Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

when animals attack video (violence, furries.) anyway, when i was 17 I went on my first interstate hitchhiking adventure, to visit an ex-girlfriend. It was 1978, she was a fraternity brother at psi u (a rare coed fraternatity) at Kenyon College in Ohio. Also there at the same time was Bill Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes fame. Ignatz collects some college-era Watterson here. No, as far as I know I didn't meet him. Via BoingBoing. Also at boing', electric roller skates - I've been waiting years for those.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This is me with Randall Munroe, xkcd author, in Boston in September - the pictures just came back. At the right is a ferret in an airplane. I wear this jacket around Indy and no one has recognized it as being hat guy.
Photo credit eitje.

I'll be out of the office till nov. 17th, working on an assignment at abbot labs in waukegan. Might or might not be blogging during that time.

I got another article on slashdot.
Basically just a link to a Howard story.
How Appealing reports that a court has struck down age verification requirements for porn sites, as a First Amendment violation. Here is the ruling (PDF). While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net. The age verification requirements of U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 were yet another attempt to regulate to death what the government can't outright prohibit. The requirements intruded on the privacy and safety of performers and created headaches for sites like flickr and photobucket that host images. It is has long been thought that the requirements wouldn't hold up in court, but this is the first actual ruling.

Johnny Cash Pete Seeger on youtube. 1958.
Johnny and June 1960s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Efm-RxOC8
jim morrison 1964 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WIJd2sLuDA&mode=related&search=
here's a phil ochs song from my old friend vic sadot, from the food coop in newark delaware.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I once read a wonderful book about Frank Herbert's science fiction. He's best known for Dune. If this is the same book, it's out of print now, but it's free online - and turns out to have been written by geek publisher Tim O'Reilly.
While on the topic of books, what I've read recently includes a Steven King fairy tale about a prince locked in a tower. I don't usually read Steven King but this was fun. The Eyes of the Dragon. Amazon.
And some other book I can't recall just now - will have to edit the post.
Bookmarked for reading online is Simon of Space by a blogger named Cheeseburger Brown. Argh! Tricked. Only the first chapter is still online, the rest is now for sale. I'll pass.

Howard reports, age verification requirements for porn sites struck down as unconstitutional by 6th circuit.
They looked a bit like this:
In compliance with United States Code, Title 18, Section 2257, all models, actors, actresses and other persons who appear in any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct appearing or otherwise contained in or at [ ].com were over the age of eighteen years at the time of the creation of such depictions.
Records required to be maintained pursuant to U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 are kept by the custodian of records at:

Monday, October 22, 2007


THE "HOT DOZEN:" A list of the top 12 toys for this holiday season. I'm a bit underwhelmed, though I do like the Fisher-Price Smart Cycle, where the kid has to keep pedaling an exercise bike to keep the game going on the TV.
As a former zapworld stockholder, I've long been interested in these for adults.
I am currently overweight, 188 #, partly because I've stopped riding my bike.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

My friend Ghastly. The other guy is Thomas Dolby.

I kept the size pretty small cuz the pic is scary but now the proportions look wrong.

Friday, October 19, 2007

God and Man Stallman and ninjas at Yale.

Before the debate began, four student pranksters dressed in ninja garb jumped in front of Stallman as he prepared to take the stage. After posing for pictures with him, they ran out of the room amid audience laughter. The prank was inspired by an XKCD.com comic depicting a failed assassination attempt on Stallman by four masked men from Microsoft.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's raining heavily, so I'm not going to leave for Chicago just yet.
There's lots of bloggable stuff at Howard's today, besides the obvious stuff like "Court stays killer's execution at last minute."

There's the Notorious B I G versus the Players story.
There's a bit about teens doing life.
And the Pence bill to shield some journalists some of the time passes the house.

