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Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus

10.31.2005

November Beard Club

You are all cordially invited to join me in the annual celebration of manly whiskery that is...

NOVEMBER BEARD CLUB

The only club that's easier to be in than out.
Simply grow a beard in November.

Still not convinced that growing a beard in November is a good idea?
Maybe these tidbits will convince you:

A man's face is nothing but a canvas for Mother Nature to paint with whiskers.
How much can you really know about yourself if you don't grow a beard?
Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers had beards, what does that tell us about God?
If you died right now, how would you feel about your beard?
The point of growing a beard in November is to grow a beard.

You still need more convincing?
Check out the attached artist's depiction of Magnús with a beard.
Note his supreme confidence and brilliant demeanor. That's what beards are all about.

Want more beard paraphernalia? Stop by my office. I expect to see stubble tomorrow!

--The Bearded One

ps - Please forward this message to anyone who might enjoy growing a beard in November.


Spock


Obiwan


Magnus

In The Spirit Of Halloween

If you like commercials, this one is pretty good. It's a car commercial that never aired because of a supposed ghostly image. When you see the car come down the mountain make sure to look close so you can see the image. I'm not sure if the image is real or not but it's intriguing none the less.

Call It The Ultimate International UFC Event

On A Very Special Installment Of Drink Tank...

The BBC challenges the world.



Oh, and Happy Halloween beotches! Boooo-Woooo!

Wookin' fo Wove is all da Wong places

Got Vote?

I was curious to find out how easy it would be to see the voting history for a particular Congressperson or Senator, and I found Congress really only publishes votes per item up for vote in this fashion (sorry Ahmadinejad).

I could be wrong, but even if it was available, it does not appear to be easy to find.

Then I came upon this site, which promises that XML versions of all votes and legislation are available on the Office of the Clerk website. Except, I looked there and could not find them! I have e-mailed the Clerk asking for the proper URL.

With raw vote data, we could extrapolate all kinds of interesting things.. like wouldn't you feel like a turd if your representative was the only one to vote against Supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month???

We'll just have to wait and see what the Clerk has to say about XML. Props if he actually responds in XML.

10.30.2005

Big business is no friend of laissez faire

Wal-Mart wants to raise the minimum wage. They already pay above it, so the thinking is (assumed to be) that competitors would suffer. Also, it might be because more lower-skilled people will be unemployed, increasing the size of Wal-Marts labor pool.

Also note this post, about how the originators of the minimum wage advocated it for women, so that they work _less_.

The idea that creating a shortage of employers through higher costs would benefit the poor or unemployed, is nothing but crazy. Thankfully, the minimum wage, inflation adjusted, is far smaller than in previous decades, and probably doesn't stop many employers.

While I would love to have paid someone $1/hr to shovel gravel in my back yard, I doubt I could have found any trustworthy and capable person to actually do it.

Notorious Scattergories

I was playing this game, Scattergories. You get a list of categories, a die is rolled to choose a letter, everyone must pick a word for each category that starts with that letter, and you get points for unique to the group answers.

"B" was rolled

The category was Notorious.

What do you think I put?

I'm gon' go call my crew
You go call your crew
We can rendezvou at the bar around two


10.29.2005

IMPEACH BUSH | SinceSlicedBread.com

Interesting website. Submit ideas, hoping for something to get funded. I think Ivanistan would need a bit more money to get started, and I'm not even sure all those on _this_ blog would support it.

Why the "impeach bush" link? Because some people are insane in their hate of bush. I mean...people, please: Relax!

Local Weather Forecast for Somerville, MA (02143) - weather.com

It's snowing!

AAARGGHHHH!

10.28.2005

There was no leak.

Discuss.

The 5 counts against Libby are serious. I'm not denying that.

As I said before, this was never about putting the iraq war 'on trial,' no matter how much you'd like have A Few Good Men, "you can't handle the truth," exchange.

There was no crime in saying for whom Plame worked, there is no 'outing,' no character assassination.

Civilization IV Whom? - Douglas Kern

"And you can name your cities! Kernopolis, New Kern, Kernville, Samarkern, Minas Kernith -- knock yourself out."

Sounds like my kind of game.

The 2nd Avenue Subway

While NYC readers are considering a bond to open the 1st new subway line since WWII (nyt.com says "vote yes"), here's a little background information on it, from the MTA in 1972:
The Second Avenue Subway Line
. . . the line that almost never was

It was now 1929, the year of the Stock Market crash that was to become a worldwide depression. In May of that year, the Board of Transportation tentatively decided to establish a Second Avenue route from Houston Street to the Harlem River. Projected cost: $86,280,000.

That's right, it's been around the corner for 75 years. Good night, and good luck.

Wired on Absynth

"Johnny Depp compared its effects to marijuana. 'Drink too much,' he said, 'and you suddenly realize why Van Gogh cut off his ear.'"

Bosnian Pyramid

Chinese pyramids are so old hat, but this is news:
Near the city of Visoko, 30 km north of Sarajevo, there is a stone pyramid of monumental size, claims the Bosnian archeologist Semir Osmanagić, who lives and works in the USA.

Mayoral Cinch Hand

Cafe Hayek: The Fallacy of Affordability

Wired News: Mmmmmmmm, Brains

"There's no shortage of video games that pit a shotgun-toting cop against an undead army. But wouldn't you much rather play as the zombie?

In Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse for the Xbox, you can."

YES!

Lone Star Statements

1-star amazon reviews of great books.

10.27.2005

2,000+

What does the number 2,000 mean to you? What does it mean to the New York Times? To Victor Davis Hanson?

Nomination Reparation

"But there just aren't that many John Robertses in the world, with impeccable resumes and non-existent paper trails, both at the same time. Jokes about cloning John Roberts were made when he was confirmed. Now, conservatives are thinking of lifting Bush's federal-embryonic-stem-cell-research-funding ban -- if it might help the process along."

Compare and Contrast

Today's W0rd

Disappointed.

I'm not really into baseball. The Minor League Cyclones game on Miguel's birthday was a ton of fun. I like the Yankees because of George Costanza, big money, and home turf. I was very disappointed last year when Boston's Redsocks won the world series for about three reasons:
1) Redsox fans are obnoxious.
2) They humiliated the Yankees.

And MOST importantly,

3) The freakin' curse! I wanted it to last, like, three centuries. Why? Because it makes things interesting. People like to talk in superlatives. They want to gasp at cosmic injustice. They want to be awed with supernatural forces.

So, when the Redsox won, I was sad. That team was my last hope. Wait, no! There was another. Another team with an arguably worse curse---the Chicago Whitesox!

