Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ray Kurzweil: Robot brain takeover by 2030. Bodies to follow in 2045.
Ski jump yesterday in San Francisco (vid) Apparently Fillmore street has the same angle as a regulation ski jump. SFGate article.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Given the current leadership situation, maybe a UFO invasion and takeover wouldn't be so bad after all.
Making beavertail snowshoes. From a dvd ad page, but has interesting photos. I've gotta wonder what your stride would look like in shoes this wide.
Some guy built a composite racing bike in his garage. From Sheldon Brown's Harris cyclery bike site. If you have even the faintest interest in working on bicycles of any type, Sheldon's site has consistently been the best resource on the web for years.
Deadly African Exploding Lakes

Monday, September 26, 2005

Boston Globe article on career identity thieves.
You can be sure that if there's a no-bid, gift contract to be had, the GOP-stacked insiders are going to be all over it. (NYTimes).

I have some ideas as to what these no-bid negotiations might look like:

Administration Contracts Manager: I'm going to need an estimate on your guaranteed contract to do flood cleanup. Keep in mind that you'll have no competition whatsoever, your estimate won't be vetted or even questioned by anybody in the administration under penalty of career-ending repriasals and retaliation, and the budget is a half-billion, with likely increases.
Haliburton VP: Wow: What a co-inky-dink! Our estimate is exactly a half-billion! Increases, of course, will be likely. We're going to need that 'no questions' part in writing.
Administration Contracts Manager: Excellent! The deal is yours! We'll start you off with the usual retainer. Put it on your books. Will I see you at Cheney's fall quail massacre on Saturday?
Haliburton VP: (shaking hands) Have I ever missed one? Ha ha ha!

"Bills have come in for deals that apparently were clinched with a handshake, with no documentation to back them up, said Mr. Skinner, who declined to provide details."
Get a phone call from Brian Wilson.
The Daily Jive is nuts and/or bananas about Brian Wilson. If you donate a hundred bucks to hurricane relief, he'll give you a call to answer a question or say hi.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
A deep thought from Jack Handy. From this enormous page of quotes from all over the damn place. Kill some time, timekiller.
Garrison Keillor on Hank Williams (NYTimes)

Friday, September 23, 2005

An amazing CGI video of a drummer performing every beat of Rush's YYZ. Regardless of how you feel about prog-rock, this is pretty cool.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The anti-Cindy Sheehan camp in Crawford, TX. (video, truthout)

Hear it.
Popstarfeet - where fans take pictures of pop idols. feet only. I'm sure I linked to another pop star feet photo page a couple of years ago, but I'm sure as hell not going to dig the link up. Some of these guys are still rocking velcro which is a way of saying "I'm not fond of unnecessary displays of fine motor skills".
Stylus lists the top 10 most disturbing band fan fiction Stories.
I'm convinced that the whole idea of fan fiction is disturbing, so the crop gets creamed in a showdown like this, you know there's some bona fide craziness in here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Former Husker Du leader Bob Mould interview at OnionAVClub.
The Dutch take their reality TV much farther than celebrity catfights and bug-eating.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Creationists attack museums. Curators fight back (NYTimes)
Wherefore art thou, banana? (via metafilter)
A global effort is now under way to save the fruit—an effort defined by two opposing visions of how best to address the looming crisis. On one side are traditional banana growers, like Aguilar, who raise experimental breeds in the fields, trying to create a replacement plant that looks and tastes so similar to the Cavendish that consumers won’t notice the difference. On the other side are bioengineers like Rony Swennen, who, armed with a largely decoded banana genome, are manipulating the plant’s chromosomes, sometimes crossing them with DNA from other species, with the goal of inventing a tougher Cavendish that will resist Panama disease and other ailments.
Hacking a hotel (Wired)
It looks like Google is getting into the WiFi game.
Article on same from yahoo. Even the utterly laughable Business2.0 gets in with predictions of free, universal wireless broadband.

"You talkin' to me?" These cats know how to party with seafood.
How to shake hands.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Global warming past the tipping point. (The Independent, UK)

The UK press seems much more willing to print the truth on environmental concerns.

Satellites monitoring the Arctic have found that the extent of the sea ice this August has reached its lowest monthly point on record, dipping an unprecedented 18.2 per cent below the long-term average.
Experts believe that such a loss of Arctic sea ice in summer has not occurred in hundreds and possibly thousands of years. It is the fourth year in a row that the sea ice in August has fallen below the monthly downward trend - a clear sign that melting has accelerated.
CNN has a nice piece on the new levels of vomit-inducing preen-craft that the Bush PR team will sink to to try to make their boss look semi-human.
How do these people sleep at night?

For a speech that Mr. Bush delivered last summer at Mount Rushmore, the White House positioned the best platform for television crews off to one side, not head on as other White Houses have done, so that the cameras caught Mr. Bush in profile, his face perfectly aligned with the four presidents carved in stone.

Here's another look at the staged lighting, podium placement (they even set the non-working clock for this one!).
This quote is from late May, but it's really appropriate today:

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." —President George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005
Click for sound clip
Disturbingly, according to this, on Monday the NYTimes site will no longer be free.
Etymology of Foo

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New, cheap fuel makes engines purr
WTF?! CNet interview with Bill Gates reveals 3v1L
CNet: So that would be the philosophical difference between Microsoft and what Google is up to at this point?
Bill Gates: Gates: Well, we don't know everything they are up to, but we do know their slogan and we disagree with that.

