June 29, 2006

Tales from two city media outlets

"U. S. Guantanamo trials illegal" reads the BBC coverage headline. In the NYTs "Supreme Court Blocks Trials at Guantanamo". The SCOTUS found that the Bush regime violated the US Constitution and the Geneva Conventions.

No word on when indictments are expected...

Posted by duver001 at 12:39 PM

James Fetzer interview in the City Pages

If you don't know him, he's the UMD professor and local master of conspiracy theories. He is sort of the unofficial dean of the Minnesota conspiracy theory folks (okay, guys, as there aren't too many gals into that particular business) and a compelling argument for the humorlessness of public access television.

On the conspiracy theory news front, as long as we're there, I just finished reading The Letters of Wanda Tinasky. If you remember, she's the "bag lady" who wrote the Pychonesque letters to the editor of various papers around (the California) Fort Bragg area while Pychon himself was in the area researching Vineland. Anyway...the whole story sounds so much better in theory than when actually read, the letters are rather pedestrian and remind me more of the weird letters to Savage Love or Creative Loafing than anything Pychon would author. Anyhow...just my random thoughts to send you off to google.

Posted by duver001 at 12:23 PM

The anniversary of the return of the death penalty

Let's not forget that this week marks the 30th anniversary of the return of the death penalty to the United States. 1026 deaths. 123 death row exonerations.

Posted by duver001 at 12:19 PM

This weekend

Remember, this Saturday for the official 4th (aka 1st) of July party. RSVPs appreciated but not required. See you then!

Posted by duver001 at 12:16 PM

June 28, 2006

Al Gore's presidential moment

Okay, truth be told, he's had several presidential moments and we all know that's a few more than the current occupier of the oval office. Still, what to say about An Inconvenient Truth? I saw the movie over the weekend and came away with a string of opinions and a fear that someone would note that I had driven to the movie theater rather than walked...

  • The science looked accurate. Scientists in the relevent field agree with a few minor caveats. Still, it's an interesting experience to hear a politician get facts straight.
  • The animated bear and frog are just ridiculous.
  • Not a bad powerpoint (or Keynote) presentation. I suspect that the interns/staff has a lot to do with it.
  • Apple advertising! (Thanks Anne for the thought.) If this movie gets the US working towards lowering carbon emissions, someday Apple will use it in an ad.
  • The bear and frog? Drop them in the director's cut.
  • The whole human interest bit with Gore's son, hit by a car, reeked of cheap manipulation. The story of his sister (who died as a smoker of lung cancer while the family farm grew tobacco) was much more effective.
  • There's a decent review of what's happening here from the New Haven Advocate.
  • And the NYT talking about geoengineering "solutions" to ameliorate the global climate change.

Posted by duver001 at 11:06 AM

June 27, 2006

Geoengineering mention in the Times

Dealt with a healthy dose of skepticism, after all if Ed Teller supports it, it's not likely to be a good idea. Still, in good American fashion it would be the technological solution that would let the good-old boys drive their gas guzzlers.

Posted by duver001 at 11:06 AM

Arts incorporated into day-to-day education

This NYC program caught my eye.

Posted by duver001 at 10:51 AM

Katrina waste and corruption

"Breathtaking" says the article. Just wait until we're evacuating Florida from the rising ocean waters.

Posted by duver001 at 10:43 AM

The Egg of Columbus

Oddly enough I had never heard this story before.

Posted by duver001 at 10:39 AM

June 26, 2006

Food ethics

I had been wondering when there would be intelligent press coverage of Chicago's ban on foie gras, and the Whole Food chain discontinuing sales of live lobsters. Looks as though California is also going in for the foie gras ban, though it'll be phased in over the next six years.

The New York Times has a balanced look at this in their dining section. Lobsters? Great Danes in one bedroom apartments? Killing a cow? The article doesn't really talk about internally consistent schemes for animal/food ethics such as being vegan. Though that isn't an interesting option to me, it does eliminate much of the inconsistency noted here.

Posted by duver001 at 11:54 AM

Who's really screwing America?

A little exerpt from The Nation. I like the non-obvious nature of some of these listings. Dan Brown and Dick Cheney together at last.

Posted by duver001 at 11:30 AM

First wild bear in Germany since 1835

So it was shot.

Posted by duver001 at 11:27 AM

Buffet's big donation

$37 billion donation to the Bill Gates Foundation. Noting the size of the Gates Endowment compared to the UN budget was enlightening... Let them do good with the money.

Posted by duver001 at 10:33 AM

June 14, 2006

The Marines sing about murdering Iraqi families

Real sweet. Art imitating life.

Posted by duver001 at 1:09 PM

Businesses are following the government and cutting R&D funding

That saves money, right? For a while, then you find yourself without new innovation and technology. But all of that was going to be improved with those tax cuts for the superwealthy, right? :)

Posted by duver001 at 1:03 PM

June 12, 2006

Beer fights prostate cancer?

More hops, Igor.

Posted by duver001 at 9:45 AM

Dead prisoners

One was even due to be released.

Posted by duver001 at 9:39 AM

Rain in College Park, MD

It's a rainy, grey day here in Maryland. Am visiting the University of Maryland for a CREAM collaboration meeting and to do a little work on the recovery tools. I went ahead and parked right outside the building and risk the parking ticket rather than lumber half-way across campus with bags of parts and tools. My previous PDA died in a downpour when water pooled in a small pocket of my backpack in which the Treo 90 was located. (That was the non-phone Treo, little Palm-like with a keyboard. Rather obsolete, but useful. Got a Treo 650 as a replacement for that PDA and my old Verizon phone as well.) Since then have been reluctant to walk around without an umbrella in heavy rainfall with electronics in my (claimed waterproof) backpack.