But, shoot, just a year later they go and win. WTF? It's over. No more neat curses. No more awe. Major League Baseball, once a vegetative sport in my mind, has had its plug finally pulled.

10.26.2005

Coming To America

"And let's face it - the Bushes just aren't the Reagans, who adored royalty and loved to entertain. This president doesn't even like to socialise. My God, he's only had five formal dinners in the five years he's been in the White House. Compare that with the 30 dinners the Clintons had in eight years, or the 29 dinners the senior Bushes gave in four years. This Bush doesn't drink, can't dance, and is asleep by 9pm"








An avid self-proclaimed Star Wars fan, Charles is seen here with Princess Lei...Camilla using the force in a desperate attempt to grasp the Americans' attention.

"Bwaahh! Han, look! The third Death Star bein' constructed on her dome piece!"


A Note On The English

Neither one of us claim to be professional writers. We are professional poker players. Furthermore, the ideas and concepts in this book originally came from tape recorded conversations between the authors. These tape recordings were not necessarily formatted exactly the same way a book would be and the language was not always grammatically perfect. This is occasionally reflected in the wording of this text.

But the purpose of this book is not to get an "A" from our English teacher. Rather it is to show you how to make a lot of money in all but the toughest hold 'em games. So if we end a sentence with a preposition or use a few too many words or even introduce a new subject in a slightly inappropriate place, you can take solace from the fact that you can buy lots more books by Hemingway with the money we make you.
I'm reading a book on hold 'em. Y'all are screwed.

Throw Down Your Heads And Get Up Against the Wall!

Oh man. Every article about the recent grisly beheadings of overly aggressive Hollywood characters is a gold mine. This one is just the latest, and I have linked to a few others on my blog...
"Throw down your heads and get up against the wall!" police in Hollywood shouted at the movie cartoon character from "The Incredibles" and his sidekick, Elmo the Muppet.

All Your Base Are Belong To Google

Very soon.

Fifty Essential Topics on Economics

Economic is an essential topic for life. If you are working, understanding economics will help you understanding how are the products and services of your company relate to the markets and consumers. Why some products can mark the price so high and still there are demands on purchase? How services and products decrease its value? All of those questions can be answered by basic economics knowledge.

word of the day

tumbrel or tumbril
n. A crude cart used to carry condemned prisoners to their place of execution, as during the French Revolution.

Zombie Rice



Real Rice:

Happy Birthday Ivan!

Oops

TIVO + C-SPAN = ?

I really wish I had 24hr digital access to C-Span. I think it could provide hours of endless entertainment if I could actually seek around using the computer.

"The partisan fight over Karl Rove exploded onto the Senate floor yesterday, with Democrats trying to strip him of his security clearance and Republicans retaliating by trying to strip the chamber's two top Democrats of theirs.

The moves, which came as amendments to a spending bill, both failed, but not before each side blamed the other for "juvenile" behavior and for poisoning a well of good feelings they said had existed in the past few weeks."

CNN.com - Poll: Bush would lose an election if held this year

fantasy politics.

10.25.2005

Heeeeeeeeere's Patty!

It's not "The Shining", but it might be just as scary for Rove. Can we get a little WOO WOOOOOOO, or is that onlay in tha mornin???
"1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters."

I haven't seen this many elated bloggers since... well.. ever. It is almost reading like a comic book, complete with a mystery man named Mr. X! I've seen enough Scooby Doo to know it is probably old man Withers from the amusement park. And he would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids! Whoever the mystery felon is, he let one rip big time and there is only one thing for certain...


ROVE ATE IT

I Gotta Start Going to Church

Attending religious services may enrich the soul, but it also fattens the wallet, according to research released on Tuesday.

"Doubling the frequency of attendance leads to a 9.1 percent increase in household income, or a rise of 5.5 percent as a fraction of the poverty scale," Jonathan Gruber of the economics department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote in his study.

The Washington Post reports on a New Yorker interview with Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser in the Ford and Bush père White Houses:
Scowcroft, in his interview, discussed an argument over Iraq he had two years ago with Condoleezza Rice, then-national security adviser and current secretary of state. "She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. The article stated that with a "barely perceptible note of satisfaction," Scowcroft added: "But we've had fifty years of peace."
Now let's see. Between 1953 and 2003, here are the Mideast wars we can think of off the top of our head: the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel, the Algerian Civil War, the Yemen Civil War and two Sudanese civil wars. That doesn't even count acts of terror against non-Mideastern countries, from the Iranian invasion of the U.S. Embassy to the attacks of 9/11.

What do you call someone who describes this as "50 years of peace"? A "realist."

New Drinktank google map courtesy of Frappr

Hey Drinktank readers please avail yourself of a newly created google map desgined to map drinktankers across the world.

Check out our Frappr!

Here Are The 10 First Place Winners In The International Pun Contest:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, " I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, --- thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least
one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

_________________________________
Thanks Mark!

Flame the Plame name blame game

Up is down and down is up

What has the world come to when the best beatboxer in the world is french, and the best golf player is black, whats next is Ivan going to win the world risk championship?

10.24.2005

Outkast Freed From Billion-Dollar Lawsuit Thanks To Death Of Heroic Old-Bag

The New York Times Should Leave The Drinking Metaphors To The Talented Men At DrinkTank

Mr. Colbert's on-camera persona may not wear well over the long term, but for now at least "The Colbert Report" is a worthy spinoff, an icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey that is "The Daily Show."
Psshhhhh. Whatever.

This Week's Space Elevator News

Business Opportunities Weblog | How Much Is My Blog Worth


My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

Umlaut - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An alternative spelling of "role" is "rôle".

Likewise, it is acceptable in English to use an umlaut in instances where two abutting vowels occur, as in
"coördinate".

You can find both of these in the New Yorker magazine, often considered a scholarly literary magazine :-)


From an email at work...

10.21.2005

Doom's Day

And "Doom" has been boosted by the headlines, too. Its plotline -- scientists fiddling with Mother Nature in ways that they shouldn't -- is a perennial of sci-fi, but today such scenarios are ripped from the headlines, not from paperback racks. It wasn't fictional mad scientists who had the bright idea of resuscitating the 1918 flu virus that killed 50 million; it was real scientists who assured us that they were doing this only to help us. In comparison to viruses running amok, the idea of zombies running amok seems almost pleasant; at least zombies are easy, and fun, to shoot!

word of the day


The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, nontapering terminus; medical cause: adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, worsened by weight gain and improved in appearance only by boots. From the English "calf" meaning wide portion of the lower leg, and "ankle" meaning slender joint of leg with foot.
If I didn't have cankles, I might be able to wear those Prada loafers with my capri pants.

Aliens Cause Global Warming

A Strong Argument Against Intelligent Design

Design this, bitch.