(Google's slogan is "Don't Be Evil")

Charities are for Suckers (yahoo)
Government has been shirking its basic responsibilities since the '80s, when
Ronald Reagan sold us his belief that the sick, poor and unlucky should no longer count on "big government" to help them, but should rather live and die at the whim of contributors to private charities. The Katrina disaster, whose total damage estimate has risen from $100 to $125 billion, marks the culmination of Reagan's privatization of despair.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

But seriously... they'd do it.
P.E.'s Chuck D. on New Orleans: Hell No We Ain't Alright (mp3, spoken word)
According to Pat Robertson (you know this is going to be good already), there is no evil in the universe so offensive to God as - you guessed it - Ellen Degeneres. So intolerable is Ellen to the Almighty, that he decided to destroy her hometown, New Orleans, for no other reason that she was born there.
Robertson also noted that the last time Degeneres hosted the Emmys, in 2001, the September 11 terrorism attacks took place shortly before the ceremony.
I'm sure this has been linked a billion times already tonight, but I couldn't resist.
Toyota's R+D department cooked up a personal-mobility unit that only the fu-manchu'ed evil Emperor Ming from Flash Gordon could love. Or that guy from Dune. Anyway, it's a rolling throne from which you can dispatch your Mongol hordes upon hapless villagers.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Don't Dumb Me Down (Guardian)
We laughed, we cried, we learned about statistics ... Ben Goldacre on why writing Bad Science has increased his suspicion of the media by, ooh, a lot of per cents.
Showing again that the Bush family is detatched to the point of cruelty, the first lady shows in this carefully scripted PR clip that she doesn't even know the name of the Hurricane that wiped out New Orleans. The White House ban on newspapers and reliable news media will tend to do that.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Possibly the ugliest musicial instrument ever conceived
24 crease styles * 6 brim styles = 144 Cowboy hat style combinations

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A good article on the geopolitical value of New Orleans, and what happens when its trade infrastructure is out of commission.
The first episode of Nerd TV is available for download.
NerdTV is essentially Charlie Rose for geeks - a one-hour interview show with a single guest from the world of technology. Guests like Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy or Apple computer inventor Steve Wozniak are household names if your household is nerdy enough, but as historical figures and geniuses in their own right, they have plenty to say to ALL of us. NerdTV is distributed under a Creative Commons license so viewers can legally share the shows with their friends and even edit their own versions
The authorities have been turning hostile and preventing people from leaving the city, firing shots, spreading misinformation, and verbally humiliating groups trying to leave the city on foot.
Read about it from a first-hand account here.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.
Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.
In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist.
[Don't mess with Texas] Before the floodwaters have even receded, Houston gets busy profiteering on the disaster (NYTimes). From Haliburton to hardware stores, business is looking forward to getting some cash out of this thing.

Charts like this show how kick-ass awesome it is to get guaranteed no-compete bids handed to you by entrenched Bush regime cronies - even before ladling on the cheating and overcharging gravy. It's a good thing the Army is firing everyone who questions their unarguably enviable position.
Burning grass for clean, carbon-neutral energy

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In other news, Weird Al Yankovic finally has his own TrueType font: Yankobats
Perfect for every single occasion requiring written communication.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

["Louisiana is a city which is largely underwater"]
The best commentary I've seen on the situation in New Orleans: (vidcap from MSNBC)
Scathing, direct, and honest. I hope other outlets stop giving this administration a free pass on it's handling with the disaster, and start telling the ugly truth.

Transcript of above at Daily Kos

Monday, September 05, 2005

The World Famous Dome-O-Rama has an online snow-dome collection
Quite a few video clips of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker here.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

And another... Submission - Angry Robot!
Stick it to the chicken man!
Another Daily Jive tshirt submission. Submission - The all-seeing eye
A to Z of British Slang
If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.
-- John Steinbeck

From the banner of, the web site for those that want to see the road on the cheap, and in a less artificial way. My guess is that rail-hopping, hitching, and hobo-ing in general are going to enjoy something of a resurgence in the coming years.
How press around the world views the inept, morally corrupt inaction of Bush as he blunders his way through the disaster. (beeb) Meanwhile, the press here (NBC) sees fit to censor Kanye West as he made comments that were deemed unflattering to the administration. As you watch the appalling images come in from New Orleans, remember this: George Bush played golf the day after the Hurricane hit. It took him three days until he did his fake, arranged photo-op.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Never ones to resort to humility during trying times, those wacky fundy Christians are celebrating catastrophe once again.
"New Orleans is now Mardi Gras free!" Who are these monsters? Astounding.

I suppose they have every right to feel God's hand in this devastation... because, you know, there's all of that Biblical proof of His hatred of dancing, music, food, and joy.

Can we get Rome on the phone and tell them to get some hungry lions ready in the Colleseum?

Friday, September 02, 2005

A NASA satellite picture shows the extent of the flooding on Lake Pontchartrain from space.
Filk Music (Science Fiction + Folk)
"You want minors on the moon who need a labor union? We got songs about that. You want asteroid truckers with broken-down ships? We got songs about that. If you want cats in space we got that too,"
Even if you have an idea of how far the radical right fundamentalists have infiltrated our government, it's still surprising to discover that FEMA is directing Hurricane disaster money directly to terrorist hatemonger Pat Robertson. This is a guy who quite literally prays for money, and those prayers came true (at the expense of the destitute, elderly, and infirm)