28 Nov 03

Bad Book Cover Designs

Very unfortunate. In other news: Jackie Collins fires graphic designer.



Googlism is a site which uses the Google API to tell you what Google 'thinks' of what you’ve typed in. Here's what I get for my name:

frankie is the champ
frankie is a star
frankie is the original creator behind most of the steps we know of as "swing" today
frankie is literally shut out of a clubhouse by the neighbourhood girls
frankie is taking a bath
frankie is so utterly let down by everyone around him
frankie is appalled to hear herself assuring the girls at school that yes she has got a boyfriend
frankie is our fifth siberian husky
frankie is a mostly dalmatian puppy that was rescued from the modesto area where his chances for life was not good
frankie is a traveling teddy bear reporter that traveled around north
frankie is sooooooooooooo hot
frankie is the unofficial ambassador of lindy hop to the world
frankie is sickened by the fact that warren is "a gay" but needs a place to stay
frankie is an avid fisherman and he and susan find some refuge by relaxing at one of their favorite fishing spots
frankie is now a director of porno films
frankie is a kind hearted gopher working for the hollywood mafia
frankie is an ira terrorist who has killed more than twenty people and british intelligence is trying desperately to stop him

It's funny how many of these are dead-on. Post your funniest googlisms in the comments.


Right-Justified Text

Is it possible to write right-
justified text without the use
of any special formatting from
a computer program? Apparently
, but the real difficulty is
in trying to get a computer to
be able to take raw text input
and to produce right-justified
versions of them using changes
that can roughly keep what the
text means by using synonymous
words without adding spaces...

Michael Jackson Recommendations

Check out the customer recommendations for Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" (a screenshot in case they fix it).


N-Dimensional Tetris

If you find traditional 2-dimensional tetris too difficult, perhaps you should try 1-Dimensional Tetris. Or, if you're in for a challenge, try your hand at 4D Tetris.


Physical Theories as Women

Physical Theories as Women: "Special relativity is the girl you meet at the dorm party while you're dating electrodynamics. You make out. It's not really cheating because it's not like you call her back. But you have a sneaking suspicion she knows electrodynamics and told her everything."


Big Mouth Billy Bass Videoconferencing

In the worthwhile contributions to world culture dept: Via slashdot I recently came across a link to a hardware hacking project by a well-established Stanford Graduate. His goal was to take those annoyingly popular Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish, and not only allow users to interface it with their favorite linux box, but also to allow it to lipsync, and eventually be used as a videoconferencing peripheral. Quite an interesting read, complete with step-by-step instructions to make your own, and software source to be played with.

27 Nov 03


Well my computer came on Tuesday, and after a bit of work I finally transferred everything into it. Everything is running great and I have all my files back - couldn't be happier.

24 Nov 03

Virtual Turntable

I know that several people who read this weblog either make music or are interested in music production, so for those people I recommend a new weblog: Virtual Turntable. Lots of neat tricks, tips, reviews, etc.


Lost Lives

"A generation of Japanese youngsters has dropped out of society entirely, unable to cope, it seems, with the rapid syncopation of life in Asia's most developed nation. The phenomenon has been dubbed hikikomori, or social withdrawal, by psychiatrist Tamaki Saito, who estimates that one in every 40 Japanese households has such a loner. That's an astounding 1 million social dropouts". Great article on Asia and how its countries deal/don't deal with mental illness.



A neat little Flash cartoon about monkeys and computers or something.


Device Changes Red Lights to Green

Someone had once told me that policemen, firemen, and drivers of ambulances possess a device which can change red traffic lights green in emergencies. Like anyone else, I was intrigued - how does it work? (probably radio waves or infrared or something). Well it turns out that someone must have gotten a hold of one of these devices, reverse engineered it and started manufacturing their own. Police and other officials are worried it will cause chaos on the roads. I'm not sure if it only works in certain areas, but for $300 it's definitely an investment worth looking into.