Octacube : Hyper Sculpture

"Adrian Ocneanu, professor of mathematics at Penn State, has designed a stainless steel sculpture depicting a 3-dimensional projection of a 4-dimensional “octacube”. The massive sculpture was fabricated by Penn State’s Engineering Services Shop."

Wow. Watch the animation.

Monty Python's Life of Brian

Who knew you could get whole scenes on RealPlayer? This one is awesome

Are Americans Becoming Europeans?

I have just finished a two-week trip to Europe -- my honeymoon, if you must know -- and, as usual with a European trip, I have come away with two completely different impressions.

Europe, or at least the parts I go to, is a wonderful place to live and to visit. It's beautiful; the food is great; the people are generally warm and relaxed. If there is a greater pleasure than eating a plate of Insalata Caprese (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil) on a sunny terrace on the Amalfi Coast with the islands where the Sirens lured Ulysses in the distance, then I haven't found it yet.

But, when it comes to public policy, Europe has taken a wrong turn. Its welfare state has sapped initiative and driven jobs abroad; its treatment of immigrants is shameful; unemployment is in the double digits; health policy is making people sicker; and foreign policy is based on isolationism and moral posturing.
I have a trial issue of The American Enterprise magazine. It is all about Europe & America. For anyone in the area sometime soon, you can browse it to get depressed just by the economic numbers, then even more depressed by the reactions many politicians and people are having. I'll cum up their response: "We Need More Socialism!"

10.20.2005

The Wider, Not Wilder, Egon Schiele

Big Win for a Senator: $853,492 From Powerball

from NH.

Further proof politicians are idiots :), or at least statistically challenged.

Seeing Right Through The Times's Transparency

Terrific 419 Article in Todays LA Times

"I will eat your dollars." I also posted a little more indepth "analysis" at my blog.

South Park: Fuck Yeah

Guess what, people? I saw some new South Park, and as G-d almighty himself once said, it is good. In fact, it's fan-fucking-tastic.

I'm here to report some other good news:
Trey Parker has a confession to make. "I've started confiding in people, other artists mostly, that I hate making 'South Park' and I always have," he said during a recent visit to New York. He continued: "It's super stressful. I'm always miserable. I want to kill myself every week."

Mr. Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of "South Park," will have that problem for at least the next three years. Over the summer, they signed an agreement with Comedy Central to produce the animated series about four foulmouthed Colorado boys through the end of 2008. (The monetary terms of the deal have not been released.) But the show's enduring success does not mean that making "South Park" has become any easier for its two creators, who met in college at the University of Colorado. Between them, Mr. Stone, 34, and Mr. Parker, 36, write, direct and edit each episode, and they give their voices to most of the main characters. The second half of Season 9 begins tonight at 10. (Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker produce seven episodes in the spring and seven in the fall.)
So, even though they hate making it, Parker and Stone are forced to please me well through 2008. But I won't be too sad when the end of SP comes, mostly because I trust these guys to continue entertaining me with brilliant work like this, but also because I hate watching a show past its golden age, desperate for new ideas and faltering in finding them, like the last years of this, and the continuing cat-like death-throws of this tripe.

Say cheese

Rising to the "GREETINGS; YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED TO ARREST" challenge.

Pork Chop Hill

"You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."

This is just like the Communist army in the Gregory Peck movie.

Feminist beer

Photo. Article. Via Cruel.

Free Market Capitalism in the Bush Era

It is easy to shrug off the phrase "corporate welfare" as a bleeding heart nonsense, but I think it accounts for more misspending than the social entitlements that some of our contributors would care to admit. My question is what do we do about it. Ivan has suggested a letter writing campaign. Well, I think I will be writing a letter to my representatives about this. Do you guys have any other suggestions?

Cabal

This was just picked up after midnight by FT, and it is an interesting read. This is the (partial) transcript. And video/audio are here. It is one thing to talk about it on random blogs, but when you hear it from people (who used to be) close to the top, it gives it a bit of weight.

"Mr Wilkerson said his decision to go public had led to a personal falling out with Mr Powell, whom he served for 16 years at the Pentagon and the State Department."

10.19.2005

Myths About Gun Control

I'd like to go shooting sometime. I just can't imagine it being boring, with my vast experience in virtual shooting venues.

May The Best Pumpkin Win

I don't know Ivan... there is some pretty mighty competition stacking up:

He's more
pumpkin
now than
man
...

"Dude, I'm sooooo Estoned"

So, yeah. Probably read this already. I don't really care so much about the topic itself, because it is inevitable. It is your destiny....

What is funny, is this debbie downer who the AP picks up as saying:

"The benefits don't come anywhere near the risks," said Jason Kitcat, an online consultant and researcher at the University of Sussex in England. "It's a waste of money and a waste of government energy."


Umm... Yeah. Waste. Just like the MTA.

Because everyone remembers what happened the last time Chad became a household name since 1970:



Me personally? I would much rather "waste" my money on a system for the confidence that my vote along with everyone else's is counted fairly. Oh, and do you really think all that money AND energy is wasted when you take into account the thousands upon thousands of man-hours just dealing with fallout from this. Maybe it isn't fair to use a single example to get the point across... How about a few more:

Over 33,500 incidents have been reported in the 2004 Election (comprising a range of minor errors through to large scale direct voter intimidation, mishandled absentee and provisional ballots, malfunctioning or inaccurate machines and/or apparent hacking and vote tampering)


And in case you're wondering, no, commercial voting systems should not be used in elections. In case you haven't heard of Diebold, luckily there are people like those at BlackBoxVoting to at least try to protect the citizen once everything goes digital.

The whole idea should be to minimize errors. Voting shouldn't necessarily be done via the Internet (cost is too high to do safely), but it should be done electronically via open source software. The software will be much more likely to prevent errors so the voting process can be streamlined. The system doesn't need to be 100% secure, it just needs to be secure ENOUGH. For example, when is the last time you went to a live bank teller to take money out of your account? Do you ever feel like you're being cheated (aside from the $2 fee) when you use some crappy ATM in a ghetto bodega?

10.18.2005

Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack

Happy Birthday!

Leave it to robotics graduate students to be so clever. For some time, Liz, a graduate student at CMU's Robotics Institute, was very good at making birthday announcements, but made a few mistakes. After many calls for a better, more reliable system, she has been replaced.
Hey guys,

Happy Birthday to Robo-Liz!

It's Robo-Liz's birthday on October, 18

Robo-Liz

What?!..huh?

Q Scott, on Wednesday you encouraged me to look at news reports about scandals surrounding the Texas lottery when Harriet Miers was chairwoman of that commission. And it turns out there are hundreds of news reports from the late '90s covering problems with contracts and kickbacks involving the company GTECH and Ben Barnes. I have a two-part question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Okay.

