Wednesday, August 27, 2003

In a few hours, Mars will be close:
As if executing a cosmic air kiss, Earth and Mars will come as close as they desire in the wee hours of Wednesday during an historical event that has captivated the attention of skywatchers around the globe. The two planets will be separated by 34,646,418 million miles (55,758,006 million kilometers) at 5:51 a.m. ET (1051 GMT) on Aug. 27. Not since the Neanderthals shared this planet with early humans have the two worlds been so close
(from, via Yahoo News).

Friday, August 22, 2003

You can see me in two shorts in two cities:

  1. a north shore kid coming to the city to score some coke in Where I'm From
  2. Refus, a disgusting and unhygienic country bumpkin, in Stay Dead

Where I'm From is screening in Chicago, IL, and then they both screen in Pittsburgh, PA; if you are in those towns, you can come see them (if you can't make the screenings, you can watch on-line):

Where I'm From
Saturday, August 30, 2003, 9 PM
North Beach Chicago
1551 N. Sheffield (just south of North and Sheffield), Chicago, IL (Yahoo Map)
call 312-266-7842 for more info
(a crime drama)
$10 cover (includes free bowling) must be 21 or over
Where I'm From and Stay Dead
Thursday, September 4, 2003, 6:30 PM
The Rex Theatre
1602 E. Carson St. (between 16th St. and 17th St.), Pittsburgh, PA (Yahoo Map)
call 412-381-6811 for more info

You can also watch Stay Dead on-line at any time:

Stay Dead

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Little things do make a big difference:
Investigators continue to hunt for clues to the cause of the outage that cut electricity from east of New York, north to Toronto and west to Detroit, Michigan - an area home to about 50 million people.
Gent said the exact cause remains unknown, but indications so far point to a downed 345,000 volt power line east of Cleveland, Ohio, on the 'Lake Erie loop' - a series of transmission lines around the lake - as the source of the outage.
Within three minutes, starting at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, 21 power plants in the United States shut down, according to Genscape, which monitors power transmissions.
All that might be from one power line falling down (from CNN).

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Rapidly Spreading Worm Cracks Windows - The worm, dubbed Blaster but also known as LoveSan or MSBlaster, first emerged on Monday carrying a message for the Microsoft chairman: 'Billy Gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!' (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Sunday, August 10, 2003

E-Mail Brings Together Flash Mob

E-Mail Brings Together Flash Mob at NY Toy Store on Friday (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, August 7, 2003

Not for diabetics: 'Researchers in Japan are developing a method of drawing power from blood glucose, mimicking the way the body generates energy from food' (from The Sydney Mornign Herald).
The pills hopefully work in reverse; afterall, those 6,000 people buying them keep my e-mail box full of *&#@$:
A security flaw at a website operated by the purveyors of penis-enlargement pills has provided the world with a depressing answer to the question: Who in their right mind would buy something from a spammer?
An order log left exposed at one of Amazing Internet Products' websites revealed that, over a four-week period, some 6,000 people responded to e-mail ads and placed orders for the company's Pinacle herbal supplement. Most customers ordered two bottles of the pills at a price of $50 per bottle.
(from Wired).

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Schwarzenegger Announces Calif. Gov. Bid - 'Arnold Schwarzenegger ended the suspense Wednesday and jumped into the race for California governor, instantly becoming the best-known of the declared candidates seeking to replace Democrat Gray Davis in a recall' (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Brilliant Flash: Ping-pong - family friendly, and not to be missed (honestly, watch this flash movie)
Flash mobs in Berlin, Germany:
BERLIN, Aug. 3 - All at once at 6:01 on Friday evening, about 40 people in the middle of a crowded street pulled out their cellphones and started shouting 'yes, yes!' Then they began clapping.
(from The New York Times).

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Flash mobs have arrived in Chicago, IL, USA - 'An inexplicable, not-so-random gathering of somewhat related people in a physical location to participate in peaceful activities for a brief time period then quickly dissipate.' There is a Chicago Flash Mobs e-mail group at, and a Chicago Flash Mobs text messaging group at (from Light Red).

Monday, August 4, 2003

Pac Bell's Internet arm sues music industry over file-sharer IDs:
Pacific Bell Internet Services jumped into the contentious music-downloading fray late Wednesday, filing a lawsuit against the recording industry and questioning the constitutionality of the industry's effort to track down online music sharers.
In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Internet service provider PBIS, operated by San Antonio-based SBC, alleges that many of the subpoenas served against it by the Recording Industry Association of America were done so
(from Associated Press, via
Cool Pictures: Stereo Images, Time for Space - 'Experimenting here with a way to present stereo images on the screen by simply putting the right and left images in an animted gif' (from The Well).

Sunday, August 3, 2003

The chairman of the Senate's permanent subcommittee on investigations Thursday began an inquiry into the music industry's crackdown against online music swappers, calling the campaign 'excessive' (from Associated Press, via
The Cult of ID - Our strange obsession with driver's license photos. By Christopher Hitchens:
At Oxford, where two rivers meet, there is a private stretch of the bank (or there used to be) called 'Parson's Pleasure.' Since Victorian times, this shaded resort was reserved for male dons who wished to swim and sunbathe in the nude. A barrier prevented any stray punts or boats from interrupting this idyll, and women and girls understood that this retreat was off-limits. One day, however, while the river was higher and faster than usual, a ladies' boating party was swept through the barrier and into the all-male backwater. Shrieks and giggles from the boat, and a sudden, protective downward reaching of the hands on the part of all bathers on the bank. All but one. The late Sir Maurice Bowra, Hellenist and epigrammist, raised his hands to shield his craggy visage. There they all stood or sat until the fair intruders had sailed past, whereupon a general outbreak of sheepishness occurred, punctuated by Bowra saying: 'I don't know about you chaps, but I'm known by my face around here'
(from Slate).
The anti-globalization protesters in Montreal badly missed the chance to make their case. While they shouted about the evils of the global economy - "sweatshops," "corporate imperialism," "cultural genocide," and the rest - all of this has been entirely negative.
Instead, they ought to have cited as role models those countries that have completely turned their backs upon the global economy. Two such poster nations for the anti-globalization movement come immediately to mind. North Korea for one. Burma for the other.
Both function entirely outside the global economy, not merely in terms of almost no trade and incoming investment, but equally in terms of no cultural and political contact with the outside world, with foreign publications and broadcasts banned, and with almost no visitors allowed in to contaminate the people.
These two countries, and a few others such as Iraq, while run by Saddam Hussein, and Cuba (in part there because of the U.S. embargo), are as close as it's possible to get to fulfilling the anti-globalizers' dream. Except that everywhere that dream is actually applied, the result is a nightmare of economic backwardness and political repression.
I'm mocking of course. But only to show the complexity of the issue

Friday, August 1, 2003

US Search Teams Find Buried Iraqi Jets - At least one Cold War-era MiG-25 interceptor was found when searchers saw the tops of its twin tail fins poking up from the sands, said one Pentagon official familiar with the hunt. He said search teams have found several MiG-25s and Su-25 ground attack jets buried at al-Taqqadum air field west of Baghdad (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Pot to Kettle... Come in Kettle... :
'It's looking more and more like a case of mass deception,' Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said after Kay briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee
And, no, Senator Kennedy was not refering to a certain car, a certain bridge and a certain woman. Some Senators confuse incomplete intelligence (btw intelligence is by nature incomplete) with deception (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).