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neurotwitch

Monday, April 22, 2002

Where’s the Boeing 2

Stanley at Puppet Press Journal said the boeing stuff has already been explained - that this is old hat. He said he thought it was done on Metafilter, but, as is typical, I can't get on to MeFi when I really want to.

Google linked to the thread on kuro5shin, but there was no satisfactory explanation - just a lot of patronizing hot air.

MSNBC ran an article with a series of five photos taken from a Pentagon camera. The article says it shows the plane hitting the ground and then the building and erupting into a fireball. But I'm not sure I can see the plane.

Stanley says they recovered the black boxes from the plane. I don't find this convincing. All I want is to see or read is something that convinces me that the plane did hit the Pentagon. You know, like forensic-type evidence. The prosecution's case, as it were.
posted by lee on 04/22/02 at 11:40 AM

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where’s the boeing?

I'm not sure what I think about this yet - in this day and age of digital manipulation, it's pretty hard to know what's real and what's been screwed-around with - but it sure is interesting. I think all of the images are sourced, so it really wouldn't be that hard to track down the originals for a better look. I would really like to see the counterpoint to this. Pentagon : Hunt the Boeing! And test your perceptions!
posted by lee on 04/22/02 at 10:54 AM

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Sunday, April 21, 2002

President Carter’s Take on the Palestine/Israel horror

Two things struck me as I read this article. The first is that the United States is sending $10 million in aid PER DAY to Israel. And the second is that the current administration is doing nothing to enforce the legal requirement that weapons we provide to Israel not be used for aggression.

Why are we giving Israel $3.5 BILLION-plus in aid per year? How much aid are we giving to the Palestinian Authority? Why are we allies of Israel to begin with? What do they provide for us in that region besides problems, instability, reasons for terrorist attacks on US citizens, additions to our legacy of hypocrisy, and complicity in human rights violations and murder? What is this aid buying the United States? In the United States, who benefits from our aid to Israel? What would happen if we ended our aid to Israel right now? And why aren't our nation's leaders demanding that we do?

Here is President Carter's column in its entirety:
New York Times
April 21, 2002
America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace
By JIMMY CARTER
ATLANTA In January 1996, with full support from Israel and responding to the invitation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Carter Center helped to monitor a democratic election in the West Bank and Gaza, which was well organized, open and fair. In that election, 88 members were elected to the Palestinian National Authority, with Yasir Arafat as president. Legally and practically, the Palestinian people were encouraged to form their own government, with the expectation that they would soon have full sovereignty as a state.

When the election was over, I made a strong effort to persuade the leaders of Hamas to accept the election results, with Mr. Arafat as their leader. I relayed a message offering them full participation in the process of developing a permanent constitutional framework for the new political entity, but they refused to accept this proposal. Despite this rejection, it was a time of peace and hope, and there was no threat of violence or even peaceful demonstrations. The legal status of the Palestinian people has not changed since then, but their plight has grown desperate.

Ariel Sharon is a strong and forceful man and has never equivocated in his public declarations nor deviated from his ultimate purpose. His rejection of all peace agreements that included Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands, his invasion of Lebanon, his provocative visit to the Temple Mount, the destruction of villages and homes, the arrests of thousands of Palestinians and his open defiance of President George W. Bush's demand that he comply with international law have all been orchestrated to accomplish his ultimate goals: to establish Israeli settlements as widely as possible throughout occupied territories and to deny Palestinians a cohesive political existence.

There is adequate blame on the other side. Even when he was free and enjoying the full trappings of political power, Yasir Arafat never exerted control over Hamas and other radical Palestinians who reject the concept of a peaceful Israeli existence and adopt any means to accomplish their goal. Mr. Arafat's all-too-rare denunciations of violence have been spasmodic, often expressed only in English and likely insincere. He may well see the suicide attacks as one of the few ways to retaliate against his tormentors, to dramatize the suffering of his people, or as a means for him, vicariously, to be a martyr.

