Friday, August 29, 2003

Genius Weird Al Yankovic interviews Celine Dion
Scientists found a new Mystery Ape
Another great band name swiped by scientists. Thanks to scientists, you'll never hear the phrase 'Holy shit dude, did you catch Mystery Ape's set last week? Sick.' spoken. Who are these "Scientists" anyway? If they were any kind of forward-thinking scientists, they'd forgo the Latin species naming conventions, and let the apes stick with the much cooler "Mystery Ape" moniker permanently. Who do you think would win in fight between scientists and experts? That's right. We all would.
Grant succeeded.
Revoke succeeded.
Table empty.
Commit complete.

Tag! You're inventory.
Speaking of Orwellian invasion, MIT will unveil a new barcode that could give every damned thing a primary key into the ultimate database.
Pulpcards (courtesy of Coudal)
Absurdist, radical, mysticist, breastaphobe, and all-around 4th-Reich funboy John Ashcroft faces some lightweight, half-hearted, kid-glove criticism from his co-conspirators in the neofascist Republican party, and it makes news. Its not yet clear whether the Flat Earth Society has released a criticism. The Amish think this guy is a regressive bumpkin. Seems the (R)s want him to tone down the seig-heiling and goose-stepping that they all gladly went along with - Constitution be damned - back in October 2001. Only Dean had the courage to call him the worst attorney general in history.

At least somebody's not afraid to say it. How many future generations do you think it will take to clean up the right-wing ideological fallout, the liberties dismantling, and the stinking economic carcass that BushCo is leaving in its wake? If your name is 'Big Media', you apparently don't care. Its shameful how none of the supposed liberal media outlets are running this slow motion trainwreck in progress.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

What's in your bottled water?

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Bush pushes fundraising jobs offshore
Lens Creaner!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Friends in high places + monumental corporate crime = free pass
Prosecutors believe that Enron and Worldcom execs will skate. After all, how will Ebbers, Skilling, and Lay enjoy their tax cuts and dividend revenues if they're bothered by something as pesky as justice? This conservatism sure is compassionate!
[The New Republican Surveillance State] In Ashcroft's new America, 8% of you are viewed as a risk so severe that you must be stopped, questioned, and searched.
Keene said he had been told at a private briefing by the head of the Transportation Security Administration that an estimated 8% of the 2.5 million passengers boarding commercial flights each day would be classified as posing an "unknown risk" and asked to step aside for additional searches.

Monday, August 25, 2003

More harmful Bush administration lies uncovered: White House Ordered EPA to Mislead New Yorkers on 9/11 Air Quality
"When the EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement," the report says. "Furthermore, the White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced . . . the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."
Director of the BBC announces plans to open the archive, and make it publicly available online for free.
"For the first time there is an easy and affordable way of making this treasure trove of BBC content available to all."
He predicted that everyone would benefit from the online archive, from people accessing the internet at home, children and adults using public libraries, to students at school and university.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Salt Hay is found in salt-water marshes along New England, Long Island, and the Delaware Bay estuary. Species of the plant differ by inches above tide level, and it is one of the messiest and most difficult plant to farm because of its habitat.

Early 20th century photographs of farmers harvesting Salt Hay [2]

Cutting and stacking

Another Article (New Hampshire)

Friday, August 22, 2003

Speaking of the Bush administration as the new face of fascism - an article from Sunday, April 9, 1944 from the New York Times entitled The Danger of American Fascism, courtesy of Metafilter

The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion
[America vs. Ashcroft] Democrats around the country are bravely calling for ultra-right-wing, extremist, civil-rights terrorist, and fundamentalist/mysticist John Ashcroft to desist from further speaking engagements or or explain why they do not violate restrictions on political activities by government officials.

The brand of neo-fascism and invasion of liberties that the illegitimately-appointed Ashcroft supports cannot be defeated unless Americans are vocal in their unconditional rejection of his Orwellian, anti-American measures. A man who thinks dancing is satanic, and is so utterly terrified of a female breast that he has to have public art censored shouldn't be allowed to determine just measures of security policy, implementation, or enforcement.

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union raised similar concerns about Mr. Ashcroft's speaking tour, which began this week in Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Des Moines and will continue over the next three weeks.
Barbara Comstock, the Justice Department spokeswoman, said Mr. Ashcroft's speaking tour had been thoroughly reviewed by department lawyers and was "entirely appropriate" under federal law.

