January 31, 2006

How stuff works entry of merit

Check it out! I like the cutting PVC pipe bit myself.

And I suppose, thinking about Star Wars brings us to an important ethical dilemma.

Posted by duver001 at 4:58 PM

Today's thought

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy. If you'd like to learn more about war, there's lots of books in your local library, many of them with cool, gory pictures." - Bart Simpson

Posted by duver001 at 4:48 PM

The Frey publisher responsibilities?

The publishers assert that fact-checking is too costly. Nan Talese didn't have to pay a fact-checker, the Star-Tribune told her years ago that (at least) parts of Frey's work were false. She acts as though she had forgotten that though. Let's see, Talese and Frey make money, book buyers spend money, foolish people believe the books, and we're left with what? The power of the marketplace or some such?

John Dolan's thoughts are, probably, especially apt, if not a bit over-the-top.

Posted by duver001 at 12:06 PM

Google fight!

I guess it works as a judge of truth as well. And "cosmic rays" beat out the singular. And it looks as though it'll be a good year.

Posted by duver001 at 11:41 AM

January 30, 2006

"Beaver" on Wikipedia

No, no, no! It's safe for work. We're talking about the rodent here.

Take a look at this, since fixed, entry on the second largest rodent. I especially liked the "citation needed" bit.

Posted by duver001 at 5:38 PM

The two degree "cap" in global warming might have worse consequences than previously thought

Read through the BBC coverage of the new global climate change report. The Greenland ice may be more perilously balanced at low dT than previously thought.

Posted by duver001 at 12:16 PM

Hostage-takers in Iraq

Include the US military. Fortunately the military hasn't been beheading the hostages. Though being found guilty of murdering prisoners in Iraq (see earlier articles) merits just a $3000 fine.

Posted by duver001 at 12:02 PM

January 29, 2006

"AIDS" funds actually used to fund churches

...that encourage the spread of AIDS by their opposition to birth control. Doublespeak a go-go!

Posted by duver001 at 10:14 PM

January 27, 2006

An excellent bit on myths of Challenger (20 years on)

The myths article appears here. And the top level 20th anniversary stories are here.

So, I was walking home from school, we had had exams that day and I was finished for the day. When I got home my mother had heard it on the radio. I remember the next day watching the footage again and again in school and noticing when someone decided to add the explosion sound to the tape. It wasn't delayed at all. You saw the explosion and heard the bang. I remember that faking of the news video almost as much as the whole tragedy at NASA sort of thing. Columbia bothered me a lot more---probably by being closer to NASA and the space program at that later date, and also understanding it as the end of the era. (Or maybe of the error of the shuttle.)

Posted by duver001 at 11:45 AM

January 26, 2006

How bad is it in Iraq?

British troops want to, essentially, unionize.

Posted by duver001 at 4:01 PM

One language, many meanings

In Mexico cajeta might mean nougat and be a reasonable name for a candy bar, but in the rest of the Spanish-speaking world it's a common slang term in line with its literal meaning, "little box."

Posted by duver001 at 3:46 PM

Karl sez

"We can forgive Christianity much, not least because it taught us the worship of a child." - Karl Marx

Posted by duver001 at 10:58 AM

Terrorist attacks and uploading a film before the DVD release

Both are federal crimes in the States. Any guesses as to who financed the passage of a bill in Congress for the latter?

Posted by duver001 at 9:54 AM

January 25, 2006

Words and numbers

"A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler..."

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the following costs for an Iraq war:

* Initial deployment of troops: $9 billion to $13 billion

* Conducting the war: $6 billion to $9 billion per month

* Returning forces to US: $5 billion to $7 billion

* Temporary occupation of Iraq: $1 billion to $4 billion per month

Posted by duver001 at 9:16 PM

How transparent can you be?

Oh, rather clear I do believe. Putin wants to wipe away the NGOs in Russia. Presto, spy scandal!

Posted by duver001 at 8:58 PM

Business as usual

The Pope says that the duty of the church is to influence our leaders and the Supreme Court looks to be changing a bit. There was also some bit in there about eros and agape but the Bishop of Rome talking about Greek philosophy is a little too serious for this blog I fear.

Posted by duver001 at 8:45 PM

The best thing to do before speaking in public

Oxytocin is fingered in the study.

Posted by duver001 at 8:31 PM

Best companies to work for...

Some interesting choices in there...