Q You and the President --

MR. McCLELLAN: See what happens when I encourage you to do things? (Laughter.)

Q Thank you. You and the President are aware of these hundreds of news reports, aren't you?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're well aware of her time at the Texas Lottery Commission. There were problems that did occur there, and she helped clean up the Texas Lottery Commission. She was praised for her work as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission.

Q What is the President's response to those allegations that he put Ms. Miers in charge of that lottery commission to be sure GTECH kept its lucrative contract, and its lobbyist Ben Barnes would not talk about his alleged influence concerning young George Bush and --

MR. McCLELLAN: Our responses to those questions have already been addressed and disputed. And I think we don't need to rehash those issues.

Blowing in the Wind

I love energy policy.

People that complain about "Windfall profits" of oil companies are funny. Funny, mainly because it is the relative cheapness of oil that makes alternative energies unattainable.

But let's say that oil really is controlled by a tight group that charge way too much. Wouldn't that mean that alternatives are an even better deal? No. They are STILL too expensive.

I hope this trend for calling a tax on windfall profits doesn't expand. When we sell our home in a few years, I hope I don't get taxed on top of capital gains because the price for my house in the future just happened to be higher than the price I bought it for.

Constume Rollcall

What are you gonna be? Last year I posted some combinatorics of zomby, pirate, butler, & monkey. I think robot butler would be my first choice, but do I really wanna wear reflective makeup all over my face the whole night?

For completion, I'll repeat the best idea of all: wear pants and no shirt to the Halloween party, and when someone asks you what you are, you say "I'm a pre-mature ejaculation: I just came in my pants." hehe

10.17.2005

More pumpkin than man now...




I'm very happy with the result :-D

Lake Wobegon effect

you learn something new everyday...

The Lake Wobegon effect, also called the Lake Wobegon fallacy and the better-than-average effect, is a term used by psychologists to refer to the human tendency to report flattering beliefs about oneself and believe that one is above average. Many experiments have shown that most people believe that they possess more desirable attributes than other people. The term is also related to the tendency to treat all members of a group as above average (a statistical impossibility), particularly with respect to numerical values such as test scores or executive salaries.
...
The term is named after the fictitious Minnesota town Lake Wobegon invented by radio humorist Garrison Keillor, who described it as a place "where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

I Can't Stop Smiling

SNAP!

Winning the peace, losing the media battle

A huge vote in Iraq. A huge success with many more Sunni's participating, with most realizing politics is the new black car bomb.

But some civilians die, and it'll get the splash on cnn.com. This is what makes "media battles" hard to win. People are emotional.

10M+ people voting (~2M+ more than the January elections) is a very, very big deal. The "if-it-bleeds-it-leads" mentality is bad journalism.

3.141592653589ZAP

The wacky geniuses behind Rodeohead have a new video about π. There's a robot in it. (embedded quicktime)

10.16.2005

Gonzo Strikes Again

If you wander down South 4th St. between Bedford and Berry, you might find a group of Puerto Ricans scratching their heads looking at this. Shout out to Gonzo in Philly. Nice work.

CNN.com - Special Reports - Back to School

What an excellent DON'Ts aggregator. Not exclusively, mind you.

I like my job

The accidental art is always fun.



Another great piece. If you happen to have matlab, run "image". The child's face that appears is scary.

Cali Initiatives

What do our California readers think of the Governator's initiatives? About him?

They all seem reasonable to me.

10.15.2005

Time to carve a pumpkin



Good thing I have one of these.

10.14.2005

Everybody Toss That Camera!

Photos taken with tossed cameras. Ingenious.

Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain

A synthetic chemical similar to the active ingredient in marijuana makes new cells grow in rat brains. What is more, in rats this cell growth appears to be linked with reducing anxiety and depression. The results suggest that marijuana, or its derivatives, could actually be good for the brain.

Going Back To Cali

Sent out an email at work saying I'm going to California next month. I had to include a sample from the fine song linked above.

Restaurant Reviews Con Mapas

Yesterday I blogged about the hot new Ning application - Los Angeles Restaurant Reviews With Maps. It's just getting started, but it seems very, very promising and very, very useful.

Why do I mention it here? I mention it here because I wonder if an enterprising drinktanker would clone this(which Ning makes easy) and make New York Restaurant Reviews With Maps. So that when I come to visit next month I know where to eat. Also, I think your fellow citizens would be mighty pleased with you.

Odds trending toward Rove's indictment

But they still favor Bush's brain staying in the White House - as of yesterday, even money is a good bet for you, Josko.

FuturePundit: Uranium Pellet Design Allows Longer Lower Temperature Burning

Or - why you should never trust a book about the devils in peak oil.

FindSolar.com - Connecting you to Pre-Screened Renewable Energy Professionals -

This site has a great calculator for the cost of installation of a solar array depending on where you live. It incorporates tax breaks, local energy costs, home value appreciation, etc.

It told me over 25 years, I'll get 147%ROI. This doesn't make sense for our current house.

Abby and I are considering this for our next home. I will almost certainly want to do a solar installation. This recent development in cheaper plastic photovoltaics is great.

Happy Halowe'en!

Pumpkin




Your Brain's Pattern



Structured and organized, you have a knack for thinking clearly.

You are very logical - and you don't let your thoughts get polluted with emotions.

And while your thoughts are pretty serious, they're anything from boring.

It's minds like yours that have built the great cities of the world!

10.13.2005

Skiing makes a bid to be as fun as snowboarding

Coldpole.

36DD 10,000 songs in your boobies

Musical breast implants

Nintendogs

CUTE!

The Blue State Project

Libertarians not necessarily as organized as liberals.

Sidenote: I'm currently reading Freakonomics, lent to me by a fan of keynote speaker Jim Kunstler who mentioned lending me his book next. [Ivan - feel free to drinktankify those links or let us know how to do same]

update:
Go here. Sign up. Build links. Look at the source of this update to see what then look like. I'm not sure how to make them side-by-side. - _ivan

Outlaw Scooter Possy Club

Coincidence

...arose from circumstance

The Undercover Economist

Be warned about SuperMarket scams. While this is an interesting post, it is also an experiment in AmazonAssociates.

This book looks good. You should buy it :)



10.12.2005

Humorous Interlude

A man and his wife were working in their garden one day and the man
looks over at his wife and says: "Your butt is getting really big, I
mean really big. I bet your butt is bigger than the barbecue."

With that he proceeded to get a measuring tape and measure the grill
and
then went over to where his wife was working and measured his wife's
bottom.

"Yes, I was right; your butt is two inches wider than the barbecue!!!"

