Thursday, January 31, 2002

GMChumpsSezChumba

Heard this on the radio yesterday, and Stanley found the story for me: Guardian Unlimited Observer | UK News | Anarchists sell tune to US car giant. Of course, the puny bit - relative to the money GM spends on marketing - CorpWatch got out of the deal amounts to maybe one dog pissing in the ocean. Could it be they're counting on the Butterfly Effect? But ya never know ...
posted by lee on 01/31/02 at 09:06 PM

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and in the darkness bind them

Via Alex Knapp at Heretical Ideas:

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows XP on my PC. I told him how happy I was with this operating system and showed him the Windows XP CD. To my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned it on. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is unharmed.'

After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: 'Take a close look at it.' To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription, an inscription finer than anything I had ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:


12413AEB2ED4FA5E6F7D78E78BEDE820945092OF923A40EElOE5 I OCC98D444AA08EI324


'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said in a timid voice.


'No, but I can,' he said. 'The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:


One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them


It is only two lines from a verse long known in System-lore:


"Three OS's from corporate-kings in their towers of glass,
Seven from valley-lords where orchards used to grow,
Nine from dotcoms doomed to die,
One from the Dark Lord Gates on his dark throne
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie.
One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie."'
posted by lee on 01/31/02 at 12:59 PM

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Fido Forever?

But taxidermists think freeze-drying Puff downgrades their professional standards ... At a handful of taxidermy shops, man's best friend and other pets are frozen in time.

Hmm, maybe we could freeze-dry Granny too ...
posted by lee on 01/31/02 at 10:31 AM

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Conventions & Web design

Via today's webword, an article definitely worth reading: Attack of the killer conventions by David Walker.

Which leads to Web Design Patterns by Martijn van Welie.

Then read Examining User Expectations of the Location of Web Objects by Michael L. Bernard.

A lot to digest. But interesting.
posted by lee on 01/31/02 at 08:41 AM

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Webgraphics

Wow ... webgraphics: a daily compilation of hypertext design resources, links, commentary and notes.
posted by lee on 01/30/02 at 09:12 AM

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Very cool resource - very cool

Form elements tutorial from Ross Shannon. I learned a couple of new things today - stuff I can use right now. Forms Accessibility | guiding users using TABINDEX, FIELDSET, LEGEND, ACCESSKEY and LABEL || HTMLSource ]. Go to the home page for more - this is a GREAT resource!

Thanks to ia for posting this today.
posted by lee on 01/30/02 at 08:57 AM

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Pell on John Walker & Shrub’s Speech

Interesting rant from

NextDraft
--> by Dave Pell + 1.28.02 + Monday (an email, um, newsletter?)

Walker This Way

My scientific, math, deductive and statistical
skills hit a high point in preschool. We were
required to perform a project in which we
had two bowls - one filled with water and one
empty - and a large sponge. The challenge was
to use the sponge to transfer the water
from bowl to bowl. That was the only non-Humanities
academic moment of my entire education not
associated with a current nightmare.

But I managed to pick up enough data along the
way to realize that a lone, troubled kid leaving
his neighborhood and ending up as a member of
one of the worst regimes in modern history
really proves no theory beyond that individual
case. Unlike the sponge project described above,
it is not a repeatable act. In fact, the best
of our knowledge, John Walker is the only guy
from Marin County who has ever been accused of
training at an a Al Qaeda terrorist camp.

The fact that Walker is an isolated case (and
an individual much better suited for psychological
treatment than political or cultural debates) would
seem obvious enough to make it clear (even to the
many among today's preschoolers) that there is
no broader lesson or moral here.

But it's not clear if you have a political axe
to grind or if you are almost pre-wired to attempt
to score some kind of cultural points no matter
how childish that attempt might make you look.

Last week, (smart, young, successful, well-spoken
and almost always wrong) National Review editor
Rich Lowry said of Walker: "No jury is going to send
this guy to death because they're going to look
at him and see partly a moral cretin and partly just
a waif who was never told what was right and wrong
over in liberal Marin County." (It is interesting,
while not at all surprising, to note that Lowry
mispronounced the word Marin indicating - well
you probably know what it indicates). Having grown
up in Marin (contrary to popular opinion, my
adolescence was in a period when peacock feathers
were totally out, hot tubs were fading and the
rock group Journey was on the ropes), I thought I
would test Lowry's implication that Marin's liberalism
was somehow at the root of Walker's record-setting
number of wrong turns and bad decisions. I waited
for several hours at the county's main bus station,
checked all the schedules, and yet, was unable
to hitch a ride to Kandahar. Why? Because one
guy slipping off the deep-end by way of Yemen does
not a trend make.

