Friday, July 30, 2004

interrogating saddam hussein

there's a pretty funny satire of señor hussein's interrogation on the independent. what makes it even funnier is that i didn't realize it was a satire until i was 1/3 of the way through it.

Interrogation commenced: 0330 hours

Woke SH quite early to catch him off-guard and groggy. I asked, "What's your first name?" and he said, "Saddam." Again I asked, "What's your first name?" and he said, "Saddam." I kept asking, "What's your first name?" and he kept saying, "Saddam." Once I had a rhythm going, I asked, "Where are the WMD?" He said, "Saddam."

Interrogation terminated: 0338 hours

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Crunkitude

I didn't realize how....diverse.....the meanings of my last name.  Years from now, Lil' John will be recognized as the Ben Franklin of his generation. Yeeeeeeeeeah!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=crunk

Monday, July 26, 2004

this goes out to the good doctor

natalie portman. via the fubar.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

GENIUS

engadget points to this fucking genius idea: a netflix-esque handbag rental service. perhaps the only thing girls like more than handbags is pretending they don't like to give blowjobs, so i fully expect the company to become huge.

i predict the next step in subscription based services will be rental food for girls. for a small monthly fee, a company will send them cheesecake, which the customer will eat and then promptly regurgitate into a fed-ex overnight envelope.

dystopia

there's a great interview with alan moore up on salon where he talks about war, police states, information, dystopia, and media (particularly television).

Moore clearly believes that the same mechanism has foisted a deadly, unwanted and unnecessary war upon the world. "Television and movies have short-circuited reality," he asserts. "I don't think a lot of people are entirely clear on what is real and what is on the screen."
[...]
The lesson there, as Moore explains it, is that to understand the world one lives in, one has to give "coherence to ... complexity, to say that it is possible to think about politics, history, mythology, architecture, murder and the rest of it all at the same time to see how it connects."
[...]
I find quite a few similarities between the fascist dystopia of your early work, "V for Vendetta," and our current political situation.

Well, the one thing with writing stories about the rise of fascism is that if you wait long enough, you'll almost certainly be proved right. Fascism is like a hydra -- you can cut off its head in the Germany of the '30s and '40s, but it'll still turn up on your back doorstep in a slightly altered guise.
[...]
...My general thought is that yes, it's depressing, but not unexpected, when this stuff happens. And I do tend to think that, given the upsurge of the religious right over the last couple of decades, these are the last spasms of those dinosaur organisms.

Why do you think that?

Because they are standing in the way of history, trying to turn everything, politically and spiritually, back to a medieval vision of the world. Whereas they're perfectly entitled to have whatever worldview they like, I would suggest that humanity is moving in a forward direction. And that any attempt to turn the clock back to a mythical, simpler, or better age would probably be about as effective as Britain's ancient King Canute, who famously sat on his throne along the tide line and ordered the waves to go back. To be fair, he was only doing this to demonstrate the futility of expecting leaders and rulers to be able to command the forces of history and the world. But yeah, I tend to think that this conservative backlash that has been going on since the '70s is the final spasms of a dying creature; history is not moving that way, and no matter how much people dig their heels in and assume this is the 1950s or the Middle Ages, that's not the truth of the situation. No matter how powerful our political and religious leaders think they are, they are as dust before the immense and implacable forces of history and progress. I just hope that they don't make too much of a mess or take too many more people down with them.

One of the other similarities between "V for Vendetta" and our current situation is that the populace is cowed by fear, to an extent, through the media, whether it's television propaganda or electronic surveillance.

Of course. One of the reasons we singled out media in "V for Vendetta" was because it is one of the most useful tools of tyranny. We invite it into our own home every night; I'm sure that some of us think of it as a friend. That might be a horrifying notion but I'm sure there are people who think of television as perhaps one of their most intimate friends. And if the TV tells them that things in the world are a certain way, even if the evidence of their senses asserts it is not true, they'll probably believe the television set in the end. It's an alarming thought but we brought it upon ourselves. I mean, I think that television is one of the most diabolical -- in the very best sense of the word -- inventions of the past century. It has probably done more to degrade the mind and intelligence of its audience, even if they happen to be drug addicts or alcoholics; I would think that watching television has done more to limit their horizons in the long run. And it has also distorted our culture.
[...]
I feel that we may be approaching a cultural boiling point. I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing; I really don't know because I can't imagine it, quite frankly. But I think we may be approaching the point at which the amount of information we are taking becomes exponential, and I'm not entirely certain what kind of human culture will exist beyond that point. Except it will happen sooner than we expect, and the difference between us and the kind of people that will exist after such an event will be vastly different than the difference between us and the hunter-gatherer society we've evolved from.
[...]
Yeah, it could be a quantum leap, a sudden, massive and unprecedented leap. Boiling point is a good analogy, because what you have before that stage is water. What you have after it is something that does not behave at all like water; it's a completely different substance altogether. And that's what I see looming for society -- and it's probably necessary, probably inevitable, probably scary. That's my prognosis. I suppose, as an artist, one of the obligations upon my work is to try and prepare people for the more complex world, to try and make it more palatable and accessible to them and not quite so frightening. That would seem to be a worthy goal, illuminating reality.