Tragically, the policies of Mr. Sharon have greatly strengthened these criminal elements, enhanced their popular support, and encouraged misguided young men and women to sacrifice their own lives in attacking innocent Israeli citizens. The abhorrent suicide bombings are also counterproductive in that they discredit the Palestinian cause, help perpetuate the military occupation and destruction of villages, and obstruct efforts toward peace and justice.

The situation is not hopeless. There is an ultimate avenue to peace in the implementation of United Nations resolutions, including Resolution 242, expressed most recently in the highly publicized proposal of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. The basic premises of these resolutions are withdrawal of Israelis from Palestinian lands in exchange for full acceptance of Israel and Israel's right to live in peace. This is a reasonable solution for many Israelis, having been accepted in 1978 by Prime Minister Menachem Begin and ratified by the Israeli Knesset. Egypt, offering the greatest threat to Israel, responded by establishing full diplomatic relations and honoring Israeli rights, including unimpeded use of the Suez canal. This set a pattern for what can and must be done by all other Arab nations. Through constructive negotiations, both sides can consider some modifications of the 1967 boundary lines.

East Jerusalem can be jointly administered with unimpeded access to holy places, and the right of return can be addressed by permitting a limited number of displaced Palestinians to return to their homeland with fair compensation to others. It will be a good investment for the international community to pay this cost.

With the ready and potentially unanimous backing of the international community, the United States government can bring about such a solution to the existing imbroglio. Demands on both sides should be so patently fair and balanced that at least a majority of citizens in the affected area will respond with approval, and an international force can monitor compliance with agreed peace terms, as was approved for the Sinai region in 1979 following Israel's withdrawal from Egyptian territory.

There are two existing factors that offer success to United States persuasion. One is the legal requirement that American weapons are to be used by Israel only for defensive purposes, a premise certainly being violated in the recent destruction of Jenin and other villages. Richard Nixon imposed this requirement to stop Ariel Sharon and Israel's military advance into Egypt in the 1973 war, and I used the same demand to deter Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1979. (A full invasion was launched by Ariel Sharon after I left office). The other persuasive factor is approximately $10 million daily in American aid to Israel. President George Bush Sr. threatened this assistance in 1992 to prevent the building of Israeli settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

I understand the extreme political sensitivity in America of using persuasion on the Israelis, but it is important to remember that none of the actions toward peace would involve an encroachment on the sovereign territory of Israel. They all involve lands of the Egyptians, Lebanese and Palestinians, as recognized by international law.

The existing situation is tragic and likely to get worse. Normal diplomatic efforts have failed. It is time for the United States, as the sole recognized intermediary, to consider more forceful action for peace. The rest of the world will welcome this leadership.

Jimmy Carter, the former president, is chairman of the Carter Center, which works worldwide to advance peace and human health.
###
posted by lee on 04/21/02 at 12:14 PM

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Saturday, April 20, 2002

A CAT’S GUIDE TO HUMAN BEINGS

Found this at Dr. Dan's (Dan Wasmund, a vet near Marietta, Ohio) website while looking up how to get rid of ear mites (ain't this Internet thingie wonderful? Can find the info I need just any old time of the day or night ... without paying $50 for the vet to tell me the exact same thing I can read.)

1. Introduction: Why Do We Need Humans?
So you've decided to get yourself a human being. In doing so, you've joined the millions of other cats who have acquired these strange and frustrating creatures. There will be any number of times, during the course of your association with humans, when you will wonder why you have bothered to grace them with your presence.

What's so great about humans, anyway? Why not just hang around with other cats? Our greatest philosophers have struggled with this question for centuries, but the answer is actually rather simple: THEY HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS.

This makes them the perfect tools for such tasks as opening doors, getting the lids off of cat food cans, changing television stations and other activities that we, despite our other obvious advantages, find difficult to do ourselves. True, chimps, orangutans and lemurs also have opposable thumbs, but they are nowhere as easy to train.

