Monday, February 28, 2005

Postal is a site for those who are fanatic about how mail gets marked up when its on its way from A to B. Go nuts over the hot action in 'earliest known cancellations', but don't say I didn't warn you!
Some teens cheat on tests, some cheat on tests that don't exist:
Indian teen hustles government for thousands claiming to have aced a phony NASA exam. He probably would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for the claim that he stayed over at Buckingham palace while he was testing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gordon Taylor quit his job and is riding his fixed-gear bike around the world. He's got a journal of his travels on his site.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Damn, this guy can jump (short video)
[Detonating senior citizens for greed]
"They are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts," said Charlie Jarvis, the president of USA Next, a conservative lobbying group. "We will be the dynamite that removes them."
Conservative hate-group goes after America's elderly for daring to prevent Bush from funnelling retirement money to investment cronies. (NYTimes)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Scientists stifled by Bush Administration
Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don't support policy positions

Monday, February 21, 2005

Theocracy is a pernicious habit, and its happening here. Republicans are to blame.
The state House on Friday voted against affirming the separation of church and state in a resolution brought by a legislator who said he was fed up with a religious undertone at the Capitol.
The House voted 44-39 against the proposal. Only two Republicans voted for it, and one of them, Rep. Jim Medley, said he had intended to vote no but didn't get to his machine in time to change his vote.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

If you don't know your Buttrock Goa from your Nu Style Gabber, here's the audio map to the unbelievably cliquey and fragmented world of electronic music. Entertaining as hell. Ishkur did all the work for you. Extra points for including the Freak Nasty clip.
Top 100 gadgets of all time

Friday, February 18, 2005

Dozens of words for snow; none for pollution (mojones)
The Arctic has been transformed into the planet's chemical trash can, the final destination for toxic waste that originates thousands of miles away. Atmospheric and oceanic currents conspire to send industrial chemicals, pesticides, and power-plant emissions on a journey to the Far North. Many airborne chemicals tend to migrate to, and precipitate in, cold climates, where they then endure for decades, perhaps centuries, slow to break down in the frigid temperatures and low sunlight. The Arctic Ocean is a deep-freeze archive, holding the memories of the world's past and present mistakes. Its wildlife, too, are archives, as poisonous chemicals accumulate in the fat that Arctic animals need to survive. Polar bears denning in Norway and Russia near the North Pole carry some of the highest levels of toxic compounds ever found in living animals.
Handy calculator: find out how much you'll lose under Bush's plan to funnel social security money to Wall Street! Enter your salary and birthyear, and watch your money evaporate!
Another shocker in the gay-male-pinup/hooker-fake-named-Republican-shill-with-Whitehouse-press-credentials saga. Not only was he given access to the president when he worked for a SIG instead of a news organization (while actual journalists from left-leaning publications were denied credentials then investigated when they asked for the whitehouse to reconsider). It turns out that "Jeff" "Gannon" knew about the plans to invade Iraq FOUR HOURS before Bush made the announcement. Was Karl Rove one of this guy's $200 an hour johns or something? Where are the "values voters" in all of this? It's smelled like a rat convention for days, and I havn't heard a peep from the moral-clarity brigade on the gay porn angle- let alone the lying to the press, the privileged access to special interests, the fake questions regurgitating neo-right talking points, the inside scoop on illegal wars, or the subjugation of democracy throught misdirection from the highest office on earth. Where's all the morality that they've been shoving down our throats for the past year?
Video of a really smooth walking robot. Amazing. (QuickTime)
Systematic Failures in U.S. Math and Science
Armed with one of the most comprehensive and current review of data available, top business and higher education leaders today said that the United States' lackluster performance in science and math has placed the country in grave danger of losing its competitive edge in the global marketplace.

