Friday, January 31, 2003
Where’s the Beef (In the Teenage Diet)? - “According to a new study from market researchers at Teenage Research Unlimited, one in four teens now considers vegetarianism ‘cool.’” So the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association launch Cool 2B Real, a site targeted to pre-teen girls, “an attempt to link meat consumption with some degree of hipness.” Via Blogdex. Update, February 2: see also the Metafilter discussion.
#permalink 11:43 PM comment
My Opinion (inspired to write this by Instapundit)
It’s happening like I knew it would happen. It can’t be stopped now, it is too late. One let’s-attack-Iraq person (Bush) got voted into government. He appoints a few more. One day (September 11) something happens, which is the closest that they will get to a real excuse to bring up the Iraq “issue.” Eventually, they bully the rest of the government into it; many if not most don’t want it, but they go along. The people don’t want it. The government, now in support of attacking (but only a few really do), bullies other governments into doing the same. Eventually the governments that are against attacking are isolated (by the countries that don’t want it either), and so come on board or are ignored. If France uses its veto power, then that simply means the attack won’t have UN approval, but it will still happen. So then there is war. Almost the whole world has been bullied into it. But everyone went along. I hope I am wrong. I hope if I am right, that it will be quick and painless. Iraq will become a stable democracy and pull the rest of the Middle East with it. But I am a pessimist.
#permalink 9:59 PM comment
Amusing Non Sequitur today
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Thursday, January 30, 2003
‘Ecological Meltdown’: Huge Dust Cloud Threatens Asia - China’s desertification is becoming an increasingly gigantic problem, and not only for China. Via Robot Wisdom. See also Science > Desertification, Beijing’s Desert Storm, the China Desertification Information Network, and China desertification.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Let waxing wane and the fur fly free in the fight for unmown territory - “Depilation [hair removal] is the battle that feminism lost.” “It is incredible that the subject is still taboo. We freely discuss anal sex, female sexual dysfunction, pedophilia and boob jobs.” Via Robot Wisdom. See also the Plastic discussion.
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The Onion | U.N. Orders Wonka To Submit To Chocolate Factory Inspections - ah, we all need a laugh. Via Blogdex.
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Farmers face jail if pigs don’t get toys - farmers in Britian (and later all of the EU) are now required to provide toys to their pigs. It should keep them less bored and they won’t be chewing on each other. Good move. Via New Scientist. Oh, wait: Pig toy tale ‘anti-Europe rubbish’; so much for that news. See also related news.
#permalink 5:12 PM comment
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
I’m watching Bush’s speech on C-SPAN now. I won’t comment on everything he says that I have a problem with (that would take forever, although he did pledge money for hydrogen as energy technology), but this thought occured to me. Bush’s love is democracy, where each person’s voice counts. But on the world stage, he feels the same does not apply to each country’s voice; the US can act unilaterally. Update, 10:25 PM: “the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others” - or is even much affected by it (CNN transcript). Also Bush’s euphemism on killing terrorists: “Let’s put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.”
#permalink 9:53 PM comment
Most People Think they are Better than Average - for example, 90% of people in some surveys think they are better than average drivers, and the same goes for intelligence, ability, etc. Lots of interesting points in the link, which is a PowerPoint presentation. See also Buyers smarter than believed.
#permalink 8:24 PM comment
Cell Phones ‘Blind’ Drivers, Study Shows - more proof of the obvious. Via Metafilter. See also related news.
#permalink 8:18 PM comment
Anarchists and the fine art of torture - prison cells built 65 years ago during Spain’s civil war used walls and floors of irregular shapes and colours, along with irregular lighting, a bed built on an angle, and other techniques to make the prison less than desirable. Via Daypop. Update, 8:05 PM: See also the Metafilter discussion. January 29: Kuro5hin discussion.
#permalink 5:10 PM comment
Not Your Father’s Encyclopedia - Wired’s got an article about Wikipedia’s milestone of 100,000 articles in the English version. Wikipedia is an online, free, collaborative (you can add to it) encyclopedia, an incredible resource, and my personal favourite website (after Google). Via Library Stuff. See also Wikipedia’s 2003 Press Release and related news.
#permalink 12:59 PM comment
Ice sculptors from Kenya in for a shock - several Kenyans, one of whom attended Ryerson University in Toronto (the others have never seen snow), will compete in the snow sculpting competition at the Québec Carnival.