Don't let Ashcroft get away with destroying everything that your Constitutional Amendments guarantee!
20 Cheap Beers Reviewed
This is a Dear John letter from your brain to your liver. It's so smooth and creamy and refreshing I thought the can was made from magic. It packs a hell of a whallop and costs less than a buck a can. Seconds after finishing it, I quit my job and vowed to never wash again.
Yes! More kids want to be hackers than rockers.
Michael Jackson is opening Neverland to the public - for $5000 a pop
Skulls gain virtual faces

Thursday, August 21, 2003

What the world thinks of America - A BBC Poll

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

How the U.S. created a terrorist haven (NYTimes)
Yesterday's bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was the latest evidence that America has taken a country that was not a terrorist threat and turned it into one.
Extreme right-wing mysticist John Ashcroft is out taking shots at people who would dare to question his unprecedented assault on the U.S. Constitution, and the ultraconservative powergrab he seeks to reinforce.

Of course Mr. Ashcroft is choosing his venues wisely, speaking to conservative audiences who aren't insulted by the fact that a man who was trounced by a corpse in his most recent popular election is offering arguments as to why the government should be given even more power to use against U.S. citizens.

The illegitimate Bush administration has shown repeatedly that it cannot be trusted to administer or deploy these powers. People are illegally harrassed and detained at airports daily. Authorities have no obligation to reveal the facts (or more likely, guesses, rationalizations, opinions, and superstitions) supporting to their decisions to investigate citizens, while doling out sweetheart contracts to special interests and entitled insiders. No effective oversight of these powers has been considered. No limitations or reassessment of the need for these powers has been discussed. Civil rights groups have not only not been invited to discuss ramifications of anti-terror policy but have been regularly accused of being 'unpatriotic', subversive, or pro-terror. Ashcroft effectively wants a shadow government with unrestricted power to wiretap, eavesdrop, data-mine, detain, harrass, interrogate, convict, and punish U.S. citizens without offering any semblance of due process, or even the most cursory considerations for our basic civil liberties. The only way to stop the conservative campaign to dismantle and reconstruct the American ideals of fairness and justice is to vocally reject Mr. Ashcroft's fraudulent PR junket as the opportunistic powergrab that it has always been and will continue to be until it is eliminated completely.
Dwindling diversity in American Communities: People Like Us (Atlantic)
It is a common complaint that every place is starting to look the same. But in the information age, the late writer James Chapin once told me, every place becomes more like itself. People are less often tied down to factories and mills, and they can search for places to live on the basis of cultural affinity. Once they find a town in which people share their values, they flock there, and reinforce whatever was distinctive about the town in the first place. Once Boulder, Colorado, became known as congenial to politically progressive mountain bikers, half the politically progressive mountain bikers in the country (it seems) moved there; they made the place so culturally pure that it has become practically a parody of itself.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Neil Young's got a fictional online town to go with his new album, Greendale
Gallery of West African Barber signs (via Coudal)
Here at JiveCo, we've been Fair and Balanced for about a week now, and we've gotta admit, it feels pretty damn good. You should get Fair and Balanced too.
Russian plans nuclear power plant on Mars
Microsoft considers auto security updates
Software vs. Card Counters
As a game progresses, MindPlay notes which cards have been dealt as well as each player's bets. And this is where the casino may now finally have the upper hand against counters. Traditionally, counting strategies dictate that counters bet high when more high cards remain as a larger number of unplayed high cards gives an advantage to the player.
If MindPlay -- which knows the cards that have been played -- detects a player continually adjusting his betting pattern coincident with a preponderance of undealt high cards, it can trigger an alert.
Hollywood blames summer flops on text messaging (!)

