July 30, 2005

The IRA

Well, the murdurous thugs who hid behind "Irish Unification" have decided to call it quits. Things are moving quickly with UK army posts being removed as well. A short history of the Provos is here on the BBC website. More than 3600 deaths since 1968. Bombings, random killings, and kneecappings. The London transit bombings must have helped with this decision---it was bad enough for the IRA to be in bed with Libyan intelligence (oh heck, and the Nazis back during WW2), and the Colombian connections, but Osama plus Gerry Adams was too much of a negative image.

Posted by duver001 at 10:24 AM

Reinvestigating Yuri Gagarin's death

the first man in space died in a poorly understood airplane crash in 1968.

Posted by duver001 at 10:14 AM

July 28, 2005

Monsoon!


Headed that way on Saturday...

Posted by duver001 at 2:41 PM

Protecting corporate interests, circa 1950

Local band forced to drop 'olympic' from moniker
(AP) - A popular Twin Cities rock band never thought the U.S. Olympic Committee would be one of the things keeping it from reaching the top. But that's exactly what has happened to the Olympic Hopefuls.

The band was forced to dropped "Olympic" from its moniker to avoid legal action from the USOC. The word "olympic" was trademarked in a little-known congressional act in 1950. The USOC says major corporations pay millions for the rights to the Olympic name. That money helps support U-S teams.

The committee says overuse of the name could keep hinder fund-raising efforts.

Posted by duver001 at 2:30 PM

"...where the teletubbies might live, with Barbarella as a frequent houseguest."

The Futuro prefabricated (plastic) house. Spacecraft-shaped house. Playboy pad from the '70s. Web site devoted to them. Thanks Paul!

Posted by duver001 at 2:19 PM

July 27, 2005

Math in public

"For the next ten years of a now 28 year business career, I hid my mathematics background. It wasn't shame or embarassment that inspired my actions, as I am quite proud of my achievements in the discipline and feel strongly that mathematics is a major contributor to all of my business accomplishments. No it was the knowledge, based on experience, that talking about mathematics with those not steeped in the discipline would steer a business conversation away from business and onto an entirely different plane.

What was the conversation? I am sure you have had it.
Person 1: Dr. Schaar, I appreciated your comment on education policy and the role that corporations can play in long-range programs. You seem to have a such a deep understanding of what educators want and need. What is your background?
Schaar: I am a mathematician and taught at the university level for several years.
Person 1: Oh, I was never any good at math. Hated the subject actually. I never could figure out how I would use it after school and didn't get along with my teacher...

I do not have to continue. But over the years I began to realise that there was somethign hidden in Person 1's remarks. There was an insinuation that Person 1's non-mastery of mathematics was a non-issue. She was a successful business person in spite of it. So there! Her lack of matery was validated by the business world, and also by her peers, who eagerly confessed their lack of mathematical savvy as if it invited entry into a secret club. These same leaders trumped their abilities in the business world, while downplaying the significance mathematics played in the equation"

From "Mathematics in Public" by Dr. Richard Schaar, AMS Notices August 2005.

Posted by duver001 at 11:48 AM

Where I'll be next week


In Bombay/Mumbai, where 1/3 of the city is under water and hundreds have died. Hmmm...maybe more like 200 dead already in the monsoon.

Posted by duver001 at 11:34 AM

July 26, 2005

Americans and pesticides

90% of us are contaminated by the results of industrial farming. Oh joy.

Remember to read Neal Stephenson's Zodiac.

Posted by duver001 at 5:51 PM

A good summary of the Plame Affair

At the Minneapolis local City Pages with some good links as well.

Posted by duver001 at 12:52 PM

Labor coverage

The Nation covers the AFL-CIO split. Why is there a business section in the paper, but no labor section? Seems pretty weird.

Posted by duver001 at 12:44 PM

People starving in North Korea and Zimbabwe

And those two governments have what in common? They're both (North Korea and Zimbabwe) being propped up by the Chinese government. If you want help without criticism of your human rights record, and willing to hand over mineral rights (Zim) or whatever the heck the North Koreans can offer, maybe not sending millions of refuges across the borner, then China is where to look for your help.

See also the discussion on plastic.com.

