By a NSA historian. Deliberate coverups of faulty intelligence which helped push the US into the Vietnam War. Any comparisons to the Iraq War?
It's certainly the same thing for the people who push it. And lie about their motivations.
And estimate the number of civilians killed by the insurgents. Will they calculate how many have been killed by US forces? Not too likely I'd think. An appalling body count all around.
Well, it's the lunatic right-wing fringe being represented. Probably not too much of a surprise to see a Scalia clone being brought it. The New York Times is about the same as the Beeb on this one.
Vampire Watermelons!!! "People have little fear of the vampire melons because of the creatures' lack of teeth." And other acts of supernatural nature.
As religion, or psuedo-religious hysteria, sweeps the US, Anne Rice launches a new novel of a young Christ. Drinking the blood of heathens?
Scroll down for the top selling educational software. Though there are plenty of other discouraging stories as well.
I would have said Finland to Nigeria, except this year it's Iceland to Chad. The surveys are interesting to take a look at by themselves as well.
The Gun Industry is the only industry with lawsuit immunity? What a strange path from the 2nd ammendment.
Prussian Blue. In another few years. .. "I struggled with alcohol and meth until I found my Lord Jesus. My life changed that very day, and I left my hatred behind me forever. Praise the lord." And what horrible music!
Oh wait, it's Pat Buchanan. "2000 dead - and for what?" Darn it, it hurts to agree with Pat.
The Nation's Obit is the simplest and most straightforward one out there that I've seen. There's also a tantalizing mention, in the comments, about the Highlander Folk School within whose tradition and teachings Rosa Parks acted.
Minnesota's embarassing senator is pushing ahead with a his fight against the UK Labour Party's most embarassing refugee. "They have been cavalier with any idea of process and justice so far, but I am still willing to go to the US and I am still willing to face any charge of perjury before the senate committee ." - George Galloway
...in the UK have bought books to appear more intelligent. It's cast as a slightly negative story, since it is shallow and many of those books don't get read. Still, I'd take it as a good sign overall. Reading and books, it's not just for terrorists and the French any longer.
The Guardian asks some experts. It's an interesting article, I think, because the limits of wikipedia need to be made clear. It's sort of like Consumer Reports, if you really like cars, you'll hate their car reviews as much too shallow, if you're an audiophile, the stereo reviews grate, but we all appreciate the toaster reviews.
The 25th anniversary of the Preppy Handbook is being celebrated. Weirdly enough I'm wearing an L. L. Bean sweater today. Well, I think it is, as a physicist I don't pay too much attention to the clothes I put on and with my office door open I'd feel weird pulling my sweater off to look at the label.
Our old, donated computers are filling landfills in Africa. I also noticed that the US hasn't signed the Basel Convention which seems to be focused on the trade in hazardous materials. Will have to look into that a little...
Now in conference committee. Wait, you haven't been hearing about it on the news? What a surprise!
All the other conspiracies must take a back seat to the word of the Captain. Hyperdimensional physics? Weather terrorism? It's here for your enjoyment.
What a good idea.
Splog? What an awful term. Anything to increase your Google ranking I suppose...
An interesting year for sure. Was just realizing that I had missed the one year anniversary of my blog. October 7th, 2004. First few entries were weirdly self-conscious, but I think since then I've pursued a path of many links with only a few comments. This is probably because I work for a living and do not have unlimited time.
Lots has happened though since I started this. A summary you will not find here though. Sorry, I know that blogs are supposed to detail our struggles with the inner demons, but that's my business. Now speculating about whether the outer demon of Karl Rove gets indicted early this week or late this week and whether or not Mr. Halliburton joins him...
The street was obviously torn up, but I didn't know that $190M was headed into that old Sears building! When I first moved to the city I wondered why that building hadn't been taken over for cheap loft-space... Instead it's going to be expensive office space.
I think we all knew it was a dangerous and misguided product, but the FDA's review panel now agrees.
In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, everyone who owned a typewriter was required to submit a typed page from it. That way the authors of subversive litrature could be tracked down.
