Weblog Archives




  Saturday   November 9   2002

I redid the graphic. I've seen it before. I can't remember from where. It was a jpg and was getting pretty funky. Now it's a reduced palette gif and is a little cleaner. Keep it a gif and it will stay clean.

thanks to BookNotes

 01:05 PM - link


Bill Moyers on Election 2002

Way back in the 1950's when I first tasted politics and journalism, Republicans briefly controlled the White House and Congress. With the exception of Joseph McCarthy and his vicious ilk, they were a reasonable lot, presided over by that giant war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, who was conservative by temperament and moderate in the use of power.

That brand of Republican is gone. And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government — the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.

thanks to BookNotes

 12:57 PM - link

shop until you drop

You can get anything on E-Bay.

MIG 21: Classic Mach 2 Russian Jet Fighter

US $215,100.00
(reserve met)

MIG 21, The Mach 2 Russian fighter with spare engine, rocket pods, missile rails, spare parts, training, manuals, FAA licensed, tow bar, start cart. This was the high performance threat faced by NATO for 20 years and will outrun most F-16s. Fast climb is Mach 1.8.

MIKOYAN MIG 21 PF, 1965, S/N: 761811, N21PF, 660 TT, 150 SHSI, MIG 21 PF single seat fighter, Mach 2.1. Initial rate of climb 36,090 ft/min, serv. ceiling 69,000 ft., NATO designation "Fishbed". Single Seat, 660 TT, Eng 150 hrs, King Txp, Apollo GPS/ Com, 110 gal drop tank, Hot eject seat, Start Cart, Spare Brakes/Tires.

thanks to Shou?

 12:47 PM - link


David Horsey   David Horsey   Ted Rall   Ted Rall

 12:42 PM - link

american empire

Hekmatyar Says The War On Civilizations Has Begun

Correspondent: Do you think a "clash of civilizations" has begun?

Hekmatyar: Yes, the war between the civilizations has indeed begun, and this war will continue forever. I think that those who deny the existence of this war and raise slogans for reconciliation, understanding and dialogue between the civilizations are deceiving the world and themselves. The slogans of reconciliation and cooperation are Western slogans. They are being used to crush the resistance. The Western civilization has launched a fierce war against the other civilizations. The Westerners are calling on others to surrender and not to resist. They want their civilization to be the dominant one in the world. Otherwise, what does reconciliation mean at a time when the West is launching its war against us? How can understanding be reached when the United States has established military bases in many Islamic countries and occupied the most important strategic points in the world by force, when Bush declared his crusader war, the Italian prime minister (Silvio Berlusconi) announced that he defeated communism and will defeat Islam, and the German foreign minister stated that the West will not accept the shari'ah authority in Afghanistan? They are trying to impose their way of life on the poor peoples.

thanks to American Samizdat

 12:29 PM - link

stoner art

Akiyoshi's illusion pages

Caution: This page contains some works of "anomalous motion illusion", which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately.

thanks to MetaFilter

 12:29 PM - link


A last word on the dangers posed to world peace should go to a Californian rabbi, Haim Dov Beliak , who studied at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Israel when it was the ideological center for the settler movement. He is quoted in a sober analysis (published recently in the National Catholic Reporter) of the apocalyptic, Christian Zionist movement which supports both the Occupation and the settlements. Rabbi Beliak is troubled that "the American public knows little about the settlers. There is a profound lack of curiosity about them." They are, he believes, "deeply problematic because they are going to cause World War III. They are not dealing with normal political reality. There is a complete denial of any rights Arabs might have."

Blinded by the Right:
America Stumbles into the Ditch

Would anyone have believed that in the year 2002 America would join ranks with fanatics driven by fabricated stories more than 2500 years old as the basis for foreign policy? Our acceptance of Sharon's administration and its savage policies also means we have accepted the fanatics of Islam who use the same God as the Israelis to justify their atrocities. These mythologies become the motivating tools of those in power to justify their purpose. They grab at the opportunities present -- fear inflicted by enemies of the people, righteous behavior demanded by their God, promise of rewards in the hereafter for those joining against the forces of evil, and ultimate victory for the myths that gave them purpose to carry out their desires. It is unfortunate that America has been hoodwinked into supporting beliefs that should have died a quiet death years and years ago. What a mockery of international law, of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, and America's proclaimed belief in Democracy and the inherent rights guaranteed to all people is our obeisance to the whims of those who would find recourse to oppression in the pages of a mythological text.