Posted by duver001 at 12:35 PM

July 25, 2005

Eight days in July

Rove, Gonzales, Roberts, and Plame.

Posted by duver001 at 1:00 PM

Slate (and Nation) fest

I used to be pretty consistent in reading Christopher Hitchens in The Nation and now have to admit to reading a bit of his work in Slate as well. In fact, I have a slew of interesting Slate articles to link to here. Can't say I agree with all of them, but there's some good Bosnia and Zimbabwe articles here.

Posted by duver001 at 12:13 PM

July 24, 2005

Myron Floren Obituary

He could play accordian and direct the band with his elbows. He was best known as accordion player for the Lawrence Welk Show. He joined in the 1950s and the show survives in syndication after its 1982 end.

Also check out Accordian-O-Rama. Sales, service, and supplies.

Lots of interest! It seems as though the show meant a lot to many people...

Posted by duver001 at 6:27 PM

July 23, 2005

Diderot

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Denis Diderot

Posted by duver001 at 7:05 PM

July 21, 2005

"Burn, baby, burn"

Huey Newton's heirs want to market a hot sauce. Yup, they are trademarking the Black Panthers to sell condiments. Wow!

Posted by duver001 at 12:44 PM

Sad thought for the day

"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much you play, you'll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They're fucking relentless." --- Mitch Hedberg

Posted by duver001 at 12:37 PM

"Nonlethal" weapons to be tested on Iraqis

Since the utility of such a weapon is largely for domestic population control, we can probably expect these deployed for the 2008 Republican National Convention. CNN coverage. And you can see more at the Sandia site. Or join the Slashdot discussion.

From the article:

Burn injury is prevented by limiting the beam's intensity and duration.

Yup, we can trust the police and military to use this safely. Certainly their first concerns will be for the innocents.

Posted by duver001 at 12:35 PM

July 20, 2005

The Moon

Google moon is now available. It's a pretty impressive use of mapping software and a web front-end and a nice tribute to the 20th anniversary of the landing. Also check out this site which also allows you to explore the landing sites. Watch for the lunar rover trails... And don't forget Earth Google as well.

Also on a science subject...there's an attempt at a new version of the periodic table of the elements which looks cool, but isn't obviously useful for anything. Then, thinking about the elements, we also have the amazing flash animation of Tom Lehrer's The Elements and the periodic table of sexual positions.

Posted by duver001 at 11:14 AM

July 19, 2005

Ebonics is back

To make it even better, the program is called Students Accumulating New Knowledge Optimizing Future Accomplishment Initiative. Wow! It's hard to imagine a school administrator making up something like that.

Posted by duver001 at 7:36 PM

Westmoreland Obit in quotes

"Orientals don't place the same value on human life as we do." Gen. Westmoreland

"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind." Gen. Westmoreland

"We were in the jungle. There were too many of us. We had access to too much money, too much equipment and little by little we went insane." Francis Coppola, on making Apocalypse Now

...General Westmoreland embarked on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. to testify before Congress and drum up support for the Johnson Administration. "With 1968," he said, speaking before the National Press Club in Washington, "a new phase is starting .. we have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view." In a televised news conference, he used the phrase "light at the end of the tunnel" to describe improved U.S. fortunes, repeating almost word- for-word a prognostication made by French General Henri Navarre in May of 1953. From, ehistory.

A correspondent once asked General Westmoreland, the American commanding general and architect of the war, what he thought of how the French fought the war and was he studying the lessons of the French? He said, "Why should I study the lessons of the French? They haven't won a war since Napoleon." This was the American attitude of total arrogance. From an interview with Col. David Hackworth.

Posted by duver001 at 3:59 PM

Fumbling Bumbling Idiots?


Join the discussion at plastic.com of how the FBI spends its money investigating the ACLU and Greenpeace, and has declared animal rights activists to be the greatest threat to America.

BTW Do you recognize that face? It's a wanted terrorist. I'm guessing that it's going to be difficult to id anyone with that photo. I was disappointed this morning to find that the post office did not have wanted posters up. You can get them online though.

Posted by duver001 at 3:33 PM

Fear the power of the fully operational Death Star

Available on ebay.

Plans are also available.