"Lifers as Teenagers, Now Seeking Second Chance": Today in The New York Times, Adam Liptak has an article that begins, "In December, the United Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers. The vote was 185 to 1, with the United States the lone dissenter. Indeed, the United States stands alone in the world in convicting young adolescents as adults and sentencing them to live out their lives in prison. According to a new report, there are 73 Americans serving such sentences for crimes they committed at 13 or 14."
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman

Lonnie Hall was 15 when he tried to kill me during a series of burglaries where I used to live. He'd told me he was 19, which was plausible; he's bigger than I am. The young age helps explain his stupidity. Not the sort that brings up diminished capacity, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. He killed a Hispanic couple in one of his burglaries and got 110 years, or maybe just 55, not sure if the sentences run concurrently. He'll spend his life in prison, being a victim or a victimizer or both.
One of the reasons I was kind of depressed a few years ago is that I was wrestling with whether or not I was morally obligated to kill Lonnie. I didn't, and innocent people died. Lonnie isn't someone who it's safe to let out. That doesn't mean that he's safe inside either. It's a genuine ethical dilemma - what do you do with kids like that?

The Pence bill passed the house by a wide margin, 398 to 21, important, because Bush may use his veto I think just the 3rd time in 7 years, and the house is signaling that it can override. WaPo. The Pence bill, to shield some journalists sometimes, is toothless and full of loopholes, but for the first time it would give some federal protection to the journalist's privilege, for which many decent reporters have been willing to go to jail to protect.

The Notorious lawsuit on the one hand is just a routine copyright dispute.
One musician sampled the work of another, didn't obtain copyright clearance,
got sued, and lost b.i.g. to a jury. The circuit court reduced the award, but let an injunction stand. Defendants made lots of arguments, lost most won a few.
Boring stuff really.
But musician number 1 is dead. The album, "ready to die", was huge, sold millions. The defendants include Sean Combs aka puff daddy p diddy etc., and a series of holding companies. The plaintiffs are some outfits that bought up the rights from the Ohio Players, a well known old school funk band. So the right journalist could make a real story out of this, mixing law and popular culture. I'm not that writer. I'll go see how Drudge is covering it. Drudge has nothing. Oil $89 a barrel. My oil well checks are still around $150 a month; I'm not seeing the profits. I spend the $150/mo on gas, so I break even. Congress approval at 11%.

Finally got around to adding bonobo conspiracy to the blogroll.
It's a daily-updated and genuinely funny, in a geeky-in-joke way, zwinki-sprite based webcomic by Matthew Skala whose 15 minutes of fame was for reverse engineering some of the netnanny type filters. Here he is on how to run a conspiracy. Meanwhile, I'm back from Madison - washed out of a study due to an irregular heartbeat problem. Might have to start educating myself on heart technology so I can find out if it's anything serious besides limiting my study income.
Also added semi-alphabetized blogroll. It's alpha by the html, which only partiually translates, but some links might be easier to find - been meaning to do that for a while. Might add a just-comics links section if I get motivated - did, if i didn't screw up the html.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

human flying squirrel video via voyage to acturus blog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

kung fu: bear style bo staff video.

Googling for an old friend, here she is in the New York Times,
As it became easier to get to hospitals, the number of people born on the island fell, although speckled around its bungalow-lined streets are a handful of children whose mothers chose to have home births. One of them, a girl named Gwyn Hopkins, was born at home two days before Christmas in 1996. Her mother, Laury Hopkins, proudly labels her “an authentic, true clam digger.”

Hotel Chevalier Natalie Portman short film. NSFW. 12 minutes. shorter clip. Trailer for The Cleaner aka Leon. Bikini clip, quicktime. Beautiful Girls clip. She stole the show in this movie. On Conan O'Brien
lots more at http://www.natalieportman.com/ She's vegetarian, speaks Hebrew, thinks voting is important, does charity work in Uganda.


Monday, October 08, 2007

anarchist's cookbook
slashdot: boy charged with terrorism for owning book.
Update: oh wait. Owning book, having chemicals, recently returned from asia minor, might be something to it after all. Slashdot summaries aren't always accurate; newspaper reports either.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

i'm learning to play with the slashdot firehose. found this for example.
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, an un-edited police videotape shows 31-year-old Deacon Frederick Williams being struck with a TASER five times in 43 seconds, just 4 minutes after being led into the jail.