Netanyahu's power play clouds US relations
Likud leadership hopeful rejects independence for Palestinians

The binational option

A growing number of articles and analyses by Palestinians and their supporters are warning that the "two states for two peoples" option is fading, and the goal of a Palestinian state should be exchanged for the establishment of a binational state. At the same time, polls among Israeli Jews show there is a majority, albeit slim, in favor of a Palestinian state.

 12:09 PM - link

land use

A couple of days ago I was amazed by a series of photographs of the entire California coast. It turns out that the same thing has been done for Washington — completed in 1997.

Shoreline Ariel Photos

Between 1992 and 1997, the Washington State Department of Ecology acquired oblique aerial photography of the state's entire 2,500 miles of marine shoreline.

The collection of over 10,000 photographs provides a valuable educational monitoring tool for coastal managers and the public. The true- color photos comprise a continuous series, panning left to right along the shoreline. The photos were taken to optimize sun angle, shoreline orientation, and low tides. Oblique photos are useful for interpreting bluff geology and land-sliding, riparian vegetation, and shoreline modifications such as bulkheads and seawalls.

thanks to Spitting Image

 10:50 AM - link


The psycho kitties are back!

Kittens singing The Vines

Kittens singing Elbow

FYI, the kittens live over at Joel's

Yesterday I bemoaned the lack of political songwriting today. It must be that short term memory loss because it was only a few days before that I linked to Billy Bragg, political song writer extraordinaire.

I have mp3 links to both Billy Bragg's and the Dead Kennedys' anti-war songs under my e-mail address, which is under the nav bar. Go forth and subvert!

 09:40 AM - link

american art

Picturing America

Picturing America is an exhibition of The Newark Museum's renowned American art collection. Starting in colonial times and ending in the 21st century, Picturing America examines the powerful impact that artists have had on shaping American culture and identity.


thanks to enthusiasm

 08:53 AM - link

  Friday   November 8   2002

delineations of american scenery and manners

I have another of J.J. Audubon's delineations up. This chapter chronicles his travels some 80 miles out of Philadelphia, in the early 19th century, to the Great Pine Swamp to sketch birds. Descriptions of frontier logging.


I LEFT Philadelphia, at four of the morning, by the coach, with no other accoutrements than I knew to be absolutely necessary for the jaunt which I intended to make. These consisted of a wooden box, containing a small stock of linen, drawing paper, my journal, colours and pencils, together with 25 pounds of shot, some flints, the due quantum of cash, my gun Tear-jacket, and a heart as true to nature as ever.

Our coaches are none of the best, nor do they move with the velocity of those of some other countries. It was eight, and a dark night, when I reached Mauch Chunk, now so celebrated in the Union for its rich coal mines, and eighty-eight miles distant from Philadelphia. I had passed through a very diversified country, part of which was highly cultivated, while the rest was yet in a state of nature, and consequently much more agreeable to me. On alighting, I was shewn to the travellers' room, and on asking for the landlord, saw coming towards me a fine-looking young man, to whom I made known my wishes. He spoke kindly, and offered to lodge and board me at a much lower rate than travellers who go there for the very simple pleasure of being dragged on the railway. In a word, I was fixed in four minutes, and that most comfortably.

 11:32 PM - link

information control

Chokehold on Knowledge

Since it's the threat of obscurantism we're hoping to thwart, let's be blunt: The Bush administration's plan to strip the Government Printing Office's authority is a threat to democracy.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels wants to transfer control of information management from the printing office to individual Cabinet agencies. That would spell the end of the current system, in place since the Jeffersonian era, which requires executive branch agencies to send their documents and reports to neutral librarians, who then make them available to the public both online and in 1,300 public reading rooms nationwide.

 02:09 PM - link


African Ceremonies

thanks to MetaFilter

blackboard art

thanks to consumptive.org

Mite Image Gallery

thanks to Spitting Image

 12:14 PM - link

another quiz

Which Founding Father Are You?


thanks to Cooped Up

 10:54 AM - link


Oh Boy More Fear And Gluttony
Darkness falls across the land, flowers wilt, the GOP takes full, and frightening, control
By Mark Morford

As noted crusty and ruthless and largely unpleasant former Clinton adviser James Carville observed just after the election, "The American people just don't have a clue as to what's coming."

If you are female, gay, bisexual, atheist, black, immigrant, poor, progressive, intellectual, open minded, open hearted, if you hold alternative views, dress funny, dance, enjoy sex, read seditious literature, believe in peace and funky spirituality and don't particularly care for a sneering angry self- righteous well-armed anti-everything deity, you are about to find out. The hard way. And so is everyone else.

The gods can only shake their heads, and sigh.

