Friday, January 31, 2003

More postal service hijinx. A 60-year old guy who was set to retire today went out in a blaze of deviance by forcing a female co-worker to get naked and strut around.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

The New Continental Divide [The Atlantic] Overcrowded cities on the coasts. Dying rural communities in the interior. The way to save both may be to create a post-agrarian heartland
Finally some outstanding news from Washington, with Congress actually representing the interests of citizens. Senate Blocks Funding for Pentagon Database
Saying they feared government snooping against ordinary Americans, U.S. senators voted on Thursday to block funding for a Pentagon computer project that would scour databases for terrorist threats.
The producers of Colonial House are accepting applications for you (individually, or with your family) to hunt, fish, farm, and live off the land in a hut much as colonials would have done 400 years ago. 5 months with no electricity or any of its inheritors.
Stop Bush's Rush to War. Send an email to Congress via this online form. (you can also write to reject Bush's plan to aid wealthy investors)
Edward Ardizzone: Diary of a War Artist. From GMT+9.
Kurt Vonnegut on the State of the Union
Q: Based on what you’ve read and seen in the media, what is not being said in the mainstream press about President Bush’s policies and the impending war in Iraq?
A: That they are nonsense.
The 24-hour comic index - Scott McCloud's (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics) list of comics (all available online) started and completed in a single 24 hour marathon session. Over 200 to read. Another smaller index is at Space-Age's site.
Slip-wearing Barbie axed. Collectors pissed.
"When did pretty underwear become associated with porn, premarital sex, teenage pregnancy?" said Australian Barbie collector Toni Ross of
rural Victoria. "Since when were adult collectibles monitored by the morality police?"
When a virus strikes, should the consumer have the right to know what happened from the affected institution?
FReepers: How the right-wing makes itself heard. The Liberal side has theirs too.
8.50 for the whole staff? Careers in web content management aren't what they used to be (from The Register, which has some pretty nice O'Reilly-Spoof tshirts.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The sleeping sickness parasite, which affects millions in sub-Saharan Africa, once merged with a plant, and now uses those subsumed genes to break down sugars.

Monday, January 27, 2003

The disgusting anti-consumer, pro big media interest group RIAA's web site got hacked again. This time it looks like its been shut down hard. I'm still waiting for my individual membership so they can "protect" my "rights" too.
European perspectives of the Bush's aggressor stance on Iraq.

Friday, January 24, 2003

The making of a major league baseball

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The George Costakis collection of Russian Avant-Garde Art.
With an online guided tour.
Amazons of the Avant Garde
Turn of the century Russian paintings.
Fossils of feathered, flying, tree-dwelling dinosaur found in China.
[Tact, grace, and propriety - GWB-Style!]
President Bush has selected Jerry Thacker, a Pennsylvania marketing consultant who has characterized AIDS as the "gay plague" and called homosexuality a "deathstyle," to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS.
Here at Jiveco, our scumbag-alert meters are pinned at full on this guy. Isn't it a bad enough personality affliction that this guy is both a right-wing, Bob Jones U. graduate, homophobe and a Bush insider without adding the insult of his being a marketing consultant? C'mon, George! A marketing consultant?

"Would you have a member of the Flat Earth Society advising the president on space policy?" Coates asked. "Why would you have people advising the president about approaches to public health who don't read the science?"
Those wacky Japanese are at it again. This time, biker gangs are torturing members of rival gangs by forcing them to eat wasabi and chili peppers. If that's not bad enough, the ladies are fashioning their pubic hair in crude approximations of British soccer star David Beckham's mohawk hairdo.
"Styling your pubic hair is a lot harder than most people think," sex worker Ayuchi tells Shukan Jitsuwa. "Actually, I've got a bit of a Toda look myself, at the moment. My boyfriend told me that I should dye my pubic hair bright red, but there's no way I'm going to do that. I want my hair to hurry up and grow back so I can return to the Beckham look."
Your locks won't. An AT&T security researcher found a way to create a master key (NYTimes) for a lock given access to a standard key and a number of blank, uncut keys.
He said he had tested Mr. Blaze's technique the way that he tests many of the techniques described in his book: he gave instructions and materials to a 15-year-old in his South Dakota town to try out. The teenager successfully made a master key.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