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Monday, January 27, 2003
The State of the Union Address Drinking Game 2003 - well I won’t be drinking, but if I watch Bush’s speech I may jot down or tally any interesting Bushisms. Via Blogdex. See also related news, and State of the Union Address.
#permalink 3:48 PM comment
Monowheels - Douglas Self has done the world a great service by collecting probably everything that there is about monowheels (vehicles of one wheel with the rider inside), as part of his Museum of RetroTechnology, which has lots of other neat exhibits. Via Blogdex.
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Saturday, January 25, 2003
Glacial melt turns up treasure - global warming, most prevalent around the poles, is melting glaciers in the Yukon, revealing “an arsenal of Stone Age darts, arrows and spears,” not to mention “the biggest pile of animal droppings he had ever seen, 8 feet high and stretching over a half-mile of mountainside.” You can see some photos at History Emerging from the Ice. Via Metafilter.
#permalink 10:42 PM comment
“My child is starving herself to death” - a story about anorexia. Via Metafilter. See also related news.
#permalink 10:33 PM comment
Friday, January 24, 2003
The message from the Bush camp: ‘It's war within weeks’ - this is why I tend to be pessimistic. If he really begins the war so soon, there pretty much isn’t any chance of UN approval. Which will certainly be the least of the world’s problems. Via Blogdex. See also related news.
Update, 11:55 PM: not that it makes any difference to the White House, but according to Iraq: no nuclear evidence, “The United Nations’ nuclear inspectors will deliver a serious blow on Monday to Washington’s case for going to war with Iraq, telling the world they have found nothing and giving Saddam Hussein good grades for cooperation.” Via Google News.
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Thursday, January 23, 2003
This page was missing since late yesterday. I seem to be running out of disc space. Hopefully I can get this fixed soon.
#permalink 10:25 PM comment
If Everyone Were on Prozac ... - now that is a very scary idea. Via RoBlog2. See also Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and Prozac links. Just a few weeks ago: Prozac approved in US to treat depression in kids; see also related news and my on the topic.
#permalink 6:27 PM comment
Know What I Mean? - the text and audio of a hilarious quote by Donald Rumsfeld from this speech. It begins “There are no knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns...” and so on. Via Punk Princess and 3fingersolute.
#permalink 6:06 PM comment
AIDS Panel Choice Wrote of a ‘Gay Plague’ - another great choice by the Bush Administration. Via Blogdex. See also related news.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Conversational Terrorism - tactics people use in conversation (e.g. to avoid questions or when they know they’re wrong). Some of these remind me of things various politicians have said. I’d hate to interview someone who’d mastered all these techniques. Via Blogdex. Searching found me this amusing example: “[person A]: What time is it? [person B]: I am confident that in the fullness of time, it will become obvious to all members of this house that it is not just the right time, not even the best time, but the only time that it could possibly be at this precise moment.” Also check out Propaganda and Debating Techniques. Update, January 23: see also the Metafilter discussion.
#permalink 10:53 PM comment
Here are my thoughts on a few issues that occured to my while reading an article I refuse to link to (and made me quite mad):
You can’t criticize someone unless they are absolutely perfect in every way and everyone they associate with is also perfect. Yeah, right.
You can’t support a good cause if there is a more important good cause (“why don’t you care about that?!”). Yeah, right.
#permalink 7:00 PM comment
Annals of National Security: The Cold Test - extensive information about nuclear North Korea, the help they got from Pakistan, Pakistani scientists’ al-Qaeda sympathies, and what the US Administration knew about it all. Much of the information is from a classified CIA report. Via Blogdex. See also related news.
#permalink 6:27 PM comment
Four-winged dinosaur makes feathers fly - a very interesting find for the dinosaur-to-bird discipline. In the article, check out an artist’s impression of the Microraptor gui. See also related news, Are Birds Really Dinosaurs?, Archaeopteryx, Ancient Birds, and Dinosaur-Bird Relationships, and dinosaurs and birds (Google query). A few weeks ago there was other news on the subject: Flapping chicks give flying hints.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Filesystem Sacrilege - on interesting idea on remaking the file sytem (file names, file folders) into something for the average Joe. Via Dive into Mark.