He was handcuffed behind his back and in leg restraints, following an epileptic seizure at his home; an ambulance was called by his wife and son, but the police arrived first. His last words were: "Don't kill me, man. Don't kill me."
No charges have been filed in the torture / murder; the County DA refused to show this video to a Grand Jury, even though another man in custody was murdered just months earlier after being tortured with a TASER by the same police.
Coverage from some of the local media is here: [link to www.11alive.com]

These incidents are becoming way too common; I hope somebody is tracking this stuff.

Via Wired, here's a list of the songs that lady was found to have pirated.
* Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"; "November Rain"
* Vanessa Williams "Save the Best for Last"
* Janet Jackson "Let's What Awhile"
* Gloria Estefan "Here We Are"; "Coming Out.. Heart"; "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
* Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
* Journey "Faithfully"; "Don't Stop Believing"
* Sara McLachlan "Possession"; "Building a Mystery"
* Aerosmith "Cryin'"
* Linkin Park "One Step Closer"
* Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
* Reba McEntire "One Honest Heart"
* Bryan Adams "Somebody"
* No Doubt "Bathwater"; "Hella Good"; "Different People"
* Sheryl Crow "Run Baby Run"
* Richard Marx "Now and Forever"
* Destiny's Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"
* Green Day "Basket Case"
My thought is someone should interview these artists for their take on the case.

what i'm not reading:
Before their fate as a couple is decided, however, Dag is called away by an unexpected—and viciously magical—malice attack on a neighboring hinterland threatening Lakewalkers and farmers both. What his patrol discovers there will not only change Dag and his new bride, but will call into question the uneasy relationship between their peoples—and may even offer a glimmer of hope for a less divided future.

Filled with heroic deeds, wondrous magic, and rich, all-too-human characters, The Sharing Knife: Legacy is at once a gripping adventure and a poignant romance from one of the most imaginative and thoughtful writers in fantasy today.
on the one hand, this sounds awful. 'm a hard science SF guy. On the other hand, it's Lois McMaster Bujold, so it's probably pretty good, but I'll skip it.

Drudge: Heatwave. So it's not just me - thought it felt warm in here. I think this is weather, not climate, but forecasts say it will be another mild winter. People at the party last night were complaining about how hot it was, didn't bother me. I went out and watered my garden today.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

what i should be reading:
discourses on livy, by machiavelli.
When I was 17 and began my formal training as a political philosopher, I studied The Prince and Mandragola by Machivelli, under Jan Blitz, who I've later come to suspect was a Straussian. But I wasn't aware of this third book. Lawrence Lessig recommended it, as background reading for his work on corruption.
What I have been reading:
Lord Peter, collected short stories, Dorothy L Sayers.
Third time I've read this one, so I mostly know whodunnit by now, but still fun to read.
Ender's Shadow. A sort of companion volume to Ender's Game. Trash, but fun.
Wall and Piece, by Banksy. Bought at Wooden Shoe books.
Started an autobio of Drew Barrymore, Little Girl Lost, mostly about her teenage struggles with addiction.

Friday, October 05, 2007

is now saturday morning. evening's festivities included fregan anchovy pizza and catching up on bonobo conspiracy, which i really should add to blog roll.

Recently I was in Philly's South Street, on my way to Boston for the xkcd fest see below. I ran into some parts of the magic garden I'd never seen before. http://www.isaiahzagar.org
flickr article

I was reminded of it by a similar post at boing boing, so i've suggested these links to boingboing, but that won't work, so here they are.

boing boing

was reading slashdot, cuz it's friday night and i'm a geek. ran into wil telling his larry niven story:

Any mutual "I can't belive it's ...!" moments?
(Score:5, Interesting)
by gevmage (213603) * Alter Relationship on Friday October 05, @12:06PM (#20868921)

Wil Wheaton has written about meeting a famous author, I think it was Larry Niven, and being completely blown away that Niven was at least as jazzed about meeting Wil as vice versa.

