Thursday, September 30, 2004

So shines a good deed in a weary world. -- Willburt R. Wonka, Esq.

via worldchanging:

the newscientist interviews dr. victoria hale, founder and ceo of oneworld health -- a non-profit pharma:

A non-profit drugs company sounds an unlikely idea. How did you come up with it?

When I was with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) I learned about "orphan" diseases, defined as diseases that fewer than 200,000 people in the US suffer from. I thought it strange that outside the US, some of these diseases are enormous. For instance, there are about 1000 cases of malaria in the US, and 500 or 600 million cases worldwide. You need to take your American eyeglasses off and consider the whole world...
I collapsed in tears when I left Bihar in India after the first trip. It was just so overwhelming. At that point I committed to this seriously. I didn't know if the world was ready for a non-profit pharmaceutical company. But I was ready to give 110 per cent to it.
...I had matured to the point where I knew the question was not whether it would be successful and was I going to change the world, it was whether I was willing to commit everything I had to make it work. It was a question of courage. It was something that had been growing in me all of my professional life.

it's an interesting interview. more importantly, this is a fascinating & heart-warming turn of events....i hope it works out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

chairman mao will make you...

dog for dinner will make you...
violating your civil (civir????) rights will make you


Sunday, September 26, 2004

breaking news: there's a war in some place...over there

harpers has this great article by naomi klein on the role of greed in the iraqi war and subsequent reconstruction effort:

The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war’s ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush’s Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.

Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place...
...There was Order 37, which lowered Iraq’s corporate tax rate from roughly 40 percent to a flat 15 percent. There was Order 39, which allowed foreign companies to own 100 percent of Iraqi assets outside of the natural-resource sector. Even better, investors could take 100 percent of the profits they made in Iraq out of the country...
Iraq was to the neocons what Afghanistan was to the Taliban: the one place on Earth where they could force everyone to live by the most literal, unyielding interpretation of their sacred texts. One would think that the bloody results of this experiment would inspire a crisis of faith: in the country where they had absolute free reign, where there was no local government to blame, where economic reforms were introduced at their most shocking and most perfect, they created, instead of a model free market, a failed state no right-thinking investor would touch. And yet the Green Zone neocons and their masters in Washington are no more likely to reexamine their core beliefs than the Taliban mullahs were inclined to search their souls when their Islamic state slid into a debauched Hades of opium and sex slavery. When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder.


from a report by the ondcp:

Rates of current illicit drug use were highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (12.1%) and persons reporting two or more races (12.0%). Rates were 8.7 percent for African Americans, 8.3 percent for whites, and 8.0 percent for Hispanics; Asians had he lowest rate at 3.8 percent. These rates were unchanged from 2002.

asians: what the fuck? man up and hit this shit!

also, what's up with people of two or more races? strange...


dina mehta points to an internet deprivation study.

pandemonium ensues.

All participants in the qualitative portion of the study found living without the Internet more difficult than they expected, and in some cases impossible, because the tools and services the Internet offers were firmly ingrained in their daily lives...Nearly half the respondents in a complementary quantitative study indicated they could not go without the Internet for more than two weeks and the median time respondents could go without being online is five days.
Internet users feel confident, secure and empowered. The Internet has become, to some, the ultimate symbol of modernity to the point that participants were hobbled without convenient access to routine information like maps and telephone numbers. The pervasive nature of the Internet is such that participants often forgot or lost the desire to use "old fashioned tools" like the phone book, newspapers and telephone-based customer service.
According to the research, communications figured most prominently in the withdrawal process, demonstrating a new social network paradigm. The study shows that the Internet affords people the ability to overcome time and distance and to manage communications with a larger social circle, thereby creating an effortless community. Participants in the study found they missed the ability to exercise control over the pace and content of communication with different layers of friends and families. As a result, during the deprivation period, participants' outer circle of relationships suffered.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

incidentally, i get my news from univision's continuing coverage of vida guerra's ass

via waxy's quicklinks,

fresh on the heels of idiot #1's interview of jon stewart comes this annenberg study on the political knowledge of late-night comedy show viewers (pdf of annenberg's press release).

from the business journal article:
...when looking at young people who watch The Daily Show, we find they score higher on campaign knowledge than young people who do not watch the show, even when education, following politics, party identification, gender, viewing network news, reading the newspaper, watching cable news and getting campaign information on-line are taken into account.
In fact, Daily Show viewers have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers -- even when education, party identification, following politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign information online, age, and gender are taken into consideration.
Young people who watched The Daily Show scored 48% correct on the campaign knowledge test while young people who did not watch any late-night comedy scored 39% correct. Meanwhile, young people who watched four of more days of network news scored 40% correct, equally frequent cable news viewers 48% correct and newspaper readers 46% correct.
Of the 83 political jokes made by Stewart, only 9 specifically targeted Bush. That was 11% of his political jokes. The same number targeted Kerry.

