Thursday, October 31, 2002

tracking down legislation murderers

Ballistic Fingerprinting...for Politicians! by Mark Fiore.

Seems like a very good idea to me.
posted by lee on 10/31/02 at 08:37 PM

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If you have any doubts

about what day it is, then go here: Today's Date and Time. Bet you don't know what the NORAD Daycode is, do you? (It's 02303.2043)
posted by lee on 10/31/02 at 04:52 AM

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Monday, October 28, 2002

styrogami - sculpture for the next millennia

Boston Globe | Arts / Carving out a unique niche

"Consider the man who, for the past 20 years, has been carving small sculptures out of used and unused coffee cups made of foam polystyrene, referred to by most of us, Vitali included, as styrofoam."

(From The Obscure Store and via Stanley.)

"Styrogami is sculpture evolved from mentally extrapolating the trash and waste proliferation and combining the exponential growth of world population while primative2.jpgfactoring in rain forest depletion rates with due consideration given to the half-life of stored nuclear waste and the destruction potential inherent in modern day weaponry. I have come up with the visionary concept that we may indeed be presently and blindly basking in the glory of our final historical footnote, leaving no future generations to learn the hard lessons that the destruction of one's own planet will teach. Though I disdain the Styrofoam cup and the throwaway society it represents, Styrogami is, nonetheless, something metaphorically exquisite to admire as we walk this path to the gallows." From the gallery (?) announcement (?)

I guess it takes a person with special vision to find art in trash. This isn't any weirder than a lot of stuff people have been trying to pass off as art - some successfully, some not so successfully. All this artist has to do is exhibit one piece of "Styrogami" in an institution supported in some way with public funds and that depicts something such as Ashcroft pissing on the Laura Bush or god pissing on anything (whether it actually does or not doesn't matter - the label is everything) and he'll be the current darling of the art world - overnight.

I hope he gets lots of money and commissions.
posted by lee on 10/28/02 at 10:59 PM

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Saturday, October 26, 2002

PayPal Scam #Eleventy-seven

I received email with a file attached this morning. The message said:

Dear PayPal Customer,

In order to keep our services as secure as possible, we have created new software to ensure that you are making transactions using the safest software possible. We have just released our new PayPal At Home software. With this software, you will be able to log into your PayPal account anytime, even if you don't have an internet browser on your computer.

We invite you to try our new software, and let us know what you think of it. We are slowly switching over fomr the web based login to loggin in using our new ultra-secure PayPal At Home software.

We appreciate you trying our new software,

Dave Chappell
PayPal Customer Support
posted by lee on 10/26/02 at 10:37 PM

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Friday, October 25, 2002

New Yorker Cartoons

Check out the Cartoon Channel at The New Yorker. Kind of a pain in the ass, but interesting if you're on a boring call and can't really concentrate on anything else. Beats solitaire, for a while at least.
posted by lee on 10/25/02 at 03:52 AM

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Monday, October 21, 2002

small victory

A small victory in the war against spam: Spammer must pay $98,000 fine. It's a start, albeit a small one. Now I wish our showboat CT Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, would get on the anti-spam bandwagon. He was able to kick Microsoft's corporate butt, but I bet he'd have a much tougher time with spammers.

I wonder if Connecticut has any anti-spam laws? I'll have to research that.
posted by lee on 10/21/02 at 12:19 AM

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Saturday, October 19, 2002

we saw “the ring”:  2.5 stars

Elvis Mitchell, writing in the New York Times, panned it in Don't Touch 'Play'! It Could Be Fatal. Robert Ebert gave it two stars: "Rarely has a more serious effort produced a less serious result than in "The Ring," the kind of dread dark horror film where you better hope nobody in the audience snickers, because the film teeters right on the edge of the ridiculous." However, real people rate it much higher: it gets 4.5 stars on and 8 out of 10 in the Internet Movie Database

The RingLast night, right after the movie, I would've rated it three out of four stars. It really creeped me out - the way a good ghost story should. Today, maybe 2.5 stars. There were a lot of things that just didn't work in this movie. I don't think it is as bad as Mitchell's as-usual-pretentious review makes it out to be, or as without redeeming features as Ebert says it is, but it's not anywhere near as good as The Others or The Devil's Backbone, or The Sixth Sense, three other ghost stories that I rate four (out of four) stars each.

There's one scene in The Ring in particular, a spectacular scene of a horse run amok on a ferry, that was ruined for me because what led up to it was stupid -- Rachel, the "heroine," tries to pet a horse. The horse tries to bite her. She tries again. The horse gets even more agitated and dangerous. Does she walk away? Of course not, she tries AGAIN AND AGAIN ... very stupid scene.

