Monday, October 30, 2006

Newspaper circulation declines, plans to sue bloggers.

I for one welcome our new overlords.

Britons 'could be microchipped like [dogs] in a decade'

Male birth control pill any time, reports drudge.

via boingboing, of course:
I used to buy these magazines for a dime each from mile high comics in colorado.


unconfirmed, another journalist killed.
Bradley Roland Will, a 36-year-old freelance
journalist from New York, was killed on October 27,
2006, in Oaxaca, Mexico, while working for the global
Independent Media Center network. He was shot in the
torso while documenting an armed, paramilitary assault
on the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, a
fusion of striking local teachers and other community
organizations that have been demanding democracy in
Mexico through a sit-in in downtown Oaxaca over the
past five months.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I guess I should really update the blogroll one of these days.
Friedman wrote a book once that had a big influence on me and a generation of market anarchists. He's also chosen his relatives skillfully. I met him once briefly - he was geeking out over his latest personal organizer, at a FedSoc event.
This would be a better post if I added a few links. I'm tired, even after a double americano from corner coffee. I treated myself as a reward for going downtown and getting stuff filed. This is different from when I get coffee there as what Baude calls the starbucks tax - the rent we pay for a place to hang out, use computers, study, etc.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A famous micronation I'd never heard of
John and Yoko even came up with their own extra-legal attempt to fight the INS, by declaring themselves citizens of a new country, Newtopia, requesting recognition from the United Nations, and asking the U.S. for diplomatic immunity. Now that is a brilliant strategy. Of course, like most of Lennon's symbolic idealistic gestures, be they utopian or Newtopian, it didn't quite work. But that wasn't really the point, was it? For Lennon, the idea was always to show people that change was only possible once you believed it was possible. Roger Ebert.

Declaration of Independence, Iowa:
Teen girl jailed for flag burning at vfw.
Note to kcrg: an unconstitutional statute is not a "law".

Jury rights upheld in Cananda,Man's one day sentence for growing dope vacated.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Top 100 11 EBooks last 30 days, via tyler cowen via will baude.
Classics and reference - this speaks well of somebody, somehow.

1. Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases by Grenville Kleiser (12244)
2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (9138)
3. Kamasutra by Vatsyayana (7901)
4. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Complete by Leonardo da Vinci (7817)
5. Ulysses by James Joyce (6139)
6. How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin (6138)
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (6041)
8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (5525)
9. The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (5464)
10. Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget (5357)
11. The Art of War by 6th cent. B.C. Sunzi (5161)

The New Jersey decision, permitting civil partnerships for gay couples, is here:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Monday, October 23, 2006

Looking for a way to waste time on the internet rather than editing a motion for injunction, I finally checked out Digg, a slashdotty sort of news aggregator. I like it. Story about algae - it's not just for lunch anymore.

Kenny Rogers is in the news. Driving home tonight, I listened to "you picked a fine time to leave me lucile." This concludes this blog's sports coverage for 2006.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hell, handbasket, department:
England starts fingerprinting drinkers. Slashdot.
House of Lords (proposal)to get axe, term limits. Sunday Times.
Government employees, contractors, to get microchipped. Slashdot.

On the other hand, here's how to edit the bar code on your voter license.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

David Lat photo (aka Article III groupie, aka the new wonkette.)
Lat blogs at abovethelaw.com. Story about him.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

1 in 8 americans internet addicts, says story.
If you are here at my page, you may be one of us. One of us. Gabba Gabba.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Music industry filed another 8,000 filesharing lawsuits around the world, reports Drudge, adding to 18K existing lawsuits in USA and 13K elsewhere.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Obscure word (phrase) for the day, hunkypunk. Wikipedia entry.
Regional British slang for a gargoyle like thing.
Found while looking for hunkipunki, which is apparently german. This all is a tangent from BoingBoing's article on the Nobel peace prize going to that microcapital project in Bhangladesh.
I first read about that in Caroline Kennedy's New Profiles in Courage, which showcases a few dozen people doing neat things. I'm a fan of microcapital in general, and the way it's being used in the program that won the prize. I didn't win this year, but I'm happy they won. (For a little while I was campaigning for nomination for the Nobel peace prize, to test Volokh's idea that nomination is too easy - it isn't actually that easy. I'll move on to something simpler, like maybe running for vice-president.)