i haven't seen so much paranoia since gravity's rainbow, but i think he makes a lot of valid points. i found the discussion of "image" and "reality" especially interesting, especially in today's mediascape that features news as entertainment (e.g., fox news) and entertainment as news (e.g., daily show, michael moore, &c)....or should those examples be reversed? does it mean anything that we contextualize real-life events through the lens of media ("it was like something out of a movie")?

on a related note, check out the description of the free-speech zone at the dnc in boston:

The maze of overhead netting, chain link fencing and razor wire couldn't be further in comfort from the high-tech confines of the arena stage where John Kerry is to accept the Democratic nomination for president during the four-day convention that kicks off Monday.

Abandoned, elevated rail lines and green girders loom over most of the official demonstration zone that slopes down to a subway station closed for the duration. To avoid hitting girders, tall protesters will have to duck at one end of the 28,000-square-foot zone. Train tracks obscure the line of sight to much of the FleetCenter. Concrete blocks were set around streets in the area, a transportation hub on the north side of downtown.
[...]
U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock this past week called the conditions "an affront to free expression" and a "festering boil." He refused to order changes, but is letting protesters march past the site Sunday. A coalition of protesters appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

You can't spell 'cockroach' without 'cock'

I found the imagery in this article to be just disgusting. I think that if the skunk repellant doesn't do the trick, we could always harvest a few of these suckers and drop them off at our friendly-neighborhood crack house. Then again, that might not work.  If I were high enough, I probably wouldn't care about a few cockroaches. I'd probably try to smoke them (ref --> Tyrone)
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/magazine/25PHENOM.html

One final thought, though.  What kind of a person lives in a house with 24--that's right, twenty-four, dogs?



 

if this actually worked, then there would be no crime in paris

the big brother sent me this story on 'the man' using skunk stank to ward off drug users in condemed buildings:

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Drug users and prostitutes are turning up their noses at the condemned buildings they once frequented in Richland County. Deputies here have begun using a chemical spray that makes the places smell like a skunk has come calling.
[...]
"In the 11 places we've used it, it has been very successful," said Lott, who ordered 10 tubes of gel at $14.95 each in January.
[...]
A growing number of law enforcement agencies across the country have turned to the product to ward off trespassers, said Duncan MacMorran, chief executive of Connovation, which manufactures and distributes the gel.

The Los Angeles County sheriff's department began using it 18 months ago, said Lt. Shaun Mathers. In the Compton area near Los Angeles, abandoned buildings had been a hot spot for people to hang out and drink until they got a whiff of Skunk Shot.

"There's nothing cool about sitting around drinking beer when it smells like a skunk," said Mathers, who sells the product to other agencies as a side job.


i bet you in 3 months, it actually will become cool to sit around and drink beer when it smells like skunk. kids these days are so funny....especially when they are smoking crack and fucking prostitutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why women shouldn't drive.

I've only got one question, why the hell was a woman driving?

A View From the Top of the Mountain

People in the ED are out of their fucking minds.  What is the state of the American health care system that people come here for pregancy tests and throat cultures?  I don't think I have the intellect or wherewithal to come up with a particuarly interesting anecdote or reflection, but I can make a few simple observations about working in the Emergency Department.
1  People who come to the ED are, in general, crazy and full of stink.
2. Crack cocaine should not be smoked before 10 AM.
3. Alcohol should not be consumed by the liter.
4. If your legs look like the trunk of a sequoia, hey, asshole!, you probably need to see a doctor. Or stop eating pringles. Whichever comes first.
5. Bedpans are poor substitutions for toilet seats.
6. Everyone wants everyone else to do their work.
7. Psychotic people make me wish that I could fight.
8-10 involve my decision to come to medical school and what would have been a better decision to grow a goatee and beg for change.  But I'll save that for later.

This may not be the most enlightening, introspective, or even interesting post, but hey, as my main man Jesus Henry Christos says, it only stays up until the next post.  So post on, playas!

innovation at mcdick's

marginal revolution points to a nyt's piece about one mcdonald's franchiser's experience with outsourcing order taking:

PULL off Interstate 55 near Cape Girardeau, Mo., and into the drive-through lane of a McDonald's next to the highway and you'll get fast, friendly service, even though the person taking your order is not in the restaurant - or even in Missouri.

The order taker is in a call center in Colorado Springs, more than 900 miles away, connected to the customer and to the workers preparing the food by high-speed data lines. Even some restaurant jobs, it seems, are not immune to outsourcing.