#permalink 4:13 PM comment
Diamonds are for Never - great commentary (and links) on diamonds, their industry, morals, and relationship meaning. You should read it. Via Blogdex.
#permalink 3:37 PM comment
San Francisco protest photos - I am on the no-war side of the Iraq issue, but these photos by Right-Thinking are interesting. The most amusing sign, despite its inaccuracy: “The difference between Bush and Saddam is that Saddam was elected.” Via Blogdex. Also on the negative side of the protests: The Detritus of Peace, about litter afterwards.
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Monday, January 20, 2003
Sequels to dominate 2003 movie lineup - a lack of new ideas, a lack of voice for new ideas, or the safety in making something already known to work (i.e. make money)? Even I was surprised at the number of sequels 2003 will bring. Via Contrafactos & Argumentos. See also related news.
#permalink 8:50 PM comment
Crowd Estimates: 30,000 to 500,000 - about counting crowds. It seems that everyone estimates based on relatives to other estimes, and no one really has any idea. Via Blogdex. See also Crowd Estimates, crowd estimates (Google query) and Million Man March. Update, 5:45 PM: see also the Metafilter discussion 10:35 PM: and the Boing Boing discussion.
#permalink 2:50 PM comment
Squares - another Flash puzzle to waste time with. Via Blogdex.
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Sunday, January 19, 2003
Fly UI - the brilliance in printing a little fly in urinals. Men aim for the fly, reducing spillage by 80%. Via Daypop. See also the Metafilter discussion and
#permalink 7:04 PM comment
I took it upon myself to organize into topics the topics on the Internet Topic Exchange. Now that I have started it, hopefully others will continue it.
#permalink 2:39 PM comment
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Neither do three, four, or a hundred. Reminds me of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (25 sample pages). Also patience, we all need more of that.
#permalink 10:46 PM comment
Zoo penguins intent on futile ‘migration’ / S.F. flock swims round and round in pool - over three weeks ago, six new penguins were introduced to those already in San Francisco Zoo. They have convinced them to migrate, and now they swim most of the day, around and around the pool. Great quotes from the zookeper, including “We’ve lost complete control. It’s a free-for-all in here. After 18 years of doing this job, these birds are making mincemeat of me” and “It is hell feeding them.” Via Daypop. See also related news and San Francisco Zoo | Magellanic Penguin.
#permalink 6:14 PM comment
I’ve improved a few things on Puzzlepieces lately. Some of my markup is a little better (using hreflang, geo meta tag, etc.). I have altered the Blogdex and Waypath links that appear after almost every link (if you’re using a modern browser). Now, if you come to Puzzlepieces via most search engines, you will be redirected to a search on that same query on Puzzlepiece’s search engine. Update: It seems I wasn’t the first to thing of this, it has been done before for Moveable Type.
#permalink 2:49 PM comment
check out Syndirella, a new windows news aggregator. Via dive into mark.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Who can blame N.Korea? - a different perspective than usual, and from a western newspaper to boot. Via the watch.
#permalink 9:46 PM comment
Kids on psychiatric drugs surges - the question is whether this is due to kids with more problems, greater recognition of the problems, overmedication, or a combination thereof. Via Google News.
#permalink 4:55 PM comment
Don’t you just love the ’net and blogosphere? Post your ideas on LazyWeb, and anything onto the Internet Topic Exchange (new, the “first public implementation of the Ridiculously Easy Group Forming concept”). Find physically near websites with GeoURL ICBM Address Server. Memeufacture is adding human-categorization to the blog popularity index concept. Four new great ideas (okay, so one is a meta-idea) in just a few weeks.
#permalink 3:38 PM comment
RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages - “It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that’s more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags.” This article has lots of information about companies making and planning to implement these tags that can track everything. See my on the topic. Via Blogdex. See also related news.
#permalink 3:12 PM comment
Mugabe would step aside in deal for immunity - “Top officials from the ruling ZANU-PF party have offered opposition leaders a deal that could end Zimbabwe’s spiral toward economic collapse: the resignation of reviled President Robert Mugabe and a transitional power-sharing government.” But then, Mugabe Exile Story Dismissed. See also related news.
#permalink 1:38 PM comment
Old clothes filter out cholera - “Using old saris to filter drinking water collected from rivers and ponds has halved the number of cholera cases in remote Bangladeshi villages.” See also related news.
