Thursday, February 13, 2003

Chocolates with filling are an ideal conduit for fissile material

Anti-Terrorism Valentine's Day Tips - The Office of Homeland Security explains it all for you. by Timothy Noah

Office of Homeland Security:
Recommended Valentine's Day Precautions

A valentine is an ideal conduit for coded messages. A capital "C," for instance, denotes the crescent moon, a well-known symbol of Islam. If your Christian name begins with the letter "C" (examples: Caroline, Charles, Colin, Condi), do not accept valentines from anybody.
If your name begins with one of the other 25 letters of the alphabet, you may accept valentines, provided you:

A bouquet is an ideal conduit for toxins, some of which may occur naturally. It is strongly recommended that you accept no flowers at all, and that you report immediately the name of anyone offering you flowers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Recognizing, however, that some will ignore this warning, we urge these individuals to spray their flowers with a quick-drying sealant, wrap them tightly in Saran Wrap, and place on a very high shelf.

There's more in this Slate article. Think about it: it isn't any sillier than the crap the government has been feeding us.

Happy Valentine's Day to Stanley!
posted by lee on 02/13/03 at 10:28 PM
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Friday, February 14, 2003

Senator Kennedy’s Feb. 13th Floor Statement in response to Bush’s Comment on Iraq

He's eloquent--and right. Here is an excerpt (you can read the whole thing in "more"):

Al Qaeda - not Iraq - is the most imminent threat to our national security. Our citizens are asked to protect themselves from Osama bin Ladin at home with a roll of duct tape, while the Administration sends the most deadly and sophisticated army in the world to go to war with Saddam Hussein. Those are the wrong priorities.

On Monday, Tom Ridge, the Secretary of Homeland Security said that the heightened security warning that has millions of Americans stocking up on food, water, duct tape, and plastic sheeting is connected to Al Qaeda and not "the possibility of military involvement with Iraq."

On Tuesday, FBI Director Mueller told the Senate Intelligence Committee that "the Al Qaeda network will remain for the foreseeable future the most immediate and serious threat facing this country."

(end of excerpt)

More "Senator Kennedy’s Feb. 13th Floor Statement in response to Bush’s Comment on Iraq"

posted by lee on 02/14/03 at 08:46 PM
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Saturday, February 15, 2003


A site that's beautiful in its simplicity, TaoTeChing is well worth a visit. "Lessons" are arranged by topic on the home page. Here's one:

Manage a great nation as you would cook a delicate fish.

To govern men in accord with nature
It is best to be restrained;
Restraint makes agreement easy to attain,
And easy agreement builds harmonious relationships;
With sufficient harmony no resistance will arise;
When no resistance arises,
then you possess the heart of the nation,
And when you possess the nation's heart,
your influence will long endure:
Deeply rooted and firmly established.
This is the method of far sight and long life.

One could only hope ...

What's interesting is that there is a webring, Wandring Daoist, which has more than 100 sites related in some way, however tenuous, to taoism. And many of these sites belong to other webrings devoted to taoism, buddishm, and on an on. One could spend days just clicking links while looking for enlightenment. Who knows? It might be there to find on any one of these links!
posted by lee on 02/15/03 at 10:14 AM
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Sunday, February 16, 2003

very clever!

The Flash Mind Reader is very well done! I wish I could remember the algorithm behind this, though--it's driving me nuts!
posted by lee on 02/16/03 at 04:03 PM
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Monday, February 17, 2003

Daniel Dumps a Load

News 12 News:

"The significant snowfall has come to an end across southwestern Connecticut. Final accumulations across the state indicate that Fairfield County was hardest hit. Reports show area snowfall amounts ranged from 19 inches in Norwalk to 25 inches in Stamford. Winds will pickup in the overnight hours and snowdrifts could get as high as five or six feet."

I wonder how many pounds of snow we shoveled this afternoon?

What REALLY sucks about this storm, which didn't charm me in the least, is that it's supposed to get into the 40s in a couple of days and stay there for a while. That means at least a week of slop, ice, flooding, mud, yuck. If we didn't have a deadline coming up, we'd be on our way to Panama City Beach: Hi Mom, hi Dad!