The woman chose to ignore her husband.
Later that night in bed, the husband was feeling a little frisky.
He makes some advances towards his wife who completely brushes him off.
"What's wrong?" he asks. ..............

She answers: "Do you really
think I'm going to fire up this big-ass grill for one little weenie?


----------------------


Thanks Fran!

OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M THE NOMINEE!!!

originally posted posted by Ivan @ 9:36PM on October 3, 2005

UPDATE by Miguel

The blog is a parody. Here is her actual writing.

Press Bleeding by Scott McClellan

Q Why is his top aide going around and telling people how she prays?

MR. McCLELLAN: He's simply talking about who she is and what her background is. And you're being very selective in your comments there, because what he emphasized and what Dr. Dobson said he emphasized, was her conservative judicial philosophy. That's what it should be based on.

Q Scott, isn't -- the bleed-over here, though, is that if we understood the account correctly -- and it doesn't sound like you're disputing it -- that Karl was making an argument that her religious faith and her membership in the evangelical church was evidence of what her judicial philosophy -- conservative judicial philosophy would be. He was using it to buttress the question of how she would rule -- am I misunderstanding that?

MR. McCLELLAN: See, David, there's some that have -- no, there's some that have a litmus test for the Supreme Court. The President does not. The President does not ask candidates their views on issues that may be controversial, like abortion. The President looks at them and asks them what their judicial philosophy is; are they someone who is going to strictly interpret our Constitution and our laws, rather than -- and not make law from the bench. The President doesn't believe people should be legislating from the bench. He believes that judges ought to be looking at the law and applying the law.

Q Scott, if that's the case, then, wouldn't Karl's statement to Mr. Dobson have been, "you know, what church she belongs to is completely irrelevant to how she would serve on the Supreme Court; I'm not even going to tell you what church she went to because it doesn't have anything to do with her philosophy." Wouldn't that be the consistent statement?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's part of who she is, David. We're just pointing out facts about who she is. But that's not what we're emphasizing. What we're emphasizing is her judicial philosophy and her experience and her qualifications.

Q So there was no effort, to your mind, that it was not Mr. Rove's desire here to use her church background as evidence of how she may approach cases from the bench?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I already described what we were talking about in these outreach efforts. If you want to interpret them differently, that's your right to do. "

Thanks, I will

Incidentally

All recent posts about Republicans here on Drink Tank are in honor of Theodore Roosevelt Heller. RIP
In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans.

Dear Fox News

What punishment is appropriate for this traitor? Side note: can we afford to allow veterans free speech rights?

Better than avarage


An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.

How about the Tom Delay legal defence fund. I hear the could use the cash. Serriously though how easy would it be for him to buy stocks through intermediary sources.

Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq

Ivan your "election" might not be the only poll that counts after all.

CIA: releases treasonous report

USATODAY.com - CIA review faults prewar plans: "WASHINGTON — A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.

Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.

'In an ironic twist, the policy community was receptive to technical intelligence (the weapons program), where the analysis was wrong, but apparently paid little attention to intelligence on cultural and political issues (post-Saddam Iraq), where the analysis was right,' they write."

Speaking of the eXile

The current letters section brings us news that Reagan's grave has finally been danced upon by someone.

Matt Taibbi in the Big Easy

I didn't know he went with Sean Penn for Rolling Stone.

On cops:
-While Sean and Doug plunged into the crowd to talk to someone about a boat, I wandered over to the food table and made the mistake of wrapping a few Krispy Kremes in a napkin.
"Hey," shouted a SWAT officer in a plaintive voice. "Don't take them all!"

World War I Photos In Color

They are in color!

we wants it....

Danger Burger (2:52:22 PM): http://drinktank.com/
Danger Burger (2:52:37 PM): good design
big baby miguel (2:53:44 PM): Registrant:WATERHOUSE, MICHAEL DRINKTANK 62 LAIGHT ST. NEW YORK, NY 10013 US
big baby miguel (2:54:10 PM): (212) ###-####
big baby miguel (2:54:44 PM): http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=62+Laight+St,+New+York,+NY+10013
big baby miguel (2:54:55 PM): we could go to his house and ask him for it
Danger Burger (2:59:17 PM): hey do you want to send him an email
Danger Burger (2:59:39 PM): I would write it up but I think you are better at these sort of things
Danger Burger (3:00:41 PM): or we could be drinktank.us
Danger Burger (3:01:03 PM): http://drinktank.us/
Danger Burger (3:01:07 PM): 404
big baby miguel (3:01:07 PM): um, not today; make a post where we'll discuss tactics for asking for it

Amazon.com Associates Central

I'm going to try this out. In future posts related to things you can buy, you'll see little links to buy them from Amazon. I get a small cut.

Y'all can do the same, but I'm not sure how it works if you give Drink Tank as your site, as I just did. I'll let you know.

Lulu.com - Self Publishing - Free

The CafePress of books, except you get more money.

Taxation without representation

Also, prohibition.

Geek to Live - Lifehacker

Special: Geek to Live - Lifehacker: "If you’re a Firefox user who eschews the mouse, then keyword Quick searches are for you. Give it a try: in Firefox, key up to the location bar (Windows: Alt-D, Mac: Cmd-L), type dict eschew and hit Enter. You’ll be automagically transported to the Dictionary.com definition of “eschew” (to avoid, shun). That’s a Quick search in action."

The iPod

The NEW iPod, that is. Thin (less than 1/2-inch), wider screen (320x240), 20GB, video capable, with TV outs. This means you can keep your favorite episode of southpark ('trapperkeeper' natch) with you at all times, and watch it on a tiny screen, or on a big TV if you have cables.

I've been looking forward to something like this. Is there a 20GB attachment to a PSP that could be just as good?

Sorry, Oded

eBay: No stun guns for New Yorkers

3D graphics for Java mobile devices, Part 1

Sigh...

I loved Java. Without control of memory, it's pretty useless for real-time computer vision. Maybe I should try C# or OCAML.

Serenity

Wow. Finally saw this last night. It was great. I love it. Go see it. It's fun, it's libertarian, it has lots of action and good fight scenes, it's characters are engaging and entertaining.

10.11.2005

Pre-emptive Kowtow To My Future Overlords

"Bush Tax Panel Considers Limiting 2 Popular Deductions"

"With a mandate to develop an overall proposal for changing the tax system that is revenue neutral - meaning it neither raises nor lowers total tax receipts - the commission must find enough revenue to offset the amount now generated by the alternative minimum tax."

Ridiculous! Read Forbe's flat tax book. All these estimates are static, meaning they don't account for any possible changes in bahavior in response to the tax.