Christianity and Homosexuality: Sodom

This article debunks the idea that the story of Sodom is a story about sexual ethics.

23 Nov 03
22 Nov 03

Jesus: Half-Dolphin, Half-Man

Apparently, AKMA can't prove that Jesus wasn't part dolphin:

I’ll admit to having a defective faculty for speculation. It’s not in my temperament. But I completely fail to grasp the urgency with which people last night clung to the notion that Jesus was married. I laid out the reasons for thinking he wasn’t; I put the best face on the reasons for thinking he was (which amounts to almost nothing, but it’s important to acknowledge the almost part of that nothingness); and still people wanted to know, “But what if he had been married?” and (this one really gets my goat) “Can you prove that he wasn’t married?”

Well, of course I can’t prove he wasn’t married. I can’t prove he wasn’t half-man, half dolphin either. None of the sources we have mention such an oddity, but that silence can best be explained as the embarrassment that someone The Church wanted to proclaim as divine had a dorsal fin and a blowhole in the back of his head. “You don’t think they’d boast about that, do you? They suppressed all references to his dolphin characteristics. But notice — he associated with fishermen, and he had an inexplicable knowledge of where to catch the most fish even though he wasn’t a fisherman himself!”

Good points - it makes you wonder.


Keeping Going What You're Doing

For historical purposes, I've set up the original Blame it on Eve site here (for those not in the know, Blame it on Eve is my old band). The message board, info, and contact parts are down - but you can download the final cuts to three of our songs: Keeping Going What You're Doing, Maynard the Moose, and Carnie Rock. The old demos aren't on there for bandwidth reasons. If anyone wants a copy of the CD just IM me (again, Frankieist), or email me at fdintino at comcast.net (spambots be damned!) with your mailing address and I'll send you one.


What's Going on With Me Right Now

Wow, I'm really impressed - I've made 24 posts in the last 36 hours (that's 1.5 posts an hour!). That has to be some sort of personal record. It's even more impressive considering I haven't had my computer over that time span - though I do think there is an inverse correlation between how much work I have and how much I post on this site.

Anyway, as an update to the computer problem: I realized I needed to test out a PCI card on my computer to see if that would fix it. There is this kid in my math class who sits in the back and draws anime cartoons all class - so I figured I'd ask him. And sure enough, he knew what a PCI video card is and offered to try it out. Well, to make a long story short, it didn't work - and most likely the problem is the motherboard - which would explain the mouse and keyboard problem (though I still hate Microsoft and HP). So I managed to coax my mom into letting me use her credit card to order a bare-bones PC off of ebay for $129. It should be arriving Wednesday and then I'll move all of my hardware into it. /me eagerly awaits his (semi-)new computer.

I'm going to be heading home around noon tomorrow. Anyway if anyone wants to meet up back at home just let me know via IM (my screenname is Frankieist if you didn't know). Should be fun. Alright then, back to doing nothing...


Budget Forecast Drops by Same Amount as All Tax Collected Between American Independence and 1983.

The difference between the Bush's first budget plan, for the next 10 years and today's: $8,000,000,000,000.

NYTimes: "The long-term budget forecast has declined as much in the last two years as the total revenue collected by the United States government from 1789 to 1983."

The reason for some of this shortfall is 'investment' to stimulate the economy, but tax cuts and sometimes questionably misdirected hostility are not the same as investing in, say, secondary education. I'm a pragmatist and however unfair, this does work, but to a degree. This would be a choice of someone who prefers short term stimulants to longer term health - cocaine versus cardiovascular fitness (and 'would be' might actually read 'was', if you believed the rumors).

In the business world, this is the equivalent of corporate investment in longer term revenue by raising executive salaries and actually encouraging competition from other companies, instead of new product developement and cost-cutting existing operating expenses.


Atkins Backlash

The Atkins diet seems to work, but some nutritionists suggest this is only in the short term and with longer term health risks. We should perhaps be suspicious of anything that offers a quick fix. Smoking, for example, is a good way to lose weight.

