The movie is being shown locally. On the danger of genetically engineered foods. The Monsanto lawsuits have struck me as particularly crazy. Patent infringement if the seeds blow onto your land? Strange stuff.
Though the risk is very real, it's not clear what reaction the "150M possible deaths from bird flu" should or will elicit. Fear that converts into positive action? Blind fear of an additional threat in the world? (Lock up the cat, pull the shades, and hide under the SUV.) Or just a dismissive glance? (If the Club of Rome got their predictions wrong...)
Okay, so the study on religion and societies ills (my entry here) is hardly to most outstanding item of scholarship. I hear you, Jill.
Instead, let's look at it this way...
The Ring of Fire musical...coming to Broadway! Fortunately, they do not plan on putting Mr. Cash on stage. He's dead.
Less Arctic ice again this year. The graph speaks for itself. On the plus side, the Arctic ice is mostly floating ice so it won't affect sea levels. Bangladeshis worry about the south polar regions rather than the north.
Though perhaps not with the best thought-through correlation-causation standards ever seen...a study shows the correlation higher religious rates with increased rates of homicide, child pregnancy, abortion, and STD infection rates. The author discusses the results online. "By dysfunctional the author means that the 'prosperous democracy' is unable to convert its wealth into raising the living standard for the populace." By that standard, the US is shocking inept at converting historically unprecidented wealth into the betterment of its citizens.
"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors." - Thomas Jefferson
In further evidence that religious leaders are insane. Saint some admiral from the Russo-Turk wars of the late 1700s? And then make him in charge of nuclear bombers? Wasn't the whole Christianity thing supposed to be about loving fellow humans? Or something like that?
What did you use as your Algebra text? Though he was more famous for his files and politics than for the books except within the math community.
Online plague kills virtual characters.
Always one of the most important links of the year. The end of open government, the civilian deaths in Iraq, the Diebolding of the election, 1984 cameras, and the purpose of "Homeland Security." Makes you feel proud to be an American.
Murder and rape of children? Myth. I think we can pretty easily understand the reason for the fake stories, but it remains critically important for us to read the truth and mentally cross-off the stories intended to produce hatred of the poor.
The big news for civilian users is the second frequency for non-military use. It'll help resolve ionospheric propagation errors and improve accuracy as a result.
I'm not completely (or even half) convinced of this story...but anyway...there's a claim that the US navy may have lost (in the misplaced sense) up to 36 armed dolphins during Katrina. If you see a dolphin with a harpoon gun, run away!
Wow! It's a strange world, isn't it?
Glory Days! read by Garrison Keillor. Sounds pretty different, doesn't it.
Corpse Bride review from the City Pages. Is there a reference in the movie to Kill Bill? There really should be I think.
Trend story from the NYT. On top (female) college graduates wanting a momma degree.
There's a good discussion going on. How many have you visited? Or will visit?
With little mention of how awful they are today. I think we all have some nostalgia for Boy, and October, and War, and wonder just how it all went wrong from there.
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
When FBI supervisors in Miami met with new interim U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta last month, they wondered what the top enforcement priority for Acosta and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would be.
Would it be terrorism? Organized crime? Narcotics trafficking? Immigration? Or maybe public corruption?
The agents were stunned to learn that a top prosecutorial priority of Acosta and the Department of Justice was none of the above. Instead, Acosta told them, it's obscenity. Not pornography involving children, but pornographic material featuring consenting adults.
Acosta's stated goal of prosecuting distributors of adult porn has angered federal and local law enforcement officials, as well as prosecutors in his own office. They say there are far more important issues in a high-crime area like South Florida, which is an international hub at risk for terrorism, money laundering and other dangerous activities.
His own prosecutors have warned Acosta that prioritizing adult porn would reduce resources for prosecuting other crimes, including porn involving children. According to high-level sources who did not want to be identified, Acosta has assigned prosecutors porn cases over their objections.
Obviously it's created quite a bit on controversy. I haven't been able to find anything of substance on the show, just the controversy. Hard to tell the goals from that.
That is, urban legends which sounds as though they are false, but turn out to actually, honest, be true. Even if they did happen to a friend of a friend...
Who would have guessed? A profit motive? The only motive?
