Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year! Have a great 2004!

I wish you prosperity and joy!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Monday, December 22, 2003

Suing your customers isn't just bad press, now it is more difficult legally:
[A] three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday that the RIAA can't force Internet service providers to drop the dime on their customers who are suspected of illegally trading songs online
(from, Yahoo News).
RIAA has had a rough bunch of decisions around the world :
Other officials have also recently ruled in opposition to the RIAA. A Dutch court ruled last week in favor of leading download software program, Kazaa, saying its owners aren't liable for the actions of its users. The week before, the Canadian government ruled that downloading unauthorized online music was legal - but sharing it was not. The decisions make it harder to close pirate sites. About 50% of online trading of music is done outside the USA, says Eric Garland of Internet tracker BigChampagne
(from USA Today, via Yahoo News).
The Recording industry can no longer sue its customers:
The recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders, a federal appeals court said Friday in a major decision shielding online privacy while undercutting the industry's anti-piracy campaign.
The ruling does not legalize distributing copyrighted songs over the Internet, but it will greatly increase the cost and effort for the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America to track such activity and sue those who are swapping music online
"Consumers' rights cannot be trampled upon in the quest to enforce your copyright," Deutsch [a Verizon company lawyer] said.
(from Associated Press, via The New York Times).

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase:
On Dec. 20, 1803, ownership of more than 800,000 square miles - now part or all of 15 states - was formally transferred from France to the United States at ceremonies in New Orleans. President Jefferson had wanted to buy a portion of the land, which France had acquired from Spain in 1800, but wound up getting the whole parcel for $15 million
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Best of Notable Quotables 2003 - Quote of the Year - First Place:
"If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."
- Charles Pierce in a January 5 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy's submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It is the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brothers' 12-second first powered flight that took place at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1903:

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Inflation at 38-Year Low:
U.S. consumer prices took a surprise tumble last month, dragging the underlying inflation rate to a nearly 38-year low, even as industrial output and groundbreaking for homes surged, reports showed on Tuesday
(from Reuters, via My Way).

Monday, December 15, 2003

Evidently Dean and Clark are courting the non-American vote, how odd:
Frustrated with the lack of domestic support, left-leaning website has apparently been reaching beyond American borders to generate cash revenue over the internet!
The provocative international fundraising strategy threatens to embroil the presidential candidacies of General Wesley Clark and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
Both men are named on international fundraising websites suggesting donations to
(from Drudge Report).

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam Hussein seems to have been captured by US forces in Iraq

U.S. military captured a man in the basement of a building in Tikrit, Iraq, during raids seeking Saddam Hussein, and initial efforts to verify his identity indicate he is the deposed Iraqi dictator, U.S. officials said

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

See-through public toilet:
An artist has put up a see-through loo outside an art gallery to see if anyone will use it.
But people who spend a penny there will have to get over their embarrassment, as the walls of the cubicle are made of one-way mirrored glass.
This means they can see people walking by, but those outside the Tate Britain gallery in London can't see in
(from BBC News).

Thursday, November 27, 2003

President Bush Went to Baghdad for Thanksgiving

'You are defending the American people from danger and we are grateful,' Bush told some 600 soldiers who were stunned and delighted by his appearance.
Wearing an exercise jacket with a 1st Armored Division patch, Bush stood in a chow line and dished out sweet potatoes and corn for Thanksgiving dinner and posed with a platter of a fresh-baked turkey.
'We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost of casualties, defeat a ruthless dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins,' the president said, prompting a standing ovation and cheers

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Chinese state broadcaster will begin broadcasting Friends

The Chinese state broadcaster, China Central Television, will begin broadcasting the popular NBC sitcom "Friends" to the world's biggest potential audience next year, the Beijing Star Daily newspaper reported in Friday's editions (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Funny Flash: A funny end of the world lecture (no really, it is pretty funny). Not intended for young kids.
A half billion dollar computer that 'will do 1000 trillion operations a second' will be completed by 2008 (from The Sydney Morning Herald).
Oh my, a politician exaggerating to the point of silliness:
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, launched a stinging attack on President George Bush last night, denouncing him as the 'greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen'
(from The Independent).