BoingBoing links to a photo of a murdered nun. She was 17, and was walking from Tibet to India when she was shot by border guards. The official Chinese story is that guards fired in self-defense. Romanian tourist video shows that to be a lie. I used to work in a Tibetan restaurant, and I've met some of the Fulan Gong folks who are protesting the persecutions and tortures and killings of their members. Government, even "people's" government, is force, the ability to kill at any time for any reason. This is no less true in New Jersey or your town as in China. http://www.savetibet.org.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What do you get when you cross californium and calcium? Unobtainium, element 118, discovered by slashdot.

My neighborhood mailbox was removed a few months back. Slashdot reports that this is part of a national trend driven by email.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Makeblog has 30 ways to eat a pumpkin, but doesn't have the curried soup recipe I'm looking for.
My pumpkins will freeze tonight if I don't bring them in soon, and I keep forgetting to look up that recipe. No online computer where the pumpkins are, no pumpkins where the computers are, and a very short attention span. I'll leave out the nutmeg. This recipe wasn't was good. This one I like, from the defunct pumpkin nook site.

1/3 Cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tbsp margarine
1 cup pureed pumpkin (or about 1/2 can of pumpkin)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp. sugar
2 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp cornstarch or arrow root or tapioca powder (use as thickening agent)
chopped chives (as decoration)

Preparation Directions:

1. In large pan cook onion, garlic, and curry in the butter or margarine for a few minutes until onion is tender.
2. Add pumpkin, nutmeg, sugar and the bay leaf.
3. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
5. Take out the bay leaf.
6. Stir in 1 cup of the mild and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
7. In another bowl, stir together the remaining milk and the cornstarch until dissolved, then add it to the pan.
8. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
9. Cook a couple more minutes.

To serve: Swirl the cream on top, and garnish with chives.

This can also be frozen after it cools. In the freezer it will be good for up to 3 months.

At drudge, this photo shows the koreas, one with a market economy, one with a government-run economy.

Texas Lawyer writes, at Volokh,
Scotland isn't actually a common-law jurisdiction, though. I believe it's more properly a mixed jurisdiction, incorporating elements of common law &civil law. For example, they don't have contracts, they have obligations, and they don't have tort, they have delict. See Prof. Tetley's article on this. http://www.mcgill.ca/files/maritimelaw/mixedjur.pdf
(noted for future reading.)

On slashdot recently, there was a proposal for a new way to get to orbit:
A circular track with a mag-lev train carrying a rocket. It goes faster and faster, building up speed, until it reaches escape velocity. Hi G-forces, so this might not work for humans. A new way to lose luggage. My input is, hey, this might work fine on the moon. No atmosphere, lower escape velocity, plenty of solar power, handy tall craters for an exit ramp.

On slashdot recently, there was a proposal for a new way to get to orbit:
A circular track with a mag-lev train carrying a rocket. It goes faster and faster, building up speed, until it reaches escape velocity. Hi G-forces, so this might not work for humans.* A new way to lose luggage. My input is, hey, this might work fine on the moon. No atmosphere, lower escape velocity, plenty of solar power, handy tall craters for an exit ramp.
* However, it might work ok for sending eggs and sperm and robots or cyborgs.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yankee comes home.

I happened to catch a show on tv about private space companies. Armadillo Aerospace was among the companies featured. Its the age old story: boy invents first person shooter videogame, gets filthy rich, builds spaceship in his garage for fun on the weekends.
Some of the AA people are involved in catallarchy, a blog I link to.
There at catallarchy was this link to Isaac Schrodinger, a blogging refugee from islam.

I forget who recently said work is 10% effort and 90% avoiding being distracted by the internet. At the moment I'm not working. Jay Manifold's blog leads me to Alan Henderson's. I can't remember quite who Alan is. (Oh, he was Jay's roommate in Texas.) http://hpal.blogspot.com/ has interesting stories of habeus corpus and the stuggle in English law for human rights.

from the mailbag:

I know what you’re thinking.
Sohmer’s e-mailing me, so it must mean he wants something. Well, have I got news for you. That is so untrue, so very false, that it’s almost too true to be untrue.
I just wanted to say hey.

