Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Video games aren't just mindless fun: 'In four experiments Bavelier and her colleague C. Shawn Green discovered that people who played video games several times a week for six months could monitor complex visual information more easily than non-game players' (from Reuters).

Clinton Wants Presidents to Serve More Than 8 Years

Bill Clinton now thinks people should be able to be president for more than eight years (two terms); this the man who from 1992-2000 thought 'surgical' strikes against terrorists would 'solve the problem.' Personally, I think eight years is plenty of time to allow one person (no matter who they are) to wreak havoc on us all (from Reuters, via The Washington Post).

Cheese is not just for eating

Cheese is not just for eating: 'For centuries, residents of the English county of Gloucestershire have practiced the timeless and surprisingly dangerous springtime ritual of chasing large, speeding, round cheeses down steep hills. The winner gets to keep the cheese' (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Funny Flash: Rave Dancers - enjoyable by anyone who's danced, or watched dancing. Includes such classics as 'punching the air,' 'fruit picking in the country' and 'explaining a dogfight' (from urban75).

Soccer Prodigy Signed $1 Million Contract (news)

13 year old soccer prodigy signed a $1 million contract with Nike, and he 'is not likely to sign a pro contract for at least a year.' Maybe he wants to finish Junior High first. (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Japanese scientist invents 'invisibility cloak' - A Japanese scientist has developed a coat which appears to make the wearer invisible (from Ananova).

Monday, May 26, 2003

From the people who revolutionized genocide, Germany gets eugenic again: The universities of Regensburg and Rostock in Germany are trying to turn beauty into a quantifiable thing. Perhaps beauty check is harmless, or maybe, with old fashioned German ingenuity behind it, beauty check is dangerous pseudoscience and a precursor to a Final Solution for the unattractive. The Germans may have once exterminated 'undesirables' (e.g., the ugly, the unpopular, etc.), but this is basically just a cool web thingy that happens to be being made by Germans ;-). To really test their theories, they should submit a 'perfect' image to one of the hot or not websites.
Thumbnail image of the sign.
Good signage in Canada (from Boing Boing).

Sunday, May 25, 2003

3 Japanese Deaths Linked to Web Suicides - 'The three were from different prefectures, or states, and investigators believe they may have met over an Internet site that brings together people who want to end their lives, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.' Well everybody, please don't go on-line and kill yourself; go to a hospital instead and check in, please (from The Washington Post).

Friday, May 23, 2003

List of 'America's Best Beaches' released (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).
If you ever want any privacy in your life at all, write your congressional representative, the President and Vice President and tell them you are against the planned 'Total Information Awareness' program. With 'Total Information Awareness' Big Brother is upon us; 'Total Information Awareness' strips Americans of their privacy, all of it, permanently. Heather MacDonald told privacy advocates to sacrifice their privacy in the name of homeland security, and stop complaining about the the Pentagon's planned Total Information Awareness program, she is wrong (from Wired News).
'The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read. All of this - and more - would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health.' And so all privacy ends (from Wired).

Thursday, May 22, 2003

'The history of warfare is marked by periodic leaps in technology - the triumph of the longbow at Crécy, in 1346; the first decisive use of air power, in World War I; the terrifying destructiveness of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, in 1945. And now this: a dazzling array of technology that signals the arrival of digital warfare. What we saw in Gulf War II was a new age of fighting that combined precision weapons, unprecedented surveillance of the enemy, agile ground forces, and - above all - a real-time communications network that kept the far-flung operation connected minute by minute... Information would take the place of a massive troop presence on the ground' (from Wired).

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

'Your parents aren't the only ones who hate your music - some Iraqis hate it, too. U.S. military units have been breaking Saddam supporters with long sessions in which they're forced to listen to heavy-metal and children's songs' (from MSNBC).
Excerpt from Star Wars Kid Remix by Bryan Dube.
'Star Wars Kid' Gets Bucks From Blogs
- you can donate here or here (from Wired).
Lisa Lampanelli, the Queen of Mean, gets some good press and performs Wednesday, May 28th, at 9:30 PM @ Carolines on Broadway (from The Boston Globe).