Starbucks cups! Now banned from Baylor University. Yup, a quote from Armistead Maupin. Evil, evil, evil!
Of course, since this is on the web, and irony is largely lost. I was being ironic above. What is funny is the silliness of Baylor University. That is what I'm saying. Thank you for your attention during this irony-definition moment.
Some authors try to block google's digitalization efforts. Has the Author's Guild never heard of fair use? The whole content is blocked unless the author allows for it to appear.
They've escaped from the lab with a strain of plague. Yup, the plague.
Musharraf calls rape a scheme for women to make money and get visas. Out of touch? You think?
This woman rides her motorcycle through the death zone around the Chernobyl reactor. She has a radiation meter and understands what she is doing.
She claims that about 3500 people have moved back into the death zone, but that only about 400 of those folks are still alive. (A much higher death toll, right there, than my earlier mention.) Other sources say that no more than 1200 people moved in, most of those people moved back out. (By the way, there are claims that Elena Filatova's story, the motorcycle in the death zone, is at least partly fake. Or even more than partially faked.)
A total death toll of tens of thousands are claimed by the motorcyclist and by the Chernobyl.info site. The cleanup workers, the liquidators, would have been the largest group of potentially harmed people. This group numbered about 650,000 in some estimates. Far fewer in others.
Body count? The UN says 56 as of 2005, 47 workers and 9 children who died due to thyroid cancer. (See wikipedia for example, or the previous link in my blog.) Greenpeace and others contest those numbers. The truth? No idea right now.
From the Washington Post. Thanks, Anne!
It is said to not be an albino, but rather a lighter color than the typical giraffe.
Yup, alive and well and sure to root out the evils of the Ctholic church.
Click on it and see it at Yahoo News. Not photoshop, bizarrely enough.
Okay, those conservatives (including Michael Medved) who are using March of the penguins as a stirring celebration of monogamy (and intelligent design!) need to remember that those penguins are monogamous for one season. Next year, next Mr. and Mrs. Penguin. See this NYT mention of the crazed right-wing lunies, though no mention of serial monogamy.
Added 9/22...there's a plastic.com discussion of this.
In a surprise to no one, the religious group which claims to "make babies by prayer" is actually a child abduction and trafficking ring. Where else would the kids come from?
At a z=6.29 detected by Swift and then followed up by ground-based telescopes.
In other news, money is pouring into animal rescue organizations to help the pets of New Orleans. And donkey sanctuaries in the UK routinely receive more money than battered women shelters.
What has Mike been listening to lately? What music has he been enjoying? Well, in a fit of U2 bashing, I listened to Negativland and their take on I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (see also, the Letter U and the Numeral 2) along with U2's Boy and War. Putting those old cassettes on the stereo reminded me of how low-fi cassettes are/were and also that U2 didn't suck initially. They may never have been good musicians, but the band that put out War and Boy was a quality act.
Swell Maps, what should I say about Swell Maps? Been listening to Jane in Occupied Europe all morning today. (Discography of Swell Maps, from Nikki Sudden's webpages.) Good quality stuff. The CDs are back in print...
The Clash and Duran Duran in the same magazine...
If you missed some of the great post-punk acts, there are two indepensible resources for you. (Well, there are probably more than that, but who is counting?) Trouser Press zine and their published guides, which are now available online, and Rip it Up and Start Again (Guardian review, PR from the publisher, order it from amazon.co.uk (find your own link), or wait for the US edition which is rumored to have sections deleted from it) which is an amazing piece of journalism.
Should I praise the Mila Vocal Ensemble again? They'll be back on Praire Home Companion pretty soon and appeared on stage with Garrison at the St. Paul Labor Day Picnic. Will post an update when the PHC appearance is confirmed.
I should also put in a pitch for CD Baby. It's a resource for distributing independent CDs inexpensively. Good stuff, good folks, deserving of our business. They have audio samples for most tracks.
And the Cassandra Complex...In Search of Penny Century... Satan, Bugs Bunny, and Me. Other than the discography there isn't much info out there on the web. I suspect that there may not be all that many fans of Moscow, Idaho.
The Guardian has a good article on the good, bad, and ugly of science presented in the press. They have generally been doing a good job on their webpages detailing some of the bad science they see each week.