Today, the US government has made a quick and simple automation of the process in order to track "counterfeiters." Color laser printers hide their serial numbers in prints. Bought it with a credit card? Filled in the registration card? Downloaded an updated driver? Congrats, you're entered in the database.
So, after seeing web hit statistics for a particular music website, I've been curious as to how many (non-commenting) folks click through my blog entries. As they once said, curiousity did kill the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
Here are some thoughts:
And here are some music links:
From this French website, you can download an mp3 of a French translation of Lester Bang's classic bit (from Psychotic Reactions...) Iggy Pop, Blowtorch. This whole thing sets off so many weirdness buttons, it isn't funny. But of course it is funny.
On the dangers of the new security laws. Likened to Nazi ordinances, though that of course limits possible discussion, unfortunately, by a group of judges, lawyers, and politicians.
And we're reminded, in the 40th anniversary of the start of the Indonesian civil war/genocide/internal troubles/political extermination of 1/2 -2 million people, of the dangers of democratic government support of mass murder. Few such massacres enjoyed as much tacit support from London and Washington as the Indonesian extermination of the local communist party, and anyone else they felt like getting rid of.
Indonesia. Chile. Argentina. Guatemala. Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Uganda. Iran. Ethiopia. It's a long, and sad list, of the failures of the "civilized" western democracies to oppose what we claim to despise.
Here's the current discussion on plastic. For a bunch of computer geeks, it typically runs quite anti-computer use in schools. At least for young kids. From my twins' school experiences, private Montessori preschool (no computers), public urban Montessori kindergarten (computers in the "media center" (formerly known as the library back when the money went towards books) with some pretty insipid software, those some of it was fun, and the gals do know about the apple menu...), public suburban 1st grade (computers in every class for student as well as teacher use), I have yet to see any useful use for them in their classes. On the other hand, teacher email! Wonderful stuff, instant responses, quick emails with funny stories.
I almost titled this entry "new SUVs now available for suburbia" but decided that I genuinely wanted a non-humorous look at these vehicles. Such trucks have been around for years, starting from South African anti-landmine trucks, in use for demining. They continue in that role. As IED protection in Iraq, they're going to be only of temporary utility. Hamas moved to truly large IEDs to defeat Israeli Merkava tanks, and if these trucks become more common in Iraq, the resistance will just up the bomb size correspondingly.
So, why not just discuss the effects of the Coast Guard restrictions on the number, type, location, and coverage fraction of tattoos and body piercings. Go ahead, voice your opinions.
Punk rock project management for defense projects? I don't get it.
Harold Pinter. It comes as a minor relief to me that I have, finally, actually heard of the winner before the prize. Looking back at the list of Nobel Laureates in Literature I'm reminded of the controversy this prize generates.
Look at those early winners, who do we remember other than Kipling? Then the 1930s-1960s seem reasonable---some of those folks are not as esteemed today, but still, they are sensible if somewhat anglophile choices. Then the prize branches out, but Patrick White? Odysseus Elytis? Novelty factor? Then again in the 90s, Gortimer? Saramago? And the controvery over last year's winner, Elfriede Jelinek, and her truly difficult work. Anyway...
There's a strong split developing over whether or not to boycott the elections. The elections are likely to be fair, but should one then chose to not vote? It's not too clear.
I'll also refrain from talking about Diebold and a statistical analysis of the 2004 presidential election. You're welcome!
Nope, it's not that time of year yet to swap the (semi-)food-like item called fruitcake. Instead, we have some great theological excursions into the weird. Jesus as an alien love child? Sounds almost plausible, though we can talk about the ahistorisity of Christ at some other point. But the giant M statue to celebrate Mary's defeat of Communism? That's just strange.
Thanks Jill for the link. Ammunition being used...
With apologies to Joe Strummer.
The City Page's Wine and Dine issue has a good primer on Spanish wines. Click through to other articles and advertisements.
Beautifully filmed destruction. Sort of like a Republican-friendly Survival Research Labs performance. Sort of.