Friday, September 24, 2004

can i put this on dubs?

watch this robot crip-walk
Originally uploaded by jhc.
via waxy's quicklinks (which is the new boingboing if you were keeping score):

check out near near future's post on theo jansen, who is sick. he makes these giant robots that walk around on wind power. i want to get one of these and stomp your ass with it. check out the pictures and videos.

i know it was you subhas chandra bose. you broke my heart. you broke my heart!

the bbc has this mindblowing article about indians fighting FOR the third reich. so bizarre.

It reveals how thousands of Indian soldiers who had joined Britain in the fight against fascism swapped their oaths to the British king for others to Adolf Hitler - an astonishing tale of loyalty, despair and betrayal that threatened to rock British rule in India, known as the Raj.

The story the German officers told their interrogators began in Berlin on 3 April 1941. This was the date that the left-wing Indian revolutionary leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, arrived in the German capital.

Bose, who had been arrested 11 times by the British in India, had fled the Raj with one mission in mind. That was to seek Hitler's help in pushing the British out of India.
He decided to raise them by going on recruiting visits to Prisoner-of-War camps in Germany which, at that time, were home to tens of thousands of Indian soldiers captured by Rommel in North Africa.
"He wanted 500 volunteers who would be trained in Germany and then parachuted into India. Everyone raised their hands. Thousands of us volunteered."

it just goes to show you, you shouldn't trust an indian any further than you can smell him. i think that joke lost something in the's much funnier in hindi. or german.

in any case, what the fuck were these guys thinking? yeah, the british took our diamonds or whatever, but at least they weren't fucking nazis, right? i don't think hitler would accept subhas chandra bose as his friendster either.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Is that why they sniff your crotch?

Why is it that when I sniff up a woman's leg I get slapped, but when a dog does it, it's "cancer research"?

Also, does this mean I can't eat them anymore? Oh well, back to killing kittens.

feynman QED lectures

via thought, interrupted:

streaming videos of feynam's douglas robb memorial lectures on QED.

jon stewart on o'reilly

via busblog:
wonkette has a transcript of jon stewart on the o'reilly factor. pretty funny:

O'REILLY: Eighty-seven percent are intoxicated when they watch it. You didn't see that?

STEWART: No, I didn't realize that.

O'REILLY: Yeah, we have that there.

STEWART: We come on right after, I believe, puppets that make crank calls...


STEWART: ... so we are, I think, the appropriate follow up...

O'REILLY: Yeah, and that's a great lead-in for you.

STEWART: It's a wonderful show, by the way.

O'REILLY: Puppets can't vote, but these dopey kids who watch you can.

STEWART: They actually can -- in Florida, they can.

O'REILLY: Puppets can vote in Florida.

STEWART: As long as they vote Republican.

disneyland hong kong

the bbc has a preliminary picture of disneyland hong kong:

disneyland hong kong is said to be, "...just like regular disneyland, except we eat pluto."

Sunday, September 19, 2004

pilager '04

the guardian talks about john sayles new movie, silver city. it looks pretty funny. anyway, it's about a political campaign, and they put up a fake campaign site that you should check out:

Enemies of our country will try to impede the freedoms which made our great state great. Freedom built our gold mines. Freedom killed the Indians who lived here. Freedom raped our natural resources. Freedom transformed this wild frontier into our home, and I will not idly sit while godless, valueless cowards attempt to hijack our free democratic institutions. With the help of our military forces around the world and within our country, we will preserve our freedoms and keep Colorado safe. A vote for Dickie Pilager is a vote against the terrorists. Don’t let them win! Not in Colorado!
We all have the constitutional right and a responsibility to bear arms. As governor, I will not only make it easier and less of a hassle to buy guns, I will personally sell guns on the Internet at prices you won’t believe. Owning a gun is the only way to ensure that wrongdoers will play it straight and not threaten others. Guns keep people safe. Guns keep our country safe. Would you rather our army not have guns? Are you even a patriot? Exactly.
We live in the most beautiful state in the Union. Yet, we rank only #35 in tourism. Maryland gets more tourism dollars than Colorado. Now, I’m no tourism expert, but I would bet my bottom dollar that no one wakes up in the morning and turns to their husband or wife or non-homosexual partner and says “Honey, let’s go on a trip to Maryland!"