To use nuclear weapons preemptively against nations and/or terrorist entities. Though it was embarassing enough for the Pentagon to pull the original documents from their website.
Yup, another attempt at being inclusive fails when it's realized that it's actually divisive. Now the future of sharia in Iraq...that's a bigger question mark.
And calls his UN speech a "blot on his record." We all knew that already, but it's nice to see that he didn't take as long as McNamera to understand his collusion with evil.
Interesting, though self-agrandizing. As ringtones, they have merit, as music, much less so. IMHO.
Brown is now taken off duty. Guess he was transferring too much political heat to the Dubya.
Search and rescue efforts have formally ended. The body count might be lower than feared.
The second ammendment has been repealed in New Orleans. Except for the wealthy and their private security teams.
And as part of the continuing crisis, the Freedom March isn't free. Everyone marchingf must register to attend, the route and the Washington Mall will be fenced off to keep the "other" away, there will be a huge law enforcement overwatch, and thosenot registered will be arrested.
Read all about it. And in the end, he didn't even do the photo shoot!
Steal a press pass and drive a Hyundai. Pretty shocking that the organized folks couldn't do what these guys did.
Yahoo helps out the Chinese government. To silence free speech.
Best quote: "In the driveway lay a survivalist's arsenal: two transistor radios, a cell phone, a half-empty bottle of Napa Valley zinfandel, tobacco, a pipe and some blackberry soda." Survivalist blackberry soda, who'd have thunk it?
They found what appears to be the last open, 24 hour per day, bar in the city. From there you can click onto the rest of the BBC's coverage of the natural disaster and the disaster relief disaster.
"...Next morning, Katrina has blown up to a 5. Call for mandatory evacuation. Nagin pulls in every bus he can find, he signs an order allowing him to commandeer any vehicle or property he needs. They have buses running through the streets trying to pick people up. People are showing up at the superdome. This is 24 hours to landfall. Not much time at all, especially when this MONSTER HUGE storm will be affecting New Orleans by that evening and the bridges will have to shut when winds reach 40 mph..."
A great comparison of Philly 1787 to Baghdad 2005. I'm sure you can think of your own additions to the list.
Well, what to say about humor? Dubya's biography might seem funny at first. But it really isn't, is it? Nor are his reactions, real or imagined, to the problems in the south. Are these guys funny? Nope, not funny either.
How about reports that FEMA wasn't interested in hearing about what a storm like Katrina would do? "The scenario was dubbed Hurricane Pam: 120 mph winds, a massive storm surge, 20 feet of water in the city, 80 percent of buildings damaged, refugees on rooftops, possibly gun violence that would slow the rescue." The response that Americans don't live in tents could have been funny, but probably isn't.
Read some exciting stories about being fired for eating pizza and other tales of woe. Or for a saving lives. Though that one might be too good to be true. Discussion is on plastic.com. A good job to have at the moment is as a funeral director as the estimate for the Katrina+FEMA death toll is now 40,000.
We'll see what it is. Since my Treo 90 died (in a downpour), I have been thinking about a new PDA. Maybe PDA/phone. Maybe PDA/phone/iPod?
"Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far." Teddy Roosevelt at the Minnesota State Fair
"Mmmmm...deep fried and breaded Snickers Bar on a stick. It will make one sick." Me at the Minnesota State Fair
Tragedies and utter incompetence still prevail. I meant in NOLA, rather than DC, the latter is obvious.
"Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. 'The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all.'"
Far fewer deaths than expected. Important notes: no increased rate of leukemia, only 9 out of 2000 thyroid cancers have been fatal, total of 50 deaths (reactor workers and firefighters), and fatalism due to overestimating the medical effects may have been a much larger medical effect. Though I'm sure this will be latched onto by the nuclear industry, it remains a strong statement that the effects were terrible (18 mile exclusion zone and all) but not as bad as predicted by the experts whose quotes were shocking enough to get themselves press coverage.
Some of my friends have been commenting negatively on this report. Is it contradiction with information available right after the disaster? Some reports at that time indicated that a much larger number of people had died already at that point. Sometime when I have a chance to look more into this...
Correction/ammendment: see 9/15/05 entry
Eight days with four big elections. I'm sure you can find some reasonable news stories, but the best hope for discussion appears to be at plastic.