From the BBC. The lack of real investment in the health of women in many of the world's most populous nations has serious economic consequences. Yup, like most news, it needs to have an economic spin on it. What about the misery? At least here we're agreeing on what the problem is.
The figure is obviously of considerable import, though not discussed in the article except in the context of HIV/AIDS. Something to think about...
And the reformers being beaten. China's very slight democratic changes.
How wedding rings produce impotence. Ah yes, how the mighty Pravda has fallen.
How different schools count Nobel Prize winners for their advertising. This jumped out to me due to the University of Chicago connection. As a grad student there, the Chicago Nobels were mentioned many a time.
The New York Times has an excellent article on the current economic interest in the Arctic. Much of this interest is due to the loss of Arctic pack ice which makes access in the far north much easier. The environmental implications are discussed a bit as well.
The autonomously driven vehicle in the desert race (ADVITDR) has been successfully completed. Remember last year's race with no one gettting anywhere at all? Anyway, check out some of the details:
Well, I always get a kick out of this wine tasting. There's a mix of "Riesling-only" wine drinkers and serious folks (some of whom are in the business), and everything in between. I'll put myself into the "in between" category. Mostly I tasted reds, but there were a few beers, sparkling wines, and whites that made it into my mouth. The Cellars Wine and Spirits sponsored the show. I have no connection with them.
Viking Brewing Company had six of their different beers (found locally, Minneapolis/St. Paul) refrigerated only. I tried the Big Swede and the Whole Stein stouts. The former was an amazing piece of work. As thick and dark as a Guiness but without the bitterness, and also without the sweetness I often associate with such stouts. The Whole Stein was pretty decent, but not as extreme (in a positive sense) as the Big Swede.
Chisago Lakes Distribution had a few options from Arcadia, Avery, Schwelmer, and the Sammiclaus (which is described as the strongest beer in the world, 14 some-odd percent alcohol). Well, the Sammiclaus is a novelty to me. I can now say I've had the strongest beer in the world. No need to do that again. The Schwelmer Berstein was excellent as was the Arcadia Scotch Ale.
Chateau Plaisance Bordeaux (2000), $17. This represented an excellent, balanced Bordeaux, one of the few being tasted at this show, at a reasonable price. Rated 88+ by Parker, I'm told. Moderate tannins, a little smoke, and a fair amount of fruit.
Matthieu de Brully Pommard (did not record the year, 1999?), $32. Wonderful, full and balanced wine. Out of my normal price range though.
Chateau Beauchene Les Sens Syrah (2000), $10. Dark, bloody wine. An excellent Syrah, more of a fruit vs. tannin balance than a lot of the California Syrahs. Probably over-priced compared to Aussie Shirazes, but it is French...
Fort Simon Pinotage (why didn't the folks who made the brochure didn't include the vintage!), $13. One of the more obvious food-wine pairings. Wild game. Yup, you'd need to get some ostrich or venison in order to drink this wine. Good stuff, but the food is required.
Sirius Bordeaux Red (????, probably 2000), $14. Well, this is a hard one. It tastes like Bordeaux. Decent Bordeaux even. It's priced like it, but is a new attempt at a regional wine in mass production. That's not what Bordeaux has traditionally been about. (Chateau Sirius?) Well, it is a serious wine, and quite good, but I think I'd leave it for the restaurants. Buy something for yourself with more character.
Walnut City Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (????, maybe 2001), $16. Spicy Pinot from Oregon. (Will-om-met Valley) Hard to fault, except maybe price now that Pinot is the hot wine. "If anyone opens a Merlot, I'm leaving."
Georges Buboeuf Beaujolais-Village (last week), $7. The flower labels are classic and instantly recognizable. These were some of the first reds that I ever drank and liked. So I do have a bit of a soft-spot for these Gamays, but they taste thin and pale compared to the great wines of France.
Yellow Tale Reserve Shiraz (????, does it matter?), $10. No, no, this is the Reserve. Yes, you had the non-reserve at any number of gallery openings and picnics recently. I wish I had had the chance to taste the reserve back-to-back with the non-reserve, as I couldn't pull up any differences in my mind. Still, it's a respectable, inexpensive wine choice. Good with a wide variety of food, and a colorful label.