Monday, November 10, 2003

The alphabet soup strikes back - WTO and EU decide Euorpeans may have to pay more for US stuff, lots more:
The World Trade Organisation gave the European Union permission yesterday to impose huge import tariffs, which will allow price increases of between 8 and 100 per cent on a range of goods
(from The Independent).
This is an excerpt from an Associated Press article about the The US Supreme Court agreeing to hear its first case an appeal asking whether foreigners held at Guantanamo Bay may contest their captivity in American courts:
Last month, the International Committee of the Red Cross said the mental health of a large number of inmates was deteriorating.
I think it is safe to say at least some of the detainees are probably terrorists. Before they were captured, they spent their days planning to kill millions of civilians, tortured and oppressed populations (e.g., in Afghanistan) or fantasized about and planned on annihilating most of the people on two continents (North America and Europe). So the International Committee of the Red Cross says their mental health deteriorated after being captured. I see. How does that work again?
Would make the Russian winter a little colder:
Don't kiss and tell - and certainly don't tell the police in Moscow, where city authorities are reportedly considering levying fines for public displays of affection.
As part of an effort to 'improve morals' in the Russian capital, its government is working on an order that would prohibit kissing in subways and other public places, the newspaper Stolichnaya Vechernyaya Gazeta reported on its Web site. It said the ban was being considered at the request of police and the city's education committee
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

FCC Approves Home-To-Cell Number Rule

FCC Approves Home-To-Cell Number Rule:

Federal regulators gave the go-ahead Monday for consumers to switch their home phone numbers to their cell phones. The Federal Communications Commission (news - web sites) said people will be able to transfer their numbers as long as their wireless (news - web sites) coverage area overlaps the location of their conventional phone.
In some cases, cell customers also will be able to transfer their numbers to conventional phones. However, the FCC said it needed to gather more information so it could expand the number of people who could do so.
The new home-to-cell number and the limited cell-to-home rules take effect Nov. 24, the same day wireless customers will be able to keep their numbers when they switch cell phone companies. The rules govern customers living in the 100 most populous metropolitan areas and take effect six months later for all others.
'After today, it's easier than ever to cut the cord,' FCC Chairman Michael Powell said. 'By firmly endorsing a customer's right to untether themselves from the wireline network - and take their telephone number with them - we act to eliminate impediments to competition between wireless and wireline services'

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, November 3, 2003

Study: 'Oprah' Fans More Likely To Be Stressed:
According to a new study, fans of the 'Oprah Winfrey Show' have higher stress levels than those who are not fans. According to the study, 5 percent of the country's adult population, or 9 million people, said they feel so much stress that they can no longer cope. Half of those said they were fans of the show

Friday, October 31, 2003

Fun flash: Carve a pumpkin without getting your hands messy (family friendly).

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Biodegradable CDs will start selling at the end of this year

Biodegradable CDs will start selling at the end of this year:

Sanyo Electric has developed an optical disc based on a polymer derived from corn which, the company says, is as sturdy as current plastic discs but will biodegrade when disposed of.
The discs have been designed to tackle a problem common to many plastics upon disposal: If burned, toxic gases can be released into the atmosphere causing health and global warming concerns; but if buried, they don't break down, causing a potential problem for future generations. The MildDisc will degrade after a period of about 50 to 100 years and break down into water and carbon dioxide, Watson [a Tokyo-based spokesperson for Sanyo] said. This time span means users don't have to worry about losing information during the lifetime of the discs, he said
(from PC World, via Yahoo News).

Monday, October 20, 2003

Testing airport security as civil disobedience: 'A college student told federal authorities he placed box cutters and other banned items aboard two Southwest Airlines planes nearly five weeks before they were found, according to an FBI affidavit' (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei tendered his resignation, just two days after being sworn in by Yasser Arafat and as another suicide bomber blew himself up in the West Bank (from AFP, via Yahoo News).
And the world is flat:
The lives of Roman Catholics in some of the countries worst hit by HIV/AIDS are being put at even greater risk by advice from their churches that the use of condoms does not prevent transmission of the disease, according to a British television program. If condoms cannot be absolutely guaranteed to block sperm, they stand even less chance of stopping the much smaller virus, the churches' argument runs.
The Archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi Nzeki told the program: 'AIDS...has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms'
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Monday, October 6, 2003