Into the Wilderness
By Paul Krugman

What hasn't changed is the fundamental wrongness of this administration's direction. Too many pundits, confusing politics with policy — or engaging in sheer power worship — imagine that a party that wins a battle must be doing something right. But it ain't necessarily so. Political victory doesn't make a bad policy good; it doesn't make a lie the truth.

But what do we do about it?

Be Careful What You Ask For
By Nicholas D. Kristof

Republicans are really in a pickle now.

 10:35 AM - link

kinky sex

Here is a good political song that only needs to have a couple of names changed to bring it right up to date. It's the Dead Kennedys' Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round (it's from their Give me convience OR give me death CD.) It takes the form of a telephone call from the US Secretary of War to the British Prime Minister (Thatcher) who continues to make orgasmic sounds as the Secretary of War talks about — what else? — war. It's so relevant to Bush and Blair's curious relationship that I include a link to an mp3 version of the song for your edification.

Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round
MP3 4027 KB

It's a shame we don't have any good political songwriters like this today.

 09:47 AM - link

american empire

Here we go!

U.N. panel OKs new Iraq resolution

The Security Council unanimously approved a tough new Iraq resolution today, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences" that would almost certainly mean war.

A Post-War Disaster in Iraq
By Ted Rall

When George W. Bush wanted the Taliban out, he issued an ultimatum: give up Osama or face the consequences.

Mullah Omar and his grim band of Islamist yahoos were fearsome literalists; in a now-forgotten last-ditch attempt to keep their jobs, they offered to turn over bin Laden. But Bush didn't really want bin Laden -- he wanted the Taliban gone. Days later, bombs began raining on Afghanistan.

Bush's ultimatums are, in fact, merely eviction notices.

 08:35 AM - link

  Thursday   November 7   2002


No alternative to fossil fuels

There is no alternative energy source to fossil fuels that will allow a stabilisation of the earth’s climate whilst meeting today’s global energy demands, claims new research.


 12:05 PM - link

Letter From an Israeli Jail

I would like to share with you some of my thoughts as I pass the long hours peeling bags of onions, washing dozens of large oily pots, or when I am asked to explain myself to those around me, people who find it difficult to understand my motives. Why does a man of my age--married with two children--"need all this"? Why is it worth my while to refuse serving in the occupied territories?

Settlers and Trash

While the Israeli military strangulation of the West Bank tightens by the day, the Israeli settler community of Psagot, a settlement illegally erected near my City of Al-Bireh, is taking advantage of the Israeli government's determination to militarily crush the Palestinian society to pursue their three decade old policy of illegal land confiscation. Just as the Israeli Occupation to suppress the entire Palestinian population has taken on new shapes and forms in the absence of any international considerations, Israeli settlers are camouflaging this latest round of land confiscation with a facade of environmental issues, namely a solid waste landfill site on the Eastern front of our City.

 12:05 PM - link


Everybody Must Get Armed
The NRA reminds you, please exercise your God-given right to wallow in fear and kill stuff. Thank you
By Mark Morford

And onward they come, like a pack of happily violent completely misinformed all-American barrel- stroking sycophantic wolves, but without the all the grace or beauty or mythology or intelligence.

Salivating at the sound of a rifle shot and cooing at the sight of a Glock .357 and cheering at the spectacle of crusty enfeebled leader Charlton Heston as he struggles with both weakened arms to raise a rifle over his head one last time and croak the group's adorably macho little mantra, "From my cold, dead hands!" Awww.

Like a band of angry ferrets the gun-drunk NRA marches, stomping into American towns to rally, rally, rally for more guns for more people, often in a city that just so happens to have suffered a deadly and horrific shooting spree within the past few days, isn't that just the cutest and most small-minded, insulting thing you ever did hear.

 12:00 PM - link

extreme barbecue

This is one of the first sites I found when I first got on the internet in 1995. I periodically rediscover it. It hasn't lost it's charm.


Still photo or an MPEG MOVIE of lighting of the grill with 3 gallons of liquid oxygen. Started with 60 lbs of charcoal, and burnt up 40 lbs of it in 3 seconds. Result is a grill ready to cook in about 3 seconds, and all the old grease, etc burned off. Don't try this at home.

thanks to plep

 11:51 AM - link


Tumbling toast, Murphy's Law and the Fundamental Constants

There's a widespread suspicion among the public that toast sliding off a plate or table has a natural tendency to land butter side down, thus providing prima facie evidence for Murphy's Law: "If something can go wrong, it will". Most scientists, in contrast, dismiss such belief as ludicrous. Indeed, an investigation by the BBC- TV science programme Q.E.D. in 1993 claimed to have proved definitively that the whole notion was nothing but an urban myth. However, as I show in the paper, the experiments carried out by the programme were dynamically inappropriate (in that they consisted of people simply tossing buttered bread into the air - hardly common practice around the breakfast table). When the problem of toast sliding off a plate or table is examined more carefully - with the toast modelled as a thin, rigid, rough lamina - it turns out that the public perception is quite correct.

thanks to plep

 11:43 AM - link


The K Chronicles

This Modern World

Tom the Dancing Bug

Tom Toles

 10:25 AM - link

young cannon fodder

No Child Unrecruited
Should the military be given the names of every high school student in America?