I'm sure you've met lots of folks that us normal mortals only see on TV. Anyone in particular that you were really excited to meet who hyperventilated when they realized who you were?
Craig Steffen

Yeah, mutual geeking out is awesome
(Score:5, Interesting)
by CleverNickName (129189) * FriendFriend of a Friend on Friday October 05, @03:23PM (#20872117)
(http://www.wilwheaton.net/ | Last Journal: Saturday April 07, @12:36PM)
Yeah, it was Larry Niven.

I wrote about it in my blog [typepad.com], thusly:

Around 1987 or 1988, I saw Larry Niven at a convention. I was officially there to be the Star Trek guy, but I didn't have to go on stage for a few hours, and rather than sit in some suite with the rest of the Star Trek people who didn't want to get too close to the masses, I grabbed my backpack and wandered around the convention as nerdy fanboy number 42.

I bought a ton of crap in the dealer's room (mostly FASA sourcebooks, and some bootleg anime videos IIRC) and on my way down a hallway toward the gaming room, I saw this guy who was dressed in a Space Shuttle flight suit (blue) sitting behind a table that had some books on it.

Holy shit, it was Larry Niven.

I walked up to him and the conversation went something like this:





Both: YES!

Me: I don't have a pen.

Him: It's okay, I have several.

He pulled a pen out of the shoulder pen-holding pocket thing on his blue Space Shuttle flight suit. I was so out-nerded, it wasn't even funny. I tried to counter-attack by producing my own copy of Ringworld that I had in my backpack, because I carried it with me everywhere in those days, just in case, you know, I felt like reading it. (I am not exaggerating at all. I loved -- and continue to love -- that book that much. For reals.)
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Slashdot v. Digg
(Score:5, Interesting)
by CleverNickName (129189) * FriendFriend of a Friend on Friday October 05, @08:54PM (#20875605)
(http://www.wilwheaton.net/ | Last Journal: Saturday April 07, @12:36PM)
I'm glad you post on Slashdot even though you also have a Digg account.

I don't subscribe to the notion that we should only have one account in one place, and participate in one community. That attitude is one of the myriad reasons I don't waste my time on Digg any more. In addition to that annoyance, the comments and interaction at Digg is worse than useless, and even as an aggregator it's become inferior to Reddit and Propeller (where I'm a scout - full disclosure.) Digg could have been really cool, if it had the kind of leadership that Slashdot has via editors. Instead, those who would lead Digg seem more content to cash the checks and let the Digg Mob run out of control down every tube on the Internets.

For truly useful and worthwhile discussion and insight, nothing comes close to Slashdot. In fact, if I were to ask Rob a question, it would be about the commenting and moderation system: does he agree that Slashdot has the best moderation online, and why doesn't every community use the same model?
[it was wil who got me blogging a few years ago. turned out to be a pointless waste of time, but what isn't?]

"Third Amendment Rights Group Celebrates Another Successful Year": This article appears online today at the web site of The Onion.
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman

3 million here, 3 million there, pretty soon we're talking real money. Howard scores.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Senator Dominici, R, retires, along with Allard- CO, Hagel, NB, Warner - VA.
In addition to those races, tough re-election fights lie ahead for Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Gordon Smith of Oregon. As of now, only one Senate Democrat -- Mary Landrieu of Louisiana -- appears to face a challenge. cnn

Via howard, 7th circuit en banc grants retrial to pro se prisoner plaintiff who had requested pro bono counsel on grounds that he wasn't smarter than a 5th grader. pdf.
This time, it was Posner in the minority on the original Eaterbrook panel, whose position was sided with en banc.

south america microfinance, robert duval.

today's mesothelioma reference is to an online except from charlie stross's halting state, just out in hardcover. you know, charlie, the guy who did that thing about the lobsters. blogger's just back up after 4 hours.

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