More oil politics: Bush wants to cut taxes on fully loaded SUVs for business.
The proposal "makes a glitch in the tax code much worse and it benefits rich businessmen who want to buy massive S.U.V.'s," said Aileen Roder, program director for Taxpayers for Common Sense. "In essence we're buying these vehicles for these businesses."
There's someone selling a perpetual motion machine - that requires "no external power source whatsoever" - on ebay. I can't believe that ebay let 5 morons bid on this thing. Definitely read the absurd second paragraph description. Thanks Metafilter.
It's great how people that sell crap like this insist on "Serious buyers only" in their posts. Seriously failed physics, maybe. Why didnt the original owner just keep it to power his house forever, for free?
Get Your War On - new strips
Has anyone seen the noticed the pictures being published of Donald Rumsfeld over the last couple of weeks? If he doesn't get to slaughter some poor people pretty damn quick, it looks like he's going to bust a vein in his neck.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

And the RIAA hopes to make ISPs pay for P2P activity. Further evidence of both the industry and the RIAA's hatred and total lack of understanding of their core market.
Corrupt media conglomerates are calling the shots... In a victory for entertainment companies that are seeking to defend their works against digital copying, a federal judge ordered Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over the name of an Internet subscriber who allegedly made songs broadly available online. Here's the judge's ruling in PDF.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Sharks in the North Atlantic are in a sharp decline due to overfishing.
Hammerhead sharks showed the most serious decline with an 89 percent decrease in population since 1986.
All sharks falling into the category of large coastal species also dwindled by more than half. "Coastal species are going downhill because fisheries are covering their entire range," Baum said.
Look out Cap Daddy. Mr. Bling got you in check. Get you and your thugz iced out correct up in the 0-3 with new hot low prices!
More vinyl mayhem at Franks Vinyl Asylum
I vaguely remember owning the Monsters Go Disco single. The very pink, (literally) ass-headed Frankenberry looks much stranger upon re-examination. What was the artist going for? Why is Booberry so drugged-out, lazy, and heavy-lidded? Admittedly, he does have a certain "fuck-it-I'm-dead-anyway" saviour-faire. No questions whatsoever about the Count. Frank's also got the elusive "Ali and his gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay", which I've had my eye out for. I like the idea that a boxer can solve any of society's ills by punching it (them?). You'd better believe Ali's gonna take care of a cavity, people! The cover is worth checking too. If you look carefully, you'll see that the guest-stars names are listed in a rainbow font... All except for Frank Sinatra, that is! The Chairman (although featured in the role of a low-down ice-cream hustler) wasn't having any of that rainbow nonsense, even back in the 70's.
Gorillas Gone Wild! Caught on film!!! Gargantua Photos will take care of your gorilla fetish, buddy-boy!