Even if there are factors which affect how we metabolize food, these will always be secondary effects, you get fat if you burn less calories than you eat, period. Unfortunately our appetites are calibrated for food scarcity, so the only effective diet, a balanced input of moderate quantity and plenty exercise, requires effort.

"The [UK] Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for all the Government's nutritional guidance, has published a statement alerting the public to the health risks of low-carbohydrate diets, including Atkins, claiming that they are linked to heart disease, cancer and even obesity."


Fairly Unbalanced Fox Sues Itself

Fox's Simpsons show ran a joke banner at the bottom of the screen:

The cartoon ticker read: "Pointless news crawls up 37 per cent ... Do Democrats cause cancer? Find out at foxnews.com ... Rupert Murdoch: Terrific dancer ... Dow down 5000 points ... Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay ... JFK posthumously joins Republican Party ... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple ..."

But Fox news didn't get the joke and therefore Fox threatened to sue itself.


Creationist Revisionism Creeps into Classrooms

Decisions in Texas next week over school textbooks could change the way that science is taught in many US states.

"Holt, Rinehart & Winston has submitted a change that directs students to "study hypotheses for the origin of life that are alternatives" to the others in the book. Students also are encouraged to research alternative theories on the Internet."


Where Do Tigers Come From, India or New Jersey?

Two thirds of all the worlds Bengal tigers are thought to live in backyards and basements in the US.

BBC NEWS | Magazine | 10 things we didn't know this time last week


Mmm-tsa mmm-tsa mmm-tsa

I recently came across this series of Beatbox Tutorials which are very detailed and interesting.


Ugly Wedding Dresses

And they're not kidding. These truly are some of the most hideous dresses I've ever seen.


The New Art Nouveau

Going with the Flow, Tech Nouveau Arrives: Mr. Lovegrove calls his design, which echoes the sensibility of his bleached-bones Go chair for Bernhardt, organic essentialism. That sensibility has also been called zoomorphism or neo-organicism or biomorphism, and reflects a widening interest among designers in borrowing the flowing forms of nature. But because of new materials and aesthetics, these influences are updating the effulgent, botanical shapes of Art Nouveau of a century ago and rethinking the biomorphic sci-fi boomerangs and kidney-shape coffee tables of the mid-20th century" (from the NY Times, free registration required).


Microsoft Fires Employee Over G5 Photos on Blog

Of blogging and unemployment, a sad story:

The day started like any other day — get up, dink around for a bit, bus into work, and start working through the stack of jobs. Just shy of an hour after I got in, my manager came in and asked me to step into his office when I had a chance. Sure, no biggie, and I headed over as soon as I finished the job I was setting up.

"Okay, here's the first question. Is this page," and here he turned his monitor towards me, letting me see my "Even Microsoft wants G5s" post from last Thursday, "hosted on any Microsoft computer? Or is it on your own?"

"It's on mine. Well, it's on a hosted site that I pay for, but no, it's not on anything of Microsoft's."

"Good. That means that as it's your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you're no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus."


Church Signs

This site has a bunch of hilarious church signs that people have seen and photographed. And, if you're so inclined, you can create your own church signs here.


Let Me Get This Straight

The other day, Bravo TV announced plans for "Straight Eye for the Queer Guy." "Planned tutorials may include power tools 101, NFL basics, decorating your garage, two-minute hair and sports event etiquette." The commentary over at plasticbag.org is interesting.


Whitehouse robots.txt

For those of you who don't know, the robots.txt file is something you put on your website to indicate what search engines shouldn't list. Is there perhaps something the Whitehouse doesn't want us to know? (for those of you who still don't understand, it looks like the whitehouse people ran a search on every document including the word "iraq" and added it to robots.txt)


Funeral Interrupted by Corpse's Cellphone

A Belgian funeral service was interrupted when the corpse's cellphone started ringing from inside the coffin.