#permalink 12:48 AM comment
It’s over! I have finally submitted my university applications. And a full day or so before the deadline. Now just three billion things left to do...
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Monday, January 13, 2003
UK ‘rejects’ lone action against Iraq - “The UK would not join American unilateral military action against Iraq.” In my opinion, if the US and UK began a war without UN approval, it would severely weaken the already weak organization, which is a key part of international affairs that is absolutely necessary. Via Blogdex. See also related news and the UN Department for Disarmament Affairs. Update, January 14: see Defiant Blair says UN has no veto on war via Blogdex, and related news.
#permalink 2:33 PM comment
U.S. Decision On Iraq Has Puzzling Past - six days after 9/11, Bush signed a plan for going to war in Afghanistan and “to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq.” You think maybe some people were a little eager to have this war? “The decision to confront Iraq was in many ways a victory for a small group of conservatives who, at the start of the administration, found themselves outnumbered by more moderate voices in the military and the foreign policy bureaucracy.” Read the whole article. Via Blogdex. See also related news.
#permalink 1:49 PM comment
Car companies likely to make fuel-cell cars - twenty companies, including “Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor” are now working together “to allow fuel cell cars to cover similar distances as gasoline engine cars.” Via the watch. See also related news and Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
#permalink 1:41 PM comment
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Finnish Prisons: No Gates or Armed Guards - thirty years ago Finland had a prison system like Russia’s and a high imprisonment rate. Today it has the lowest imprisonment rate in the EU. Via sassafrass. See also Prison Service in Finland (official) and Issues > Prisons.
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Saturday, January 11, 2003
USA Patriot Art Show - the ACLU has put up a gallery of political cartoons. I like one by Clay Bennet. Via Boing Boing.
#permalink 5:18 PM comment
The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible - if you ignore the author’s comments and just read the quotations from the Bible, there are some interesting things here. Via Metafilter.
#permalink 5:00 PM comment
Friday, January 10, 2003
The Secret War on Condoms - I have , about the current US Administration’s social policy, but the issue continues. Via Blogdex. See also related news. Update, January 13: See The War on Women, via Blogdex.
#permalink 4:37 PM comment
China has blocked blogspot - Chinese internet users have been blocked from accessing websites on, where many Blogger-powered blogs are hosted. Via Blogdex. According to a search on AlltheWeb, there are 2,185,759 different blogs (not pages, blogs) on blogspot.
#permalink 4:01 PM comment
Today I got a check (albeit a small one) in the mail from Google for my work at Google Answers. When Google Answers first came out I became one of the early researchers. I answered two questions, and haven’t answered any since. But seeing the check has inspired me, and I plan to answer more in the future.
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Thursday, January 09, 2003
The Unseen Gulf War - previously unpublished 1991 photographs by Peter Turnley. Via dangerousmeta!. See also Persian Gulf War.
#permalink 10:13 PM comment
perhaps add Encyclopedia Meta-Search to aref. also Wiktionary is a new effort by Wikipedia to create a dictionary (and perhaps thesaurus, translator, etc). when it is big enough, add it to bref. check out ReadyMade, via dangerousmeta!.
#permalink 8:14 PM comment
Omniglot - has lots of information on quite a few written alphabets, from Roman/Latin to Cree to Mayan to Japanese and even Braille. Very interesting. Via Free Pint.
#permalink 5:17 PM comment
They Rule - this is just the sort of website I’ve been wishing someone would make. “They Rule aims to make some of the relationships of the elite of the US ruling class visible. It allows users to browse through the interlocking directories of some of the most powerful American companies and easily run searches on them.” You have to try it yourself. Via Magnetbox (thanks for the link Ben!).
#permalink 2:09 PM comment
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
‘Gadget printer’ promises industrial revolution - I first read about “printers” that print actual 3D objects rather than just images a couple of years ago (Discover Magazine, February 2000). Now, “the research at the University of California in Berkeley will allow fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets to be printed in one go.” See also related news, and A BiD for Better Design.
#permalink 5:44 PM comment
Classrooms ban detention after pupil cites human rights - when I first read that a student was suing against detention I didn’t think that much of it. But now, “after-school detention for pupils has been banned in hundreds of schools across Scotland amid fears that the punishment could be in breach of human rights.” Via Blogdex. See also related news.