The man who owns the Cape Girardeau restaurant, Shannon Y. Davis, has linked it and 3 other of his 12 McDonald's franchises to the Colorado call center, which is run by another McDonald's franchisee, Steven T. Bigari. And he did it for the same reasons that other business owners have embraced call centers: lower costs, greater speed and fewer mistakes.
[...]
In the fast-food business, time is truly money: shaving even five seconds off the processing time of an order is significant. Mr. Bigari said he had cut order time in his dual-lane drive-throughs by slightly more than 30 seconds, to about 1 minute, 5 seconds, on average. That's less than half the average of 2 minutes, 36 seconds, for all McDonald's, and among the fastest of any franchise in the country, according to QSRweb.com, which tracks such things. His drive-throughs now handle 260 cars an hour, Mr. Bigari said, 30 more than they did before he started the call center.
[...]
Though his operators earn, on average, 40 cents an hour more than his line employees, he has cut his overall labor costs by a percentage point, even as drive-through sales have increased. He said the call center saved enough in six months to cover the cost of setting it up, in part because he no longer had to employ as many people on the overnight shift.
[...]
Tests conducted by outside companies found that his drive-throughs now make mistakes on fewer than 2 percent of all orders, down from about 4 percent before he started using the call centers...
[...]
Mr. Bigari is so enthusiastic about the call-center idea that he has expanded it beyond the drive-through window at his seven restaurants that use the system. While he still offers counter service at those restaurants, most customers now order through the call center, using phones with credit card readers on tables in the seating area. Play areas at the restaurants have them, too, so a parent can place an order over the phone, pay with a credit card and have the food delivered.


marginal revolution goes on to call this "an interesting illustration of why a decentralized, capitalist system furthers innovation." while i have nothing against decentralization or capitalism, i don't see how a franchise-based restaurant group (internally sharing many aspects of a command-driven economy) can be truly considered decentralized, nor do i see how this would be impossible under a socialist construct. indeed, much of our nation's most innovative work is being done by the scientific community in a socialist manner, e.g., taxpayer money goes to nih, nih gives money to researchers, researchers produce innovations, innovations are used to further scientific research.

of course, patents have kind of corrupted this system, but it remains socialist in all the important aspects. for an interesting take on the distribution of risk and concentration of wealth going on in our scientific communities, take a look at this lecture by chomsky.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hawking, you ass!

DAMN IT! After I finally mastered his theory, he goes and changes it. Plus, this means that all that porn I just threw into that black hole in my kitchen to hide from my parents is going to be coming back.

Monday, July 19, 2004

justification for higher education

via adrants:

A private dormitory near the University of South Florida in Tampa is capitalizing on the high hormone level of college students to increase occupancy rates. Making us wish we were back in college, Fontana dormitory has placed a billboard showing a bare chested man between two hotties in wet nightgowns with the headline, "Shower with friends -- by choice." The dorm has placed another large billboard in front of the building showing a guy pressed against a girl in a nightgown with the headline, "It's better at Fontana."


this jibes well with my older brother's theory that the whole debra lafave incident was a well orchestrated marketing/pr ploy to turn tampa's greco middle school into a magnet-school for 14 year old boys.

the rza's editorial for the new yorker

via jw-zed:

it's amazing that the new yorker could publish something this funny considering that exactly one person in the past 200 years has laughed at a cartoon published in their magazine (and that person grew up to be cherokee parks):

As a quick-thinking senatorial aide switched on the Senate’s public-address system and cued up the infamous “Seven Minutes of Funk” break, Mr. Leahy and Mr. Cheney went head-to-head in what can only be described as a “take no prisoners” freestyle rap battle.

Most of the rhymes kicked therein cannot be quoted in a family publication, but observers gave Mr. Cheney credit for his deceptively laid-back flow. Mr. Leahy was applauded for managing to rhyme the phrases “unethical for certain,” “crude oil spurtin’,” and “like Halliburton.”
[...]
“Oh, snap!” Mr. Kennedy recalls thinking at the time. “It’s getting kind of hectic up in this piece.”

kuwait

from this philly inquirer article (is this a real publication?)

Of 2.2 million people living in the country, only about 900,000 are Kuwaiti citizens, and of these, fewer than 130,000 males are eligible to vote. Most citizens have a well-paying government job - more than 90 percent of Kuwaitis work in the public sector. When they marry, couples receive a $13,000 gift from the government, plus a $230,000 no-interest loan to buy or build a house. Higher education, medical care and even electricity are free. The government will pay tuition, housing, and "pocket money" for Kuwaitis who want to study abroad.

It's no surprise, then, that Kuwaitis live in big houses staffed by foreign servants, drive expensive foreign cars, and while away hours in shopping malls.
[...]
"Our education system has a problem: It's not graduating quality people," said Rola Dashti, an independent economic consultant in Kuwait City. "So you have youth with energy and expectations, and they do not have a career. They go to a government office from 8 to 2 and don't do anything. You're building frustration that can lead to instability."

Kuwait graduates aren't qualified for high-level private-sector jobs, she said, so they are relegated to make-work government posts - a recipe for low self-esteem.
[...]
"I don't think women should vote - we're too emotional," said Nouf al-Bannau, 26, an American-educated dentist who was sipping coffee in a shopping mall the other day, not wearing a head scarf.

"I can't believe it," exclaimed her friend Sharifah al-Falah, also 26 and American-educated. "You see - this is what's holding us back... . Of course we should have this right, and hopefully it will happen soon."

improving troop morale

via waxy links:

did you know that military personel and their families are eligible for free plastic surgery? (although, for breast augmentation, you have to supply your own implants.)

if i get drafted, i'm requesting ass implants.