2. How And When to Get Your Human's Attention:
Humans often erroneously assume that there are other, more important activities than taking care of your immediate needs, such as conducting business, spending time with their families or even sleeping. Though this is dreadfully inconvenient, you can make this work to your advantage by pestering your human at the moment it is the busiest. It is usually so flustered that it will do whatever you want it to do, just to get you out of its hair. Not coincidentally, human teenagers follow this same practice. Here are some tried and true methods of getting your human to do what you want:

Sitting on paper: An oldie but a goodie. If a human has paper in front of it, chances are good it's something they assume is more important than you. They will often offer you a snack to lure you away. Establish your supremacy over this wood pulp product at every opportunity. This practice also works well with computer keyboards, remote controls, car keys and small children.

Waking your human at odd hours: A cat's "golden time" is between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. If you paw at your human's sleeping face during this time, you have a better than even chance that it will get up and, in an incoherent haze, do exactly what you want. You may actually have to scratch deep sleepers to get their attention; remember to vary the scratch site to keep the human from getting suspicious.

3. Punishing Your Human Being:
Sometimes, despite your best training efforts, your human will stubbornly resist bending to your whim. In these extreme circumstances, you may have to punish your human. Obvious punishments, such as scratching furniture or eating household plants, are likely to backfire: the unsophisticated humans are likely to misinterpret the activities and then try to discipline YOU. Instead, we offer these subtle but nonetheless effective alternatives:

* Use the cat box during an important formal dinner.

* Stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic interlude.

* Stand over an important piece of electronic equipment and feign a hairball attack.

* After your human has watched a particularly disturbing horror film, stand by the hall closet and then slowly back away, hissing and yowling.

* While your human is sleeping, lie on its face.

4. Rewarding Your Human:
Should Your Gift Still Be Alive? The cat world is divided over the etiquette of presenting humans with the thoughtful gift of a recently disemboweled animal. Some believe that humans prefer these gifts already dead, while others maintain that humans enjoy a slowly expiring cricket or rodent just as much as we do, given their jumpy and playful movements in picking the creatures up after they've been presented. After much consideration of the human psyche, we recommend the following: Cold blooded animals (large insects, frogs, lizards, garden snakes and the occasional earthworm) should be presented dead, while warm blooded animals (birds,rodents, your neighbor's Pomeranian) are better still living. When you see the expression on your human's face, you'll know it's worth it.

5. How Long Should You Keep Your Human?
You are only obligated to your human for one of your lives. The other eight are up to you. We recommend mixing and matching, though in the end, most humans (at least the ones that are worth living with) are pretty much the same. But what do you expect? They're humans, after all. Opposable thumbs will only take you so far.

"Indeed."
cat.jpg
posted by lee on 04/20/02 at 02:41 PM

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rainy day views

It's one of those rainy, kinda lazy Saturdays. Though I have a lot to do, I don't feel like doing much. We went to get haircuts earlier, and stoped at Petco for animal food (and, of course, more toys for the beasties). Saw an astonishing parrot, big, very young (like a few months old) with gold and iridescent peacock blue and teal feathers. He is healthy, friendly, and $1500 - so I guess I won't even bother putting him on my wish list.

It's a gray day, on the chilly side but I like it this way after the temperature hitting the 90s this week - good grief. We need the rain and the wildflower seeds I planted need the rain.

I need to organize my desk and office yet again and I know I'll feel better when I do - it's just getting started that's the hard part. Sooner or later I'll put some cds on and start the spring cleaning stuff. Just not yet.

I do love spring. It's so pretty right now I don't even mind spending half my awake time in a benedryl-induced stupor. The dogwoods are especially pretty this year - and so was the magnolia, though it seemed to last only a couple of days this year. Maybe because there hasn't been enough rain.