Our Heroine's um, sidekick? Name of Noah, father of her child Aidan, video geek ... lousy, lousy actor. Just awful. Played by Martin Henderson, of no particular claim to fame.

Which leads to another implausible scene: the records office at the loony bin. There is no way a hospital, public or private, is going to store patient records that haphazardly, especially records that are not even 25 years old. Doesn't happen.

But the movie is dark and scary and interesting to look at. Ebert and Mitchell claim the characters are cold, particularly Our Heroine. They are, but why would this detract from the movie when the characters are not at all atypical of the current crop of self-absorbed 20-somethings? I didn't care if Rachel, or her son, or Noah died or not since I didn't particularly like them as people (not even the son, who is a creepy as the ghost, in his own way). I just didn't want anyone to die until the mystery was solved. This movie doesn't cheat - it's billed as a horror flick and it is - though more horrifying than horror. No cliche ending, either. Nope, it's all set up for Ring 2 and maybe even Ring 3. Just like the Japanese version.

The best, very best, ghost story/horror story I ever saw, one that terrified me without showing an ounce of blood or a glimpse of gore, is still The Woman in Black. That's my gold standard. I keep waiting for one as good to come along. Any suggestions?
posted by lee on 10/19/02 at 05:26 PM

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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Joseph Lieberman: Georgie’s Girl

Affair gone awry:
Lieberman 'surprised and disappointed'

Senator Joseph Lieberman says he is "surprised and disappointed" by the White House pull-out of the 9/11 Independent Commission "just hours after Congressional Republicans and Democrats announced that they had agreed on the terms of an independent commission to investigate the September 11, 2001 attacks."

You know, if he really was surprised he's too stupid to hold public office. Of course the White House was supporting the independent commission -- UNTIL the Congressional stooges gave the current regime what it wanted. Cheney got his authorization for war -- so now why should the regime give in to the Congress on an issue they don't want investigated?

Lieberman is just as big a liar as the Bush/Cheney regime. He claimed throughout the presidential campaign that his religion does not affect his actions in Congress. This is total bat guano. He voted for war with Iraq twice, once for Daddy B and now for Sonny B -- not because he thinks it's the right thing to do, but because getting rid of Hussein will supposedly remove a big threat to Israel. And has anyone EVER heard him condemn Israel's illegal actions in Palestine? I don't criticize him for letting his religion affect his politics -- I criticize him for lying about it. Hey, Joe, not letting religion affect your job means more than going to work on the Sabbath, so cut the crap and at least utter one honest statement in your sad, sad political career.

I voted against him the last two times he was up -- I've always thought he was a sleaze and nothing he's done has given me any reason to change my mind.

He sure doesn't give a damn that the majority of his constituents are against war with Iraq and are against Israel's campaign to wipe Palestinians off the face of the earth. He better hope things turn around by the time he runs for anything again -- or we'll be looking carefully at his record to see if he's done anything for us rather than for the Republicans and a country thousands of miles away.

Blame Stanley for this rant -- he sent me the link that got me riled up ...
posted by lee on 10/16/02 at 10:50 PM

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how to hurt saddam

The Whoops-o-Matic by Mark Fiore Yep, yep, yep.
posted by lee on 10/16/02 at 01:26 AM

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Monday, October 14, 2002

it’s not that hard to get it right

New York Times: Confronting `NOO-kyuh-luhr' Proliferation by Jesse Sheidlower

Of the many language controversies that arouse passions, no other -- not "hopefully," not the split infinitive, not "most unique" -- seems to bother people as much as this. Even though this pronunciation is now included as a variant in all major American dictionaries, a usage panel convened for the "Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage" rejected it by a factor of 99 to 1. Steve Kleinedler, the pronunciation editor of the "American Heritage Dictionary," said complaints about this variant are the most frequent comment he gets. Merriam-Webster editors have written a special form letter to respond to those who write in to criticize the inclusion of this pronunciation.

Yet the use of "NOO-kyuh-luhr" is not uncommon, even among prominent and educated people, including four of the nation's last 10 presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was widely admonished for it; Gerald R. Ford; Jimmy Carter, who did graduate work in nuclear physics, and also used "NOO-kee-yer"; and now George W. Bush.

I don't care WHO pronounces it wrong: mispronouncing "nuclear" makes a person sound like he or she didn't get past the 6th grade.
posted by lee on 10/14/02 at 03:30 AM

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