Friday, June 30, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Taurus, Scorpio rising, Aries Moon, and in Venus and Saturn, Taurus in Mars, Jupiter in Leo. You're optimistic and generally go after what you want, and don't let things bother you, and are slow to get mad, and underlying you're a homebody and stubborn. www.astro.com, cross reference with www.astrology-numerology.com.I think we've all learned a little something about me today.
SATELLITE AND RADAR INFORMATION INDICATE THAT A SMALL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM COULD BE FORMING ABOUT 140 MILES SOUTH OF CAPE FEAR NORTH CAROLINA. THIS SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION AT ANY TIME AS IT MOVES NORTH TO NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.Does that seem strange to anybody else?
Monday, June 26, 2006
The upshot of this is, I don't know my Zip 9 because it doesn't help me at all to know it. So, to fill out this form I clawed through a nearby stack of my unopened mail to see if any industrious correspondents had looked it up for me.
I discovered a credit card company had done this very thing. But, there were two extra zeroes on the end.
At first I giggled at their over-engineering -- clearly they're trying to save on billing from Pitney Bowes' professional services department should there be any upcoming zip code extensions. But, what if they know something I don't?
Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members
"It's one thing to know someone and exchange e-mails with them. It's another thing to say, 'Will you give me a ride out of town with all of my possessions and pets? And can I stay with you for a couple or three months?" [said Duke University Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, lead author on the study to be published in the American Sociological Review.]
Just so you know what the standard is.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
So, great. Three things.
1. This is one more example of this cultural quirk where we believe that if we get a subcontractor to do some nasty business -- this guy isn't portrayed as an agent, but more of a contractor with a continuing FBI relationship -- we're somehow not accountable. This really is something we should stamp out. It doesn't reflect well on us.
2. I get most of my news from headlines. If a headline sufficiently interests me, I'll read the story, but mostly I just construct whole narrative from the 12 words or so editors have chosen to represent the article and store it uncritically in my head as gospel truth. I suspect I'm not alone in this, so headlines are pretty important in driving public opinion.
Now, close your eyes and ... OK, finish reading the sentence, then close your eyes. Close your eyes and imagine what the headline would be. Something like "Craven officials cow Chicagoans with apocryphal 'terror' plot" or "Al Qaeda's influence in America enhanced by Bush Administration." Maybe, "'Homeland Defense' refocuses American people on terror by recruiting, equipping quirky religionists." So, now let's look at some news sources. We'll do a search on 'sears tower plot'.
news.google.com (headlines from first two groups):
- Sect inspired 'leader of Sears Tower plot'
- The FBI's Sears Tower Plot
- FBI smashes tower plot
- Officials On Sears Tower Plot: No Need To Worry
- 7 Indicted In Alleged Sears Tower Plot
- Plot against Sears Tower mostly just talk
- Seven US Terror Suspects Seeking al-Qaida Support Arrested
- Miami men indicted in Sears Tower plot
- Preacher baffled by son's arrest in plot to blow up Sears Tower
- 7 held in Sears Tower plot
- Tall stories: The plot to topple Chicago's Sears Tower was not all that it seemed
- Business as usual at Sears Tower despite plot
- Business an usual at Sears Tower despite plot
- Officials On Sears Tower Plot: No Need To Worry
- Americans Arrested in Plot to Bomb Sears Tower
- Homegrown Terrorists Allied with al-Qaida
- Miami Terror Suspects Allied with al-Qaida
- Major Terror Plot Against US Ignored
- Terror Suspects Plotted 'Islamic Army'
- Spanish Intel Study: Madrid Bombings Show No al-Qaida Ties
- Father: Plot Suspect Not in ' Right Mind'
- F.B.I. Killed Plot in Talking Stage, a Top Aide Says
- 7 Arrested in Terrorism Inquiry, Authorities Say
- Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda
- THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE CONTEXT; On Whether To Warn, What Choice Is There?
- Why Didn't We Stop 9/11?
3. I'm not a super interesting reader. I like novels by novelists that everyone likes: Ernest Hemmingway, Sinclair Lewis, Joseph Contrad. I know that last one's not an American, but he's still good. And this business has got me interested in reading The Secret Agent again. So, I'm going to do that -- the British Government works with this guy to create and expose terrorist plots, which seems somehow relevant.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Up until recently, examples of modern behaviour before 50,000 years ago had eluded researchers, even though humans with modern-looking anatomy are known in the fossil record from about 195,000 years ago onward.
This had led some researchers to propose that modern anatomy and modern behaviour did not evolve in tandem.
Instead, they argued, a fortuitous mutation in the human brain may have triggered an explosion in human creativity 50,000 years ago, leading to a sudden appearance of personal ornaments, skilfully-crafted art, novel tools and weapons.
Really? People argued this? This has got to be a kind of a 'WMD' approach to science, wherein crafty ne'er-do-wells write crazy stuff down just because it can't be easily disproven.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Some members of Congress are requiring would-be emailers to complete a simple "logic puzzle" before being allowed to send a note through their official Web site. But several advocacy groups are complaining, saying the puzzles -- several of which are actually basic arithmetic problems -- went beyond their stated purpose of preventing spam and actually prevented logic-challenged constituents from having their voices heard. (Roll Call)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Now, as you know, the Red Cross symbol is just a chromatic inversion of the Swiss Flag. But, why? The movement is based in Geneva, but the American Red Cross is nobody's patsy! I think we should totally go red crystal, which the article refreshing refers to as a 'square standing on one corner.'
Monday, June 19, 2006
So, now if someone asks, "Would Iraqis be better off under Saddam," you can stop equivocating. The answer's really just 'yes.'