The night before the funeral, the family gathered at the undertakers for a final private farewell, when they heard the sound of his cellphone ringing from within the sealed coffin. Several distressed members of the family had to leave the funeral home whilst staff rushed to remove the cell phone.

Crispy New Freestyle

RetardI am love in with this little retard from Crispy New Freestyle. Don't miss this, it is well worth it.

"Meet me, meet me, meet me, meet me, Meet me, don't beat me. Just meet me at the waffle house I'm a mouse, from Ecuador, You're a duck and you're a ducky whore..."

Vivendi Burning MP3.com Library to the Ground

Vivendi has announced that it's flushing all the music it hosts at MP3.com down the toilet:

...they're not selling the archive, containing more than a million songs by 250,000 artists. As of December 3rd, they're destroying it.

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Would Last a WMD Attack

Gen. Tommy Franks, who successfully(?) led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government. In which case, I get a ticket out of the country. Scary stuff.

21 Nov 03

Will There Be a .mars?

Interesting: "With the ongoing construction of the International Space Station refocusing the world's attention on space exploration, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) are working on an "Interplanetary Internet." Such a system would establish gateways in outer space to help send and receive data to and from the nether reaches of our solar system and possibly beyond." A Q and A session with the man behind the project, Vint Cerf, who is also known as the "father of the internet."


Jacksons Declare War

The family is "ready for war," and plan on giving a television broadcast. The fans are rallying the troops. The man is in Las Vegas. For the first day since some 70 investigators swarmed Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Tuesday, combing for evidence that indicates child molestation. The Times UK is calling it the first trial of the century. Is this the next OJ trial? Hmmm. Meanwhile check out this scary mugshot of Wacko-Jacko.


What's Going on at Kindercore?

I sensed that something was terribly wrong when Kindercore decided to place two legos on their website, their original one, and this new one. Apparently, the label that hosts such bands as Dressy Bessy and Of Montreal decided to expand their horizons, and include hardcore bands under their new skull logo. Now, anyone who has ever heard Dressy Bessy or Of Montreal knows how completely absurd this juxtaposition is. About a week ago Pitchfork reported that Kindercore's financiers have pulled out and that it is no more. Now, though, it looks like this might not be the case, but there is a power struggle between the two parts of the label going on and it is in under chaos. So Of Montreal, Dressy Bessy, Mercury Program, Jet By Day and Agenda are without a label. Gersey, Palomar and I Am The World Trade Center are shopping for new ones. The only bands which is actually staying on the label is Japancakes. Hmmm. The whole intriguing story is over at Pitchfork.


Family Guy to Return to Fox with New Episodes

According to USA Today, Fox is planning on starting back up one of the best cartoons they've ever had (it was a mistake ever cancelling) - apparently because of high DVD sales.


Album Cover Finder

I came across this amazingly useful album finder. Apparently it searches amazon and comes up with the images - you can even leave the album field blank and get all the album covers for a band.


Need of Slight Redesign

Pretty much everyone who keeps a weblog that they regularly post links to eventually comes across one particular problem: how damn hard it is to come up with clever titles to posts. Sometimes I'm tempted to just remove the title part of the post altogether. But then again, the title is useful for personal news and identification of posts and stuff like that. I' m considering maybe having little short descriptions of links over to the right as like a sideblog, and then having my personal stuff like a livejournal over on the left. Or should I intersperse two different types of post formats over to the left (which would be harder to code, but I could borrow from kottke's method). Regardless of what I do I'm really leaning towards seperating links and personal stuff as two blogs and then coding them into one page. If I didn't have to come up with commentary and titles for links I would definitely post more of them. Feedback would be appreciated!

19 Nov 03

Arrest Warrent Made for Michael Jackson

I was surprised when I looked at Google News to find out that Michael Jackson is facing multiple child molestation counts.

18 Nov 03

Sad News...

The huge vending machine in DC's Adams-Morgan neighborhood is, alas, no more.