See what I’m saying here? As Governor, I will turn Colorado into America’s playground. Give us your rich, your upper middle class, your trust fund babies yearning to spend their parents’ money on knock-off tribal jewelry sold by Indians on the side of the interstate. We’ve got skiing, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, canoeing, cycling, hunting, running, jogging, speed walking and normal walking. Colorado has it all!

Thursday, September 16, 2004 - Dropout gives Brown $100 million - Sep 15, 2004 - Dropout gives Brown $100 million - Sep 15, 2004: "BOSTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) -- A man who dropped out of Brown University decades ago because he couldn't pay the tuition has given the Ivy League college $100 million, its biggest gift ever, which he made by selling liquor.

The Providence, Rhode Island university said it will give the money to its neediest undergraduate students as scholarships, eliminating the need for loans.

Sidney Frank, who built an importing business that distributes liquor, attended Brown more than 60 years ago but could not afford to earn a four-year degree.

Since then he has made a fortune importing drinks like Jaegermeister -- a green, medicinal-tasting German liqueur popular among college students."

Anchorage Daily News | Justices uphold right to use pot

Anchorage Daily News | Justices uphold right to use pot: "The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld the right of adult Alaskans to possess up to four ounces of marijuana in their homes for personal use."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Morning News - Trailers for Everyday Life

The Morning News - Trailers for Everyday Life:

This holiday season.
One family’s Christmas.
Will have little significance.
Due, largely.
To their Hindu faith.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

the internet rules

via grahamazon:

the power of dog compels you to click on the following link. why? because the page contains the following quotation: "Making dog hair into yarn is fun and easy..."

that's all you need to know.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Alright, I feel better already. Let's drink!

It's comforting to think that it only took, what, 40+ years to find a lost nuclear weapon. It takes me, sometimes, at least 3 or 4 hours to find my keys. It doesn't look good, gentlemen. I look OK, though.

interview with jetblue ceo

via the girlhacker:

an interview with david neeleman, ceo of jetblue:

The way you mitigate the impact of rising salaries is by continuing to grow. You continue to bring people into the company and income-average those salaries.

And then there is this whole maintenance issue. You have new planes, and they start to age. You have to use more maintenance to keep them fresh. We have modeled that and gone out eight, nine years and put in all the engine overhauls and all that kind of stuff.

We went through an exercise and put 10 years of maintenance costs on our financial statements last year, and we found out we still would have had the highest margins in the industry.

Then there's the revenue picture. We are up against competitors that are taking unsustainable losses in markets where we compete.

The other side of it is structural. How do you structure your business? How do you get reservations? Ours is on the Internet: We have no paper tickets. We use our planes better. We use them over 13 hours a day, which is higher than Southwest does. We have more automation, where we don't have people keypunching stuff. It's all done.

The pilots all have laptops, so we don't have to worry about their manuals. It's all kind of this structural stuff, where we have built something from the ground up. And we have just gotten rid of all this unnecessary stuff. It's very difficult for them (the major established airlines) to change their structure around and reset the ship. We just built a better mousetrap and figured out a better way to do it while still preserving high-quality service.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The three R's, and a little drinking.

First off, where were these teachers when I was going to school? Oh that's right, they were washing my Range Rover and giving me A's in exchange for letting them teach me.

But the real reason I posted this was because of the ads that pops up next to the article. Classic.

exciting times

hooters to open in india. that's right. the restaurant with tits is moving to the country with mustached girls.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain, known more for its scantily-clad female servers than its rib-sticking menu, this week announced it signed a deal to open several Indian franchise locations, though it has not said where.

americans erupted in anger upon hearing the news, fearing the inevitable job losses as we continually outsource poor-taste and tackiness to india.

so indian men: shower, put on a new pair of brown rayon slacks, and prepare for the most mediocre meal of your life.

brush your burqa off

iranian rapper:

Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh, Iran's bow-tie wearing dapper rapper would look somewhat out of place in the Bronx borough of New York.