CONSPIRACY!!

why doesn't the alligator lobby want tax paying americans to know about this?

A man in the US state of Florida was arrested after he allegedly used his pet alligator to hit his girlfriend.

David Havenner, 41, faces misdemeanour charges of battery and possession of an alligator, said the authorities.
[...]
The three-foot (one metre) alligator, which had been kept in a bathtub, was handed to Florida wildlife officials.

"He threw [the alligator] at me," 39-year-old Ms Monico said on ABC News. "I don't think he knew what he was doing. He was just throwing it at me."
[...]
Mr Havenner's version of the story differed. According to the Associated Press, he told investigators Ms Monico bit his hand because she was upset they had run out of alcohol.


on a side note: why is it a misdemeanor to have an alligator but it's legal to have an ar-15?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Collars=Cool

Was shown this a whiles back on the yale message board. It's actually from the Georgetown Lampoon.

Opinion
Wearing Your Collar Down is for Poor People
By I.M. Adick, III


When my ancestors came over to this great country 400 years ago, they had a vision for a utopia, free from minorities, liberals, poor people, homosexuals, and immigrants. There are few today who share such lofty ideals, but we're easy to find: Pastel polo shirts, loafers without socks, tucked-in shirts, but most importantly, collars up.

Call me a douchebag. Call me an arrogant little cocksucking dickhead. Beat the shit out of me if I'm not with fifteen of my B-frat friends (unlikely). But just know this: I interned at Smith Barney this summer. Where did you work? A Blockbuster? That's right you insignificant sack of dogshit; I'm going to be your boss. So take your t-shirt wearing, financial aid, blue-collar ass over to Blockbuster and get me a copy of Old School. Do you even own a tuxedo?

Look at my girlfriend. You think she'd go for someone who didn't have his collar up? I don't think so. I remember the night I met her. I bought her so many $9 drinks she couldn't even walk. So I drove her home in my BMW 328ci, but not before I took a few "liberties" with her. The next morning I took her to brunch and went to the mall, where I bought her some blouses. You assholes don't know the first thing about being a gentleman. You probably don't even know how to sail.

When I get out of business school, I'm going to be making $120,000 a year. Add that to my trust fund, and I can buy a country club membership, a ski house, and still have enough money to go barhopping around the city in my designer clothes and shit-eating grin. Maybe I'll offer you a hundred bucks to flip my collar up for me. I earned it you middle-class fuck up. I bet you went to public school.

You're so predictable. I bet I can guess your political party just by looking at you. My cronies and I range from elitist northern liberals to heartless conservative bastards. I've wasted enough time with you. Get some rich parents, an internship, and a pink polo with the collar up, and then maybe I'll let you hang out with me.


My favorite response to this post is "when the collar pops, the panties drop."

america: hold your head high today...

because we've got him! osama bin laden? um...no. mullah omar? ixnay on the omaray.

bobby fischer.

good thing there's not a war going on, right?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Maggiano's of Little Italy

It was....delicious....

some tips on fatherhood

the national lampoon has some good tips for fathers:

What was once "good old-fashioned discipline" is now "child abuse;" a term no doubt coined by an unmarried fruit college professor who will never find his telephoto lens in the toilet along with a box of Tampax and some ties. A few years back, if a father put a little too much pow in his punch and his kid got a shiner for it, it was too bad for the kid; he shouldn't have done whatever he did to make his dad punch him. Today, that father is in the clink, disgraced, discredited, and besieged by psychiatrists and case workers who will try to get the kid into a foster home where he can be abused by a foster father. The laws are on the books. Child abuse is a reality. We Christian-thinking, hard-working parents with firm backbones have no alternative but to try and beat the abuse laws.
[...]
8. Undermine your child's credibility with teachers, clergy, family friends, and grandparents. Establish a reputation for them as "compulsive fibbers" and "storytellers." Make an appointment with their teachers to discuss their "wild imaginations." A visit to a child psychologist about the matter will put the subject on record for future use in legal situations.

evanston northwestern healthcare and emr

the telemedicine weblog points to a group of buisnessweek articles on healthcare informatics. one of them is about the evanston northwestern healthcare system's move to EMR. here's the skinny:

...A 6,200 employee health-care provider with annual revenues of $1 billion and three hospitals and a research center in the Chicago suburbs, Evanston North is one of a small number of health-care institutions in the U.S. to go completely paperless. The $60 million project puts virtually ever process in the hospital online, from purchase orders and prescriptions to scheduling surgical bays and transcribing medical records.
[...]
The project took three years, finishing in late May. All three hospitals and 50 affiliated doctors' offices are now paperless. It's very early, but Neaman says the results are promising. Doctors now receive patients' mammogram test results in a single day, compared to a three-week wait before. Errors in transcriptions and prescriptions have fallen significantly. And late administration of medication to patients has dropped by 70%.
[...]
Before the big technology overhaul, Neaman's nurses spent one-third of their time reading and writing paper charts. Now they spend less than half that time on electronic charts. According to Neaman, the organization could save $10 million per year.
[...]
Today, that future is still more vision than reality. Annual health-care spending in the U.S. will hit $1.8 trillion in 2004, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. But less than 5% of that will go into information technology -- far short of what's found in financial institutions and most other service-oriented industries.
[...]
Worst of all, the soaring price tag for the creaky health-care system is growing far faster than the U.S. economy -- and becoming a potential drag on businesses burdened with rising costs. Over the past five years, annual health-care cost increases for U.S. employers averaged 11.5%, according to human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates. In 2004, that's expected to hit 12.6%.
[...]
The majority of insurance companies and other entities on the financial side of the medical sector use advanced info tech to run their businesses. But its use inside doctors' offices, nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics remains shockingly low.

Basic economics explains some of the disparity. Hospitals and other health-care institutions lack the necessary capital to invest in costly IT overhauls. And efficiency gains from IT usage don't add to the providers' revenues. Rather, insurers capture those gains, because they benefit from less costly care and services per subscriber. "The fundamental reason why health-care IT hasn't been adopted is there has been a misalignment of incentives," says Middleton.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I don't think these mix

This is pretty f-ed up. Mixing pinepple juice and maraschino cherries?! Do they mix? Plus, the guys dies after drinking what sounds like a very girly drink. No wonder she wanted him dead. What kind of man was he? I know I would want to die if I drank pineapple juice and maraschino cherries.

interview with paul mooney

i was scouring the net for the closing line mooney had on that episode of chappelle's where he was reviewing movies with those 2 white chicks, and i found this interview in the process.

i eventually found the quote on some other site, and for future reference, it's, "tom cruise as the last samurai? brad pitt as the mexican? i have an idea for a movie. its called 'the last nigga on earth', starring tom hanks."

jhc.

i.t. and detroit

you might remember nicholas carr's article in the harvard business review entitled, 'IT doesn't matter'. i don't, because i don't read hbr, but judging by this wired essay, he basically says that i.t., like all industries before it, will become commoditized as a natural progression to maturity. in the one marketing class that i took, commoditization was the ultimate dirty word, since commodities have smaller profit margins.

understandably, people involved in i.t. don't want to believe that their work will be commoditized, and for reasons that go beyond the economic conscerns. such a large degree of creativity and insight go into the work, making us want to place our product at the same level as art, but really, commoditization is what OOP/SOA/components/frameworks are all about. after all, much of our 'originality' is simply reinventing the wheel. sometimes, as gaddis says in the recognitions, "originality is a device that untalented people use to impress other untalented people, and protect themselves from talented people..." (pg. 252).

ironically, as silicon valley morphs into detroit, the gearheads over at gm are using i.t. heavily and in very flexible ways. john battelle has the text of an interview he conducted with gm cto tony scott for business 2.0 over on his searchblog:

You have a strategy that calls for completely outsourcing your IT work. Why?

It enables speed. If we want to go do something new and innovative in the IT space, all we have to do is put out an RFP. Then we hire the best minds to do it. We don't have to worry about an internal staff of programmers who may not have the right skill sets, or who have other demands and can't respond to what we need. Very few internal organizations can muster the sort of resources and global deployment capability that's needed to do what we need to do. Especially in cases where you need those resources for short periods of times. You can't build an internal staff in Argentina, say, for a six-week project.

So your IT organization is basically mostly management?

Yes. It's 1,700 or so people who manage the contracts with the outsource vendors all around the world.

And if you were to do it in-house?

Oh, it'd easily be times 100 or more.

You've streamlined IT at headquarters. What's happening in the cars themselves?

Today in the typical car, and it doesn't matter whether it's a GM or a Honda (HMC), electronics and software represent roughly about a third of the cost of the car, more than the labor or the steel. They're the single biggest cost in a car today -- and rising. The power train, for example, is very highly computerized. There's a set of very finely tuned algorithms to meet emission control and mileage standards.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

One more thing

Generally, when looking at music and trying to find new music, i visit a very popular site: Allmusic
I don't know if you guys have seen the site before, but it looks NOTHING LIKE THAT. Who decided they could change their website without contacting me first? There seems to be only one thing to do--write them a stongly worded letter that expresses my concern. or just shut the fuck up.

Music Reviewers must get free blowjobs

Ok, i'm sick and tired of hearing every fucking indie kid i know and critics rave about this fucking franz ferdinand album. Really, it's not good. Ok, there are a couple of songs that are decent, the songs where he actually tries to sing, but the rest of it when he doesn't just doesn't fit with the music. He sings off beat. Does that not bother anyone else? Whatever, fuck everyone who is raving about this album. I really did give it a fair chance, but it's not my style. It's not composed enough, it seems like there wasn't a lot of though going on in it. Not saying that there definitely wasn't any thought, it just feels so slopped together, even lo-fi sounds more put together than this. Honestly, i must be missing something that all my other acquaintances get. I highly don't recommend the Franz Ferdinand album as a whole, but a semi decent album with some good songs.