Bejing: Starving people in the tens of millions? Human rights granted to maybe six people? Let's go the moon! Coming up third in the Space Race:
China, on the verge of its first attempt at manned space flight, said on Monday it would launch a satellite to survey the moon within three years. Chinese space officials have hinted they are pursuing a multi-pronged human spaceflight program, including space station construction, as well as eventual travel to the Moon, all by 2020
(from Reuters).
Elena Slough, documented as the nation's oldest person, died Sunday at the nursing home where her daughter died three days before. She was 114 or 115, according to different sources (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Friday, October 3, 2003

The Ig Nobel Prize in engineering went to the late Edward A. Murphy Jr. and two colleagues for jointly coining 'Murphy's Law,' which is commonly known as 'If anything can go wrong, it will' (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, September 29, 2003

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
- Bertrand Russel

Thursday, September 25, 2003

House Votes to Launch Do-Not-Call List

House Votes to Launch Do-Not-Call List: 'The House approved legislation Thursday aimed at ensuring the national "do-not-call" list goes into effect as scheduled next week so consumers can block many unwanted telemarketing sales pitches' (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News). You can register with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The ordering of the letters doesn't matter:'Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.' (from Joi Ito's Web).
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely*:
Federal prosecutors used the [patriot] act in June to file a charge of 'terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction' against a California man after a pipe bomb exploded in his lap, wounding him as he sat in his car [I guess he terrorized his own private parts?].
A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons [Meth a weapon? 'Stand back, or I'll force you to be hyper by making you take this meth!']. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months
Um, I think that isn't exactly in the spirit of that law (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
* 'Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end...liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition...The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern.   Every class is unfit to govern...Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely' (Lord Acton).
North Carolina cops are searching for a guy who successfully passed a $200 bill bearing George W. Bush's portrait and a drawing of the White House complete with lawn signs reading 'We like ice cream' and 'USA deserves a tax cut' (from The Smoking Gun).

Sunday, September 14, 2003

A stage version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail - directed by Mike Nichols and tentatively titled Spamalot - will open in New York in spring 2005 (from BBC).
New York Flash Mobs Met Their Maker:
The mother of all flash mobs officially came to an end on Wednesday night, in an inexplicable grand finale that amazed and confused both participants and mob organizers.
New York City's Mob Project was launched in May by a man known only as 'Bill' as an experiment in participatory street performance. People received an e-mail invitation to a mob event, where they interacted with others according to a loose script, and then dissipated just as suddenly as they appeared
(from Wired).

Friday, September 12, 2003

Presidential candidate Howard Dean likes terrorists, wants to be their friend and counts these killers who target defenseless civilians to be equivalent to the honorable men and women of the US armed forces:
Dean has been under fire for suggesting the United States should not take sides in the Middle East conflict and Israel should get out of disputed territories of the West Bank. While he has insisted that he backs U.S. policy supporting Israel, statements made on Wednesday about Hamas raise new questions.
'There is a war going on in the Middle East, and members of Hamas are soldiers in that war,' Dean said Wednesday.
Dean condemned terrorism but his description of Hamas - designated by the United States as a terrorist group -  as 'soldiers in a war' conflicts with U.S. policy. The European Union also approved last week the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization
(from Fox News).

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).

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Cool: An Austrian specializing in daring stunt jumps donned a carbon fiber wing and flew across the English Channel on Thursday after being dropped from a plane (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Department of Homeland Security: New Department + Same Bureaucratic Process = Even More Bureaucracy (and more of the accompanying waste/inefficiencies)
The move to pull marshals from those flights was particularly disturbing to some because it coincided with a new high-level hijacking threat issued by the Department of Homeland Security. That warning memo said that 'at least one of these attacks could be executed by the end of the summer,' according to a source familiar with the document
(from MSNBC).
An odd 'collective mind' approach to prediciting the future - The Case for Terrorism Futures:
Projects similar to PAM, like the Iowa Electronic Markets, which speculate on election results, have been surprisingly reliable indicators of what's going to happen next.
The price of orange juice futures has even been shown to accurately predict the weather, noted David Pennock, a senior research scientist at Overture Services who has done extensive surveys on the reliability of such markets
(from Wired).
RIAA will take 2191.78 years to sue everyone:
Reader Michaela Stephens says that if the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is right and that 60 million US folk are file sharing, it's going to take the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a mighty long time to get round to them all.
She said: 'I pulled out my calculator to see just how long it would take the RIAA to sue all 60 million P2P music file traders at a rate of 75 a day. 60,000,000/75 = 800,000 days to subpoena each person or 800,000 days/365 days in a year = 2191.78 years to subpoena each person'
Obviously the RIAA won't sue everyone, but the fact someone did the math, is kind of amusing (from The Inquirer).
Scientists bend sunlight to the operating theatre:
Israeli scientists have devised the ultimate in blue sky thinking - a beam of sunlight as a surgeon's scalpel. A team at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba report in Nature today that they used solar surgery to burn away a tumour-sized lesion on the liver of an anaesthetised rat
(from Guardian Unlimited).