This is the American dogwood in the back yard.

backyard.jpg

This is one view of the Japanese dogwood as seen from my window. It was even greener a couple of days ago - stunning this year. This tree is suffering from some blight all the Japanese dogwoods seem to have here in Fairfield County, Connecticut, but it doesn't look like it's going to die anytime soon.
theviewoutmywindow1.jpg

Another view of the dogwood from the window.
viewoutmywindow2.jpg

"I never did like dogwood."
idontlikedogwood.jpg
posted by lee on 04/20/02 at 02:07 PM

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Friday, April 19, 2002

Google’s secret technology revealed

Google Technology

Note to Google: don't sue me for revealing this - I got it from Mark Hurst at Good Experience.
posted by lee on 04/19/02 at 11:09 AM

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Thursday, April 18, 2002

If you trust VeriSign you need your head examined

During the past 24 hours, the domain server for infopulsellc.com (our company webserver) was changed from what it should be to an Interland nameserver (Interland now services the Cobalt RaQ that is our webserver. It used to be an Interliant box, but Interliant decided to sell its customers. Which we didn't find out about until long after it was fait accompli.)

This, apparently, was accomplished by the Great Genie Notus as Interland says they didn't do it and Network Solutions, er, VeriSign, is pleading ignorance.

Supposedly, this is not supposed to happen without explicit permission from the domain owner (that's us). Well, we sure didn't give permission for this. When WE try to make a change we practically have to send in a DNA sample -- or a driver's license at the very least. Your data is supposed to be safe and protected with all the hoops one has to jump through to make a change. What a lie.

The whole thing is allegedly under investigation by both Interland and Network Solutions. We have no hope of ever getting an answer about what happened. The current theory (from Interland) is that Network Solu ... we mean VeriSign ... was doing a batch update to a bunch of Interland domains using a script, and somehow the script messed up. (I guess they never heard of error checking.) We started the process of changing the domain server back to what it's supposed to be, but it takes a couple of days for the change to go in effect. Meanwhile, our website might as well not exist.

If we actually get any answers as to why and how this happened, from either company, we'll post the details here.

At any rate, we strongly advise all who have a domain registered at Network Solutions (or VeriSign, who owns it now) to switch to another registrar immediately. We're going to finish moving all of ours to DNS Central just as soon as we can (it costs $17 but it adds a year to your registration.)

VeriSign's tagline is "The Value of Trust." So why are they so untrustworthy? This kind of crap happens, along with domain name hijacking, and companies are supposed to spend their buckaroos for a silly little ugly VeriSign shield logo? Who are they trying to kid? It's getting so that when I see the VeriSign seal, I want to run.

As far as Interland goes, I'm not sure yet what it's like doing business with them. It's not really 24/7 tech support if the DNS people don't have a body or two on the help desk after 6:00, is it? Interliant tech support was pretty good the couple of times we needed it. I keep thinking about moving to Rackspace or maybe another rack farm, but the thought of transferring up to 200 websites to another box makes my blood run cold.
posted by lee on 04/18/02 at 08:33 PM

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Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Hyperlexia

It astounds me that there are still learning disabilities that I've never heard of (I've been paying attention to this, for one reason or another, for 25 years). Even when I taught special education, I never ran across this one (or a manifestation of it): Hyperlexia: An Illness That Causes Compulsive Reading.
posted by lee on 04/17/02 at 11:49 AM

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Tuesday, April 16, 2002

take on the big boys

If you've been threatened with legal action for something posted on your website, or a website you host or maintain, you should check this out before you panic: Chilling Effects Clearinghouse. It's a joint effort of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and clinics at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Stanford's Center for Internet & Society, etc.

Thanks to Giles Turnbull at writetheweb for this info.
posted by lee on 04/16/02 at 08:25 AM

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Monday, April 15, 2002

Report your corrupt cds (those copy-protected cds you can’t play on your computer)

This site is keeping track of all the CDs people report as being ruined with that assinine copy protection: Fat Chuck's - Corrupt CDs. You can report your unfortunate discoveries here. I would definitely check here before buying any new CD.

For more news and links about corrupt CDs, check out what Stanley has to say at Puppet Press Journal - this is his latest entry: digital media battle.
posted by lee on 04/15/02 at 09:22 AM

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