Montecillo Crianza Rioja (????, probably does matter), $8. I was told that this was produced in the old-fashioned manner. Very rustic, the pourer said. Well, sometimes progress is good.
Turkey Flat "The Turk" (2002 or 2003?), $16. A nice blend of spice and fruit. The name was intriquing, especially for an Aussie wine. Cotes du Rhone attempt from down under I do believe. Definitely interesting, but perhaps not as much bang for the buck as one would hope.
Castano Solanera (darn it, I'd really like to know!, probably the 2002), $14. Amazing wine. Definitely my choice at the moderate ($10-15) price range. Cherry, tannins, very dark, full body. Never have had a better Spanish wine.
Hess Select Cabernet (2002), $14. Tobacco and fruit (blueberry?) balance very nicely. It was especially prized as I tasted it right after the Beaulieu Rutherford Cabernet (see below) and the Hess seemed quite a bit better in the finish especially. Very silky smooth.
Beaulieu Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet (????), $22. A disappointing, though intense, Cab. Had an almost medicine-like finish to it. Very astringent.
Cain Cuvee (NV), $20. A cabernet-based blend. Seemed like a distinct approach aiming not at the biggest, boldest thing of all times, but a more subtle wine that would work with food. I liked it quite a bit. Seemed a lot like other "Meritage" attempts at Bordeaux from California.
Mestre-Michelot Bourgogne (2001?), $20. A very fruity blast of Pinot from France.
Trinitas "Old Vine Cuvee" (2003), $14. Zinfindel blend that was quite good. Plenty of fruit and some vanilla. My second choice in the mid-price range.
Lelia Garnacha (????), $7. My notes say "interesting." But I also remember a lot of fruit (Garnacha is Grenache I do believe) and a soft finish.
Clos du Bois Marlstone (2002 probably), $38. Coffee was the first aroma. After that came blackberry and then the tannins, with a slight bit of oak on the finish. A fine Meritage and my fave in the pricey range (>$15).
Schramsberg Cremant Sparkling (????), $33. More flavor and less pressure than true Champagnes. A bit of residual sugar and lots of melon flavors. I'm not much of a sparkling wine fan, but this stuff was fantastic. Wish my taste buds had been in better shape at that point.
Appears to be 100% effective, but is already getting tied into conservative identity politics. Might be quite a fight in the states to get this as a normal childhood vaccine. Though I don't know much about the Hep-B vaccination politics, was that contentious? Vaccinating small children against a STD.
The five members of the Scorpion police unit whose video of Bosnian murders shock up Serbia this past year will be tried. It's a small step. Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic are still at large.
The parody. With Beck and Thurston Moore? A novelty record for our times. Hmmm...make that a novelty CD.
Not quite as lurid as Jordan, Minnesota, but if Big Black were still around, there probably would be a song. The City Pages' article is called Sins of the Father. It's a good summation of the story so far.
More news: (10/7) Bishop apologizes..
The long-rumored connection between the Iranian-trained Hezbollah and the Shia fighters in Southern Iraq is made public. As the article notes, Iranian-British relations are at a pretty low point anyway.
There is a three-way wedding. Unfortunately, this is going to be mainly looked at in terms of same-sex marriage in the states. Offer an opinion? Me? The three of them appear to be adults, they should be able to what they want as long as they don't hurt others. Now, on the hurting others front, we'll have to think a bit about the consequences. Insurance and all.
Will smoking kill a billion people over the next century? Well, we can see the extent of math in the media in this article... Nothing more subtle than 10*100 here.
Nobel Prize for discovery of the bacteria that causes most ulcers. I remember when the accepted wisdom changed for ulcers, from "lifestyle" to "bacteria."
Given how our other democratization programs have gone...how much faith do you have in this? Or do we just call it the Give-Cuba-Back-to-the-Dole Corporation Act?
The Posada Carilles case seems to illustrate the US stance. Our terrorist, good! Your terrorist, bad.