as a war criminal. Has Henry Kissinger been able to leave the country in the last few years?

    Posted by duver001 at 12:48 AM

    February 5, 2005

    The most expensive Super Bowl advertisement

    The Defense Department's overflight with an F/A-22. The program is in cost trouble, since the Soviet Union did disappear a few years back, and is explicitly using the Super Bowl publicity to try to convince the public/congress to give it more money. Like $15.5 billion. Or so.

    Posted by duver001 at 7:39 PM

    Remember that giving your neighbors cookies can get you fined by the courts!

    In Durango, CO. Nice place actually. Lesson? I can't come up with a good one.

    Posted by duver001 at 7:14 PM

    From the Auger Project Management

    So, the Pierre Auger Project is under construction in Malargue, Mendoza Province in Argentina. Construction started back in 2000 or so. The project management just noticed the spiders...

    People working in the field are reporting a real infestation of spiders at the Surface Detectors. A popular place seems to be the area between the battery box plus cable tube and the tank. Some have also been seen inside the tank.

    Black Widows spiders are the most common. These are poisonous, although not the worst in the Malargue area. We have color charts, to be carried in the vehicles, describing the different types of spiders and a description of the effect of their bites.

    Please use caution when visiting tanks, especially when opening covers. Next week we will have a visit/lecture from a local veterinary and we will discuss the implementation of some safety procedures.

    Safety procedure?

    [From Anne]
    Eight legs? Check.
    Two body parts? Check.

    Yup, it's a spider.

    Hmmm...Badass attitude? Check.
    Coming after me? Uh, check.
    Er... Toubleshooting and precautions, see "Spidey Manual Vol. 2."

    (flip, flip, flip...)

    Hey, guys...it sez here to run away.


    Hey, guys...?

    Posted by duver001 at 11:30 AM

    Something in the "never thought of that before category"

    A sherry enema? And death? And a burned will?

    Posted by duver001 at 11:16 AM

    February 4, 2005

    The Weekly Standard strongly advocates totalitarianism here in the States

    Yuck, yuck, yuck! "(Senate Democrats) could undermine the president's entire second term agenda. Stronger countermeasures will be needed, including an unequivocal White House response to obstructionism, curbs on filibusters, and a clear delineation of what's permissible and what's out of bounds in dissent on Iraq." No questioning of Dear Leader will be allowed?

    Posted by duver001 at 11:58 AM

    February 3, 2005

    West Antarctic ice might be in worse shape than we thought

    When it collapses we're looking at a 16 foot sea level rise. That will be fun.

    Posted by duver001 at 5:47 PM

    Totally weird amazon, revisited

    A tank? Sort of a tank, anyway.

    Or you could buy a 2002 penny?

    Posted by duver001 at 5:40 PM

    February 1, 2005

    CREAM press coverage (we're (semi-)famous

    CREAM coverage:

    SpaceRef.com -- "NASA Research Balloon Makes Record Breaking Flight Over Antarctica"

    SpaceFlight Now -- "NASA Research Balloon Makes Record Flight"

    Live Science -- "Huge Helium Balloon Sets High-Flying Record"

    New Scientist -- "Antarctic Balloon Breaks Endurance Record"

    ANANOVA LTD, United Kingdom --
    "NASA Balloon's Record Breaking Flight"

    Space Daily --
    "NASA Balloon Makes Record Breaking Flight"

    PhysOrg.com (The latest physics and technology news) --
    "NASA Research Balloon Makes Record Breaking Flight"

    Unexplainable.net --
    "Balloon Makes It to the Edge of Space"

    Technocrat.net --
    "NASA Balloon Breaks Endurance and Distance Records"

    WESR Radio

    Inquires from:
    New Scientist - London
    National Balloon Museum, Iowa
    Oxford Scientific Films - London

    Posted by duver001 at 4:16 PM