Posted by duver001 at 8:28 PM

"Specialty" local wine stores profiled

Sam's (of Minneapolis, not to be confused with the huge, and wonderful, Sam's Wine Warehouse in Chicago) isn't bad, and I've been in Solo Vino once. WineStyles sounds pretty scary though. How hard is it to try a couple of wines and find things you like by name? Or buy $6 bottles based on the label. How far wrong can you go?

Posted by duver001 at 11:41 AM

Katrina tales from the White House

are being hidden by the White House. Figure they don't look all that good to the public?

Posted by duver001 at 11:29 AM

Video games to fight obesity?

Well, Dance, Dance, Revolution anyway, for West Virginia schools. WV appears to have the highest rate of obesity in the US.

Posted by duver001 at 9:39 AM

January 24, 2006


Some good photos from a little Leica minilux. I like mine and should post pictures.

See a review here as well.

Posted by duver001 at 5:11 PM

The outsourcing of torture

European governments knew about the CIA's torture flights. These were criminal acts violating European human rights laws. Consequences to be determined later... EU governments have been reluctant to release information to the investigator.

Posted by duver001 at 12:21 PM

Modern diesels

Maybe coming to America sometime soonish... Once the last memories of GM's attempt at diesel cars in the early 1980s is completely erased.

Posted by duver001 at 9:44 AM

January 23, 2006

The punishment for torturing an Iraqi to death?

A $6000 fine. I can't even keep track of the things that have pissed me off (politically) today. But this one got me to log back in, and fire this off to the cosmos.

Posted by duver001 at 11:03 PM

A clear take on the President's criminal behavior

With everything you ever wanted to know about the authorization of wiretaps.

Posted by duver001 at 9:05 PM

Ford "restructuring"

Looks like the St. Paul, MN plant dodged the bullet. Maybe Ford could sell cars that people would be excited about, say the European Focus ST (compare to the US one here), or bringing back the RS models, rather than the Excursions, Expeditions, and Explorers clogging our suburbs (and sometimes wallowing through our cities).

Posted by duver001 at 11:48 AM

Profits up, charges to the government down

One would have to assume that the natural gas industry has paid off the GOP rather well. To say nothing of the Dubya regime weakening of the auditing process which was already quite weak and has been flagrantly violated in recent years (scroll down to the Burlington Resources bit).

Posted by duver001 at 11:44 AM

Halliburton provides contaminated water, and hides it

And a bunch of folks got sick. Who exactly is aiding the "enemy" again?

Posted by duver001 at 11:40 AM

It might not be a crime now to mention the Armenian Genocide in Turkey

Though the charges were just dropped and there was no real judgement as to whether it was a one-time deal or a new stance. What was shocking to me was the lack of support that Pamuk faced within Turkey.

Posted by duver001 at 11:34 AM

January 20, 2006

A bad Christmas gift revisited


Posted by duver001 at 12:05 PM

Oak Street Theater

Our best local independent cinema is in serious financial trouble. There have been a lot of rumors over the troubles there, but this is the first time I've seen it all spelled out. Repetory theaters must be having a tough time with the much easier availability of foreign and rare movies purchasable or rentable online.

Posted by duver001 at 9:40 AM

Whale in central London

Bottle-nosed whale sighted passing Parliament and headed upstream. Let's just hope it wasn't one of the US Navy-trained animals showing up late for a Guy Fawkes Day reenactment.

Posted by duver001 at 9:37 AM

January 18, 2006

Don't forget, January is Filk-Song month!

Filk! Thanks Scott.

Posted by duver001 at 9:46 PM

Hamas TV

With cartoons and suicude bombers, oh my!

Posted by duver001 at 9:36 PM

January 17, 2006

MLK's incomplete legacy

Greenwich, CT beaches.

Posted by duver001 at 8:43 AM

Earwax removal

Me, I often have quite a bit of ear wax buildup though I do clean my ears on a daily basis. (Was that too much information?) Anyhow, this Canadian Medical Journal article details the emergency removal of earwax with a supersoaker loanded by a local four year old. It was "an off-label use" of the device. Not generally recommended, but something to add to your emergency medicine knowledge...

Posted by duver001 at 8:37 AM

CNN mistranslation of "technology" as "weapons"

In the context of Iran and nuclear. Do a little search on this blog and another recent CNN problem with nuclear facility pictures. And, of course, we need to remember that this is the US's non-politically-crazy and generally responsible cable news network. Oi!

Posted by duver001 at 8:31 AM

And what were the results of the illegal wiretappings?

Not, as Dick Cheney said, "thousands of lives saved" but rather just dead ends and useless information that occupied hundreds of FBI agents. But the administration probably figured they could make up for it by just torturing some folks.