#permalink 5:18 PM comment
The Upsidedown Map Page - as Francis points out, having North at the top of a map makes as much sense as having South at the top. “Since hanging one on my wall I’ve learnt geography again.” Via Blogdex. See also ODT Inc., “a source of alternative information on maps.”
#permalink 5:06 PM comment
The Colour of Words - interesting word origins for colour names. It seems that words like yellow, khaki, and auburn, no longer describe the same colour they used to. Lots of interesting colour names are covered such as vermillion, azure, carmine, ultramarine, ecru, taupe, etc. World Wide Words has plenty of other word fun. For more colours, see the Glossary of Colorful Language (over 200 colours), KKK is for KKKhaki, the Crayola Crayon Chronology, and Colourful Words.
#permalink 4:42 PM comment
Announcing the 2002 P.U.-litzer Prizes - “America’s stinkiest media performances.” Via ContraFactos & Argumentos. See also related news.
#permalink 2:29 PM comment
Monday, January 06, 2003
US operatives are said to be active in Iraq - “We’re bombing practically every day as we patrol the no-fly zones, taking out air defense batteries, and there are all kinds of CIA and Special Forces operations going on. So I would call it the beginning of a war.” Via Daypop. See also related news (Google).
#permalink 3:18 PM comment
Gridlock - a virtually never play computer games, but I really like this simple one. The object is to move the blue block out of the box by rearranging the other blocks. Via Daypop.
#permalink 2:54 PM comment
Sunday, January 05, 2003
LazyWeb opened a few days ago, and today I pinged (or should that be panged?) it for the first time. LazyWeb is “the idea that if you wait long enough, someone will implement that wacky idea you had... (or already has!).” The new LazyWeb website is a place to post ideas, hoping that someone else will take them up. The idea I pinged about was the one I posted a week or two ago about death and news.
#permalink 12:48 AM comment
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Australia considers one-km tall power tower - “By 2006, Australian power company EnviroMission Ltd. hopes to build a 1,000 m (3,300 feet) solar tower... Currently, the world’s tallest free-standing structure is the Canadian National Tower in Toronto at 553 metres.” EnviroMisson (see their website for more) will be building it in collaboration with Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, a German engineering company. The Australian government is in favour of the project. Via FARK. See also related news (Google).
Update, January 6: See the Metafilter discussion.
#permalink 7:20 PM comment
Friday, January 03, 2003
A few pieces of news shows that we underestimate animals’ intelligence: Lobsters Navigate with Earth Poles (via FARK, and related news (Google)), Lab chimp speaks his own language (and related news (Google)), and Orangutans swinging culture revealed (and related news (Google)).
#permalink 1:38 AM comment
Big Brother Foosball - Dennis Crowley has turned an ordinary foosball table into an electronic one which keeps track of scores and players. Via Daypop.
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Thursday, January 02, 2003
Watt a Lightbulb! - a lightbulb made in 1901 still works and hasn’t been turned off since then. See Livermore’s Centennial Light, the lightbulb’s official website, which includes a webcam. Via FARK.
#permalink 7:46 PM comment
Our quality of life peaked in 1974. It’s all downhill now - some sobering facts and comments on the state of the planet. Via FARK.
#permalink 2:37 AM comment
Bobbing Through Portugal on Boat Made of Wine Corks - two guys build a boat from 165,321 corks, which they sail 165 miles along Portugal. Via Boing Boing.
#permalink 1:53 AM comment
Lake Superior State University Issues 2003 List of Banished Words - these words, chosen from some 3,000 submitted, are “banished” for their “mis-use, over-use and general uselessness.” Via Metafilter (good comments). See also related news (Google) and a short story containing all the words.
Update, January 20: see American Dialect Society: Word of the Year, via Metafilter.
#permalink 1:27 AM comment
Sudanese women ban sex in effort to halt war - some thousands of women are withholding sex “in an attempt to to end the 19 years of civil war that have torn the country apart.” Their inspiration comes from Lysistrata, a ancient greek play by Aristophanes. See the full text of Lysistrata. Via Metafilter, which also discusses much good news for the new year. See also related news (Daypop) and Activism and Peace Work > Women.
#permalink 1:14 AM comment
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