July 31, 2006

Awful videos

You know, they can be almost like, well, watching a car crash...

Never get out of the car while it's still going.

BBC news interview in Iraq. Oddly enough, I had just been asking this question about subtitles a few days ago.

And this gem from Iraq.

The private contractors have been having fun as well.

Posted by duver001 at 11:46 AM

For the hottest day in Minneapolis...

Let's read HST's classic, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." Enjoy!

Posted by duver001 at 11:44 AM

July 29, 2006

July 28, 2006

"Against the day"

Pynchon's latest (992 pages it is claimed) will be out in December. I think it would probably be the perfect Chanukah, Christmas, or Saturnalia gift for, well, for many people for whom it would be a good gift. From the claimed author's notes on amazon..."With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred."

Ouch! It's a reminder that Pynchon's last book appeared during the Clinton administration. Do we dare remember our crazy optimism at the time? A leader we disagreed with and even seemed foolish at times, but one you would be thrilled to have at your dinner party. We might press him on single payer healthcare, but at least we would be confident that he knew where Russia and China were. There were jobs, there was no war save for the occasional cruise missile blowing up aspirin factories or laser guided bombs hitting bridges in Serbia. But the book, yup, you can preorder it at amazon and surely at plenty of other book providers. Just like twelve year olds the day after a Harry Potter release, the Pynchon readership is likely to be out "sick" on the 5th of December. I will have to see if the convenience store in McMurdo, Antarctica will be able to get copies...

What other books are out there around a 1000 pages? Webster's 1867 dictionary to be sure, and there is Newfoundland from last summer. Oh heck, Clinton's My Life and many software manuals have gotten that long. For fiction, there's an online listing of novels longer than 1000 pages. Not sure one wants to be added to that list.

Posted by duver001 at 11:55 AM

And in Las Vegas...

you need to have money in order to be invited to a picnic. Yup, feeding the homeless in a park is illegal.

Posted by duver001 at 11:31 AM

From a slashdot discussion of research outside of academia

> Defense Labs and National Labs: the political forces are too strong for blue-sky research to happen there.

Definately take the politics out - I once worked in defence research lab, specialising in weapons technology. My pet area is killing groups of people as quickly as possible (outdoor specialist). My team came up with some breakthrough ideas, but the g-men said it was too abstract, too blue sky, too arty-farty.

It pretty much came down to "it can kill lots of people, but unless it can start production in my state next quarter and be killing brown people within the year, it's a no-go.", my favourite excuse (shot down because the office favourite's conventional design had a cool looking model): "Your laser is great, the people are out of the way, but now the oil fields on fire.".

Get politics out of war!

I laughed, I cried, and I closed the webpage.

Posted by duver001 at 11:22 AM

Iranian justice

Hanging a sixteen year old girl for "immorality."

Posted by duver001 at 1:11 AM

July 27, 2006

Timothy Leary is dead

And not all speak kindly of him.

Posted by duver001 at 8:05 PM

Against Empire

From The Nation.

Posted by duver001 at 7:59 PM

Sharing music is the best way for the musician to actually make any money

Obviously the RIAA disagrees.

Posted by duver001 at 5:43 PM

Cycling and drugs

The "winner" of the Tour de France might not be so for long. What a mess!

Posted by duver001 at 5:13 PM

July 26, 2006

The Lebanon online

Is a portal that seems to allow one to send information on Hizbollah to Israeli intelligence! It's a site called "All 4 Lebanon." Similar language has appeared on air-dropped pamphlets.

Posted by duver001 at 11:03 PM

As the US continues to lose out in bandwidth...

As consumers we gave the telecoms the money to do this during the Clinton years. They pocketed the money, told the FCC to get lost, and give us DSL. The French are doing something rather different. And everyone else gets the cool cell phones too!

Posted by duver001 at 11:24 AM

Public opinion now and during the Second War

I had no idea, but FDR conducted secret polling of the American public during the war. What does it show? People knew what the war was about, setbacks had little affect on their views, and support was high. Compare and contrast... It's also interesting seeing that the public correctly saw Stalingrad and the other coincident events as the turning point. I hadn't realized that it was obvious at the time.