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
THE GFDL AND NOGAPS GUIDANCE SHOW A MORE NORTHWARD TRACK...BUT ... ONLY A SLIGHT
LEFTWARD ADJUSTMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO THE PREVIOUS FORECAST TRACK.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
"They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets," base commander Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris said. "They have no regard for human life. Neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."Two Saudis and a Yemeni hanged themselves after being held without charges for 4 1/2 years in an isolated military prison 10,000ish miles from home. And Admiral Harris thinks this is the latest sneak attack.
Shouldn't we be looking for some way to make up to these people for the imprisonment, instead of blaming them for their despair? Oh, right, the knuckleheads behind it are still running the asylum.
After being referred to by so many names -- scattered rainshowers near Jamaica, an area of organized wind currents, Tropical Storm One, Albert has finally dropped his mask.
You'll notice the five day cone just sort of skims Cape Cod, and at present there's no suggestion it'll hit Manhattan.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Keep an eye on the FunkTop.
I was an early member of MoveOn, when it was about forcing out members of Congress that had participated in the impeachment of President Clinton. However, they officially promote the canard that the Green Party threw the 2000 election to George Bush, so I don't belong now or donate to them. They do do good work, though, and this is what they're working on now.
Everyone expected House Republicans to give up efforts to kill NPR and PBS after a massive public outcry stopped them last year. But they've just voted to eliminate funding for NPR and PBS—unbelievably, starting with programs like "Sesame Street."
Public broadcasting would lose nearly a quarter of its federal funding this year. Even worse, all funding would be eliminated in two years--threatening one of the last remaining sources of watchdog journalism.
Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year:
Last year, millions of us took action to save NPR and PBS, and Congress listened. We can do it again if enough of us sign the petition in time.
This would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting. The Boston Globe reports the cuts "could force the elimination of some popular PBS and NPR programs." NPR's president expects rural public radio stations may be forced to shut down.
The House and Senate are deciding if public broadcasting will survive, and they need to hear from viewers like you. Sign the petition at:
P.S. Read the Boston Globe story on the threat to NPR and PBS at:
Thursday, June 08, 2006
[T]he Defense of Marriage Act [is] a 1996 law that says states don't have to recognize gay marriages solemnized in other states despite the "full faith and credit" clause.
OK, I didn't know that. That's sucky. But, it makes sense conservatives would attack the fact of the union itself. Maybe they think 50 individual countries would be easier to govern back into the stone age.
I should see how that's going.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
All remakes are needless, but this update of "The Omen" is especially soDon't you kind of know that eventually the reviewer is going to mention that the film criticizes President Bush*? And the AP's Christy Lemire does not disappoint
But in the most feeble effort at modernizing the material, this "Omen" vaguely attempts to be politically relevant. A montage of photographs at the start suggests that the devil is everywhere, all the time -- on Sept. 11, at Abu Ghraib, etc.The AP has gotten repeatedly called out for this business with Senator Reid. But, clearly, they're not folding up their partisan tent quite yet.
* Used as a synecdoche, of course
Monday, June 05, 2006
A BROAD...NEARLY STATIONARY...SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS LOCATED
OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA...WITH AN ASSOCIATED TROUGH
EXTENDING NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS CENTRAL CUBA AND THE BAHAMAS.
UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN UNFAVORABLE FOR TROPICAL
CYCLONE FORMATION IN THESE AREAS. HOWEVER...THIS SYSTEM COULD
PRODUCE SOME LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS PORTIONS OF JAMAICA...
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...CENTRAL AND EASTERN CUBA...HISPANIOLA...THE
BAHAMAS...AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS OVER THE NEXT DAY OR
Friday, June 02, 2006
So, my grasp of mathematics seems to suggest that if Greenland raises the sea surface level 20 feet, and Antartica raises it 20 feet, they'll together raise it 40. Now, this is somewhat incorrect, because as the water rises, it'll spread out -- if water's covering 90% of the globe it'll rise slower than if it's covering 70, and it might rise high enough to reach some sizeable canyons, which are dry only due to their isolation.
Imagine that those non-Manhattan coastlines are 40 ' verticals. Then I'm hosed! I'm only at 32' altitude. I'll have to move. Those bastards over at Park Avenue are fine.
I hate moving.
ONE TROPICAL CYCLONE...TROPICAL STORM ALETTA...FORMED DURING THE MONTH OF MAY 2006. NAMED TROPICAL CYCLONES IN MAY ARE SOMEWHAT INFREQUENT EVENTS...WITH AN AVERAGE OF ONE TROPICAL STORM EVERY TWO YEARS AND A HURRICANE ONLY ABOUT EVERY THREE YEARS.
INTERESTINGLY...HOWEVER...THIS IS THE SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR TO HAVE A NAMED CYCLONE FORM IN MAY...WHEREAS DURING THE PREVIOUS SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD THERE WAS ONLY ONE.
all you want. But, that's in the Pacific and the fact remains that we've had no hurricanes or named cyclones in the Atlantic to date. I was surprised when last season ended, and I'm surprised that this season hasn't started. So you take your CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION around the ITCZ and run along. We've outgrown you.
Oo! But, there is a name list out, reproduced here in case you have trouble saying 'Nadine'. You can start placing bets in the office pool as to which name we'll get to. My money's on Iota.
NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
ALBERTO AL BAIR- TOE LESLIE
BERYL BER- IL MICHAEL
CHRIS NADINE NAY DEEN-
ERNESTO ER NES- TOE PATTY
FLORENCE RAFAEL RA FA EL-
HELENE HE LEEN- TONY
ISAAC EYE- ZAK VALERIE
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Al! If you're going to be the face of Climate Change, you have to shake the serial exaggerator label. Funny that he got it when running against an absolute bullshitter, but there you are.