Anyway...was here over the weekend to get some work done, but the lab here has a new lock, so nope! no work done. Spent a few hours watching Battlestar Galactica (the new one) episodes on disk. And then found that the new Dr. Who (Bad Wolf!) was on the Sci Fi channel at the hotel. (And the doctor regenerated after (spoilers!) Rose wiped out the Daleks. Hey, wait, didn't Sylvester McCoy wipe out the Daleks as well?) So, SF TV and then wandered down into DC to find some Afghani food. Once again, not quite devoted enough to make it to the Holocaust Museum. I've been feeling as though I'm a bad person for not feeling like dealing with the emotional content (I'm confident that I can deal with the historical content) of that museum.

More later...

Posted by duver001 at 8:57 AM

June 9, 2006

Unknown Weegee

International Center of Photography show.

Posted by duver001 at 2:52 PM

Altman's PHC

A quite positive review in the NYT.

Posted by duver001 at 2:46 PM

Dungeon in Chechnya

The Russian torture center has been found. But do we think that the US has done any better?

Posted by duver001 at 2:29 PM

June 8, 2006

Uptown criminals are no match for superheroes!

Way to go, Galactic Pizza! Their pies are really good as well! Their CSA pizzas in the summer can be pretty impressive, depending on what's fresh in the gardens at the time.

Posted by duver001 at 5:38 PM

Another academic success for the University of Minnesota

Oh wait, you mean the millions of stadium dollars doesn't help with education? And in fact harms the chances of getting other large blocks of money from the state for actual education programs? But we do know what is most important in a Big 10 state school. A stadium on campus. Yup, that's it.

Posted by duver001 at 4:39 PM

Mt. Foraker (Sultana) appears to have claimed a couple more climbers

Searchers found footprints and some equipment, but not the climbers.

Posted by duver001 at 4:08 PM

Reading bin Laden

The Nation has a fascinating piece on the publication of the bin Laden/Al Qaeda missives. The article has even made me interested in reading Mein Kampf which I had always put into the "if I lived in the 1930s I should read it, but why bother today" category.

Posted by duver001 at 1:59 PM

The location of Hitler's bunker marked publically for the first time

A former bodyguard was there for the interview.

Posted by duver001 at 1:57 PM

June 7, 2006

Inconvenient truth review from the City Pages

Hmmm...a glorified powerpoint movie? Still, it's one of the classic cases of the fight between style and substance. Will review it when I see it myself.

Posted by duver001 at 4:23 PM

Success in Iraq. Failure in Washington.

For about the eightieth time, Dubya announces a turning point in the Iraq debacle. What is it? Well..."'He wouldn't have taken my phone call a year ago,' Bush said Monday of the new Iraqi parliament speaker. 'He's now taken it twice.' Wow, and it only cost $200 billion and thousands of maimed and dead American soldiers to get the President's call returned."

Meanwhile, we ponder the extent to which the US's utter contempt for human rights and international norms allow event such as the Haditha massacre and cover-up (and pay-off) to take place. A world of "us or them," "right or wrong," and "with us or terrorist" is right out of a twelve-year-old's world-view. But then again, so is playing soldier

Posted by duver001 at 4:15 PM

Emergency frog rescue

One of the more interesting, and utterly cool, examples of "emergency" science. Rescuing frog species ahead of a lethal fungus infection. And bringing them back to the states in carry-on baggage...

Posted by duver001 at 12:33 PM

EU complicit in the CIA prisoner torture network



Posted by duver001 at 12:30 PM

June 6, 2006

Happy 6/6/2006

What were those fundies whining about?

Posted by duver001 at 12:18 PM

"Turning the corner"

Or not exactly. Iraq is in worse shape than ever:

Posted by duver001 at 12:00 PM

June 5, 2006

Who would have guessed? Part 2.

Our Congress-slugs are bribeable with free travel.

Posted by duver001 at 4:09 PM

2006 July 4th Party official invitation


I wanted to invite any and all of you out there to my (approximately) eleventh annual July 4th party. The party will be on Saturday the 1st of July, let's call it 4pm or so, with a potluck dinner in there at some point. Kids, friends, SOs, and the like are all welcomed. Both George and Bill Clinton have been invited, so be prepared for the mothership or the secret service. If you would like to, please do bring along some vinyl (records that is) or acetate (78rpm records are also welcomed).

So, let's summarize:

  • July 1st, 4pm
  • 3520 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Potluck and record albums!
  • Friends, partners, and children welcomed.
  • RSVP not required, hope to see you there!

Mike DuVernois

P.S. We have room for out of town guests as well! Do let me know.

Posted by duver001 at 1:22 PM

George Clinton and Ray Nagin

Hey, C. C.! We've freed our asses, will our minds follow?

Posted by duver001 at 1:15 PM

$1000 per month rent in NYC

Though not in Manhattan...

Posted by duver001 at 1:06 PM

The Army Field Manual revised

It will omit that pesky Geneva Convention business when talking about prisoners. I know the Bushites are stupid, but can they really be this stupid? The Eastern and Western fronts during World War 2 in Europe were decidedly different wars due in large measure to ignoring the Geneva Conventions in the East. This is another decision that bodes poorly for the US's standing in the world.

Posted by duver001 at 12:49 PM

June 1, 2006

The real trial of the century will begin soon

The Enzo-wrecking Swedish guy. Facing seven felony charges.

Posted by duver001 at 11:56 AM

Art cars!

Houston's 2006 Everyone's Art Car Parade.

Posted by duver001 at 11:51 AM

Cthulu Chick Tract

Do you remember those hilarious little Chick Tracts? The ones telling you that you needn't pack sweaters for the afterlife? It seems inevitable, now that the stars are right, that the Cthulu Chick Tract is now available. I want to be eaten first!

Posted by duver001 at 10:43 AM