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

More Flash Mobs:New Yorkers become a mob for fun: "In the latest occurrence, about 200 people converged on a Central Park ridge across from the Museum of Natural History on Thursday. Once in place, the mob tweeted like birds and crowed like roosters, chanted 'Na-ture,' and then dispersed" (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Monday, July 28, 2003

Napster Ready for Holiday Relaunch - 'The fallen song-swapping service, which was knocked offline last year after a prolonged legal battle with the record industry over copyright infringement allegations, will re-emerge as a legal paid music service Napster 2.0' (from PC World, via Yahoo News).
The Command Post - The Werewolf Principle: "Despite what the quagmire chorus would have you believe, this isn't the first time America has tried to rebuild a war-torn, formerly fascist state. "
Darwinian Poetry: Humans 'select' good poems and a computer attempts to 'evolve' the poems it generates into interesting poetry.
Fun Flash: Silly Cat Comix are silly.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Star Wars Kid Files Lawsuit:
The parents of the infamous 'Star Wars Kid' are suing classmates who posted a humiliating video of their son on the Net, according to Canada's Globe and Mail. Quebec teenager Ghyslian Raza was the target of worldwide mockery when a private video he made of himself practicing his lightsaber moves was uploaded to the Net by kids at his school. Now his parents are claiming damages of $160,000 from the families of the four classmates who digitized and published the video. Ghyslain's parents claim their son was so humiliated, he is undergoing psychiatric care and may be marked for life by the experience
(from Wired).
Reuters put Deanna Wrenn's name on a story she says she didn't write (from Opinion Journal).
Bill Clinton on Bush uranium line: 'Everybody makes mistakes' - Jul. 23, 2003: 'You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president,' Clinton said. 'I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That's what I think' (from CNN).
Cool Optical Illusion (click to see it).
Business lessons from the donut and coffee guy:
...this was the first business establishment I've ever been to that lets its customers make their own change... It's also apparent that Ralph [the owner] trusts his customers, and that they both appreciate and return that sense of trust (I know I do). Trust is one of the most difficult 'assets' for companies to acquire, but also one of the most valuable

RIAA Hit List has been made public

RIAA Hit List has been made public. Whether this will shame users who the RIAA plans to subpoena, or simply warn them to avoid the servers, remains to be seen (from Tech TV).

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Amazon plan would allow searching texts of many books (from The New York Times).
Remote backup: TransOrbital is planning backup systems based on the moon (from PC Magazine).
Michael Jackson says Congress should make no laws that could land music fans in jail for downloading songs illegally over the Internet. 'Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws ...,' he said. 'It is the fans that drive the success of the music business; I wish this would not be forgotten' (from CNN).
Uday and Qusay are dead:
On Tuesday, July 22, forces associated with the 101st Airborne Division and Special Operations Forces conducted an operation against suspected regime figures at a residence in Mosul, Iraq. The site is currently being exploited. Four Iraqis were killed in the operation. We have confirmed that two of the dead were Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay
(from Headquarters United States Central Command).

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A Moscow court awarded the family of a man killed

A Moscow court awarded the family of a man killed in a rebel theater siege last year compensation totaling $50,000 in a landmark ruling following months of legal wrangling, the family's lawyer said Tuesday (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

The movie industry might 'get it' more than the music industry does: The movie industry is trying a new tactic in its war against people who download pirated copies of films over the Internet - it's asking nicely. 'I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me or for other executives,' said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp, whose Twentieth Century Fox studio made the spots. 'What we are endeavoring to do is both communicate that it's wrong and also communicate that there are human stakes and that those stakes are not just millionaires making less millions' (from The Taipei Times).