Monday, August 18, 2003

Watch the watchers. Dontspyonus keeps tabs on the private companies getting rich off of dismantling your civil liberties in the name of the so-called war on terror.
Offshore internet bookmaking (NYTimes mag)
Most of the bookmaking companies, though, are a good deal smaller and harder to see, tucked away in strip malls and shadowy side streets. The American proprietors are generally in their 30's and 40's, and for them, the Internet provides not only the means to escape the reach of American law, but also a chance to turn what had been the equivalent back home of small, local shops -- sustained by personalized attention and all the headaches that involves -- into booming, virtual superstores that can rake in action from all over the world. The experiences of these men in Costa Rica, as well as of those elsewhere in Central America and the Caribbean, started out as thrilling adventures in what seemed to them like Las Vegas in the 1950's. But as betting operations multiplied, the offshore business has become hotly competitive and complicated. Worse, in recent years lawmakers and ambitious prosecutors back in the States have been mounting ever more serious legal challenges. Returning home to a normal life now means facing the possibility of going to prison. And so, many of the bookmakers who started out so optimistically are finding themselves locked into an isolated way of life that with each passing day seems a worse bet.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Basil Wolverton-inspired monster art of Stephen Blickenstaff
Beautiful, dark picture of the blackout (courtesy of Oblivio)
The Daily Jive is Officially Fair and Balanced. Kiss ass, Fox!

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Modular Populus
Indian Motorcycles produced bikes from 1901-1953 (someone bought the name and is now making hideous monstrosities that betray the name, and look more like overdressed Harleys than anything else.). This page has some beautiful example of why the Indian look is still famous 50 years after they shut down their Springfield, MA factory. My personal fave is the '47 Indian Chief. Nobody has come close to making a motorcycle that approaches the perfection of this bike since.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Charlie Louvin, one half of the most beautiful harmony groups in country music, talks about one of my favorite album covers, The Louvin Brothers' 'Satan is Real'
(from the always great gmt+9)

"I seen him the other day in a 15 hundred dollar mohair suit"
The Left Banke!!!
Studies show that America is drifting further toward fundamentalism and mysticism:
Believe It, or not (CNN)
Religion remains central to American life, and is getting more so, in a way that is true of no other industrialized country, with the possible exception of South Korea. Americans believe, 58 percent to 40 percent, that it is necessary to believe in God to be moral. In contrast, other developed countries overwhelmingly believe that it is not necessary. In France, only 13 percent agree with the U.S. view.

Stats on Faith in America (also NYTimes)
The most stunning religion survey I found is the one in which 47 percent even of American non-Christians say they believe in the virgin birth. The source of that data is a Harris Poll from Aug. 12, 1998, with a sample of 1,011 adults. That survey found that 94 percent of adults believe in God, 86 percent believe in miracles, 89 percent believe in Heaven, and 73 percent believe in the Devil and in Hell.
U.S. doctors call for universal health insurance
More than 7,000 doctors, including two former surgeons general, called for universal health insurance for the United States on Tuesday, saying it would not only be more fair, but would be cheaper and more efficient than the current patchwork system.
"We endorse a fundamental change in U.S. health care -- the creation of a national health insurance program," the doctors wrote in a special communication to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Great Buildings Online has online portfolios of great works of architecture, such as these from Frank Lloyd Wright
Many buildings featured are available as 3D models (Free downloadable viewer req'd)
[The Politics of Exclusion] GWB: More ultra-right subversive politics.
Bush uses recess - reserved for emergency situations - to nominate Daniel Pipes (founder of witchhunter group Campus Watch) to of all things... (get this!) the board of the U.S. Institute for Peace.
MS Mice to scroll in 3D
As education costs rise, suburbs plot ways to turn away families with kids. (NYTimes)
Yeah... This sounds like a progressive, healthy solution... They must have already exhausted every conceivable avenue in their probing search into why schools are failing so miserably with ever increasing per-child budgets...
SCO Execs are dumping shares. Let's see if the universally hated Linux rival's only friend - Microsoft - steps in with another Band-Aid.

Linux, developed by Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds in 1991, is being expanded by thousands of volunteer developers. SCO has said it canceled IBM's right to use the Unix license and is seeking as much as $50 billion in the lawsuit. IBM has said SCO has no right to cancel the license. Red Hat Inc., which makes Linux business software, also has filed suit against SCO.
Pop! There goes another industry. Perfect 3 carat diamonds for a few bucks. Two manufacturers are racing to have them on the shelves by year-end.

De Beers refuses to comment on the meeting - or about anything for this story - but Clarke says he simply placed his diamonds on the table. "When I told him that we planned to set up a factory to mass-produce these, he turned white," the General recalls. "They knew about the technology, but they thought it would stay in Russia and that nobody would get it working right. By the end of the conversation, his hands were shaking."