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Woodcut(1) artist(2) Frans(3) Masereel(4)
The Bureau of Public Secrets
[BushCo: an unelected presidency of, by, and for the very rich] When Bush crows about how much an "average" U.S. family will get back as a result of his tax plan, take a look at this L-Curve (courtesy of Metafilter), to get a perspective on the extent that the ultrarich statistically skew the "average" with respect to income. If that's not bad enough, factor in his absurd stock dividends tax break, even further distancing the rich from the rest.
The economy is a complex system, but it is essentially a human invention. It can be "managed" (or influenced) in many ways. If it is not managed intentionally, then it is managed (or manipulated) by those who hold political and economic power, typically to their own advantage. It is not enough to create a strong economy. It is just as important to ask how the benefits of the economy are distributed through the population. A truly democratic society needs to find ways to manage the economy to benefit the population as a whole. This is not being done.
Surgical tools are left in 1500 patients every year.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society
Who the hell are these people who read Pop-up ads then buy from the companies that sponsor them?! Whoever you are, you're screwing it up for the rest of us, according to the disturbing report that they actually work.
["Painted Cake Pie in the Sky" politics] One positive note in the disastrous showdown between the U.S. and North Korea is the bonus surplus of North Korenglishisms that have been flooding our shores. It really breaks the monotony of having to rely on our own English-speaking president to conjure malapropisms and fictional additions to the canon of Beaurocratese.
Today, North Korea effectively bit the hand that was offering to feed it, by dismissing the U.S's offer for talks as 'Deceptive Drama', while issuing the amazing quote: ``The U.S. loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a painted cake pie in the sky as they are possible only after the DPRK (North Korea) is totally disarmed,''
The North Korean English-language news website is even better with press releases with titles like: "Drama "The Fog Hanging Low Over the Motherland Is Breaking Away" and "U.S. frantic moves to stifle DPRK under fire". They even have plans for "building powerful nation" in case you want to use their material for reference in your own absolutist power schemes.
Although the people's propaganda site is apparently hosted in Japan (what the?), this somehow doesnt stop their communcations guys from issuing statements like "Japan is not an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier.’ Japan should ponder over the fact that a powder magazine of military expansion extremely heated will catch fire and Japan will be sunken in the Pacific forever before its missiles are launched toward the continent."
Whooo-HAH! These cats mean bid-NISS! I've only got one thing to say to that, North Korea: This here one capitalist stooge puppet that not want insane Rigamarole and suffer greatly defeat at hands of mighty people's unified!
If absurd boasts are your thing, the NTTimes has a further collection of zingers here.
``Party officials told us that the Americans kneeled down before the Great General Kim Jong Il begging for a deal,'' said Yoo. North Korea regularly boasts it can eliminate the Americans ``to the last one if the U.S. war maniacs infringe upon our fatherland by one inch.'' The United States and its allies brush away such reckless bravado. With its centrally planned economy in shambles, North Korea has depended on outside aid to feed its 22 million people since the mid-1990s.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Gobbles, a hacker group, claims that The RIAA hired them to create a virus system which infects mp3s.
"Several months ago, GOBBLES Security was recruited by the RIAA ( to invent, create, and finally deploy the future of antipiracy tools. We focused on creating virii/worm hybrids to infect and spread over p2p nets," writes Gobbles.

1/15/03 Update: its a hoax.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Lemme get this straight... The U.S. wants weapons inspectors in Iraq. The inspectors are there, doing their jobs. They say that inspections may take up to a year. But yet the U.S. is ammassing huge numbers of troops around Iraq's borders, apparently threatening a bloody massacre... I suppose they're going to just wait around for a year to hear the results of the U.S-sanctioned weapon's inspection program, right? This sounds like another BushCo disaster. In the interest of full disclosure, he should probably just tell the world that he's going to slaughter that country's citizens regardless of what the weapons inspectors find.
[Build a better mousetrap, and summons-carrying messengers of the courts will beat a path to your door] It looks like KaZaA is going to get slapped with a lawsuit by Big Media. KaZaA and others have created a revolutionary new communications network which could be applied in thousands of different scenarios. The only problem is that they've slighted a wealthy dinosaur of an industry who has made their fortune by price-fixing their product and thereby defrauding consumers, so they'll likely get bullied out of existence. Record companies have utterly failed to change with the times and meet the challenge of new technologies and means of distribution, choosing instead to insist that you pay for music that you already own again and again. Your individual rights will probably also be a victim of this lawsuit. Interested in your rights as an artist? Feel free to send a letter to the RIAA and request an individual membership, since they ostensibly are guarding the 'rights' of 'artists'. At this time, an overwhelming majority of artists producing written, recorded, or visual content are individuals who are not represented by a major recording label, so it only makes sense that in the spirit of 'artists' rights', the RIAA must be devoting a majority of their time to the individual artists concerns, right? Wrong. The RIAA doesnt accept individual artists. They don't care about you or your rights. They care about huge media corporations who want to interpret, or worse, ignore, the Bill of Rights to their financial benefit. You'll have to form a corporation to join. You even have to send your membership requests via snail-mail (What else? These people positively hate technology) on corporate letterhead. Once you do, your dues will run $10,000/year. Exersize your freedom of speech while you still have it: laugh in Hillary Rosen's face every time she uses the word 'rights'.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