I love you.
< sales pitch stuff omitted >
If book sales go as I hope they will, starting in November, Lar and I will do 1 super sized Sunday strip every month, similar to what you see on the comics page, except funny, and well drawn.

Least I could do, book 3, now available.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Looks like I'll have my first southern hemisphere christmas this year, without leaving the country. Update: um, or not. I'm told Hawaii is in the northern hemisphere.

I know the economics Nobel prize isn't really a Nobel prize.
But it was again won by an American, or rather a New Yorker from Columbia University which is batting 0.40 in econ Nobels in the past 10 years.
Employment Boffin wins. Ed Phelps is known for showing that employment levels have more to do with market funamentals than with central bank policies. Milton Friedman said something like that a time or two as well. Here's an article on a guy who lost.
At a time when a planned economy based on draconian government controls, reckless nationalisation, crippling shortages and heady welfarism was the rage in Coffee House circles, Bhagwati was the dissident.
His relentless critique of Indian planning and socialism were akin to heretical tracts. They were quietly appreciated, but out of the earshot of the socialist stalwarts who dominated university faculties. My friends used to say that reading Bhagwati was essential for understanding the grim realities of India.

I thought Marginal Revolutions might have something, but they have more than that, a linkfest of bio and papers and, um, stuff.

Wind power in Indiana. Article. It's not a pure market play, more of a response to regulatory pressure, but still a good development.

Friday, October 06, 2006

http://spaceblog.xprize.org via jay manifold.

Today's tip.
You could also try using the herb rue. The blue leaves are a lovely garden accent, but cats seem to hate the odor.

Cats are not keen on the smell of citrus either. So you could try using orange or lemon peel in your yard as a deterrent. Similarly some folks advocate coffee grounds, blood meal, cayenne pepper, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Belarus "smile mob" organizers face jail time
Bloggers who attended a "smile mob" in Minsk, Belarus, were arrested for coming to the central square and smiling at each other. Some face months in prison.

Cures for cancer: ho hum. Now a cure for ragweed allergy, that's news.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

As previously reported, this is the first term in which we get immediate (well, same day) transcripts of supreme court oral arguments. W00t! it's another singularity effect: in the old days, you might get transcripts months later, if at all, or at great cost. Now, the bloggers can respond the same day if the parties or the court makes an error. Crowdsourcing. Here via scotusblog are today's transcripts.

The nobel prize for medicine went to this guy who figured out a way to use RNA to turn off genes, so that they don't get expressed. Article.
This is a very powerful tool, with immediate real world consequences.
In contrast, today's Nobel in physics was for proving the big bang. Ho hum.

One of my [obsessions, interests, topics] is the singularity. Singularity theory says that the rate of change is increasing, because these technologuical breakthoughs are feeding each other in a synergistic cycle. Rosalin Franklin discovered DNA, somebody else mapped the DNA of the mouse and human, now we have a way to turn genes on and off, allowing something a lot like controlled scientific experimentation.
Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Most of our genes aren't expressed. 90% or so.
We carry a lot of baggage from our evolutionary history that is no longer needed to build the organism, but hangs around because it was important once.

Once, upon a time, I read a science fiction story about a guy who operated in alligators. He noticed that aligators have a three chambered heart, and are slow and sluggish, where mammals have a more efficient four chambered heart. So he gave the gators better hearts, and they grew up to be dragons, and began taking over the world. The Nobel news story reminded me of that. Perhaps there are genes that serve to block the expression of other sets of genes from our distant past. Perhaps these blocking genes can themselves be blocked, using this iRNA process. Releasing id monsters. Just one of those pipe dreams I had, and tried to remember long enough to blog about.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I watched the 2006 world series of poker yesterday - apparently it was held back in august. I knew nothing about poker tournaments until Wil Wheaton started writing about them. meanwhile, writer's block continues... got nothing done again today.

Old friend Jay Manifold writing at Chicago Boyz writes:
7. (Parlor game: if everyone shared your tastes, which sectors of the economy would collapse, and which would boom? Discuss.)
Looks like one of those "meme" things.

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