Mass. Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriages

The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution, but stopped short of immediately allowing marriage licenses to be issued to the seven couples who challenged the law. The court is giving the Legislature 180 days to "take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this decision."

:::Dons Hooters™ t-shirt, confederate flag bandanna and tight white jeans:::
"Hey, it's supposed to be Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! Hyuk, hyuk"

Kidding. This is great news, of course. Albeit total equality with traditional marriages might be a slow road. One step at a time.

16 Nov 03

Photoshop Actions

Different cool effects you can create in photoshop, here.


Racing Game

I couldn't get past the first level. Maybe you'll have better luck.

15 Nov 03

How to Unshrink a Wool Sweater

Very useful little explanation from Kottke's weblog on how to unshrink a wool sweater (it also works for some other fabrics). This is particularly useful if you're at Salisbury University, where there is no way to prevent the washers and dryers from using heat - I've already had to unshrink two articles of clothing since I've gotten here (now I hang things up).



Well, now add HP to the list of companies I hate for manufacturing shitty computers! While in the process of fixing my keyboard/mouse problem (see previous entry), my video card died on me. This is even more of a problem because it's a crappy onboard video card - so now I'm computerless until Thanksgiving break when I can go home and get another crappy PCI video card (no AGP slots, arg!) and then hope that that fixes the problem. So yeah I probably won't be posting as much the next two weeks. : (

14 Nov 03

I Hate Microsoft!

Arghargharghrhghrgh! My mouse and keyboard are no longer functioning, so I can't use the computer (I'm currently using one in the library)! And what's worse, it's not a problem with the keyboard or mouse (they both work in DOS for instance), but with the drivers somehow. And since Microsoft ingeniusly got rid of Safe Mode in XP, there's almost nothing I can do! (If anyone has any suggestions please help).


Frogs Have Accents

A researcher has recorded frog-calls and discovered regional accents among them.

Bernie Simmons, a spokesman for SPSS, said it was thought the frogs migrated to the warmer climate of southern Europe during the last ice age where they separated into distinct colonies that slowly started to diverge. Part of that diversity has emerged as regional accents.

The accents are different depending on whether pool frogs belong to the ancient Iberian, Italian or Balkan populations.

13 Nov 03

Toilets in Video Games

Proof that the web is just teeming with people with strange obsessions and too much time, there is this webpage with a listing, description, and screen captures of toilets in video games. I'm struck by one glaring omission though - the toilets in Golden Eye in the facility! (I'm a nerd).


Conrad on Line Thickness

Conrad Taylor provides an interesting and useful discussion of the use of lines in illustration to improve readability. Well maybe not that interesting, but useful!


15 New Design Trends

Current trends in design covered, from natural spirals to green.


Album Covers in Lego

Someone with more time on their hands than I have and some initiative has decided to make a small gallery of album covers replicated with legos - my only complaint is the selection could be a bit better, but oh well.


Social Networking & Chat Software

I just recently ran across this program called "Humanity," apparently it's somehow a combination of Friendster and AIM (btw I just signed up to Friendster, my email address is fdintino - at - comcast.net, so add me to your friend groups or whatever they're called). Anyway looks mildly interesting.


Cereal Box Gallery

"Cereal boxes are just plain cool. They're a great representation of Pop Art through the decades. Browse our cereal box gallery. Click, enlarge, collect, trade, enjoy!"



Celinea is a pretty cool tool that converts photographs and drawings into pure and light vector form.


Finally! - MyTunes

I knew it was only a matter of time before someone came out with this:

iTunes is mainly meant to be used as a music manager and means of purchasing music online. However, in addition to purchasing music, one can listen to any of the music shared by others on a network. So, for example, if another person on your network has iTunes and decides to share their music, you can listen to it. iTunes does not allow you to save this music to your hard drive.

MyTunes lifts this restriction by allowing you to save music from other computers to your hard drive.