"The Bush administration position basically condemns people to death by H.I.V./AIDS," said Adrienne Germain, president of the International Women's Health Coalition. "And we're talking about tens of millions of people." While they're not planning the slaughter of innocent people via Bush's war machine, Republicans are apparently enraged by Americans daring to use condoms. This disturbing story from the NYTimes explains the radical right's bizarre and misinformed war on condom use.
Late 70's/Early 80's horror-punk band the Misfits spawned more than a legion of suburban kids with devillocks. Their vinyl pressing catalog is among the most insanely collectable in the history of recorded music, with intense debate invested to even defining their Danzig-era discography, let alone collecting it. is a directory of online comic series organized by subject.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Rare lost-and-stolen beatles tapes recovered. 500(!) of em.
In an act of true political heroism Gov. George Ryan of Illinios cleared that state's death row due to the penalty's arbitrary and capricious process.
"Gov. Ryan has taught us what leading truly looks like," said Lawrence C. Marshall, director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern, the school whose journalism students have helped exonerate some condemned inmates. "This is greatness, my friends."
Kudos to Senior White House Press Corps member Helen Thomas, for bravely confronting the Bush administration on why it is the president's bloodlust is going to drag us into an unnecessary war.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Ebay yanked a family's auction to sell itself. The Dad is a television writer, and thus the premise really isnt that funny, reading more like a milquetoast attention-getting scheme than some of the other freak auctions we've seen.

"In medieval times, artists had patrons that supported them and this is a similar thing," Young told CNN/Money. "We're basically saying, 'Wouldn't you like to be a part of this?'"
Uh. No, Mr. Young.
North Korea removes itself from the nuclear arms treaty warning of a "Third World War". They do say however that they're willing to talk to Washington. Great. That should help.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

In addition to seeing some of artist John Bull's fantastic traditional Japanese woodblock prints, his website features a walkthrough of each of the painstaking steps he takes to produce a single print.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Time Magazine Online is running a survey entitled "Biggest Threat to World Peace: Which country really poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?" Results are amusing.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

There's some good news as well: DVD Jon Johansen was cleared of DVD Piracy charges stemming from his development of DeCSS, which the then 15-year old used to watch DVD's on his Linux computer.
Johansen said after the ruling that he would celebrate by "watching DVD films on unlicensed players."
There's no detaching a Republican politician from his greed-motivated politics. Apparently, there's no limits to his galling transparency, either. The faux-president's new economic stimulus plan (NYTimes) is a thinly-veiled scheme intended to benefit only the wealthy corporate criminals he rubs shoulders with. How many uninsured, out-of-work people do you know who are going to benefit from a stock dividend tax break? They might as well throw in a 10% cash-back incentive for yacht purchases and country club memberships while they're at it.

"This is so flagrant," said Kevin Phillips, a political commentator and the author of "Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich." "It's not aimed at the little investor," Mr. Phillips said of the Bush plan. "It's aimed at the big investor and shrouded by a fog of phoniness. This isn't even trickle-down economics. It's mist-down economics."
"There ought to be limits to freedom" (-gwb) redux: "Governments can lead by example in cyberspace security" This laughable quote is only the beginning. No surprise here: Bush tramples civil liberties once again by drastically eliminating ALL of the proposals explicitly dedicated to "Privacy and Civil Liberties" in the 'National Strategy to Secure
Cyberspace' (btw.. what's with the use of the word "cyber"? Is this 1986?), while giving even more power to the totally superfluous and tax-dollar-wasting Homeland Security Department.

"The new draft pares the number of security proposals from 86 to 49. Among changes, the draft drops an explicit recommendation for the White House to consult regularly with privacy advocates and other experts about how civil liberties might be affected by proposals to improve Internet security. "

In his apparent goal to lock the role of the Fuhrer of the 21st century, and transform the U.S. into a true evil empire, Bush's plan includes comments on the possibility of the US waging "cyber-warfare".