Targeting unemployment, poverty and Westernised Iranian girls in his new album, Binesh-Pajouh is a lecturer with a doctorate in urban planning whose poetry translations will hit the shelves soon.
He said it took four years for the Culture Ministry to approve a rap album and it did so only after he deleted six songs from his original 10.
The lyrics in Binesh-Pajouh's Eskenas album focus on the malaise of poverty. Iran says 17% of the population live in poverty; analysts put the figure nearer 40%.
Eskenas is Persian for a banknote and on the album cover Binesh-Pajouh poses like a Chicago gangster, puffing on a fat cigar above a torn one dollar bill.

the cover art sounds hilarious. someone send me some mp3s of this.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Brazil gun buyback plan hits mark

Brazil gun buyback plan hits mark: "Police said they had met their target of collecting 80,000 guns in under three months, rather than six months.

Brazilians who hand back their weapons are eligible for up to $100.

According to the United Nations, Brazil has the fourth-highest murder rate in the world - about 40,000 people are shot dead each year."

gentlemen, welcome to narnia

seriously, between hubmed, biologging, bloglines, blogger, delicious, and pubsub, motherfuckers are producing a veritable masturbatory-fantasy-world for medical literature freaks like myself. with elsevier's scopus coming on-line this fall, i risk serious dehydrative effects by thanksgiving.

obligatory hopeless wish? it all gets integrated, either via google-buyout or open APIs. there's a lot of duplicated effort going on right now, like both bloglines and biologging letting you create a clippings-blog. unfortunately, having more blogs to manage is the absolute last thing in the world i need. they should just be pushing shit onto blogger using the atom api.

in the absence of completely cross referenced, searchable, commentable, and syndicate-able medical literature, i'm really running into a big -- HUGE -- information management problem...and i don't even have that much literature to go over. i tried using blinkx to index my pdfs, which was nice and light and fast, but it kept on making my linksys wifi router get all crashy. blinkx's tech support has been pretty good: they've asked me to schedule a follow up, but i just don't have time right now, so you might want to give it a try. (it looks really promising for email info overload as well, but my email client isn't supported, which is strange, since mozilla keeps its shit in mbox format).

enter docco, which i found via hubmed's hublog. it's an opensource, java (swing) information-visualization app, backed by a lucene index, and it's pretty cool. take a look at the pretty pictures in the preceding links. they use a technique called formal concept analysis, which means absolutely nothing to me, but it's proving to be pretty useful in managing my folder of JAMIA pdfs. it's not as lightweight or pervasive as blinkx, but i like it none the less -- especially since it's both opensource and java.

anyway, if you run across any other tools in the same vein, please shoot them my way.

claude e. shannon christos.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Who remembers the Iraqi Information Minister? He issued some wonderful statements:

"We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels - We have driven them back."

"They are not in Baghdad. They are not in control of any airport. I tell you this. It is all a lie. They lie. It is a hollywood movie. You do not believe them."

"It has been rumored that we have fired scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don't know why they were fired into Kuwait."

for more brilliance, see [We Love the Iraqi Information Minister]. Anyway, I was vaguely reminded of this by, as Jesus likes to say, the "grey lady."

A Bin Laden deputy was seen on tape as saying

``The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God's help,''


``The Americans in both countries are between two fires, if they continue they bleed to death and if they withdraw they lose everything.''

I'm still waiting for bin Laden to be captured days before the election.

US Army's Tactical High Energy Laser Shoots Down Mortar Rounds


The Tactical High Energy Laser, built by Northrop Grumman for the US Army, shot down multiple mortar rounds Aug. 24, proving that laser weapons could be applied on the battlefield to protect against common threats

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

more global opinion polling

more crap for that ass. this time, it's about worldwide U.S. presidential candidate preference.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Crazy Brit Scientists

I thought that this was a funny little article. Apparently, British scientists don't have anything better to do than to vote on things like this. They ran a poll on Britian's favorite screen scientists. God knows they're not working on improving dental care over there. Or maybe work on finding a cure for something. Anything. There're plenty of uncured diseases out there, take one of mine.

