June 30, 2005

What to do if you encounter a UFO

Ten important steps. Print it out and save it for handy reference.

Posted by duver001 at 1:41 PM

Make tens of thousands of dollar threatening to kill a bunny rabbit?

It used to have a June 30th, 2005 deadline. Looks semi-successful, doesn't it?

Posted by duver001 at 1:25 PM

June 29, 2005

If you weren't sure that Halliburton was just a scheme to move federal money into private hands...

Double-billing, massive cost inflation, pulling the shrapnel and bullets out of food, ghost employees... They do it all.

Posted by duver001 at 3:40 PM

Ethanol takes six times as much energy to produce as it yields

According to a recent study. Sounds plausible, Brazil gets by with ethanol fueling by using traditional, labor-intensive farming of the sugarcane to make the ethanol.

Posted by duver001 at 3:36 PM

Voice of Tigger

Paul Winchell has passed away. He was also an inventor of an early artificial heart.

The wonderful things about Tiggers
is Tiggers are wonderful things.

Their tops are made out of rubber,
their bottoms are made out of springs.

They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers,
is I'm the only one!

The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful chaps

They're loaded with vim and vigor
They love to leap in your laps

They're jumpy, bumpy, clumpy, thumpy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is
I'm the only one

Tiggers are cuddly fellows
Tiggers are awfully sweet

Everyone else is jealous
That's why I repeat

The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things

Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs

They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is
I'm the only one

IIIIIII'mmmmmm the only one!

Posted by duver001 at 2:57 PM

June 28, 2005

Speech word count

Iraq/Iraqis: 91
Terror/Terrorists: 33
America/Americans: 19
war: 10
Cynical mentions of September 11th: 5
lose/losing: 4
Afghanistan: 2
bin Laden: 2
win/winning: 0

Posted by duver001 at 3:03 PM

June 26, 2005

Google maps

Although we always knew they were cool, the available satellite imagery has dramatically increased lately. Check out some of the following:

The Pentagon.
The White House, note the censored roof of the White House so you can't count the surface to air missiles.
The Abu Ghurayb torture center.
A flock of geese.
Lots more collected here.

Posted by duver001 at 2:37 PM

June 25, 2005

The world is running out of fine single malts

They sold them before their time. Though the article also blames the Chinese oddly enough.

Posted by duver001 at 2:21 PM

Visions of Iraq

From Another Year of Living Misery in Iraw.

Nearby, a scruffy young man in dirty pants and an unbuttoned shirt stood staring at vegetables scattered on the ground by one of the explosions. Bending over and picking up an onion spattered with blood, he began to cry.

"Every one of you in Karrada calls me Crazy Ali," he said to no one in particular. "But I would never do such a thing. I am better than you sane people. At least I do not hurt you."

Posted by duver001 at 2:15 PM

No more coverup at the Justice Department

Of the statues that is.

Posted by duver001 at 2:11 PM

Continuing armor problems in Iraq

Rumsfeld doesn't ride in armored Humvees, he takes a better-armored private vehicle. Looks like a good business to get into though, armoring vehicles...

Posted by duver001 at 2:09 PM

June 24, 2005

Glastonbury is wet again

Looks even worse than the last few years. People swimming to their tents. Yuck!

Posted by duver001 at 1:24 PM

Language difficulties at universities

There's a good, balanced, article in the NYT on problems students have with foreign professors and teaching assistants. Though the largest number of language complaints that I ever had for one of my TAs was for a person who spoke better English than I do (accented differently than my midwestern students were used to I think).

Posted by duver001 at 1:19 PM

June 23, 2005

Two additional loss of rights, just in the news today

The SCOTUS ruled that it's just fine for local authorities to sieze your property for commercial development. That's right, if your town or county wants to demolish your house for a shopping mall, it's within their rights. Remember, corporations are more important than people.

And those state's rights loving congress-slugs decided that states (say environmentally friendly ones?) have no right to have a say on where liquified natural gas facilities go. The biggest conventional bombs in the world can be sited by the federal government, read that as wherever the industry wants them since we do know who writes legislation these days...

Posted by duver001 at 12:17 PM

June 22, 2005

Let's do the math...

Norm Coleman gets $45,000+ in campaign contributions. The citizens of St. Paul lose $50M. And the contributor nets $30M. Looks like politics as usual. The taxpayers send their money to multimillionaires who own the politicos. It's a beautiful little self-contained scam repeated many times.