Monday, January 06, 2003

The American Dialect Society
Founded more than a century ago, the American Dialect Society is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it.
Fat Playoffs: Fat Cities vs. Fit Cities. Philly is 4th fattest to Houston's #1.
A guy apparently broke the record for smashing concrete with his groin.
Two huge studies confirm that global warming is shifting biological systems northward.
[You're being watched from above] A giant ring of stars is circling the Milky Way
Microsoft is talking up "Smart Panels", an interactive display that you can take up to 100 feet from the computer that provides its visual content. Good idea, but really expensive, and critics say, cheaper laptops can do much more.
["Come all ye..." or "Come all you..."?] A great directory of Sea Shantys and Sailor Songs

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Xhoba is an African plant that curbs appetite and restores energy. It'll be fat-city for the first company to get it in pill form.
Art Spiegelman splits from the New Yorker citing the magazine's insane timidity. features scans of tickets and personal stories of the events that accompany them.
Before Peter Jackson got the Lord of the Rings script, he was in discussions with Universal Studios to write and direct a remake of King Kong for summer of '98 release. Universal pulled out when they learned that a Godzilla remake was being planned for the same year and thought that two giant monsters would be one too many. Take a look at the script he wrote for the King Kong remake that never was.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Riding in one of those little electric carts at the supermarket.
I'm not sure which is more strange about this story - the fact that the White House's security is so lax that illegal immigrants can walk up and get jobs onsite, or the fact that once you get the job, you're apparently entitled to get pictures with the president, vice president and their wives.
Selma Hayak claims she's being descriminated against in Hollywood because she's Mexican.... Riiiiiight.....
Pea-brained fascist dictator George W. Bush quietly killed off a Labor Department program that tracks mass employee layoffs by corporations. So much for the corrupt administration's "commitment" to how the economy affects anyone but the very rich.
"You had to look pretty hard just to learn that the mass-layoffs stat had been scotched. No announcement was made by the Labor Department, and no prominent mention of the change was posted at the department's Web site"

Thursday, January 02, 2003

[More is more] Steel Battalion for XBox requires the most large and complicated game controller ever built. Over 40 buttons, levers, knobs, sliders. Looks like fun.
Great video of 'Magic Sand' courtesy of Bifurcated Rivets.
PuNx n07 D3aD! MaximumRockNRoll magazine finally has the beginnings of what might become a good website. From such a populist buncha punks, you'd think they would have had something up sooner. Check out their online radio station where its 1985 every day!
Joe Meek: England's mad-scientist recording producer [TelstarWeb] [The Joe Meek Appreciation Society] [BBC] [Jello Biafra has an opinion] [From the compressor company that bears his name] [Joe Meek Lives On!]
Otis Fodder: For the entire year of 2003 (January 1st to December 31st) this page will feature one mp3 file (every day) to download. The content will be focused on musical pieces, but will also include spoken word. Listeners of the incredibly strange and outsider realm take note, for this is the majority of material that will be made available. Obscure and out-of-print recordings will be the primary focus, although once in a while there may be a change.
I just read this 2003 New Years prediction from Creem warhorse Lester bangs on, no less. His predictions are nothing spectacular, but I highly doubt he drifted into a party on New Years Eve with people sitting around listening to the MC5, then wandered across the hall to another party where they were playing Astral Weeks. Please, Lester. If that even *is* your real name.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

You don't have to go all the way to Mississippi to get a dose of imbicilic Trent Lott-ish redneckism. In Virginia they OFFENDED by a statue of Lincoln.
Bush sees Iraq and North Korea differently. Whew... I thought he was going to cite that their people are a 'both poor, but a different shade of brown'.
Corporate Swindle: Merry Christmas: You're Fired. Verizon uses stockholder interests as an excuse to treat employees like animals, while "Company officials said the total compensation in 2001 for Mr. Seidenberg, Verizon's chief executive, was $13.4 million, and for Mr. Babbio, $24 million."
Corporate Criminal Hijinx. Tyco's ex-chief Dennis Kozlowski urged tough sentence for embezzler Lets see if this piece of garbage can take what he dishes out.