Sharon Shea-Keneally, principal of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, was shocked when she received a letter in May from military recruiters demanding a list of all her students, including names, addresses, and phone numbers. The school invites recruiters to participate in career days and job fairs, but like most school districts, it keeps student information strictly confidential. "We don't give out a list of names of our kids to anybody," says Shea-Keneally, "not to colleges, churches, employers -- nobody."

But when Shea-Keneally insisted on an explanation, she was in for an even bigger surprise: The recruiters cited the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's sweeping new education law passed earlier this year. There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid.

I find this to be truly obscene.

 10:18 AM - link

even more election stuff

Think Hard
It is time to take a careful and critical look at mass media -- and fight back

If you yet doubt that Roger Ailes is a political genius, think again.

Like Goebbels before him, the chief of FOX News has succeeded this day in not only changing the way an entire nation -- in this case America, not Germany -- looks at elective politics, but the way other networks treat the political and policy news about the most powerful economic and military nation in history.

Think about it -- and think hard.

thanks to wood s lot


What happened on November 5, 2002 was the culmination of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party that began more than a decade ago under the leadership of a group of conservatives, corporadoes, and con men who convinced their political colleagues that the salvation of the party lay in destroying its purpose.

Called "moving to the center," the recipe had certain similarities to a Saturday Night Live sketch in which an actor pretends to be George Bush or Trent Lott, but unlike the sketch, it was neither funny nor convincing. It was conceived by the "Democratic Leadership Council," a group whose underlying message was not leadership but abandon ship and which chose as its agent a conservative governor of Arkansas of salesman-like charm and

 09:20 AM - link

  Wednesday   November 6   2002

more depressing election stuff

From Mark Morford's newsletter this morning:
== Oh Boy More Fear And Gluttony Whee ==
Dark stormclouds of sadness and pain passed over the collective soul of the United States and indeed much of the universe today as the Republican Party won control of American government and will hence have much less trouble passing more invidious laws that further its adorably sniveling and very, very mean-spirited agenda of war, big business, corporate inbreeding, heartlessness, artlessness, cultural degradation, homophobia, misogyny, racism, fear, dread, gluttony, and uptight sexless puling about everything that doesn't gibe with rich whitebread Americana doctrines of money and power or vague karmic misery and sneering fear of anyone who makes less than six figures or has genuine orgasms or really loves the environment or personal freedom or alternative viewpoints or laughter. "Hail Satan!" giggled a heavily shellacked Elizabeth Dole as she stepped into Jesse Helms' crusty, moldy, homophobic pink slippers.
"Let the Dark Days begin!"

Joe Conason's Journal
Democrats have only themselves to blame.

Whatever eventually happens in Louisiana, the Democrats have lost control of the Senate. The nation will return almost immediately to the Republican domination of the executive, legislative and judicial branches that existed before Vermont's Jim Jeffords turned independent last year. Now the Democratic voters who chose not to show up Tuesday are going to find out what their decision meant, in a country ruled by President Bush, Trent Lott and Tom DeLay. From drilling in Alaska to regressive taxation to unilateral war, the agenda of the corporate and religious right will shape our future.

Voters Set Republicans Loose on the World
by James Ridgeway

The war against Iraq is now a done deal. Casting ballots last night, the voters showed virtually no opposition to attacking Saddam Hussein, instead reinforcing the congressional approval for President Bush's military aims and sending yet another signal to the United Nations to move or get lost.

 04:36 PM - link

i lied — i'm not taking the day off

I can't say it any better than Craig has: "Since my political awakening in the 1960s I have not been more profoundly discouraged and depressed by an election than I am now." That is exactly how I feel right now. (Craig has also put together put together a list of what this means as well as some links to what others think.) I wish I could say there was some hope but I'm afraid, at this point, I see none. My views have no representation in Washington. Only those with money have representation.

As Tom Tomorrow put it: "Oh. My. Freaking. God."

Without vision, the party -- well, a Senate majority -- perishes.

It is the first sign of trouble in a play about nothing but trouble. Asked by her father in the play's first scene what she can say to demonstrate her love for him, Cordelia says, "Nothing." To which Lear responds, "Nothing will come of nothing."