Posted by duver001 at 8:56 AM

July 25, 2006

For some reason these two articles worked well together

Okay, maybe it seems weird, but here goes:

Posted by duver001 at 11:19 PM

Nuclear explosion expected at the UN

At least according to the folks at True Bible Code.com. In the next couple of days. And they even told the FBI, via a webpage link.

Posted by duver001 at 2:22 PM

Google Earth Intel

I've been greatly enjoying finding the hotels and campsites that I've stayed at across Africa, South America, and Europe using Google Earth. (The Namibian coast is especially well imaged in my opinion.) After spotting some interesting military items I also found this amusing page from the Register from last year. Finding the B-1s, B-2s, and missile silos were interesting, but the earthen Bismarck in the desert? That's weird. In Minneapolis, I found my car parked at the old Tandem labs. I think we might put out month markers there to see when the next set of images are taken.

More Google Earth thoughts later...

Posted by duver001 at 11:10 AM

July 24, 2006

Looks like a cloud


Posted by duver001 at 11:09 PM

Summer in Lebanon?

This advertisement is especially painful. 45 minutes from the airport...

Posted by duver001 at 12:22 PM

July 21, 2006

Bad self-publishing moments


Posted by duver001 at 10:23 PM

Perfect tacos!

I'd pass on the cow eyeball ones, but otherwise... Driving up the California coast eating tacos!

Posted by duver001 at 6:36 PM

Nasrallah's Game

From the Nation article of the same name. I feel a little uncomfortable not seeing much to surprise me in Israel's reactions. What are they going to do? Rolling over doesn't work. Negotiating doesn't work. I'd like to support peace (as a good liberal) but find room for last resorts when needed.

Posted by duver001 at 12:18 PM

July 19, 2006

The iPod's iOddities

I think we've all heard about the iPod-connected vibrator.

Business week has a whole batch of odd iPod accessories. Actually, some aren't terribly odd in my opinion.

Other interesting/odd items include the Tune Buckle, Goatse.cx skin, and there are probably plenty of others to find, but I need to get back to work.

Posted by duver001 at 1:57 PM

July 18, 2006

How easy is it to steal a bike in NYC?

A blowtorch would have been a bit too much I guess.

Posted by duver001 at 2:43 PM

July 17, 2006

Bad things

Posted by duver001 at 8:07 PM

I'd call it a good review

A Scanner, Darkly.

Posted by duver001 at 7:59 PM

Metal detector recommendation for kids?

My little ones, aged seven, have gotten fascinated by metal detectors. They saw some people in the park using one. As they consider almost any small found item to be "treasure" I thought that they might enjoy it. Am looking for recommendations on what to get. I know next to nothing about using metal detectors for anything other than looking for landmines...

Posted by duver001 at 11:08 AM

The Real Bushite Agenda

"Given a choice between following the rules or carving out some unprecedented executive power, the White House always shrugged off the legal constraints."

"One result has been a frayed democratic fabric in a country founded on a constitutional system of checks and balances. Another has been a less effective war on terror."

Posted by duver001 at 10:58 AM

July 16, 2006

An interesting take from the Israeli view on what the heck the Palestinians are trying to do

It's sort of a formalized version of the well-known, "they never miss a chance to miss a chance," quote.

Posted by duver001 at 7:22 PM

July 11, 2006

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

Syd Barrett, certainly the source of anything interesting in the whole Pink Floyd universe, died a couple of days ago. The news was just reported.

Posted by duver001 at 11:43 AM

July 9, 2006


A bloody mess in Baghdad.

Posted by duver001 at 11:16 PM

July 7, 2006

Power saw assault on the subway

Yowza! Someone was watching too many Texas Power-tool Massacre films.

Posted by duver001 at 10:58 AM

Physics and comics

Though it has seemed to me to be inherently a silly topic, this article at least has fun with it. And the Superman movie? I thought it was incoherent with just a few good visuals. Though the drive-in experience is always good. Without a few beers, I suspect the movie would have been duller.

Posted by duver001 at 10:55 AM

July 6, 2006

Rennie and Brett in the Minneapolis paper

My old friends Rennie and Brett Sparks have a little band called the Handsome Family. And they're doing pretty well with it.

Posted by duver001 at 4:16 PM