Yah know why that's ridiculous?! I'll tell you why: almost all tax rules are designed to change behavior:
-Mortage Interest Deduction
-Home office expence deduction
-Child tax credit
-Earned income tax credit
-Social Security tax
-Inheritance tax
-Graduated income tax
-So much of the rest of the millions of words in the tax code.

"JetBlue takes on rivals for Boston-NY route"

"JetBlue will offer introductory fares of $25 each way on what will be up to 10 flights between the cities, with fares later settling at between $40 and $120 each way, undercutting the established shuttle."

Wooo-WOOOO

"Bone of Hobbit-like species uncovered"

Pressing questions unanswered: will a 13 ft. python burst upon ingesting such a hobbit-like human?

Fuck the Smurfs

The better to track hoaxes with

Thanks Google

Karl Rove gots a big ol Mouth

"Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have said they might call Dobson to testify at Miers' upcoming confirmation hearings because of his statements implying he has confidential information about the nominee.

Last week, Dobson told listeners to his Christian-oriented radio program: 'When you know some of the things I know - that I probably shouldn't know - that take me in this direction, you'll know why I've said with fear and trepidation (that) I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice.'

Dobson said he spoke to President Bush's lead political adviser, Karl Rove, before the Miers nomination, although he has not said what they discussed."

FuturePundit: Brain Enhancement Archives

Wow, this is good stuff. For example, "Scientists Demonstrate Best Way To Use Caffeine" and "Conservation With Colder Winter Offices Does Not Pay"

Return of the King

Also go see a history of violence. Super good.

CA highschool to promote getting high

Man Tries Robbing Train With Bow And Arrow...

...and is not very successful, but he does get points for style:
A locomotive crew headed west on a freight train late Sunday was stopped at a railroad signal when they received an unexpected visitor.

The man - a cross between someone out of the Great Train Robbery and Robin Hood - pointed a crude homemade bow and arrow at the crew and ordered them off the train, police said.
I like the losanjealous commentary on the story too.

More from the tall JPEG dept.

Immigration Still Good :-D

Logarithmic Maps of the Universe

By The Way, They're Real And They're Spectacular

In totally unrelated news, I noticed we had at least 3 times higher than normal hits Monday. I want to warmly thank our avid Drink Tank reader(s) for efficient use of the F5 key.

10.10.2005

Hello Mütter, Hello Faddah

See Serentiy

Or else they might not make a sequel.

DO IT!

Python Hat Trick?

Just An Idea

After seeing this I realized I really want to see either:
a) A blog that posts weekly news stories relating to wacky gastronomical anecdotes of Burmese Pythons in Florida.
b) A blog written by a Python detailing his/her wacky gastronomical anecdotes and stories about, like, gambling as a Python, touring ground zero as a Python, etc.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

I just finished this. It was good. The newer zombie movies have better effects, but that's ok.

I wanted to ask the DrinkTank community what they feel the chances for survival are in a zombie attack. It seems to me there are way too many bullets in gun stores and military warehouses to forgo the option of manually killing every zombie. But, if the spread is too fast, those stores can't be used. But, even in a fast spread, the people in those areas are probably already the most prepared people, and most likely to make it beyond the confusion stage.

We can probably all agree it would go something like this:
Outbreak
Confusion
Institutional Collapse
Local Safety
Zombie Hunting/Everyone Dies

Advanced movies like 'Land of the Dead' are in an equilibrium in the final state. '28 Days' is a bit different because there is a quarantine. If it holds, the zombies have no chance.

I've been playing this game. I highly recommend it. If requested in the comments, I'll post a personal strategy guide.

I wonder if there is a mod you can put on top of Everquest or Even SecondLife that would let you simulate a zombie outbreak. I would love to see a more realistic simulation.

Island Paradise

ATTENTION!! Now seems the perfect time to take advantage of this to claim real estate for Ivanistan, Miguelistan, Odedistan, etc.
Hurry up, though, or the Canadians and Danes will beat you to it.

Ridiculously Funny

Ridiculous, funny or just stupid. You be the judge. Rudepundit ladies and gentlemen.

COP HAT TRICK?

MOTHER FUCK the PO PO


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Three New Orleans police officers are facing battery charges after investigators reviewed a videotape showing two patrolmen repeatedly punching a 64-year-old man accused of public intoxication and a third officer grabbing and shoving an Associated Press Television News producer who helped capture the confrontation on tape.

BBC Muses About Ugly Food. Drink Tank Wonders: Are We Poised For A BBC Hat-trick?

BBC Notes Cocaine's Addictive Quality, Popularity

From The "Just In Case You Needed Another Reason To Hate Robert Byrd" Department

Okay, I have to admit that after I read this, it got me wondering if I like any senators. I don't think so. We could have a Drink Tank rollcall of the senators that we like. I'll think about it.

Voice of the Caliphate

In Gaza, Jews on the run—see how they squeal. Along the Gulf Coast of the Great Satan, a spectacular storm destroys the City of Homosexuals, New Orleans, and, in infidel-occupied Iraq, a car bomber drives into a supermarket, creating a fireball in the meat section, destroying the entire inventory of pork products. But there was also bad news today: A startling report on new infrared U.S. helicopter capabilities that may affect the way you commute.

[More at newyorker.com]

Get Ready

..for the next generation of X-Prizes. Bigger, higher, faster. It's a very exciting time.

In jointly moving forward on the new prizes, Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the X Prize Foundation said: "It'’s our goal that these and other prizes create each year here in New Mexico a multi-million dollar cash purse, …that will attract teams from around the world and move us faster, higher, and more safely into space."

Also joining in on today's announcement was Astronaut Steve Robinson who flew aboard Discovery on the recent return-to-flight mission.

"There'’s excitement in the air," Robinson said. "All these folks with so many ideas, …this is way the future is," he said.

The next challenge:
  • Suborbital Payload Challenge
  • : Reusable suborbital rocket launch with a certain size payload able to reach a certain altitude. The X prize was to 100 kilometers but NASA wants these new suborbital rockets to go much higher. If they can reach certain altitudes scientists at NASA would be interested in flying instruments and experiments on these vehicles.
  • Suborbital Lunar Landing Analog Challenge
  • : NASA'’s on the lookout for a reusable suborbital rocket that takes off and lands vertically and reaches a certain speed during flight. Those parameters would demonstrate the basic capabilities and rocket energies necessary to land and launch from the Moon. NASA hopes to broaden the number of engines, landing systems, and suppliers the space agency needs to return to the Moon.
Good luck people!

10.09.2005

YES!

A conservative rebellion?

Makes you think. If the conservative establishment picks the Meirs nomination as the reason to leave the GOP...weren't other things worse? I'm just trying to see how people are principled all of a sudden. Maybe it's more complicated.