On a serious note, while Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker were able to accept their award, their other, little-known assistant, Earl N. Meyer, had been made into a fleece vest in the late 90's. His last know whereabouts was somewhere in the Finger Lakes of New York where a recent college grad lost him during a hike last year. Rescue attempts have been fruitless, and park officials are now calling the search a recovery.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

international disapproval

john robb points to a christian science monitor article about america's disapproval ratings in muslim middle-eastern countries. hazard to take a guess what they're like?

normally, i couldn't care less what a bunch of camel jockeys think about us -- that's just the way i roll --, but it is becoming increasingly clear that these guys take shit way too seriously. so the question becomes, how do we get momar to stop bombing the fuck out of everybody without me having to give up my quarter-terabyte collection of pornography? b/c if i have to do an rm -rf on my "others" directory, then the terrorists truly have won.

the answer is probably as fundamental as changing the way we view success, individuality, ownership, and fairness...or as the political establishment succinctly calls it, "fagging it up big time". will this ever happen? fuck no. i mean, it happens here and there, like at whole foods or in the free/open-source software movements, but besides that...get real.

so what can we do that's realistic? simple: start a basketball league in the occupied territories and give some palestinian guy named muffassa an old 808 drum kit and a 4-track so he can start laying down beats.

some statistics for my fellow commie pinko fags

comrades, these are some interesting stats on the current administration, nyet?

0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.

73 Number of times that Bush mentioned terrorism or terrorists in his three State of the Union addresses.

83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.
$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.

$0 Amount approved by George Bush to hire more INS special agents.

$10m Amount Bush cut from the INS's existing terrorism budget.

$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash
43 Percentage of the entire world's military spending that the US spends on defence. (That was in 2002, the year before the invasion of Iraq.)

etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

edward tufte pornography quicklinks to this beautiful graphic showing word usage of republicans and democrats. definitely click on this one.

Urban Income Distribution

The Brookings Institution published a report studying urban income dynamics since about 1980. The main findings were

  • A disproportionate number of large-city households occupy the bottom tiers of the national income distribution. One-fourth of households in the 100 largest cities have incomes that, adjusted for regional cost-of-living differences, put them in the bottom fifth of households nationally. By contrast, only one-sixth of large-city households inhabit the nation's top income quintile.

  • The 100 largest cities exhibit six basic household income distribution patterns. Only 13 balanced cities such as Indianapolis mirror the nation's income distribution. Similarly, in just a handful of divided cities, including Washington, D.C., does the number of households at the extremes of the distribution exceed that in the middle. Wealthy households predominate in a few large, suburban-like higher-end cities such as Scottsdale. A larger set of middle-class cities like Colorado Springs have most of their households in the central portions of the distribution. Finally, in low-moderate cities like Memphis, the number of households declines as one moves up the income ladder, but not as steeply as in stressed cities like Cleveland, where households near the bottom outnumber those near the top by at least two to one.

  • The proportion of households with high incomes declined in 79 of the 100 largest cities between 1979 and 1999. Struggling cities in the Northeast and Rust Belt lost high-income households more rapidly than other income groups over the 20-year period, contributing to a proliferation of stressed cities. Meanwhile, the middle-income segment shrank in some of the largest cities even as it grew rapidly in mid-sized cities such as Grand Rapids, Tacoma, and St. Petersburg. Overall, the number of middle-class cities grew from just 13 in 1979 to 29 in 1999.

  • Suburbs' income distribution inverts cities', as more than 25 percent of suburban households occupy the highest-income quintile. Yet the suburbs of the 100 largest cities contain a greater mix of households by income today than in 1979; the relative numbers of high-income households in suburbs declined, while those of low-income and lower-middle-income households rose.

Middle-class households did not abandon all cities over the past 20 years. Still, the majority of cities lack the nation's broad spectrum of incomes. Because a balanced income profile can create better social, fiscal, and political outcomes for places, cities should aim to attract and retain the particular types of households that would contribute to greater income diversity.

The report itself is available in pdf format.

Chuck D

mother jones interviews chuck d about music, politics, etc. pretty good.

music for that ass

grab the seven nation army cover from this soul sides post asap and proceed to thrust pelvis rhythmically to the bass-line.

if the song is down, send me a polite stream of ones and zeros requesting it and find yourself pleasantly surprised at my congeniality.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Three die in Saudi shop stampede

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Three die in Saudi shop stampede: "A stampede of hundreds of shoppers in western Saudi Arabia has left at least three people crushed to death.

A Saudi man and a Pakistani man were among those killed, officials in the port city of Jeddah said.

The incident occurred after shoppers rushed into a branch of Ikea to claim a limited number of credit vouchers being offered to the public."

ikea has just been added to the axis of evil.