Sunday, July 21, 2002

At last - suit filed about requiring ids and searches at airports - Suit challenges airline ID requirements - July 19, 2002

I want to know what I can do to support this lawsuit - I'm getting really tired of the transformation of our society into a Soviet society.

A prominent civil libertarian sued the U.S. government and two major airlines Thursday, claiming that security requirements that compel U.S. citizens to show identification before flying are unconstitutional.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, John Gilmore, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that requiring ID from travelers who are not suspected of being a threat to airport security violates several amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit alleges that the regulations restrict freedom of travel, permit intrusive searches without good cause and violate the Freedom of Information Act because they have not been published in the Federal Register.
posted by lee on 07/21/02 at 04:26 PM

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Saturday, July 20, 2002

fun fun fun

We did it, we went to see Eight Legged Freaks. We even paid full price. You know what? It was worth it! It was fun, it was pretty funny, it was a great send-off on all the mutated-bugs-turned-monster movies. And the cinematography was really well done. It was a hell of a lot better than that lame Men in Black II.

Anyone who sees this movie and says it's awful and therefore he or she didn't like it needs a serious enema. Yes, it's awful, but it's wonderful fun. Contrary to what most of the self-inflated critics seem to want us to believe (including Elvis Mitchell and that peabrained Charles Taylor), not all movies have to be meaningful to be good, fun, escape. Roger Ebert had the guts to admit that he liked it. Ebert got it. Most of the other reviewers did not. No analysis of the movie is required, would just be a waste of time.

Go see it, have fun, stop thinking so much.

posted by lee on 07/20/02 at 05:47 AM

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Friday, July 19, 2002

is corn (yeah, zea mays, that stuff) killing us?

When a Crop Becomes King. New York Times (sign-in required, but it's free). Op-ed column by Michael Pollan, author of "The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World."

It's something I never really thought about: eating fewer Doritos will not only make us healthier, but will cut down on our dependence on Middle East oil ... ah, so THAT's why that obscene $190 billion corn subsidy was signed by Dubya last month!

The problem in corn's case is that we're sacrificing the health of both our bodies and the environment by growing and eating so much of it. Though we're only beginning to understand what our cornified food system is doing to our health, there's cause for concern. It's probably no coincidence that the wholesale switch to corn sweeteners in the 1980's marks the beginning of the epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in this country. Sweetness became so cheap that soft drink makers, rather than lower their prices, super-sized their serving portions and marketing budgets. Thousands of new sweetened snack foods hit the market, and the amount of fructose in our diets soared.

This would be bad enough for the American waistline, but there's also preliminary research suggesting that high-fructose corn syrup is metabolized differently than other sugars, making it potentially more harmful. A recent study at the University of Minnesota found that a diet high in fructose (as compared to glucose) elevates triglyceride levels in men shortly after eating, a phenomenon that has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and heart disease. Little is known about the health effects of eating animals that have themselves eaten so much corn, but in the case of cattle, researchers have found that corn-fed beef is higher in saturated fats than grass-fed beef.

We know a lot more about what 80 million acres of corn is doing to the health of our environment: serious and lasting damage. Modern corn hybrids are the greediest of plants, demanding more nitrogen fertilizer than any other crop. Corn requires more pesticide than any other food crop. Runoff from these chemicals finds its way into the groundwater and, in the Midwestern corn belt, into the Mississippi River, which carries it to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has already killed off marine life in a 12,000 square mile area.

To produce the chemicals we apply to our cornfields takes vast amounts of oil and natural gas. (Nitrogen fertilizer is made from natural gas, pesticides from oil.) America's corn crop might look like a sustainable, solar-powered system for producing food, but it is actually a huge, inefficient, polluting machine that guzzles fossil fuel a half a gallon of it for every bushel.
posted by lee on 07/19/02 at 04:18 PM

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Wednesday, July 17, 2002

logo design ideas

how to design a logo of letters: both interesting and beautiful. Hmmm ...
posted by lee on 07/17/02 at 05:58 PM

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Tuesday, July 16, 2002

if you need a boost

Enter your first name here and relax.
posted by lee on 07/16/02 at 05:56 PM

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what customers actually do on a website

Mark Hurst has an interesting update - customer experience, user experience today. Read "The Page Paradigm."

The page paradigm states that on any given Web page, users have a particular goal in mind, and this goal drives their use. Either they click on a link that they think will take them toward the goal, or (seeing no appropriate forward clicks) they click the Back button to take another path.
That's all: users either click toward the goal, or they click the Back button.

The page paradigm has been useful in my client work by focusing attention on the things that really matter on a page or site. Designing a user experience with the page paradigm in mind requires three steps:

1. Identify users' goals on each page.
2. De-emphasize or remove any page elements (or areas of a site) that don't help to accomplish the goal.
3. Emphasize (or insert) those links, forms, or other elements that either take users closer to their goal, or finally accomplish it.
posted by lee on 07/16/02 at 03:17 PM

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Monday, July 15, 2002


The Pull for Pull: ICANN's grab for total unaccountability

ICANN is a case study on the formation of a "black hole bureaucracy" (my term): where money is sucked in and never seen again because the bureacracy 1) doesn't DO anything and 2) is accountable to no other body, person, givernment, etc. This agency was bizarre from the beginning and is rapidly heading for psychosis.

This is an interesting article about ICANN president M. Stuart Lynns "reorganization" plan (from Entrepreneur) where he's plotting to be Emperor of the Internet.

ғICANN only listens to those who pay it money, charges Auerbach, who has had to sue to see the books of the organization he supposedly supervises. ԓEven its board meetings are paid for by the people it is supposed to regulate.

But without that support, counters Lynn, a cash-strapped ICANN wouldnԒt be able to afford its current level of operations. Lynn wants additional staff and an immediate 300 to 500 percentӔ hike in ICANNs $5 million budget. Additional funds are to come from whichever governments get board seats, and from unspecified use fees.

Critics worry about loss of accountability and ғmission creep in what is widely acknowledgedԗeven by Lynnto be a failed experiment at Internet management so far.
posted by lee on 07/15/02 at 04:46 PM

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Sunday, July 14, 2002

the male brain?

Male Brain (not for kiddies to look at ... )

Thanks to Stanley for this!
posted by lee on 07/14/02 at 11:30 PM

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Finally, I got around to this

t r i c k s o f t h e t r a d e is the web design and building resource page I've been meaning to get up forever. It's only the beginning -- soon I'll start adding all the links I use a lot because they're useful and that I hate to lose track of.
posted by lee on 07/14/02 at 05:48 AM

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Saturday, July 13, 2002

I’m a wildcat (!)


The Animal In You Personality Test. Another silly test (I'm a sucker for them.)
posted by lee on 07/13/02 at 04:08 AM

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