10.08.2005

Snake bursts after gobbling gator

UPDATE.
I just wanted to remind everyone that A FREAKIN' PYTHON EXPLODED THE OTHER DAY IN AN EPIC CLASH WITH A GATOR THAT WAS DESPERATELY CLAWING TO FREE ITSELF FROM ITS BELLY.

An under-reported detail of the event was that the python's HEAD was missing. I can only assume a second alligator swam along, noticed the demise of his brethren in the epic duel, and enacted a primitive reptilian revenge by biting off his dead enemy's head. It's like pissing on a grave, or salting the earth---reptile style.

The best headline I saw for this story was simply Python Swallows Alligator, Bursts.

--Josko



I can imagine the cop on the scene. "Alright, Alright, Nuthin' to s-- HOLY SHIT THAT HUGE PYTHON DIED TRYING TO EAT THAT MASSIVE ALLIGATOR! Everyone! Look at this!"

original posted by Ivan @ 8:09 AM Oct 6, 2005

Hair Of The Week

Love it.

10.07.2005

File under: The Real Looting Begins

The House of Representatives today chose to Katrina-relief oilmen and their shareholders with subsidies and giveaways. When the 5 minute vote resulted in a "nay" vote, our elected representitives went calvinball, and the speaker made everyone stay for an extra 45 minutes until two Republicans could be convinced to switch votes.

All the while with representatives objecting and CSPAN showing 212-210 Nay and no time remaining. Amazing video.

Command economies respond to US challenge

Last week Ivan brought us news of MIT's $100 laptop. Communist China and socialist Venezuela answer thusly.

When the US government scared China off of buying into our oil sector in July we had a discussion about when exactly it's nice for commies to engage in the business world. It didn't go to far, but I'd say that if it was a business and not MIT trying to compete with two rich red countries, they might feel that it was impossible to make money, since Venezuela and China can choose to over-allocate resources to the project.

I,K-bot: More robotic education

Featuring the worst "doing the robot" dance moves ever seen in a human. Poor show, Javier! ... nice robots though.

Pompous New York Times Op-Ed Writer Boils Down Croatia's Problems To A Bout Between A Man And An Octopus

Exactly One Billion Mazes to Solve

Got some time to kill. It takes 30 years to count to a billion.

1st Ave Machine

Some good robot videos. Not enough dancing. I'm sure you'll find the background familiar.

Gold

Why is time travel so good? Certainly far better than a Guiness.

Hezbollah

Totten is interesting.

10.06.2005

Funny LA Stereotypes in the NY Times

This years LA Weekly Best of LA features a listing of kooky Los Angeles stereotypes proffered by the New York Times:
Few are things more amusing than the pouty generalizations about Los Angeles written by East Coast ironists — or, worse (that is, better), by a local desperately currying favor with a New York editor. From their keyboards spring a reassuringly familiar town that never wakes, an L.A. obsessed with cars and cosmetic surgery and that hates films with subtitles
Other than this, there are some great articles about LA in this issue, divided into the categories of: Memory, Terrain, Mirrors, Destinations and Encounters.

elfollador's Xanga Site

we need a song like this...

Smackdown

I'm IMing

Oded: drink shivers?
Oded: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harry-shearer/whats-he-doin_b_8421.html
Miguel: coke jaw
Oded: will you post it I cant where im sitting
Miguel: prescription speed, i'd guess

PSA

Dear Drink Tank users:

Firefox and Opera are free.

Floater

Interesting disaster preparedness idea. Is the right question How many can we build for $200,000,000,000? or Were they high when they thought of this?

Download This

At Burningman I attended a morning party comprised of a bus out in the middle of the playa (dry lake bed) with a big sound system and some 50 hot Israelis and Germans busting moves. A Williamsburg-based group day-jobbing as a Kosher restaurant (Wolf+Lamb) happened to be throwing it, and this link goes to the four-part set we heard (well, we heard part of it, at least). There's some very good minimal house here.

My posse and I are gonna try to hit a party these people are throwing this Saturday in Williamsburg. I will wear my dance shoes.

Ethics and IQ, Bryan Caplan

Think of it this way: Why does IQ research make leftists so angry? Well, the strongest argument for redistributing Olympic medals is that the winners cheated, and aren't really better athletes than the losers. Similarly, the strongest argument for redistributing wealth is that the winners cheated, and aren't really more economically productive than the losers. It isn't impossible to defend redistribution after you admit that people are rich because they are smart. But it is a lot harder.
Read all of it, including the past post and reply.

Popular Mechanics - Blog

pretty interesting.

10.05.2005

Second Life: Your World. Your Imagination.

very interesting. (hattip: the wife)

Sound Advice For Yall With Technical Jobby Jobs

I think this one got slasdotted, but whatever, here it is again for those who missed it. From experience, I can say that the advice here is pretty sound and I could not have said it better myself. Or I could - if I wasn't busy refactoring this spaghetti code...

Moby Squid

...cos I won't stop 'till I get enough.

I've dreamed of the moment when this elusive beast would be found. I promised myself that when someone achieved this seemingly impossible feat, that I'd sit down, uncork a bottle of wine and draw deeply on a cigarette, relaxing as Neil Diamond's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" album played in the background.

And so last week, I got the opportunity to play out my dream. I sat there, quietly, calmly, hand alternating between cigarette and elixir, and let a decade of tension melt away.

You see, the giant squid has been my obsession for more than 10 years - ever since a fisherman phoned me up and asked if I wanted a dead one he had found. I often wonder where I would be today if I had said no...

Patata Chef Introduction

"The fully AUTOMATIC FRENCH-FRIES VENDING MACHINE provides, in a record time, a delicious portion of hot crunchy and golden fries."

Oman concludes free trade agreement with USA

These kinds of stream-lined bilateral free trade agreements are the best free market action Bush as ever taken. The use of HSA is another, if only to counter-balance the warping of corporate health spending tax deductions.

With Lenin's Ideas Dead, Russia Considers What To Do With Body

For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.

Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?

Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union's founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man.

"Our country has been shaken by strife, but only a few people were held accountable for that in our lifetime," said the aide, Georgi Poltavchenko. "I do not think it is fair that those who initiated the strife remain in the center of our state near the Kremlin."

Can't We Give Stevie Just ONE Peak!? Just A Peak!

10.04.2005

Kal-el

Good name for a dog...

The Presidential-Medal-of-Freedom theory of Harriet Miers

This photo is on every website in the universe.

Incompetent leaders sadly run the risk of being subject to blackmail.

Gold X

Oded, you wanted to know if I had any heros? Steve-O, Oded, Steve-O.