Monday, July 12, 2004

No wonder they're almost extinct

Stupid birds.

At least it's not a hello kitty vibrator

Via milkandcookies:

I dunno, this seems pretty useful to me.

The article mentions something about how advertisers have not used food as a medium yet. Can't wait for the day where "porn pop-ups" takes up a new meaning.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

slacker on dvd

richard linklater's slacker is finally available on dvd through the criterion collection. here's the amazon page.

wonders of medical science

via fubar:

tara reid's new udders are REDOCULOUS.

carry on.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

designed by nature

check out the projects done by swedish design house front. the 'animal' project are especially cool, where they do things like make vases out of castings from rabbit holes and make lampshades based on a motion capture of a housefly circling around a light bulb (once you click on a specific project, there will be a series of photos that you can access by clicking on the gray squares above the photo).

Friday, July 09, 2004

dissatisfaction and its discontents

i'm getting tired of having an opinion. instead of arguing about shit from here on out, i'm just going to start dropping chronic plates on yo bitch ass.

that being said, you should check out some of the stuff going on at the national constitution center in philly. in their media archive, they have the videos of debates and talks on topics ranging from gay marriage, to presidential power, to whether or not john quincy adams was circumcised. so far, i've only seen the gay marriage one, which was very interesting.

if you are an npr listener, you might recognize the national constitution center as the host for the annenberg center's show "justice talking" (get it, 'justice', 'just us' talking? those crazy shits on public radio kill me.) justice talking is a forum where current events are discussed in the hope of extending discourse beyond the 7 second sound bites on television. so far, i've listened to the 'abstinence only sex ed', 'attacking aids', and 'privitizing government' episodes, all of which were excellent.

one thing i found striking during the 'abstinence only' and 'gay marriage' debates was the use of framing techniques (previously blogged about) by the right-wing debaters. while the progressives would discuss facts, the reactionaries seemed to disregard those facts, instead trying to communicate an easily digestable (and often fearfull) vision by hammering the listener with carefully crafted and oft repeated phrases and imagery. i think that to the average npr listener, this comes off as strawmanish at best and childish/misleading at worst, but when the debate is projected to a larger national audience during the elections, perhaps the democracts should also use such tactics....'perhaps" being the key word. i'm still not sure if i can get behind a 'win at any costs' mentality.

jhc.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

social bookmarks and their visualization

if you've ever wished that you could access your bookmarks from any computer, then you should check out del.icio.us, which is a web site that allows you to do exactly that (you can check out my list of bookmarks here).

in addition to simply bookmarking sites, you can categorize them with multiple tags, so links don't have to live in the strict hierarchy that browsers force you to use.

mike sippey points to a tool that allows you to visualize the prominence of the semantic tags on your bookmarks (here's the visualization of my del.icio.us page). btw, the visualization is not a server-rendered image: it's all done with plain text and css positioning. pretty slick. unfortunately, i don't think that the distance between terms has any relation to their relationships though.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Elliott Smith's New Album

Via Pitchfork:

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Elliott Smith and that I was deeply saddened by his death (which i would normally link to a toronto star article, but you can't view it without paying). News is that his new album will be comming out soon (and by new album, I mean one that he recorded before his death while others finish it). Look forward to it, but of the articles I read (and i read almost all of them) it isn't going to sound a lot like his others.

Why wasn't I informed

via Justin at FUBAR:

of this. *sigh* how I miss the days of Biodome and Son in Law.

cult of ikea

we all saw club du fisticuffs and were all 'yeah bro! let's totally rage against ikea!!'. but then we graduated from college & suddenly, it became a lot tougher to get blowjobs in an apartment furnished with boxes and folding metal chairs. on top of that you got tetanus from an exposed nail in that bookshelf you bought for $5 from the guy named walter living across the hall, so you bit the bullet, bought a bookshelf from ikea, and said to yourself, 'well old bean, that wasn't as bad as brad pitt lead me to believe.' now you know more swedish than alfred nobel and you jack off non-stop to princess madeleine (which is so necessary by the way, click and enjoy).

chris gielow points to this great guardian article on the cultish nature of ikea (also, part two of the article):