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

"Your house has an energy drain."
If you live in California, you can get your house checked for asymetrical yang by 'Space Cleaners'. Can we really trust these guys to elect a governor?

"Ideally," she says, glancing up from her pendulum, "a home should have balance of about 60 percent yang -- active energy -- and 40 percent yin -- passive energy -- but yours is 84 percent yin and only about 15 percent yang."

Wow, that leaves a whopping 1% left over that you can use on tolerance for letting people come into your house to lecture you on subjective energy. Despite the fact that Einstein came up with a little formula starting with "e=" all those years back, it seems that a lot of people are still throwing the word around pretty loosely, no?
Comedian Al Franken get's sued by the ultraright Republican extremist network Fox for using the words 'Fair and Balanced' in his book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right". Apparently, Fox trademarked the words 'fair and balanced'.

Typical lawyer quote: "Franken's "intent is clear - to exploit Fox News' trademark, confuse the public as to the origins of the book and, accordingly, boost sales of the book"

Support Al by buying his book.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Flash-mobbing (courtesy of Bifurcated Rivets)
Jay Leno on drafting a new constitution for Iraq:
"Hey, why don't we send them ours? It worked well for us for over two hundred years... and we're not using it anymore. "
Model-Airplane Buffs Aim for Transatlantic Record
After guiding the craft—named for Beecher Butts, an 88 year-old aviation enthusiast—to its cruising altitude, Hill will put the plan on autopilot and, from his safe seat in Newfoundland, anxiously await its arrival in Ireland. Pilot Paul Howey and others will be in Ireland waiting for the plane to appear on the horizon. They will head out to the bog and, if the plane comes in, take over manual control and land it. FAI officials there will be able to certify the record achievement as well.

Latest: The TAM-5 landed today.
Prozac may lift spirits by spawning new brain cells (
Gore's polite take on Bush's fraud and deception (NYTimes)
This is an administration that is particularly sensitive to light. It prefers to do business behind closed doors, with the curtains and shades drawn. Enormous taxpayer-financed contracts are handed out to a favored few without competitive bidding. We still don't know what went on at the secret meetings between Dick Cheney and top energy industry executives at the very beginning of the Bush reign.
Interesting Bush Action Figure commemorating his staged PR Stunt.
Maybe the next one will be an action pose of Bush signing bills cutting veteran's health benefits, or lowering the 'hazard pay' of soldiers who risk life in the line of enemy fire. (which his administration in fact proposed on October 1, 2002).

> > Similarly, the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to
> > roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay
> > (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to
> > $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones.
FBI wants broadened wiretap powers for broadband phone calls.

Friday, August 08, 2003

More want to use Orwellian technology to 'fight terror'.
As usual, government is holding hands with industry giants in this assault on your basic civil rights.

Members of the privacy rights group Caspian uncovered the Auto-ID Center documents, which are marked "confidential," in early July.

With Ridge's approval for RFID, the food and drug companies and retailers hope to win over a wary public. They also may get legal protection under the Safety Act of 2002 -- a tort-reform law that offers blanket lawsuit protections to makers of antiterrorism devices, should those devices fail during a terrorist attack.

"If we get a declaration from Homeland Security that this is the step we need to take to protect the food supply, that's the step it will take to move this technology forward," said Procter & Gamble supply-chain executive Larry Kellam at an RFID industry conference in June.
The U.K.'s naked walker continues his cross-country walk.
>6 Degrees of Separation
Raising kids on the cheap
You don't have to fill your house with pink plastic crap, but it's surprising how many people around you will want to force that lifestyle on you as soon as you have a kid."
[More sickening BushCo cronyism] The Bush/Cheney War in Iraq has been won by Halliburton (NYTimes)
The Bechtel Group, one of the world's biggest engineering and construction companies, has dropped out of the running for a contract to rebuild the Iraqi oil industry, as other competitors have begun to conclude that the bidding process favors the one company already working in Iraq, Halliburton.
Big Brother in your mailbox! (Audio)
The USPS's newly announced privacy-slamming plans for project "Intelligent Mail," aimed at tracking the sender of every piece of mail.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Barelybad has some really good sign and advertising photos posted on his website. My fave is here.