Monday, May 19, 2003

Magic, we carve it: '...people want to believe what makes them feel good. And when somebody wants to believe something, they will not only ignore the results of such skeptical questions. They will not even think to ask them' (from
Well-informed court observers say that there could be two Supreme Court resignations next month, bringing the greatest upheaval on the court in 32 years. There has been no change on the court in nearly a decade - the longest period without turnover in 180 years (from Newsday).

Sunday, May 18, 2003

'The Matrix Reloaded' makes an estimated $135.8 million in opening box office. Amazing how a good movie attracts an audience; that, and millions in prints and advertising (from Variety).
Bloggers be careful, the world is reading; writing details about people close to you in your blog can prove... complicated (from The New York Times).

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded set opening day records, not too suprising; it's good (from The Washington Post).
$20 bill gets a facelift:
The Front of the new $20 bill.
The Back of the new $20 bill.
(from CNN Money).
How to Fake A Hard Day at the Office - technology can be used to make it look like you are working (from The Wall Street Journal).

Thursday, May 15, 2003

An Ecstasy of Dragonflies
Thursdays - Saturdays @ 8 PM, and Sundays @ 3 PM through June 22 at:
City Lit - 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. (Yahoo map)
Click here or call 773-293-3682 for tickets.
From the Sun-Times:
City Lit Theater managing director Page Hearn has penned his first play, An Ecstasy of Dragonflies, a surreal gay fable about commitment and the joys and fears faced by anyone on the verge of a hopefully lasting relationship. The production marks the first time City Lit, a company known for its adaptations of literature, has staged an entirely original work.

An Ecstasy of Dragonflies - click here for tickets
Bugs Bunny will be warning Cambodians about land mines; the State Department selected Bugs Bunny because 'the rabbit is considered a kind and intelligent creature in Cambodian culture' (from CNN).

Monday, May 12, 2003

Flash that's just wrong: 'Ding, fries are done!' the Burger King Holiday flash song and animation, in bad taste (watching it may damn you to hell ;-).

Sunday, May 11, 2003

'How much knowledge is safe?' points out that despite recent events that make the world seem more dangerous, 'this isn't something new. It's merely something we've admitted. The danger has always existed, and we've lived through it. Nothing has changed, except our attitude.' (from

A Portland hospital seeks Klingon speaker

A Portland hospital seeks Klingon speaker because '[t]here are some cases where we've had mental health patients where this was all they would speak' (from CNN). Compare the AP version to the Oregonian version of the story and see that this is a joke that the news folks took seriously (thanks to for this clarification).

Iraq had infiltrated Al-Jazeera TV (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).
A top british spy in the IRA had his cover blown by the newspapers, and is now in hiding. The conflict in Northern Ireland has been a grisly business (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Friday, May 9, 2003

Truth of fiction: A man claiming to be a time-traveler from the year 2256 was arrested for insider trading, or was he? Perhaps this is just fiction concocted by Weekly World News (via Yahoo).

Thursday, May 8, 2003

The Baghdad blogger returns; after six weeks without updates, the 'Where is Raed?' blog, published under the pseudonym 'Salam Pax,' has new posts. (from Wired). 'Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don't let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don't think about your 'imminent liberation' anymore. / But I am sounding now like the Taxi drivers I have fights with whenever I get into one.' - Salam Pax

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Indiana Jones comes out on DVD

Indiana Jones comes out on DVD November 4 (from The Hollywood Reporter, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

France helped Iraqis escape, by secretly supplying fleeing Iraqi officials with passports in Syria that allowed them to escape to Europe (from The Washington Times).
'iTunes® Music Store sold over one million songs during its first week. Over half of the songs were purchased as albums, dispelling concerns that selling music on a per-track basis will destroy album sales' (from Apple).

Monday, May 5, 2003