Which is a pretty fair summation of the Democrats' 2002 campaign. They had no message. They were an opposition party that drew no lines of opposition. They had nothing to say. And on Tuesday, their base responded by staying home in droves.

The Democrats the Day After

Final verdict? We agree entirely with this assessment by Mark Donham, an Illinois environmentalist who sent it along to us the morning after.

"If the democrats do not see this as a serious repudiation of their strategy of trying to 'out republican' the Republicans, then I think we will continue to see the Democrats become more and more irrelevant. Only if the Democrats embrace a new vision based upon real change, change that will mean taking on the status quo in real ways, not just pandering to the status quo, will they return to power.

"An interesting article ran in yesterday's USA Today regarding the lack of voting by people in the age group of 18-24. In non-presidential elections, the percentage of this age group that are voting is only about 25%. That is because no one is providing them with a vision that makes sense, and the smaller parties that might be providing that vision, like the Green Party, don't have the resources to reach them in adequate numbers.

"Therein lies the untapped political resource to revitalize the Democratic Party, but they will not be fooled or interested by milktoast ideas. It's time for Daschle and Gephardt to step down, admit that their strategy failed, and let some new, progressive leadership re-excite the party. If the party leadership looks at this and concludes that the they weren't conservative enough and tries to push their positions even more to the right, then I see the Democrats disintegrating into near irrelevancy."

So, can the Democrats reinvent themselves out of the cement overcoat of its DLC years? We doubt it, and furthermore we reckon that for the people who control the Democratic Party, it's far more important to beat off radical ideas and drive the McKinneys out of the Party than to win elections or to lose elections on matters of principle like civil rights and economic justice.

One last thought: the Democrats don't have Nader to blame for this one. Ralph even went out and campaigned for some of them.

Another couple of articles on the implications for our future (thanks to Craig.)

White House Maps Ambitious Plans

Suddenly, items that had been bottled up in the Democratic Senate have new life. President Bush has new hopes for action on his conservative slate of judges, his energy plan calling for drilling in Alaska's wildlife refuge, and the policies he favors on topics such as homeland security, terrorism insurance and prescription drug coverage. With Democrats losing their ability to set the Senate schedule and launch probes of the administration, chances improve for Bush's hopes to extend last year's tax cuts, curtail jury awards, cut business regulations and overhaul Medicare.

Can you say "We're fucked?"

Massive Military Cargo Ships Leave U.S. Ports - MSC

Three enormous U.S.-military owned cargo ships capable of carrying tanks have left U.S. shores in recent days, a U.S. navy official said on Monday, amid mounting evidence Washington is building up firepower to attack Iraq.

The scuttlebut, according to my military sources, is a January invasion of Iraq.

For a foreign perspective, as Marc puts it: "This alarming and depressing result makes the global shitstorm much closer, and much, much harder to avoid."

I have Mozart's Requiem on repeat.

 10:17 AM - link

I too depressed over the election results — I'm taking the day off. I'll be back.

 12:26 AM - link

  Tuesday   November 5   2002

 12:01 PM - link

throw the rascals out

From Citizens To Customers, Losing Our Collective Voice

Little more than a year ago, Americans rose up in outrage and grief to affirm their national solidarity in the face of a murderous attack on their fellow citizens. In Tuesday's midterm elections, most of us won't bother to show up. Not even al Qaeda's galvanizing assault can reverse a half-century of declining interest -- especially among younger voters -- in choosing our leaders.

We are watching the slow-motion collapse of American citizenship.

thanks to Tapped

 03:37 AM - link

Lonnie Donegan 1931-2002

Lonnie Donegan
Father of British pop music and inspiration to the Beatles

Lonnie Donegan, who has died aged 71 was the first British pop superstar and the founding father of British pop music, and the musician who provided the original inspiration for John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and a host of others.


King of Skiffle Lonnie Donegan Dies at 71

thanks to enthusiasm for the notice and the links

Lonnie recorded the wonderful The Skiffle Sessions: Live in Belfast 1998 with Van Morrison and Chris Barber. It's also available on Rhapsody.

 03:26 AM - link

All Because of a Small Olive
by Uri Avnery

Why has the Sharon-Ben-Eliezer-Peres government collapsed? Because of a small olive.

It started like a children's tale: Once upon a time there was a small olive in a Palestinian village. It grew and ripened on a branch of an old tree in a grove on the top of a hill. "Pick me! I want to give my oil!" the little olive pleaded.

But it went on ripening, and the pickers did not come. They could not reach it, because the settlers had set up two mobile homes on the hill, and the whole area became a "security region" of this outpost. When the owners of the grove approached, the settlers cursed them, beat them up and started shooting. This happened at dozens of locations all over the West Bank.