From this modest background, for more than 60 years, Ikea has gradually locked Europe, north America, Australia, and now Russia and China in its insistent embrace. Beginning with a single store in Älmhult, the company now operates 186 outlets, employing 76,000 employees - though that word is uniformly rejected within Ikea in favour of the term "co-workers". It is frequently observed that, for a broad demographic swathe of Britain, Ikea has designed our lives; it is almost as frequently noted that its customer service sucks, that the traffic jams outside its stores are intolerable, and its assembly instructions indecipherable. We love it and hate it, rely on it and satirise it, often simultaneously - as if it were not a shop at all, really, but something far more emotively substantial: a football team, or the Church of England, or the government.
[...]
On some Sundays in Britain, according to one estimate, almost twice as many people visit a branch as attend church; it has been calculated that 10% of Europeans currently alive were conceived in one of Ikea's beds.
[...]
The creepy sense that Ikea is something more than just an extremely successful capitalist enterprise - that to work for it is to work for some kind of cult, albeit a cult that worships untreated pine and Allen keys - doesn't take long to make itself felt in Älmhult. "When I came to Ikea, I felt like now I am a complete person," says Peter Keerberg, head of the workshop that produces the Ikea catalogue, his eyes shining..."We have an ambition to make a better life for the many people," he says, giving the strong impression that he really, really means it, but also that this is not necessarily a cause for comfort.
[...]
More than 130 million copies of the Ikea catalogue were printed and distributed last year, which is rather more than the Bible.
[...]
Over noodles at Ikea's staff restaurant, I ask one designer whether everyone at the company is really as energetic and hardworking as they seem. Isn't anyone lazy? "Of course there are lazy people," she says. "There are lazy people everywhere. But they're not..." She pauses, as if seeking the correct word in English. In fact, she's wondering whether what she is about to say will cause offence. "They're not Swedish," she says at last.
[...]
Ikea's moral crusade extends uncompromisingly to the customer. Whether you like it or not, it intends to teach you the value of good, honest, simple hard work. Self-assembly, viewed from this perspective, is more than a cost-cutting measure: it's a tool of evangelism, designed to make you sweat for your own edification..."Why should I clear my own table?" a sign in Ikea's British restaurants used to ask, in the tones of a surly child. The answer given underneath was about keeping costs down, but it was hard not to sense something more insistent and moralistic at work. "Ikea is somewhere that you can't go with both hands in your pockets," Nilsson says. "You have to be active."
[...]
..."For bathrooms, it's Norwegian lakes. Kitchens are boys, and bedrooms are girls. For beds, it's Swedish cities. There's a lady who sits there and comes up with new names, making sure there isn't a name that means something really ugly in another language. But it doesn't always work. We gave a bed a name that means 'good lay' in German."
[...]
You did not, in other words, come into the store with a need that you wanted to satisfy: you came in, and then you got both your need and the means of satisfying it handed to you simultaneously. You came looking for a sofa, say, but you came out with a sofa and a trolleyfull of impulse buys. Theodor Adorno, the eminent German social theorist, called this "retroactive need" - and it was, he argued, a key means by which capitalism perpetuated itself, while shoring up the illusion that what was being offered was individualised choice. He despised it: he thought it was a tool of subjugation and exploitation.
[...]
The high priests of modernist design preached a democratic ethos; in reality, they never got much further than the upper-middle classes. Kamprad took their rhetoric and made it literal, as the opening line of The Testament of a Furniture Dealer makes plain. "We have decided once and for all to side with the many," it reads.
[...]
This, you might expect, would mean that Ikea's profits on individual items would be tiny, and growing tinier - that it would make money only by the sheer number of tiny profits recouped daily. In fact, its profit margins are huge. Between 17% and 18% of the price of the average Ikea product is pure profit, a figure so high that it leaves even seasoned experts such as Gotham awestruck. "It's phenomenal," he says. "Phenomenal." Many rival firms operate on single-figure margins; a lucrative supermarket chain such as Tesco is lucky to get 6%.


it seems ikea has out-mayhemed mr. durden.

regards,
corporate jesus.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

blogger problems

if you are having problems accessing ETM or other blogspot hosted blogs, there's a post up on status.blogger.com that explains the situation.

An update to yesteday's note about unresponsiveness: The application servers are overloading because of an I/O problem. We will be pushing new code as soon as possible to address this. In the meantime, there will be some slowness and incidents of pages simply not loading. I apologize for the poor performance of the app today - we hope to have the problem corrected soon.

FPS in under 1 MB

This is amazing.

Just goes to show that impressive looking things can both be small and free.

Monday, July 05, 2004

British People might have bad teeth, but at least the make good music...

The worst part about trying to write these things is having read review(s) of
the album making it hard to figure out what I actually am saying and what I have
already read.
Anyway, it can't be helped now and I know that I will be repeating some of the
things already said in the review, but they are important to say, so I will repeat
it.

A Grand Don't Come for Free.

Though I can easily say that I wasn't a big fan of the first Streets album except
for the opening track, the sophomore attempt of Mike Skinner makes me feel much
better about the critical acclaim that he (the Streets) have been getting

Where I felt the first album had failed I feel the second album as remedied. The
first album to me was too choppy for my likes. Almost every track sounded the
same, just an English guy trying to choppily rap over beats that were just as
cut up (no pun intended) as his rapping style. The beauty of A Grand Don't come
for Free comes from the contrast that Skinner brings into this album. It seems
as if every odd numbered track reminds me of the first album while the even number
tracks show a different side of Skinner's ability as an artist. Through the music
in the back is essentially a backdrop to what is going on verbally (which is true
for most hip hop albums) the music of the album works like the overly surrealistic
scenery in a play on Dalì or the orchestral scores of John
Williams
movie.