The man is also seriously into the NYTimes Crosswords, and even offers advice on how to complain to their authors
"Economic recovery is just around the corner." Where is this freakin corner, anyway? The Despair of the Jobless

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Not sure if this prank is real or not, but it's damn good.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Amazing kinetic sculptures of David C. Roy (courtesy of Metafilter)
Good stuff in their links page too (like this Java Virtual Mechanism site)
[Bush's war on the poor IX] It has become the job of federal agencies - even Treasury - to rationalize Bush Administration policy (NYTimes)
To give you a sense: the Treasury's example of a "lower income" elderly household was one receiving $2,000 a year in dividend income. In fact, only about one elderly household in four receives any dividend income, and only one in eight receives as much as $2,000. Not surprisingly, the "Russert families" gained far more from the Bush tax cuts than a representative sample. As Mr. Sullivan put it, "If this continues, the Treasury's Office of Tax Policy may have to change its name to the Office of Tax Propaganda."

Monday, August 04, 2003

Postcards from China's Industrial Cauldron (NYTimes)
Many of the most haunting images are posed. Black-faced coal miners just emerged from hell, their eyes small points of white, might be deer caught in a headlight. A steel worker's dignity seems to emerge right through the crude mask and goggles he must wear in the fiery, poisonous mill.

The exhibit, entitled The Unbearable Heaviness of Industry, can be seen on photographer Zhou Hai's website:
Nice article on the X-Prize spaceflight contest.
Flanked by industrial gas tanks and wearing a straw hat, he rummages through his 1978 Ford Club Wagon van for pliers as a crop-dusting plane drones overhead. The retired NASA engineer pays it no mind. He's too busy connecting copper tubing to the 27-foot propulsion system of his homemade spaceship.
US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban
It should surprise absolutely no one that if you've exersized your right to free speech in a way that might run contrary to the line held by the illegitimate Bush regime, you may be considered a terror threat and be summarily subjected to even further harrassment at U.S. airports because of your subversive views.

If you're asking yourself what BushCo can possibly do to further evoke the spirit of the ole Third Reich, you may be interested in watching, if not registering to trade on, the American Actions Market futures board.

The American Action Market will offer various Washington "futures" that can be bet upon and traded. Examples include:
•Which country will the White House threaten next?
•Who will be the next foreign leader to move off the CIA payroll and onto the White House's "most wanted" list?
•Which corporation with close ties to the White House will be the next cloaked in scandal?
The AAM will begin registering traders in September and plans to open for business Oct. 1 -- the same launch date proposed for the Pentagon's terrorism market, until it was shelved. is a website for people who walk the beaches looking for interesting stuff that's washed ashore. They've even got a flotsam checklist with frequently found items to look for such as toilet seats, Japanese glass fishing floats, and cuban rafts.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

How to build your first surfboard
Sam Phillips: 1923-2003
Throughout his work, Phillips encouraged artists not to polish their sounds but to rely on their own natural energy and straight-ahead, unfettered performances. As the self-confident producer later told journalist David Halberstam, "I have one real gift and that gift is to look another person in the eye and be able to tell if he has anything to contribute, and if he does, I have the additional gift to free him from whatever is restraining him." has a text-rich history of surfing from its origins in ancient Hawaii to the present.
When the surf dashed over the coral head, the people swam out with their surfboards and floated with them. If a person owned a long narrow canoe, he performed what was called lele va'a, or canoe leaping, in which the surfer leaped off the canoe with his board and ride the crest of the wave ashore. The canoe slid back off the wave because of the force of the shove given it with the feet.
Normandie: Ship of Light chronicles the construction, service, scrap, and salvage of the 1930's ocean liner. Other good ocean liner links at Maritime Matters. Royal Regals has some great vintage photographs of early 20th century cruise ships, and Ships of State a similar collection, comparing First, Second, and Tourist class accomodations for Atlantic cruisers.

Friday, August 01, 2003

4000 Mile rubber ducky journey.
"This is a new phenomenon as a result of the melting of the ice," Proctor told Britain's Guardian newspaper.
"Things from the Pacific are appearing in the Labrador Sea coming round the top of Canada through the northwest passage."
Canada: Hippie Nation:
Will some of their enlightenment rub off to their neigbors to the south, or is the U.S. just too over-the-edge ultra-right wing to be nudged back toward sense?