PM Sharon dissolves Knesset, election slated for Feb. 2003

"Elections are the last thing this country needs right now," said the prime minister, "the political blackmail of the far right has left me no option."

''The history of Hizbullah''

The war between Israel and Hizbullah was not simply born. It was conceived in a seething cauldron of all the things that make the Middle East a snake pit of unending bloodshed, unrivaled bitterness, and unfathomable duplicity.

To understand how this violent relationship might evolve in the future, and how the international community can most effectively seek to keep it under control, it is best to start at the beginning - the real one, rather than the red herrings bred by a mainstream media that is alternately guilty of gross ignorance and shameless fabrication.

thanks to Cursor

 03:11 AM - link

land use

California Coast Gets Intrepid Internet Watchdog
Detailed Aerial Photos by Husband-Wife Team Called Boon for Environmental Activism

California's 1,100-mile coast has a new watchdog: a retired tech mogul with a helicopter and a digital camera who is posting detailed photos on the Internet of every inch of the oceanfront, from the redwood- studded cliffs of the north to the rows of mansions crowding the south.

Ken Adelman's two-week-old Internet site, the California Coastal Records Project, attracts thousands of viewers daily and is being called a big technological advance for environmental activism.

"You can click and see bulldozers on the beach," said Sierra Club coastal director Mark Massara. "You can see funky homemade seawalls and coastal resource degradation."

California Coastal Records Project


both thanks to MetaFilter

 02:57 AM - link


Mr. Preble Gets Rid of His Wife
by James Thurber

Mr. Preble was a plump middle-aged lawyer in Scarsdale. He used to kid with his stenographer about running away with him. "Let's run away together," he would say, during a pause in dictation. "All righty," she would say.

One rainy Monday afternoon, Mr. Preble was more serious about it than usual.

"Let's run away together," said Mr. Preble.

"All righty," said his stenographer. Mr. Preble jingled the keys in his pocket and looked out the window.

 02:46 AM - link

give me consumption or give me death

You Are The Perfect Crime

The richest countries look everywhere for answers to the ecological crisis - except at their own ravenous consumption. This year, we'll hit those nations with a message that no one can miss. We're coming at them in every medium, from street posters and stickers to TV spots and billboards.


thanks to Open Democracy

 02:37 AM - link

american empire

Why Blair is an appeaser
Britain plays poodle partly because the US is stitching up the world's oil supplies

There are several plausible and well-established explanations for this unnatural coupling. But there might also be a new one. Blair may have calculated that sticking to Bush is the only way in which our unsustainable economy can meet its need for energy.

Britain is running out of time. According to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre the UK's North sea production has been declining since 1999. Nuclear power in Britain is, in effect, finished: on Saturday the EU revealed that it had prohibited the government's latest desperate attempt to keep it afloat with massive subsidies. But, partly because of corporate lobbying, partly because of his unhealthy fear of "Mondeo man" or "Worcester woman", or whatever the floating voter of Middle England has now become, Tony Blair has also flatly rejected both an effective energy reduction policy and a massive investment in alternative power. The only remaining way of meeting future energy demand is to import ever greater quantities of oil and gas.


In light of the grave and gathering danger posed by the Bush Administration, we hereby call on the United Nations to declare the United States to be a “threat to peace” under Article 39 of the United Nations Charter. The Security Council, acting under Article 7 of the Charter, must countermand this threat.

thanks to Dumbmonkey

Neighborhood Bully
Ramsey Clark On American Militarism

Our overriding purpose, from the beginning right through to the present day, has been world domination - that is, to build and maintain the capacity to coerce everybody else on the planet: nonviolently, if possible; and violently, if necessary. But the purpose of our foreign policy of domination is not just to make the rest of the world jump through hoops; the purpose is to facilitate our exploitation of resources. And insofar as any people or states get in the way of our domination, they must be eliminated - or, at the very least, shown the error of their ways.

thanks to Dumbmonkey

 02:31 AM - link


Need to look tough? Need some attention? Need to demonstrate that you're able to a) wantonly waste cash or b) sign the stupidest auto loan ever granted?