Posted by duver001 at 8:28 AM

January 16, 2006

Physics by blog

The "dark energy is evolving" results and discussion in blog format. An interesting approach to the science.

Posted by duver001 at 10:03 PM

January 15, 2006

Beer and Portland, Oregon

Good winter excursion...

Posted by duver001 at 9:48 AM

Ashkenazi origin

From DNA testing.

Posted by duver001 at 9:45 AM

A real need for education

...on alternative energy. Looks to be some odd versions of NIMBYs. Windmills make the sound of Nazis torturing Jews? Huh?

Posted by duver001 at 9:14 AM

January 12, 2006

Continuing on the car theme...

Take a look at Top Gear's comparison of racing the NSX on a game machine and in real life.

And comparing modern road cars to race cars of the past.

Great videos. And why doesn't the US have either good car magazines or video magazines like the Brits? Check out Evo, Car, or Top Gear and compare them to the waste of paper that is the US auto magazine industry.

Posted by duver001 at 1:46 PM

The automatic braking fiasco

Well, it turned out that the much-publicized test failure of the Mercedes automatic brake system was rigged. It wasn't a test at all.

Posted by duver001 at 1:35 PM

January 11, 2006

Time to talk seriously about impeachment

True, we've been talking about it in humor since he was selected by the Supreme Court as POTUS, but "high crimes" are in evidence aplenty now. Can a Republican majorityin Congress indict their figurehead? Guess we'll find out.

Posted by duver001 at 8:25 PM

Instead of reading Frey...

Wasted, by Black Flag

I was so wasted
I was a hippie
I was a burnout
I was a dropout I was out of my head
I was a surfer
I had a skateboard
I was so heavy man, I lived on the strand
I was so wasted
I was so fucked up
I was so messed up
I was so screwed up I was out of my head
I was so jacked up
I was so drunk up
I was so knocked out, I was out of my head
I was so wasted
I was wasted.

And save the "Million Little Pieces" of money.

Posted by duver001 at 8:18 PM

Kurt Vonnegut

"The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought."

Posted by duver001 at 8:08 PM

January 10, 2006

Hash browns!

At long last! A review of hash browns in Minneapolis. Let us all rejoice!

Posted by duver001 at 7:37 PM

Bad ideas for movies

Real ones that are coming soon:

And some others that we can only hope for:

Posted by duver001 at 11:41 AM

Keeping you informed of Zimbabwe events and news (well, via the Beeb)

Cholera outbreak in Harare. Someday I hope to post some positive news here from Zimbabwe.

Posted by duver001 at 10:45 AM

January 7, 2006

Heinrich Harrer RIP

Despite the popularity of Seven Years in Tibet, Harrer was a complicated figure: first to climb the north face of the Eiger, a Nazi, and outstanding wilderness survivor all before Lhasa. Afterwards, well, read the book.

Posted by duver001 at 11:28 PM

January 5, 2006

SUVs a go-go

This is a cute little bit from Europe with the first SUV (or any vehicle) to get a zero crash test rating. Chinese SUVs might take a bit to get into the US market I think. Like be sold as Wal-Mart brand trucks with some sort of Congressional Republican "get-away-with-something-stupid" law as cover.

In a plausibily related note, kids fare the same whether or not they are strapped into multi-ton CO2 machines.

And Physics Today has an article on the physics of car crashes.

Posted by duver001 at 1:00 PM

Derek Bailey RIP

He passed away on Christmas Day at age 75. In my opinion, he was the great guitar improvisor of the last few decades and will be especially remembered for extending the guitar technique. Had the wonderful chance to hear him play twice and once sit and play with him in a workshop setting. Aside from his musicianship, he had an excellent reputation for supporting and assisting younger musicians getting started, and there's also Incus Records that Bailey helped start back in the 1970s that is still one of England's best independent jazz and improv labels.

Jazz Times tends to have good obits. Which, in jazz, seem to be pretty frequent these days.

While you're thinking abour Bailey, also check out his long-time collaborator Gavin Bryars's web pages. Yes, there is more to his music than either the "Jesus blood" or Titanic pieces.

And, what's this? There's a biography of Derek Bailey out in the UK! Ah yes, Ben Watson from The Wire and the (in)famous Zappa biography.

January 3, 2006


As the first news item I wanted to pass along for the new year...Willie Nelson is promoting biodiesel. BioWillie Diesel in fact. And a good starting place for those of you who wonder what the heck biodiesel is. Cheers!

Posted by duver001 at 12:19 PM