Posted by duver001 at 2:53 PM

25,000 violent deaths of civilians in Iraq

About 1/3 of them due to US military action. More deaths in the second year post-invasion than in the first.

Posted by duver001 at 2:43 PM

July 18, 2005

Spot the taboos

I won't link the image, but it's a Casper, you know, Friendly Ghost, cartoon. Man, if I had realized, I would have cared about comics as a kid. The site, Super Dickery, has lots of unfortunate sexual innuendo, ridiculous propaganda, racism, and the like. All from the comics. I'm told that this site is even funnier if you cared about the comics, or Superman, or the like.

Posted by duver001 at 7:54 PM

"A sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers."

Amazing to see popular coverage of atheism. And terribly odd to think of Jesse Ventura as a spokesperson for anything, or eloquent.

Posted by duver001 at 5:21 PM

The first visitor to Disneyland didn't get on even one ride

Just seems like a weird story for the day.

Posted by duver001 at 5:15 PM

Aristide in exile

An interesting interview by Naomi Klein as the news of UN killings of women and children gradually leak out of Haiti.

Posted by duver001 at 11:21 AM

We might as well keep hoping that this will bring the little thugs down

Though it hasn't been running above the fold...

Posted by duver001 at 11:13 AM

1/2 billion itunes store songs

With the 1/2 billionth coming up, shouldn't people have had the decency to buy better songs? Sunday, at 2:44PM EST, Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana bought Faith Hill's Mississippi Girl to win.

Posted by duver001 at 11:04 AM

July 17, 2005

A little Texas church

For 16,000 people in a former sports stadium. Opiate of the masses for sure.

Posted by duver001 at 4:19 PM

July 16, 2005

Recent Twin Photos


Twins underground.


Mara in hat.


Sylvia embracing life.

Posted by duver001 at 4:31 PM

July 14, 2005

WFP food aid, a hijacked ship, pirates on the open seas, and tsunami survivors

It's clear that Somalia is a wonderful tourist destination. If you're looking for something out of Mad Max but with a little bit of a watery twist. Hmmmm...Kevin Costner's Water World?

Posted by duver001 at 2:32 PM

Civilian toll in Iraq seems to be about 800 per month

And that appears to include just victims of the insurgents, not the US military. Total Iraqi deaths are not incompatible with that 100,000 number propagated a few months back.

Posted by duver001 at 2:26 PM

July 9, 2005

Another try at single-payer?

At the state level. It might even pass in Vermont and California.

Posted by duver001 at 2:39 PM

July 8, 2005

Coming across old posts to UseNet

Never thought at the time (1991-1995) that these would still be here.

d...@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu (dolan andrew patrick) writes:
>I have heard a bit about Euhemerism, the basic premise of which is that the
>myths are just distorted recollections of actual historical persons whose deeds
>have acquired a supernatural aura with the [passage of thousands of years.
>I would be interested in learning bout any books or poapers that write about
>the Greek Gods and Goddesses (as well as the perasonailities of other
>mythologies) from the point of view of history, as well as any estimates
>of the age that the historical personages may have lived in - i.e. - what
>point in time. Were the tales of the \Gods just propaganda created to
>keep the masses pacified by telling them that their royal family was
>of supoernatural origin? I understand that someone called Banier wrote about
>this but have not come across any of his writings.

Certainly the historical reality of treating natural rulers as divine is
well established. In addition to the divine right of kings and the living
god emperors, you also had Alexander the Great inserting images of himself
into the local temples of newly conquered regions. A number of classical
writers either explicitly, or more often, implicitly treated the gods as
historical figures of old whose stories were magnified by time and their
propaganda. In _Sacred History_ this premise appears quite clearly. Many
later writers treated other relgions and myths in the same way, see for
example Bocaccio's _Geneology of the Gentile Gods_. Someone did this sort
of analysis of the Judeo-Christian thing - historical figures whose actions
were given religious significance only after many years had passed. Banier?
The name rings a bell, but I'd have to check back on my lit theory notes
to find anything of substance.

Mike DuVernois
Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research, University of Chicago

NB: I have long since forgotten what I once knew about Sacred History alas.

Posted by duver001 at 8:10 PM

Dawn recommends a website for all of you

Tom Cruise is Nuts dot com.