Guess what? We all know you're compensating for that special something. You were feeling a wee bit small somewhere, and now your big trophy truck is taking care of that little problem!

thanks to Open Democracy

 01:59 AM - link


Leonetto Cappiello Posters


Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942)

Cappiello's portraits and posters were never offensive, only playful and unique, a quality which made him a success. His illustrations were clean and simple, crossing the boundaries from Belle Epoque through Art Noveau to the more modernist approach of Art Deco while still combining styles from previous eras. Although his graphics were simple, they were in no way inferior to any other artist of the time; in fact, Cappiello managed to produce nearly 1000 posters in his time and was an inspiration to many lithographers to follow. His work is sought after today and may be found in galleries and museums throughout the world.

thanks to MetaFilter

 01:38 AM - link

  Monday   November 4   2002

the changing of the birds

There are many signs of coming winter here at Honeymoon Lake — one of them is the changing of the birds. The songbirds are mostly gone and the winter birds have arrived. The buffleheads showed up a week ago and the mallards a couple of weeks before that. There has also been a comorant sighting.

As I mentioned earlier, I slacked off on my birds page because my source of Audubon text was taken down but I just found another source at Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The text is from Audubon's Ornithological Biography, Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, and Vol IV. You can view the Audubon plates here.

I scanned Audubon's chapter on the Buffel Headed Duck.

 06:47 PM - link

american empire

Carve-up of oil riches begins
US plans to ditch industry rivals and force end of Opec, write Peter Beaumont and Faisal Islam

The leader of the London-based Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, has met executives of three US oil multinationals to negotiate the carve-up of Iraq's massive oil reserves post- Saddam.

Disclosure of the meetings in October in Washington - confirmed by an INC spokesman - comes as Lord Browne, the head of BP, has warned that British oil companies have been squeezed out of post-war Iraq even before the first shot has been fired in any US-led land invasion.

thanks to wood s lot

Mistry suffers 'visions of Guantanamo'

An award-winning Canadian author told a Toronto literary event Saturday that he cancelled a portion of his U.S. book tour after overzealous scruinty at American airports targeted him repeatedly and started giving him "visions of Guantanamo [Bay] and of concrete slabs."

Rohinton Mistry, author of Family Matters and A Fine Balance said the security inspections were degrading and made him feel like a second-class citizen. He decided that he would simply not travel to the U.S. due to the practice.

 11:38 AM - link

anatomical imagination

Dream Anatomy

Who we are beneath the skin amazes and scares us, entertains, repels, fascinates, inspires. Since around 1500 A.D., when illustrations of human anatomy first appeared in print, artists have employed fantastic settings, bizarre juxtapositions, antic poses, intense colors, and fanciful metaphors to display scientific knowledge of the body and its interior — a dream anatomy that reveals as much about the outer world as it does the inner self.

Dream Anatomy Gallery


thanks to wood s lot

 11:32 AM - link

are we really better off under corporatism?

Goulash and solidarity
Zsuzsanna Clark compares growing up in communist Hungary with life there, and in Britain, today

When people ask me what it was like growing up in Hungary in the 1970s and 80s, most expect to hear tales of secret police, bread queues and other nasty manifestations of life in a one-party state. They are invariably disappointed when I tell them that the reality was quite different and that communist Hungary, far from being hell on earth, was in fact rather a good place to live.

thanks to also not found in nature

 11:14 AM - link


One satellite's job is almost done...

Tired explorer heads for Jupiter grave

It's dying, but the old explorer is getting ready for one last, daring adventure. Then it will commit suicide

thanks to MetaFilter

Images from Galileo


While another's is just beginning...

Cassini spacecraft's first Saturn pics released

Cassini is scheduled to reach Saturn on July 1, 2004. The mission to study Saturn, its rings and moons is expected to last at least four years.


 11:06 AM - link


US in denial as poverty rises
Next door to Yale, the bastion of privilege that turns out the land's leaders, lies a tent city of America's poor, huddled masses. Ed Vulliamy reports on the rise in inequality as the nation prepares to vote

The north wind cuts cold and sudden across the historic green of New Haven. It blows through the 'tent city' where the homeless huddle. And it blows round the spires and quadrangles of Yale University, one of America's richest Ivy League colleges.

The contrast is stark: Charlene Johnson, three months pregnant, emerges from her bivouac, worrying about the winter that lies between her and her due date. And all around are Yale's stone walls, elegant colonial churches and smart people walking past boutiques and coffee shops, carrying their course books.

 10:30 AM - link

you are what you eat

Life and art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo


thanks to MetaFilter

 10:30 AM - link

america's cup

The quarter finals for the challenger's cup are in place. Alinghi (Switzerland) chose to race Prada (Italy), which leaves Oracle (San Francisco) to race OneWorld (Seattle). In the second group Victory (Sweden) chose to race Le Defi (France), which leaves GBR (Britain) to race Stars and Stipes (New York). The quarter finals start in one week and will be the best of 7 series.