This allows for a story to be told without too much being taken away from the
story. The problem with a lot of movies nowadays is the lack of storyline. The
basis of a story is dialogue and not showy CGI, but for some reason along the
way, movie producers decided that it wasn't. In this way, Skinner tells of a story
of love and money both gained and lost without having to use a gimmick. What I
like about this album is the fact that it is a concept album and not an ethereal
concept such as a Radiohead album. Instead, it is like listening to a book on
tape with a beat. Overall, this album is deffinately worth the buy. I ended up
getting it for under $10 and it was well worth it. Tracks

Here are two mp3s
Blinded by the lights - What i failed to mention above is that the music is very down to earth. This song is a good example of how easy it is to feel alone in a crowded place.
Dry your eyes - Single handedly the greatest recreation of what it feels like when a girl you really like breaks up with you. My favorite song of the moment.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Music DL's

Thought it was only fair to tell you how "people" download music. I
know a lot of you use Kazaa, Limewire,
or BTS but they aren't really for music.
So what is, you ask? Soulseek. When Audiogalaxy
shut down, it was disastrous for music lovers everywhere so they all migrated
to slsk where it is almost impossible to download anything BUT music. The interface
really isn't that confusing and it is pretty slow in all honesty, but when looking
for that hard to find album, this is where it is at.

colin powell...village person

wow. i'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed:

Mr Powell donned a hard hat and stuffed a hammer in his belt for the Village People's YMCA, a massive 1970s hit.

He was backed by five US officials, all imitating the gaily flamboyant outfits of the original band.
[...]
"President Bush, he said to me, Colin I need you to run the department of state," the secretary of state to the tune of the original. "We are between a rock and a hard place."
[...]
Nor was it the first time Mr Powell has caused a sensation at the forum.

Three years ago, a skit in which he rolled around on the floor in a love duet with his then Japanese counterpart Wakiko Tanaka was universally panned, and prompted harsh words from his wife Alma.

A year later, he ran a video compilation of the world and his wife, literally, begging him not to sing again.


Friday, July 02, 2004

does colin powell have a fortress of solitude?

the dude is seriously fucking turning into superman. first sudan, now north korea.

His words were stark. "We're running out of time", he said, shortly before his meetings with Sudan's president and foreign minister.

"We need to see action promptly because people are dying and the death rates are going to go up significantly in the next several months. We've got to act now, not later. We can't talk. We have to see action."


I think he's shooting death rays at sudanese foreign minister mustafa osman ismail in these pictures:



"Unless we see more moves soon in all these areas, it may be necessary for the international community to begin considering other actions, to include Security Council action," Mr Powell said.
[...]
"We see indicators and elements that would start to move you toward a genocide conclusion but we're not there yet," Mr Powell said en route to Khartoum from Turkey.

"We can find the right label for it later, we have got to deal with it now."

Mr Annan has refused to use the term genocide, which would entail a legal obligation for the international community to take action.


so sudan: focus up and get with the program, or we'll bomb the fuck out of you.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

no child left behind indeed

according to this smoking gun report, i'm basically the only person in america who hasn't nailed their hot blonde teacher. the good stuff starts around page seven.

The 23-year-old Florida teacher is facing a host of felony charges for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old male student. According to investigators, Lafave met the boy at Greco Middle School--where she taught reading--and had sex with him in her classroom, Isuzu SUV, and Tampa-area home.
[...]
According to the affidavit--portions of which were redacted by investigators--Lafave told the boy that she was "turned on by the fact that having sexual relations with him was not allowed."


so necessary.

Travelling Correspondent

Since Jesus rarely leaves a 2 state radius of an unnamed state, I've decided to appoint myself our travelling correspondent: I'll bitch about foreign countries to my heart's content. Last week, I was rounding off a trip in Italy. Italians make great food, but siesta is a real problem. Even though I was spending most of my time on the beach, every once in a while I wanted to do something useful between the hours of one and four PM. Sadly, all my efforts were thwarted: everything was always shut. Besides the laziness factor, things were pretty good.

Then I went to France. I really don't like many things about France. First, the keyboards are really screwed up. I'm tired of the q being where the a is supposed to be. An even worse problem is the racism. Last summer I was in Paris and when I sat down on the subway next to old French women they would look at me and move away. Terrible. I thought it was just OLD French women that did this. This year I learned that there are even YOUNG French women that do it at 9AM at the bus station. Jesus I support you: the french are cowards.

Anyway, I go back to germany for most of the rest of the summer. There I look forward to dealing with the arabic drug dealers in my neighborhood and the skinheads that live further east of me. Sometimes I wonder why I leave the US. But then I just remind myself of our wonderful president....

do you think ann coulter needs a male escort?

doubtful. what she does need is to eat a fucking sandwich. read this article about the expected windfall in the sex industry when the republican convention rolls into nyc:

With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party.

Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.
[...]
"We've got everything organized - the hotels, the flights, the advertisements," said another escort service operator. "We'll probably have 60 girls that week, instead of the usual 30."

Political conventions have long been a boon for the sex industry.

At the 1992 Democratic convention in New York, bikini-clad female oil wrestlers dropped their tops on a flatbed truck in front of Madison Square Garden.

At the 1996 Republican convention in San Diego, an escort service in search of delegate dollars changed its name to GOP: Good Old-Fashioned Pleasure.