Friday, September 13, 2002

James Lileks is well worth reading every day. Go and do so. Today's bleat includes this charming paragraph, and I so completely identify with it:
Just took a break to dance with the Gnat. After her bath she runs laughing into my room and wants to dance. There are three songs she wants: “The Chunk Swirly Twirl,” from the Rolie Polie Olie show, the theme from the game “Tropico,” which I have MP3d, and “Love is Good for Anything that Ails You.” She enjoys being picked up and swung in a circle until dizzy, after which she staggers around, giggles “Dizzy!” and then falls down, or pees on the floor, or both. Daddy’s little raver. I have to get her some glow sticks.
When I grow up, I want to be James Lileks.
I have been a fan of Virginia Postrel for years now, from way back when I only knew her name on the masthead at Reason magazine. After reading "The Future and Its Enemies", I became a full-fledged fanboy although I've been able to resist collecting photographs or other otaku behaviors. Today, she writes about football. I wonder if she has an action figure?
Thin radiation from cell phones is rotting your brain ?
Then what happens when you use a hands free and leave it in your pocket ?
We have the technology. Levis to sell 'mobile safe' jeans
Keep your wedding tackle radiation free !

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Dave Barry writes an unusually not-funny column about Flight 93 and their dead. I didn't quite weep, but I did get a bit teary.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

TOM CLANCY WAS RIGHT: (Reposted from this time last year) And we're living one of his scenarios right now. Not much is known for sure, but it's obvious that the United States is the target of a major terrorist assault. There's a lot of bloviation on the cable news channels, most of which will turn out to be wrong or misleading later. Here, for your consideration, are a few points to be taken from past experience:

The Fog of War: Nobody knows much right now. Many things that we think we know are likely to be wrong.

Overreaction is the Terrorist's Friend: Even in major cases like this, the terrorist's real weapon is fear and hysteria. Overreacting will play into their hands.

It's Not Just Terrorists Who Take Advantage: Someone will propose new "Antiterrorism" legislation. It will be full of things off of bureaucrats' wish lists. They will be things that wouldn't have prevented these attacks even if they had been in place yesterday. Many of them will be civil-liberties disasters. Some of them will actually promote the kind of ill-feeling that breeds terrorism. That's what happened in 1996. Let's not let it happen again.

Only One Antiterrorism Method Works: That's punishing those behind it. The actual terrorists are hard to reach. But terrorism of this scale is always backed by governments. If they're punished severely -- and that means severely, not a bombed aspirin-factory but something that puts those behind it in the crosshairs -- this kind of thing won't happen again. That was the lesson of the Libyan bombing.

"Increased Security" Won't Work: When you try to defend everything, you defend nothing. Airport security is a joke because it's spread so thin that it can't possibly stop people who are really serious. You can't prevent terrorism by defensive measures; at most you can stop a few amateurs who can barely function. Note that the increased measures after TWA 800 (which wasn't terrorism anyway, we're told) didn't prevent what appear to be coordinated hijackings. (Archie Bunker's plan, in which each passenger is issued a gun on embarking, would have worked better). Deterrence works here, just as everywhere else. But you have to be serious about it.

For now, the terrorists have won. They've shut down the U.S. government, more or less. They've shut down air travel. They're all over TV. But whether they really win depends on how we deal with this; hysterically, or like angry -- but measured -- adults.

To which I say, "Hear, Hear"
A cool pet, if only there was an antidote to it's deadly poison. Thais warned over deadly pet octopus
I've watched a tiny octopus, no bigger than my fist, push a top off an aquarium which was held down by 4 house bricks. These things are deceptively strong. Also they can squeeze through the smallest openings (only their beak is hard, so if the small beak will fit through an opening, the whole octopus will fit. It's amazing to watch.)
Needless to say, getting a blue ring octopus as a pet seems to be almost the same as putting your head in a lions mouth, then flicking his love spuds with a wet towel.
The Moon opens for business
Private enterprise gets the moon bug...
We sent men to the moon in the 1960's.
We haven't been back since !!
Maybe private enterprise will do what political will won't.
Oh no. Not again........
Move "voting for idiots" books needed ?
Chads return to haunt Florida
Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith, in charge of the elections, said "I frankly wonder what in the hell they've been doing in those counties. They've had two years to get ready for this election."
Look, someone you respect talking some sense. US threatens world peace, says Mandela
Now here is something I didn't know :-
"Mr Mandela recalled that Mr Cheney had been opposed to his release from prison."

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Bwahahahahaha. More Florida voting fuck ups.
Unauditable Voting Machines
Just dont ask for a recount.
Worth reading all of the comments (especially the Schroedingers Cat ones).
(My personal favourite "As long as you don't open the box, you think you voted for Gore" :> )
Will they ever learn ?
Yummy, 320 GB drives. Thats a Whole lotta Pr0n ! (and maybe the odd MP3 or two)
Maxtor "Super-Sized" ATA Drives
The catholic church joins the Michael Jackson club in paying for child abuse. Jacko payed with no admittance of guilt, I wonder what terms the Church imposed ? US Church agrees child abuse pay-out
You can't actually tell people that tobacco is really bad for you. Surely that's illegal ? Say unbiased tobacco firms.
Oooohhhh. I want an instant boot laptop, with gigs of memory. Molecular chip promises much