Meanwhile, publically-funded "town-hall" meetings are open only to political supporters of the Dubya and the House thinks the biggest issue is protecting the physical flag of the US. Yup, New Zealand is looking better all of the time.

Posted by duver001 at 4:40 PM

Minneapolis bagels


Posted by duver001 at 1:08 PM

Being a superhero

"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad." - Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

From Forbes Magazine, the cost of being Batman!

And just how rich are those fictional characters anyway?

Posted by duver001 at 12:31 PM

June 21, 2005

Party update/invites II

Readers of this blog are welcomed to attend parts of the party. RSVP is requested though!

- Paul & Kathleen will be coming in from southern Illinois
- Keith & Debra? will be coming from San Francisco
- Billy Corgan is now officially invited since he wants to reform the Smashing Pumpkins (hmmm...as in form again)
- No birth in NJ (Mike & Val) as far as I know
- Michael Jackson will not be in attendance

Friday, 1 July 2005 - Happy Canada Day to all! We'll celebrate with Canadian Bacon, watching Canadian Bacon, and practicing our evacuation-from-the-US plans. Dinner at my place (3520 1st Ave South) around 6:30pm.

Saturday, 2 July 2005 - Happy 183rd day of the year! We'll celebrate the middle of the year with a big middle-of-the-day lunch (call it 11:30-3:30ish). Potluck for Twin Cities folks. We'll provide the drinks though. Evening festivities are weather-dependent, but a walk to the lakes and some general hanging-out seems most likely.

Sunday, 3 July 2005 - Brunch at the Loring Pasta Bar. Join us around eleven? Pre-fireworks we're planning a wine tasting. Bordeaux and Beyond. Or some silly catch phrase like that. At my place again. We'll make that approximately 3pm. Late night beer and bowling too!

Monday, 4 July 2005 - Happy Independence Day. We'll get up early and shoot at the British. No, no, we'll have a continental breakfast instead. (Same thing at some level.) We will prepare lunch on the gas grill (call it noon at my place). What's more all-American than that? Maybe there will be more fireworks too?

Tuesday, 5 July 2005 - Happy 7/5/5, two months after the predicted apocalypse. Anyone who is still at the party will be forced to watch the Director's Cut of Apocalypse Now followed by Hearts of Darkness. I should probably head to work as well.

Here was the original invitation, from last summer.

Posted by duver001 at 11:55 AM

100% complication rate?

That's not good for a doctor. The ongoing tale of Dr. Jayant Patel---87 deaths in Australia after being removed from medicine in Oregon and New York states, with an unknown death toll there.

Posted by duver001 at 10:49 AM

Who pays for military gear?

In this case at least, the father of the marine sent to Iraq. A professional, well-equiped army? We do pay more in taxes for our military than all the rest of the world combined... Oh, that's right, that money goes to Boeing, Hughes, and Halliburton, not to equiping the poor kids who volunteer to defend big business from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Posted by duver001 at 10:42 AM

June 20, 2005

Citgo gas

I never knew it was a Venezualan concern! An interesting proposed anti-boycott.

Posted by duver001 at 6:46 PM


Before and after shanty-towns in Zimbabwe.

Posted by duver001 at 3:20 PM

Saddam misses Ronald Reagan

Who sent him guns. He also relates an amusing episode of Uday and three hookers...

Posted by duver001 at 3:06 PM

Nun torured and crucified for being "possessed"

Or more likely, suffering from mental illness.

Posted by duver001 at 3:03 PM

June 19, 2005

The new way to check the weather in LA

From David Lynch...

Posted by duver001 at 1:57 AM

June 18, 2005

Who builds the new gulag additions in Gitmo?

Halliburton does!

Posted by duver001 at 8:40 PM

June 17, 2005

The new Doctor Who!

Bad Wolf! Since it's being compared to Pynchon, this is looking like more than a show for old Dr. Who fans.

And a great Clive James quote: "Good schlock is always better than bad art."