Posted by duver001 at 7:09 PM

Sheep or lemmings?

Suicide sheep in Turkey. 450 dead sheep.

Posted by duver001 at 12:51 PM

July 7, 2005

Rescue a person, and get arrested

In Texas, of course.

Posted by duver001 at 8:36 PM

Some London pictures

Okay, since I've left the BBC playing on my computer all day, I might as well put something up here.


Amazing that only two people died in that bus. The other photo is, presumably, a mobile phone picture from the Kings Cross evacuation. (BBC)

Personal photos of the explosions. Also from the BBC.


Burn victim being led away.


Emergency services.

Witness stories.


The bus bombing took place right in front of the British Medical Association headquarters. Patient being treated and blood on the wall of the building. (BBC)


UK flag at half staff over Buckingham Palace.


Blitz pictures. But don't get me started on the fascism thread.

Posted by duver001 at 8:20 PM

Red Meat construction set

It's your favorite cartoon, so now go out there and make your own!

Posted by duver001 at 11:45 AM

Didgeridoo playing physics

Instead of talking about the bombs in London, let's look to a study of how skilled players utilize their muscles to play the didgeridoo.

Posted by duver001 at 11:31 AM

July 6, 2005

Sex, marriage, and human rights

Three items from the New York Times:

Posted by duver001 at 11:10 AM

Watching TV is still bad for children

No surprise here. Toddlers in this study.

Posted by duver001 at 11:05 AM

Somalia and Iraq

The "president" of Somalia is leading his followers south through the country to a showdown with the warlords in Moggie. Sounds like a bad plot idea for Mad Max 7, in 3-D.

An LA film-maker finds himself imprisoned, without charges, in Iraq. Due process? Habeas corpus? What's all that liberal talk...

Posted by duver001 at 11:00 AM

July 5, 2005

The SCOTUS fight

Well, I'll do my best to not talk of it much. The Nation makes the 5-4 O'Connor votes and the horrible past (pre-FDR) of the court plain. Someone slap me if I post more on the Supremes.

Posted by duver001 at 7:16 PM

Interesting amazon item

Happy 10th to amazon.com and just wondering who the heck would buy 1082 books with a single click. Hmmmm...actually, it would be an interesting art project...let me start writing the grant application...

Posted by duver001 at 6:50 PM

Former Mugabe ally decries "callous" raids

With a little bit of a look into the ruling elite in Zimbabwe.

Posted by duver001 at 6:40 PM

Gradually the Plame Affair opens up

Karl Rove did it. Is anyone surprised? It's hard to picture the trial that Ted Rall would love to see though. Any action at all this late in the pusch seems unlikely, still, wish-fulfillment is a powerful urge.

Posted by duver001 at 6:27 PM

Dildos beat bibles

At least in the Eastern Kentucky marketplace.

Posted by duver001 at 7:00 AM

July 4, 2005

What Forbes thinks it costs to live well in the Midwest

$262,000 per year in Minneapolis. That includes a $1.2M house and a $700k vacation house in Ely or Brainerd. Plus two luxury cars, $17k in private school charges, and $1500 in savings. Cheaper than Batman at least (see earlier entries).

Posted by duver001 at 7:31 PM

Happy 4th of July

Well, not as many guests as I had hoped, but a really good weekend. I think I'll adopt a different strategy for next year's party. Or something like that.

Posted by duver001 at 12:55 PM

July 1, 2005

"Coalition of the willing" fatalities animations

You can learn quite a bit from this little animation. Well done little bit of data processing.

Other Iraq links for today:
Op-ed, NYT, "Dangerous Incompetence"

Another op-ed piece, "America held hostage"

Report on the ground in Iraq. Fight for an area and then leave it to the insurgents. Sound familar?

Posted by duver001 at 10:42 AM

Bye, bye freedoms

She was on the correct side of more 5-4 votes than I'd care to contemplate right now. A bit of a surpirse since I figured Rehnquist would step aside first. With the two of them leaving, we can expect a big fight in Congress over whatever lunatics Bush picks. My suspicion is that he'll pick one total lunatic (a la Scalia or Thomas) and one anti-choice "moderate." But Karl might veto a move that looks even slightly like compromise.

Posted by duver001 at 10:35 AM