Alinghi choose Prada as quarter final opponent

Swedes go with Le Defi

 10:15 AM - link

  Sunday   November 3   2002

john james audubon

I discovered an amazing thing when I started chronicling the birds at Honeymoon Lake, where I live. I found several sites that had his plates of The Birds of America but the suprise, for me, was that Audubon had written about the birds as well as painted them and his descriptions were wonderful. The site that had the text for The Birds of America had to be taken down because of too much traffic and it was supposed to be put in the site of the National Audubon Society. I stopped adding to my bird pages waiting for the text to return. It hasn't.

So I finally went Googling to see if the texted existed on the web somewhere. It does. It's on an amazing site — Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Unfortunately it's not in HTML but in scanned pdf pages. Good enough. It turns out that he also included chapters "with occasional descriptions of the scenery and manners of the land which has furnished the objects that engage your attention." Chapters about life in a country that was giving way from wilderness to civilization. I will be putting up the relevant bird chapters and his "occasional descriptions." More on this later but here is the first of these chapters.

The Ohio

WHEN my wife, my eldest son (then an infant), and myself were returning from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, we found it expedient, the waters being unusually low, to provide ourselves with a skiff, to enable us to proceed to our abode at Henderson. I purchased a large, commodious, and light boat of that denomination. We procured a mattress, and our friends furnished us with ready prepared viands. We had two stout Negro rowers, and in this trim we left the village of Shippingport, in expectation of reaching the place of our destination in a very few days.

It was in the month of October. The autumnal tints already decorated the shores of that queen of rivers, the Ohio. Every tree was hung with long and flowing festoons of different species of vines, many loaded with clustered fruits of varied brilliancy, their rich bronzed carmine mingling beautifully with the yellow foliage, which now predominated over the yet green leaves, reflecting more lively tints from the clear stream than ever landscape painter portrayed or poet imagined.

The days were yet warm. The sun had assumed the rich and glowing hue which at that season produces the singular phenomenon called there the "Indian Summer." The moon had rather passed the meridian of her grandeur. We glided down the river, meeting no other ripple of the water than that formed by the propulsion of our boat. Leisurely we moved along, gazing all day on the grandeur and beauty of the wild scenery around us.

 01:37 AM - link

we will be assimilated

MS settlement rotten with loopholes

As we learned Friday, Judge CKK has conditionally accepted most of the MS/DoJ antitrust settlement, effectively shutting down the unsettling states unless they can find solid grounds for an appeal. "The court is satisfied that the parties have reached a settlement which comports with the public interest," she wrote. (...)

There are, to be sure, a number of provisions which ought to be useful in cultivating a slightly more diverse software marketplace, only most of them are so rotten with loopholes that MS' competitors are basically where they were at the outset of this four-year fiasco; that is, pretty well forced to rely on Redmond's renowned openness, good will and honest competitive spirit.

 12:33 AM - link

up, up and away!

The Lawn Chair Pilot

When Larry Walters was 13 years old, he went to a local Army-Navy surplus store and saw the weather balloons hanging from the ceiling. It was then he knew that some day he would be carried aloft by such balloons. This obsession would be with him for the next 20 years. On July 2nd, 1982, Larry tied 42 helium-filled balloons to a Sears lawn chair in the backyard of his girlfriend's house in San Pedro, California. With the help of his ground crew, Larry then secured himself into the lawn chair which was anchored to the bumper of a friend's car by two nylon tethers. He took with him many supplies, including a BB gun to shoot out the balloons when he was ready to descend. His goal was to sail across the desert and hopefully make it to the Rocky Mountains in a few days. But things didn't quite work out for Larry. After his crew purposely cut the first tether, the second one also snapped which shot Larry into the LA sky at over 1,000 feet per minute. So fast was his ascent that he lost his glasses. He then climbed to over 16,000 feet. For several hours he drifted in the cold air near the LA and Long Beach airports. A TWA pilot first spotted Larry and radioed the tower that he was passing a guy in a lawn chair at 16,000! Larry started shooting out a few balloons to start his descent but had accidentally dropped it. He eventually landed in a Long Beach neighborhood. Although he was entangled in some power lines, he was uninjured.

thanks to MetaFilter

 12:20 AM - link


Of debt, deflation and denial
The risk of falling prices is greater than at any time since the 1930s

FOR decades inflation was the bogeyman in rich countries. But now some economists reckon that deflation, or falling prices, may be a more serious threat—in America and Europe as well as Japan. That would be decidedly awkward, given the surge in borrowing by firms and households in recent years. Particularly worrying is the rise in borrowing by American households to finance purchases of houses, cars or luxury goods. Deflation would swell the real burden of these debts, forcing consumers to cut their spending.

 12:05 AM - link