Posted by duver001 at 8:37 PM

The pro-lynching senators

Here are the Senators who have refused to take part in this historic apology:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
(202) 224-4944 | Write

Thad Cochran (R-MS)
(202) 224-5054 | Write

John Cornyn (R-TX)
(202) 224-2934 | Write

Michael Enzi (R-WY)
(202) 224-3424 | Write

Judd Gregg (R-NH)
(202) 224-3324 | Write

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
(202) 224-5251 | Write

Trent Lott (R-MS)
(202) 224-6253 | Write

John Sununu (R-NH)
(202) 224-2841 | Write

Craig Thomas (R-WY)
(202) 224-6441 | Write

Though this is an evolving list...

Posted by duver001 at 8:31 PM

And the US blocks a probe of the killings in Uzbekistan

Note also that $18 million in military aid was cut off. Just to be followed by a "different" $21 million in aid. Nothing to see here. No one will notice. It was only a few hundred protesters.

Posted by duver001 at 8:26 PM

A short review of the press coverage of the Downing Street memos

The Christian Science Monitor does a good job quickly reviewing the media coverage (in the States!) of the Downing Memos.

Posted by duver001 at 8:20 PM

June 16, 2005

Airbus and Boeing at the Paris Air Show

Ah, Paris in June. The smell of avgas. The article focuses on the competing orders for future Boeing and Airbus planes.

Photo slideshow is also available.

Posted by duver001 at 4:54 PM

Mila Vocal Ensemble on Praire Home Companion again this weekend

(Taken from Mila's webpages.)

Saturday, June 18, 5 p.m. Central Time, NPR affiliates worldwide
A Prairie Home Companion Broadcast live from Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL
Mila is honored to once again join Garrison Keillor and the cast and crew of A Prairie Home Companion for a live broadcast from the 2005 Ravinia Festival. Listen in for some new songs: a sneak preview of our upcoming fall CD. Visit prairiehome.publicradio.org for details. Click here to find your NPR affiliate station.

Posted by duver001 at 4:48 PM

Happy Bloomsday

This year's celebration.

Posted by duver001 at 4:11 PM

The FBI's hunt for Deep Throat

Was headed by Deep Throat.

Posted by duver001 at 3:33 PM

June 15, 2005

Documentary on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

"The Alchemists of Sound" tells the tale of how a bunch of geeks brought musique concrete from the (French) theorists to the television screen. Wikipedia entry. Catch it if you can...

Posted by duver001 at 7:18 PM

June 14, 2005

Mugabe's big party

While his loyal subjects are starving. A million dollar 10th anniversary party preceeded by a trip to "a friendly Middle Eastern country," likely Libya. We'll see if Mandela attends.

Posted by duver001 at 7:24 PM

June 13, 2005

Ape-stract art


Posted by duver001 at 12:21 AM

June 12, 2005

The Tulsa Zoo, Science, and the Bible

They seem to be having some problems. Hard to imagine that here we are in the 21st century CE, with universal education, and some folks still are unable to distinguish between fairy tales and reality.

Posted by duver001 at 10:31 PM

How one video changed many (Serbian) minds

Documentary footage of some of the atrocities. Leading pretty much directly to the current active manhunt for Mladic.

Posted by duver001 at 10:23 PM

Balloon launch makes news

Nice to see some coverage of NSBF's good work. We'll be launching ANITA (test flight), CREST (test flight), and CREAM-2 (science flight) this year from Fort Sumner, NM, Palestine, TX, and McMurdo, Antarctica respectively. Whew!

Posted by duver001 at 7:42 PM

June 11, 2005

And the pope vetoes condoms for AIDS prevention

What a surprise. Medieval theocrats.

And the Vatican is angling to return Italy to the dark ages again. What's next, shilling for Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini? Ooops, wrong decade!

Posted by duver001 at 2:34 PM

Zimbabwe general strike...

...doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything. The authorities have announced that they will "deal ruthlessly" with any street protests. Oddly enough, the state-controlled media didn't report on the general strike. Funny that.

The Beeb has the best coverage that I know of. Click on the link above and follow links there to quite a bit more coverage, including video and some photos. Including the one to the right.

A cobbler from Harare, and many web visitors, comment on the news.

Posted by duver001 at 2:25 PM

June 10, 2005

Zimbabwe's "cleanup" continues...

...with no real resistance. It looks like some sort of enforced ruralization to eliminate the urban poor pockets of opposition to Mugabe. Not quite Pol Pot, but we'll see how those people make up.

I keep being saddened by the Zimbabwe disasters. A country I didn't quite fall in love with when traveling there, but one that I appreciated and hoped the best for.