Now if only someone could get around the fact that I can only see users in the same dorm as me, rather than the whole campus. (actually there is this for Mac OS X, and this tool for linux, but that doesn't help most of us - maybe i'll try porting to Windows when i have time [ha, right!]).


Get Full Through Your Nose

Early clinical trials of an appetite-supressing nasal spray are promising:

The hormone in the spray, PYY (for Peptide YY 3-36), is what makes people feel full after a meal. It is made in the small intestine in response to food and then carried by the bloodstream to the brain, where it switches off the urge to eat. Obese people seem to make less of the hormone than lean people.

Extending Your Life, How to Age Well

The Seattle Times is running a week long series of articles on how to extend your life. One of the most interesting ideas is calorie restrictive diets. But if it's eternal life that you're interested in, Alex Chiu has just the invention for you.


Kids Review Stuff

Kids review recent music, radiohead, Guided by Voices, and classic video games (my personal favorite, next to the radiohead one).

11 Nov 03

Strange Stories in the News

Sushi in the Raw: Restaurant's Displays get Women's Group Steamed
"It's dehumanizing, the manner in which people are buying and selling sushi to be eaten off a woman's body. It's dehumanizing to be treated as a plate," says Cherry Cayabyab, president of the Seattle chapter of National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. (Seattle Times)

Woman Sues Over Condom Found in Soup
Laila Sultan, 48, says she ran to the bathroom and threw up for 15 minutes after finding the unwrapped, rolled-up condom in her chowder. She's now taking medications for depression and anxiety. "I can't touch fish," she says. "I can't smell fish. I get sick. I can't eat soups anymore." She's also lost her appetite for sex. (Los Angeles Times)

Man pleads guilty to killing pal who served him urine in beer can
The 46-year-old defendant says: "As far as I know I didn't mean to (kill my friend), but when somebody does that to another person it's not right. I didn't mean to hit him that hard. I only remember hitting him once. When I last talked to him, he was talking just fine." (Oregonian)

10 Nov 03

Learning Nahuatl

I recently came across this promising site devoted to the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. Unfortunately, it promises more than it delivers; only six of the projected 22 lessons are online, but those include an excellent one on Phonology, Orthography, Accent, and Syllable Structure. So if you've ever wondered how those exotic-looking words are pronounced (Xochitl, anyone?), here's your chance to find out. (There is also this site, with the modest title "Inadequate Nahuatl Lessons"; it describes the classical language in a distinctly less rigorous way, but on the other hand it covers more ground, so makes a useful supplement. It's accompanied by an "Inadequate Nahuatl Reference Grammar," which presumably goes into more detail.) There's a short glossary here, and a map showing where the language is now spoken here.


Which Biological Molecule Are You?

WaterYou are water. You're not really organic; you're neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid and a base at the same time. You're strong willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready to flow. So while you often seem worthless, without you, everything would just not work. People should definitely drink more of you every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You? (post results in comments)

07 Nov 03

Real-life Tomacco

Wired has an interesting story on Rob Baur, an operations analyst for a municipal waste water-treatment plant, who decided to copy a certain Simpsons episode and create a real-life tomacco plant, half-tomato, half-tobacco.


Postal Service Recieves Cease-and-Desist Order

In news worthy of the Onion, The Postal Service of recent indie fame has recently received a cease-and-desist order from the U.S. Postal Service. I'm sure the problem was that people were getting confused and going to Sub Pop Record Labels trying to send there mail . Pitchfork's take on it is humorous:

Tamborello notes: "Ben's not around to work on little things like this. It's more just in the spirit of [The Postal Service]. But actually, the U.S. Postal Service sent us a cease-and-desist letter. We're talking to them right now, it's not figured out yet. So all these remixes I've had to do under different names." Ridiculous! I'm sure if it were up to Ashcroft bands like the Dead Kennedys, Bush, Anthrax, the Presidents Of The United States Of America, and classic '80s indie outlet I.R.S. would have to pack it up, too. It just goes to illustrate the misplaced priorities of this administration. I mean, if the federal government sends any band a cease-and-desist letter this year, it should be Staind!