This is what happens when the same people that believe that human beings have existed for 4400 years are allowed to make decisions regarding education policy.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security"
It turns out that when Ridge said that he wouldn't use his office to campaign for Bush, he didn't mean a word of it.
AP Uncovers Ridge Meetings with Pollsters During Presidential Campaign

His aides resisted releasing the calendars for over a year, finally providing them to the AP three days after Ridge left office this month.
Bankruptcy due to medical costs are becoming a middle class epidemic (SFGgate)
A Harvard University study of medical bankruptcy released earlier this month found that financial hardship caused by medical bills is not a problem that affects only the uninsured. Most people who file for personal bankruptcy because of health care expenses, like Brewer, actually have health insurance, the study found.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The definitive gallery of girl bassists at bunny bass (mysteriously polluted by a few guitar-only chicks)
Hold on tight to those troll pencils: Dogs Playing Poker: $590,000
NYC Punk icon CBGB's is in real-estate trouble.
CBGB is facing the prospect of shutting down when its lease expires in August — and its annual rent could reach nearly half a million dollars.

With that kinda rent, they should ask the landlord for some help with their downstairs bathroom.
A collection of generative and random sound and music software (Mac only)
Put down those bouyancy motor plans for a minute and check out The Museum of Unworkable Devices
This museum is a celebration of fascinating devices that don't work. It houses diverse examples of the perverse genius of inventors who refused to let their thinking be intimidated by the laws of nature, remaining optimistic in the face of repeated failures. Watch and be amazed as we bring to life eccentric and even intricate perpetual motion machines that have remained steadfastly unmoving since their inception. Marvel at the ingenuity of the human mind, as it reinvents the square wheel in all of its possible variations.

Be sure to read the excellent article, "The Psychology of Perpetual Motion Machine Inventors". Send it to a creationist.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A couple of good political pieces today: Dean and the fighting moderates (NYTimes), and the batshit-crazy California proposal that drivers should be taxed by the mile - with help from spied gps satellite tracking (what's a little injury without insult?) - regardless of the fuel efficiency of the car they drive.

Let's see if I've got this right. The plan is to:
a) remove the incentive for people to drive clean, environmentally friendly cars that lessen our reliance on foreign oil.
b) Decrease the incentive for manufacturers to stay on a currently winning course for developing and improving cleaner-operating vehicles, by decreasing their market demand.
c) Make people who drive environmentally friendly cars pay the way for people who don't.
d) force manufacturers to put GPS tracking devices in _every_ car so that every drive you take can be tracked to the square foot.
e) tax us more to pay for the good people that proposed a) through d).

Obviously proposed by some Hummer-tooling** idiot, and if they pass this nonsense, I'm rioting.

** Hummers aren't driven. They're "tooled". Exclusively. Let them know how you feel about tooling in public.
The false mathematics of the RIAA
If they're going to assault our privacy, rewrite our copyright laws, and recontextualize fair use, at least don't lie about the reasons. Basic rights always lose to corporate interests.
I'm always on the lookout for people who make homemade stuff that probably shouldn't be homemade. In this throwaway, post-consumerist society there's really very little made that's designed to be repaired, but it stands to reason that the more parts there are out there, the more permutations of cobbled-together stuff can be rigged. The conceptual gulf between consumers and DIY'ers is widening, and I'm on the side of the DIY'ers, which is why I like seeing guys like this make infrared night vision scopes from parts he found dumpster diving. (from /.)

Monday, February 14, 2005

The NSA May be "Traffic Cop" for U.S. Network
The Bush administration is considering making the National Security Agency - famous for eavesdropping and code breaking - its "traffic cop" for ambitious plans to share homeland security information across government computer networks, a senior NSA official says.
Journalists vs. Bloggers (NYTimes)
While I think that the harrassment of Mr. Jordan is goose-stepping jingoism run amok, it's imporant for these guys to be accountable for their reports.

Mr. Abovitz, who started it all, said he hoped bloggers could develop loftier goals than destroying people's careers. "If you're going to do this open-source journalism, it should have a higher purpose," he said. "At times it did seem like an angry mob, and an angry mob using high technology, that's not good."