Posted by duver001 at 10:54 PM

More crazy coffins

From a daily blog of web items as picked by Der Spiegel.

Posted by duver001 at 6:00 PM

A chocolate skirt

From Beijing's first ever chocolate fashion show...

Posted by duver001 at 1:45 PM

Be all you can be!

The army lowers the qualifications to be an officer.

Posted by duver001 at 12:02 AM

June 9, 2005

No love like geek love!

If the NY Daily News says so, how can we argue?

Posted by duver001 at 6:35 PM

While the emperor fiddles

We get our climate change. Conservative bastions like the Financial Times see the problem as clearly as the "crazed environmentalists." They identified the main obstacle to action: the White House. And the details of how the Petroleum Institutes editted the US government statements on greenhouse gases.

Posted by duver001 at 3:37 PM

And sadly, Mugabe's rampage continues

Possibly leaving as many as 200,000 person homeless after burning shantytowns, destroying informal businesses, and continuing to silence opposition. This time there is even CNN coverage.

Posted by duver001 at 3:22 PM

Syria next?

It worked so well in Iraq, after all.

Posted by duver001 at 3:19 PM

June 8, 2005

June 7, 2005

Planes, trains, and automobiles

After spotting an Amphicar at the gas station on the corner of 47th and Nicollet, I got to thinking about web sites and blogs devoted to spotting interesting transportation objects.

Planes. This site is very clear on plane spotting, and the post-9/11 risks of it.
Trains. I couldn't find one special site, so just chose a representative sample site. Train spotting (distinct from the movie) is worldwide, but does seem to have a particularly European resonance to it.
Cars. Well, the web site is named just right, but it's a little different than just a "spotted" listing.

Let me mention some odd car spottings of mine then...

June 6, 2005

Diesel test

Interesting little test run of the new Mercedes diesels. In Texas of all places, 100,000 miles at speed.

I've had a long-term soft spot for diesel automobiles, back to the old VW Rabbit diesels and the Mercedes 220D and 240Ds. Never have owned one though. Maybe if Audi brings their V6 TDIs to the states after September 2006 (when we get the low sulfur diesel fuel at long last)...

Posted by duver001 at 10:46 PM

Olympic options

Paris, London, or New York City. The European options seem to be the leaders.

Posted by duver001 at 3:31 PM

June 5, 2005

Clogging rather than blogging

Mila is playing Tuesday evening, June 7th, in Forest Lake (just up I-35 from the Twin Cities. They're going on after The Lake Country Clog Dancers. See you there...

Also, they'll be on Praire Home Companion on the weekend of June 18th.

Posted by duver001 at 9:17 PM

Too painful to consider for long

I scream. You will scream. We all scream at conservative ice cream. Warning, it plays music at you.

Posted by duver001 at 2:29 PM

June 4, 2005

Quote for today

"Bobby Fischer? Man, that guy is crazy!" - Mike Tyson

Posted by duver001 at 8:47 AM

June 2, 2005

Advertisement for a Disney cruise

Iggy Pop's Lust for Life

Here comes johnny yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
He's gonna do another strip tease.
Hey man, where'd ya get that lotion?
I've been hurting since I've bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah, something called love.
Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens.
Well, I'm just a modern guy
Of course, I've had it in the ear before.
I have a lust for life
'cause of a lust for life.
I'm worth a million in prizes
With my torture film
Drive a gto
Wear a uniform
All on a government loan.
I'm worth a million in prizes
Yeah, I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk
No more beating my brains
No more beating my brains
With liquor and drugs
With liquor and drugs.
Well, I'm just a modern guy
Of course, I've had it in my ear before
Well, I've a lust for life (lust for life)
'cause of a lust for life (lust for life, oooo)
I got a lust for life (oooo)
Got a lust for life (oooo)
Oh, a lust for life (oooo)
Oh, a lust for life (oooo)
A lust for life (oooo)
I got a lust for life (oooo)
Got a lust for life.

Though they only used the chorus... Also, here I'll have to mention that Jaguar (the car company) uses The Clash London Calling. Some other favorites?

Posted by duver001 at 10:54 PM

June 1, 2005

Solve violence by banning kitchen knives?

Just plain weird. Here's the editorial in the British Medical Journal.

Posted by duver001 at 12:52 PM