Hero Despairs

From The Department Of Long But Necessary Posts

London, October 3 (FPB) -
Hilda Foley, spokesperson of the National Federation of American Croats (an umbrella association linking major Croatian American organisations and many individuals), sent a letter to British MP and former minister for Europe Denis McShane, responding to his article published in the Financial Times last Friday, in which Denis McShane cautions the EU not to open negotiations with Croatia before General Gotovina is apprehended and transferred to The Hague.

In her letter to McShane Foley writes:
"One has to read with shock and total amazement your commentary of 9/30 in the Financial Times 'European Union must square up to Croatia on charges against Gotovina'. Are you really so ill-informed about Croatia's General Gotovina's role in the liberation of rebel Serb occupied Croatian territory in the so-called Krajina, or is it your typical British Government's affinity for the Serb cause, no matter how illegal and barbaric?

"The sheer idea of General Gotovina being accused of "command responsibility" even though he never gave any commands for deliberate destruction or the killing of some 150 Serb civilians (it does not seem to cross anyone's mind that some of these Serb civilians gave armed resistance) should then also be applied to British and American generals when their troops act against Geneva conventions.

"Indeed, General Gotovina angrily addressed his subordinates upon hearing of some occurrences of killings and there were several trials of the guilty ones. While Croatia extradited all but this one fugitive, who is not in Croatia, Serbs still hide Bosnia's leader Karadzic and General Mladic, who directly ordered the killing of thousands of people first in Croatia and then in Bosnia. It is outrageous that a comparison with Gotovina could even be made. It should also be remembered that these ethnic Serbs occupied with the help of Serb paramilitary and the Yugoslav army one third of Croatia, where they ethnically cleansed the entire Croat population, looting and destroying their homes and properties and committing untold atrocities. Mass graves in Croatia testify to this barbarism.

"To charge Gotovina of "ethnic cleansing" is ludicrous, as was made quite clear during the ICTY trial of Milosevic that the Serb population of the Krajina, some 150-200 thousand, were ordered to evacuate by their own leadership, Serb General Mrksic and "president" Martic. They confirmed this in an interview published in the Belgrade newspaper "Politika" on Aug. 25. 1995. It is not surprising that General Gotovina refuses to give himself up, because he knows he is falsely accused and seeing how the Bosnian Croat General Blaskic, falsely accused, was given a 45 year sentence and after serving nine years was just recently freed when the wrong conviction was overturned. Obviously there is rampant injustice and bias against Croatia in some very high places.

"Remarking that Tudjman and Milosevic policies caused the "Balkan war" you obviously follow the West's mantra of "equally guilty" without realizing the simple truth that all of the Yugoslav Republics had the constitutional right to secede and Serbia had no right to stop them. Croatia and Slovenia legitimately voted for democracy and independence from Serb domination after the first free democratic elections in 1990, while Serbia remained communist. Obviously this did not agree with Milosevic's and the nationalist Serbs' longtime dream of "Greater Serbia". In contrast, Croatians never stepped a foot on Serb soil."

10.03.2005

Iraqi constitution voted in weeks ahead of election

Wow, we've started fanning the flames of democracy so hot they're burning before the voting even happens. Sweet.

Republican presidents don't like to go to church either

This is a follow up from a verbal assertion, made to Ivan, Josko, and Oded over a hookah - that GW Bush and Reagan only ever attend/attended church sporadically and to appeal to their voters.

This article about Bush appeared in The New Republic (a magazine owned by Democrats who voted Bush in 2004). It asserts that he attends no church and hasn't been rebutted to my knowledge.

Even the lunatics at opinionjurnal.com feel they need to mention that "Reagan did not attend church regularly when he occupied the White House" in an otherwise ludicrous article about how the Cold War was essentially spiritual. The stated reason is that it was too much of a hassle.

Keep'em commin...

"AUSTIN, Texas -- A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader."


Messed With Texas ;)

The Singularity Is Near

The Wall Street Journal has a (publicly accessible) review of "The Singularity is Near" -- a new book by futurist, Ray Kurzweil. By "Singularity", Kurzweil refers not to a collapsed supernova, but instead to an extraordinarily bright future in which technological progress has leapt by such exponentially large bounds that it will be... well, for lack of a better word: 'utopian'. "Mr. Kurzweil... thinking exponentially, imagines a plausible future, not so far away, with extended life-spans (living to 300 will not be unusual), vastly more powerful computers (imagine more computing power in a head-sized device than exists in all the human brains alive today), other miraculous machines (nanotechnology assemblers that can make most anything out of sunlight and dirt) and, thanks to these technologies, enormous increases in wealth (the average person will be capable of feats, like traveling in space, only available to nation-states today).

*$£Ω%@ !!!

"Bush has nominated his own personal lawyer, Harriet Miers, as the replacement for Sandra O'Connor. Here we have an administration beset by charges of cronyism, and in response, Bush nominates a member of his inner circle to a lifetime appointment on the country's highest court. Smoooooth!"

The director of The 40 Year Old Virgin has an insightful blog

From last Tuesday:
Tomorrow we are shooting, so at least I get to sit in my producer's chair all day and tell everyone what they are doing wrong while I eat a vegetable burrito and read the New York Times and complain about Bush. Hey, have you heard, he likes to hire his unqualified friends for important posts?

All about the $100 laptop

"Random" Article of the Day

I was JUST pondering this very problem today. I need to write a random LETTER generator (for English), and it is not as simple as it sounds. Luckily, there is no need to wade through English letter frequency distribution tables because the folks at Hasbro have already graced the world with the fruit of their R&D lab's tireless effort. But, as this article illustrates, you can see what happens when you pit a retired geologist against electronic travel Scrabble(tm).

First person to post a comment with the fastest (and least memory consuming) way of generating a random letter in C according to official Scrabble distribution wins some hard-earned Drink Tank street cred.

Now, if we really want it to be random, it might get a bit more complicated. Google turned up a straightforward explanation of the problem with PRNGs, or pseudo-random number generators, which are used in every operating system on the planet. For our random letter generator we need to break out the big (random) guns. Go Wolfram!

10.02.2005

Seriously weird

File under: New York Times credibility issue

The waiver allowing Judith Miller to testify:

...You will have stories to cover – Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work – and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

With admiration, Scooter Libby.


It would be cool if someone who knew what information is encoded in the "turning in clusters" talk would explain it, but I would guess that all people who truly understand that passage (maybe only Libby & Miller, but maybe some more) also want its meaning to remain mysterious or ignored.

Great sense of humor, by the way, urging Miller to report on Iran's weapons - her reporting skills are really outstanding whe she's working on Axis of Evil WMD stories.

Poll

Americans reject the notion of an all-powerful creator.