And maybe Creed while they're at it.

06 Nov 03

My Views on Partial-Birth Abortion

I thought that I should further explain why I am against the new partial-birth abortion legislation in more detail, in light of a recent comment on that thread.

No one supports partial birth abortions, or any abortions for that matter - they're a horrible thing. But take this situation for instance: a mother finds 6+ months into the pregnancy that the baby is developing without a brain (which is often the earliest this can be discovered). Taking the pregnancy to term and giving birth to a stillborn child is probably one of the most emotionally difficult things that a person can do. Under this new law, use of partial birth abortion (which is the only recourse in this situation) is prohibitted. Also, let's say that there is some sort of problem with the uterus or with the baby's placement in it (something that only happens late in the pregnancy) and the mother and child are likely to die if it's brought to term. Surely partial birth abortion is justified here, but even in situations where it could save the mother's life, it's outlawed. That just strikes me as wrong. If it allowed for certain exceptions, I would have no problem with this law: I think partial birth abortions are terrible, though sometimes necessary procedures. But I think that having both the mother and the child die when the mother could be saved because of some religious moral idea is absurd to the point of being sickening.


Picture Hunt Time!

Count how many women are in this picture. At first this picture made me laugh, then it made me want to cry. Could anything be more representative of this administration's domestic policy and agenda than this photograph?


Oh My God

Is this America?! (seriously, read this, it is important)

There was a small opening in the ceiling, about one foot by two feet with iron bars. Over that was another ceiling, so only a little light came through this.

There were cats and rats up there, and from time to time the cats peed through the opening into the cell. There were two blankets, two dishes and two bottles. One bottle was for water and the other one was used for urinating during the night. Nothing else. No light.

I spent 10 months, and 10 days inside that grave.

The next day I was taken upstairs again. The beating started that day and was very intense for a week, and then less intense for another week. That second and the third days were the worst.

The Washington Post has this exposé on the topic:

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Arar case fits the profile of a covert CIA "extraordinary rendition" -- the practice of turning over low-level, suspected terrorists to foreign intelligence services, some of which are known to torture prisoners.

Renditions are a legitimate option for dealing with suspected terrorists, intelligence officials argue. The U.S. government officially rejects the assertion that it knowingly sends suspects abroad to be tortured, but officials admit they sometimes do that. "The temptation is to have these folks in other hands because they have different standards," one official said. "Someone might be able to get information we can't from detainees," said another.

Syria, where use of torture during imprisonment has been documented by the State Department, maintains a secret but growing intelligence relationship with the CIA, according to intelligence experts.

04 Nov 03

May Her Last Wishes Be Granted

This obituary caught my eye:

Word has been received that Gertrude M. Jones, 81, passed away on August 25, 2003, under the loving care of the nursing aides of Heritage Manor of Mandeville, Louisiana... Memorial gifts may be made to any organization that seeks the removal of President George Bush from office.

Cool New Speakers

In this article, entitled "Audio's Next Big Thing," the future of hypersonic speakers is discussed:

The ultrasonic speakers create sound at more than 20,000 cycles per second, a rate high enough to keep in a focused beam and beyond the range of human hearing. As the waves disperse, properties of the air cause them to break into three additional frequencies, one of which you can hear. This sonic frequency gets trapped within the other three, so it stays within the ultrasonic cone to create directional audio.

Step into the beam and you hear the sound as if it were being generated inside your head. Reflect it off a surface and it sounds like it originated there. At 30,000 cycles, the sound can travel 150 yards without any distortion or loss of volume.

One cool example of this technology in use is the one speaker stereo.

03 Nov 03

End of the World

I thought this was funny. Fucking kangaroos.


Busy Week Ahead of Me

Wow, this week is already kicking my ass... alot of stuff due. So yeah, there won't be many posts in the next week, sorry.