Saturday, November 08, 2003

Dean Campaign: The Tea is in The Harbor

Dean for America forgoes matching public funds

Friday Five

1. What food do you like that most people hate?

There's food people hate? I've enjoyed anchovies on my pizza.

2. What food do you hate that most people love?

There's food I hate?

Mmmm. I actually don't like super-sweet food. I love desserts yet tend to find them overwhelming. Too much sugar, all at once, makes me ill.

Any dessert on a restaurant menu labelled 'death by' or with the word 'ecstasy' or 'avalanche' in it will actively drive me away.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?

All those actresses who are so thin they're cadaverous. Models, too.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive?

Um. Er. No idea.

5. What popular trend baffles you?

All of them. I have conformity issues.

Seriously, the cult of celebrity, in general, reality TV, and the endless supersizing of meals in an obese America (though I'm not baffled by it, I feel I understand the source pretty well).

Oh, and the support of George W. Bush.

Friday, November 07, 2003

1 in 100 votes denied for candidate

Fairfax Judge Orders Logs Of Voting Machines Inspected

...county officials tested one of the machines in question yesterday and discovered that it seemed to subtract a vote for Thompson in about "one out of a hundred tries," said Margaret K. Luca, secretary of the county Board of Elections.

Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe

So. The church used to marry guys. That pause was me, blinking.

Same Sex Unions in the Church. I gotta read Boswell's book, Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. This is fascinating.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Voyager I

Voyager Says Goodbye to Solar System

Here's the wonderful thing. This little craft blasted off in 1977, that's 26 years ago, is currently 90 times the distance from Earth to the Sun, and researchers still get data.
Election Law Violations in Mississippi

Today, poll 'watchers' in Mississippi took it upon themselves to

* position themselves behind the poll workers at the sign-in table, or at the table with those workers;
* videotape voters in [some] predominantly minority precincts of Lowndes County, in Mississippi;
* enter the polling booth, while a voter was using the booth, without an express invitation from the voter to join them.

Miss. Sec of State's letter re: Potental Violations of Election Laws

Pinched from TPM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Hello, Draft Board?

Oiling Up The Draft Machine (Salon, November 3, 2003.)


Fascinating post (forwarded by CTM):

Facism Anyone? (Allegedly from Free Inquiry, Vol 22, #2, but I didn't find a copy when I looked.)

Fascisms[sp] principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The clichi[sp] that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Yes, Virginia, it is all Bullshit

Politics and the English Language, George Orwell, 1946.

Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

So true.
Nail. Hammer. *Bang*

Open Your Eyes

It doesn't make a bit of difference what WE think is going on in Iraq, or how WE think it is going. All that matters is how and what the Iraqis think. And they think we suck.

Blueprint for a Mess
The Religious Right Goes After Scientists Individually

U.S.-paid research place under moral microscope

Swept into the storm were three researchers from Emory University whose names appear on the lists. While they don't blame the NIH for responding to conservatives' concerns, they worry that what they see as an attempt to impose religious values on scientific research could suppress important studies, potentially costing lives.

Here's the problem.

Religion is about moral judgments. Science is a tool for figuring shit out.

The problem religious fanatics have with science are infinite and eternal: a religious fanatic does not want to figure shit out; a religious fanatic believes the answer to all questions is their religion.

Pinched from Fusion Reaction:

Web Patent Critics Spotlight Old Technology

If Web technologists can find the right example, they believe they can help set aside a federal jury's recent finding that Microsoft had violated a patent held by tiny Web developer Eolas Technologies. The so-called '906 patent describes a way that a Web browser can call up a separate application from within a Web page.

I'm obviously coming late to the game here, but if the crux of the matter is having a web browser communicate with a separate application from within a web page, well, software applications do that all the time.

Experienced users can write batchfiles to *effectively* *merge* the usage of more than one application into a seamless user experience. This idea easily predates web browsers. The resulting interface masks the fact that multiple applications were involved in presenting data, which is rather the point of having it. Why is the fact that a web browser might do it patentable?

Isn't it an obvious extension of browser usage to permit a web browser to call up a separate application from within a web page? Other applications do it all the time, it's practically human nature to simply our interfaces.

Hijacked Government

Cheney's hawks 'hijacking policy'

...the pursuit of national security decisions often bypassed "civil service and active-duty military professionals", and was handled instead by political appointees who shared common ideological ties.

Didn't I write about this once before?

So, you're President (you lucky duck, you). You need to be well informed. What do you do? Surround yourself with people who tell you what you *want* to hear? Or those who tell you the truth? Christ on a skateboard, if I was president, I would go out of my way to build balanced committees and a cabinet -- preferably non-partison, but I'll settle for balance.

We *need* debate. It is the mechanism by which everyone's voice gets heard.

Decision 2004

Decision 2004

Follow the poll link for 'if you had to vote today' ( and you'll see a poll pitting Bush/Cheney against Dean/Clark.

In other words, MSNBC just treated Dean and Clark as the only two Dem candidates worth notice.

Maternal-induced neural plasticity

Science agrees: Moms courageous, cool

"calmer under pressure, and deal with adversity better." Probably sounds like your mom, huh? Mine, too.

It made me wonder what effect hormonal birth control (pills, depo, norplant), which simulate pregnancy in several ways, will have on a woman. I also wonder how much of this induced plasticity is due to the chemistry of pregnancy, and how much due to some sort of pheromonal parent-child bonding or something?

Very interesting.
Juicy Book Goodness

Just got Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars, by Susan Milbrath and Expert Legal Writing, by Terri LeClercq, from the University of Texas Press. These are payment for some site proof work I did recently (note: when asking a geek to do something, offering recompense in the form of books is frequently very attractive).