A higher purpose? Like "Gannon"'s? Gimme a break.
Important: Name your kid Zach. Or better yet, Zyzzy. Compete Last, Finish First (nature)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Rock videos are a dying art. The Giraffes rock video is a punching-you-in-the-stomach art. (Quicktime, well worth the d/l). These guys have an insanely good live show.
A Painting of Christopher Walken, drinking Tab, building what appears to be some sort of robot. By Brandon Bird. I can't even explain this one.
And I quote "Introducing for the first time: Spinning Teeth. Call for price". If you're anything like me, you're on the phone right now.
Kansas High School Science lab coursework. (thx:rivets)
[Back to the great chickenshack] I just learned that Jimmy Smith, the greatest jazz Hammond B3 player in the world, passed away yesterday. MSNBC story.
A working Minority Report-style interface (via GameSpy)
"I feel a great disturbance in the force..... It's as if a million people cried out all at once..... and became silent." The Death Star III is locked and loaded.
Googlejacking to lower your referrer's rank.
The superpets deserve their own page.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Everything gets hyperspecialized. It used to be that taggers lifted their Krylon from Pep Boys, now they've got their own graffiti paint lines, kustom kaps , and ... um ... supersize paint can scale models.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Odd Films - lots here
World's smallest game of Pac Man. It might just be the worlds smallest game period. (Flash, via memepool)
North Korea goes Nuke-razy
And who wouldn't want it to be known that a country can protect itself with the Bush cartel's record of war lust? The U.S. has canyons-full of weapons, nuclear and otherwise, that Bush is willing to aim at the rest of the world. What better advertisement is there to get your own, and fast?
Endangered Science (Science)
A survey of scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) reveals that many report experiencing political pressure to alter scientific information and analyses about endangered species. The activists who conducted the survey argue that such pressure is compromising the ability of the agency to protect wildlife and habitat.

The antics of this criminally inept administration are getting increasingly depressing to keep track of.

How can scientific progress, and its attendant open discussion and rigorous peer review take place with stats like these?:
* 42% reported that they could not publicly discuss "concerns about the biological needs of species and habitats without fear of retaliation."
Exporting America: An interview with CNN's Lou Dobbs (Mother Jones)
The ultimate extension of the free-trade policies that are being pursued is that not only will there be a race to the bottom for wages for working men and women, but we’re also going to have to eradicate the “inconvenient” and uncompetitive environmental protections that allow us to drink clean water and breathe clean air. And, by the way, those nasty child-labor laws could be an encumbrance to competitiveness; maybe we should get rid of those as well. How far are we going to roll back the progress of the past century?
Superman's Fortress of Solitude (McSweeneys)
Ugh. When I first heard about Virginia's Traditional Marriage license plate, I thought it was some kind of ironic joke/meme. No such luck. This is shameless idiocy. Who is this supposed to speak to? Is this like a 'baby-on-board' sign for insecure marrieds? I just don't get it.

Here's a NYTimes column on the neoCon obsession of trying to control things that don't need to be controlled. (NYTimes, reg. req'd)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Good quote in my inbox today:

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

-- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Amazing high resolution digital photography at the Gigapxl Project

Friday, February 04, 2005

A nice little build-your-own-snowflake flash.
[Here's What We're Dealing With XIV]

"It's fun to shoot some people" (NYTimes)
-- General James Mattis, on the U.S.'s other war in Afghanistan

I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I wanna kill. I wanna kill! I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth! Eat dead, burnt bodies! I mean: Kill, Kill!" And I started jumpin' up and down, yellin', "KILL! KILL!" and he started jumpin' up and down with me, and we was both jumpin' up and down yellin', "KILL, KILL!"
-- Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant
Dragon Eye-Foolery
Manifesto issued by the Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors, 1922
The Clock of the Long Now is designed to work for 10,000 years when it takes up residence in a mountainside cave. One of the projects of the Long Now foundation, the clock is "intended to encourage more conversation about the benefits of long-range planning, responsible action, and thinking in a society obsessed by speed"
Streaming Audio of an interview with the clock's creator, Danny Hillis

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The most overused Hollywood special effect ever gets its own 'virtual' page.
For Sale on ebay: Drive-thru strip club. Here's the drive-thru. Yeee-HAW!
A nice little article on the late Disney animator and Firehouse Five + 2 trombonist Ward Kimball. Credits here.
Wi-Fi Detector Ring
Driving while talking adds 50 years
Toy Story 3: Taken Hostage!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A nice collection of antique radios, sorted by manufacturer.
While the Bush administration seems to be propelling itself forward by patting itself on the back by way of spun a success stories of Iraq's election, I'm wondering where the media's critical eye is in this whole thing. At least theres 'What I heard about Iraq' that spells out the situation in honest terms. Meanwhile, here at home, "democracy" is becoming more of a marketing pitch than an ideal. All four of the major networks have refused to run an ad critical of the administration.