This season, so far, we've shoveled about four feet of snow away (Stanley did most of the shoveling). This month alone we shoveled 28 inches.

I know, I know -- we live in New England. I've been spoiled by the last two non-winters. And we didn't get hit as hard as other areas. The one good thing about this winter is it finally got cold enough to kill ticks.
posted by lee on 02/17/03 at 09:24 PM
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more reasons why suv owners are selfish pigs

A List Some Carmakers Don't Covet, New York Times, Danny Hakim, 2/18/03

"The Environmental Protection Agency rates every vehicle according to the amount of pollutants coming out of the tailpipe that contribute to smog, which can worsen asthma and lead to cancer and lung damage. Many popular sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks rank at the bottom on the 0-to-10 scale. Among them are a number of recently introduced and highly profitable ח models."


"The low ratings mean that these vehicles emit at best 21 pounds of pollutants for every 15,000 miles driven, the E.P.A. says, and have 2 to 10 times the emissions of most Honda Civics."

posted by lee on 02/17/03 at 10:13 PM
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Wednesday, February 19, 2003

W3C CSS specs pages - a rant

The W3C just posted a new version of its CSS specs: Cascading Style Sheets. The big flap is it doesn't look right in IE6, which many say is a smack in the chops for Microsoft because IE6 isn't completely standards-compliant. However, if you look at the page in Netscape 6, it looks like crap as well. In Opera 6, it looks better. But it's still crappy looking. Maybe it's the DESIGN ITSELF that's bad and not compliance issues with the browsers?

Maybe if the standards were ever FINISHED it wouldn't be such a problem? Why do I have to download some obscure, weird browser to see what CSS is SUPPOSED to look like? Maybe the W3C has gone off so far into esoteria-land it's become impossible to comply with all the standards? What about taking into consideration the REAL world of web users? Is it really an issue of standards, or is the underlying issue really Microsoft-bashing?

All I know is I'm sick to death of having to make CSS work in every flipping browser out there. For neurotwitch, I decided to hell with it, I coded for IE because, frankly, the vast majority of visitors to not just this site, but to ALL sites, visit with IE browsers.

The W3C CSS standards have become limitations because I cannot use so many of them and have any hope at keeping all of my clients' sites up to date and compliant. CSS is supposed to make my job easier -- but all it has done is make my job a hell of a lot harder. Sure, I would love it if every browser was completely compliant with whatever crap the W3C decides to issue--but it's never going to happen.
posted by lee on 02/19/03 at 09:17 AM
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Friday, February 21, 2003

Metacritic metacritique

A redesign over at metacritic: Film Reviews, Game Reviews, Music Reviews, DVD Reviews. It looks pretty, but it's so frelling HARD TO READ: that teeny, tiny, condensed white type on a navy blue background, and I couldn't resize the type. The designer should be taken out back and shot. He/she forgot it's the content, stupid. Too bad. Rating: 30. Is it enough to make me stop visiting the site? Yep, a lot easier and faster to type in the URLs of the reviewers I read regularly than sit there squinting at a screen trying to decipher those white blurs.
posted by lee on 02/21/03 at 04:17 PM
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what’s going on here ...

Something strange. Why would my MT layout get all messed up? I haven't touched the stylesheet in a week, and I posted just fine after the upgrade to 2.6.1 ... why are the titles suddenly on the same line ... what fresh hell is this?
posted by lee on 02/21/03 at 06:47 PM
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Of Mice and Maniacs

The Morning News - Schrdinger's Iraq, by Matthew Baldwin (aka Defective Yeti).

"Bush: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I realize that my press conferences are something of a rarity, and know that many of you equate my reticence to hold them as tantamount to evasion. I would nonetheless like to take this opportunity to address any questions you may have regarding the policies and activities of this administration ... "

Read it all -- it's funny. It's a surreal thing.

posted by lee on 02/21/03 at 11:01 PM
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