Even the elder George Bush has been getting in
on the act of complaining about the Marin liberal/
terrorist feeding system. Bush even went so
far as to decry those evil hot tubs (a job for
the Navy Seals perhaps?). Of course, we all know
that Marin is a far cry from the blue collar,
mean streets of Kennebunkport, Maine.

We know why Bush(I) Republicans hate Marin County.
It is (by perception, in reality, much of it
ain't that liberal) a thorn in the side of the
theory that if people had enough dough, they'd
be smart enough to vote Republican. Marin is
extremely wealthy and still quite liberal making
it a target waiting to be hit - a flaw in the
"us wealthy people know better" philosophy.

But targeted over John Walker? Please. There is
just nothing political about the case of one
kid gone astray. When you find fifty Marin
Taliban members, let me know. Even if you
can find fifty Marinites who don't think
Walker should do hard time, you'd certainly
get my attention.

But in this era (before and after Sept. 11), the
political eye-pokes never stop and the deeper
issues come later or never. Want to ask yourself
some really hard questions about John Walker?
Try this one. Why is he such a massive story
right now? So massive that he is the topic
of Justice Department press conferences, presidential
statements and much political debate? Yes, it
is the ultimate man bites dog case and yes we
all have reason to be both angry at and confounded
by the behavior of this guy. And yes, it is one
of the few stories in this saga that doesn't require
subtitles (although the phony accent is pushing the
limit even there). But when compared to our overall
goals in this effort, does John Walker really matter
all that much (to those other than the Bill Bennett
moralists for whom he serves as some much needed
WD-40 to get their high-brow hogwash flowing freely
after months of being marginalized because we
had more important fingers to point)? Could it be
that the spoon-feeding of this story is really just
a great way to change the subject away from the fact
that we actually haven't yet nabbed too many of the folks
we set out to get? Maybe, maybe not, but it's probably
worth discussing over a bag of granola sometime.

You too can subscribe to NextDraft ...

My take: John Walker makes a piss-poor substitute for Osama bin Laden. He's clearly nuts, and should be headed for a loony bin for some evaluation and treatment rather than Leavenworth. The stooges in the gubmint are setting up the case against him based on what HE says he did, who HE says he spoke with. Yeah, right, like hey, I had a chat with Osama, too, last time I was hallucinating. Puhleeeaase.

Listened to the commentary by Cokie and some professor on The Speech. Did we watch the same speech? I guess I shouldn't be surprised Cokie Roberts is such an ass-licker - no hard-hitting, investigative journalist she. Where are the real journalists? You know, the ones like Woodward and Bernstein, fearless, not needing an approval rating to do their job, telling the truth that people might not want to hear but need to hear ...
posted by lee on 01/30/02 at 06:40 AM

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Tuesday, January 29, 2002

so balmy it is just balmy

At 2:00ish p.m. just outside of New Haven, Connecticut, it is 66 degrees. SIXTY-SIX DEGREES!! In Norwalk, just 40.4 miles west, it is 67.8 degrees! And I'm stuck INSIDE! If I'd known it was going to be this warm, I would've taken the day off, planted those tulips I didn't get in the ground in November.

What's going on with this weather? I'd love it more if I didn't worry about the consequences - I'm sure there's gotta be consequences and, if there are no obvious ones, I'm sure some expert ninny will figure one out ...
posted by lee on 01/29/02 at 11:11 AM

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so balmy it is just balmy

At 2:00ish p.m. just outside of New Haven, Connecticut, it is 66 degrees. SIXTY-SIX DEGREES!! In Norwalk, just 40.4 miles west, it is 67.8 degrees! And I'm stuck INSIDE! If I'd known it was going to be this warm, I would've taken the day off, planted those tulips I didn't get in the ground in November.

What's going on with this weather? I'd love it more if I didn't worry about the consequences - I'm sure there's gotta be consequences and, if there are no obvious ones, I'm sure some expert ninny will figure one out ...
posted by lee on 01/29/02 at 11:10 AM

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How’s this for a fixer-upper?

Murder House / How a house with "history" became a dream come true.

And we think WE have a lot of work to do ...
posted by lee on 01/29/02 at 10:12 AM

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