Monday, July 14, 2003

Pentagon Alters LifeLog Project - and it is still big brother (from Wired). In five years, or however long it ends up, when the system goes on-line for the general population, and I disappear, it will be because right now I said LifeLog=Big Brother. If you are unfamiliar, 'Big Brother' is the identity of the head figure of the absolute totalitarian government in George Orwell's book 1984.
GPS, one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century, may change all aspects of life (from Fast Company).
Document links Saddam, bin Laden (from Tennessean).

Friday, July 11, 2003

Funny Flash: Sue All the World, satire at the RIAA's expense (but not monetary expense, I mean, I don't want them to start suing me now ;-).

Sunday, July 6, 2003

As I mentioned before, 'Flash Mobs' are forming all over 'Flash mobs are performance art projects involving large groups of people. Mobilized by e-mail, a mob suddenly materializes in a public place, acts out according to some loose instructions, and then melts away as quickly as it formed' (from Wired).

Friday, July 4, 2003

Ink for home printers is more expensive than champagne. 'The news comes as a Which? survey shows that many cartridges say they are empty long before they are. Some printers warn users that the ink is about to run out. Ignoring the warnings can nearly double the printing output' (from This is London from the Evening Standard).

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

A study of engaged couples suggests that finding a true 'soul mate' may be easier for women than it is for men (from Reuters, via Yahoo News). It seems that the study may not have been a proper double blind study; it may reveal more about the researchers conducting the study, three women, than the engaged couples it is supposed to examine.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix sold 5 million copies on it's first day, making approximatly $100 million dollars that day alone (from The New York Times).
Agent Smiths marching
In Tokyo, many people gathered as 'Agent Smith' from the Matrix. This reminds me of some of the mass gatherings that have happened in New York.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

'An Oxford University professor has provoked outrage by rejecting an application from an Israeli PhD student purely because of his nationality' (from The Telegraph).
'Stock markets around the world are on course for their best quarter for nearly five years amid growing optimism about prospects for the global economy after the end of the war in Iraq' (from Financial Times).

North Korea has enough plutonium to make six to 10 nuclear weapons

'North Korea has enough plutonium to make six to 10 nuclear weapons and could test such a weapon by the end of the year, a former US negotiator with the Stalinist state said in an interview published today' (from

Monday, June 23, 2003

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, gets silly and vengeful; seems he's not a student of federal hacking law and the good reasons it was created: 'The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet... Legal experts have said any such attack would violate federal anti-hacking laws.... He [Hatch] said damaging someone's computer 'may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights'

' (from The Washington Post).

Friday, June 13, 2003

To call the USA Today Cover story about the 'real end of the war in Iraq' bad journalism would be to insult bad journalism; it is really an editorial, not an appropriate cover story. To expect a nation that has been ravaged by three major wars in the last 23 years to be subdued in a handful of weeks is so naive as to cross the line from wishful thinking and move firmly into lack of thinking. As you read, keep an eye out for how the journalists (Kelley, Strauss, Kasindorf and Valerie Alvord) betray their sources by revealing in the newspaper the worries Luis Sanchez was keeping from his fiancée, Keri Nettle, about his deployment, instead of telling her themselves when they interviewed her, or honoring his wishes to keep quiet (from USA Today).

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Vice Magazine brings us this article, which I excerpt here:
TERRORISM - Oh, and like a bomb is going to get you... We lost 80 times that many people [the number killed on Spetmber 11 by terroist attacks] to cigarettes and car accidents last year. All right, we should definitely fight to stop terrorism and it's really bad and everything, but as far as anything happening to you - fegeddaboudit. I call bullshit on terrorism [emphasis added].
An article that mentions Titan Key's intriguing anti-spam software that sounds like it can effectively stop automated messages from being sent to an address without stopping e-mail sent by human beings (from Wired).
Internet Battle Raises Questions About the First Amendment (from The New York Times).
The identity of Salam Pax, author of the Dear Raed blog, seems to have been partially revealed: journalist Peter Maass writes 'Salam Pax, the most famous and most mysterious blogger in the world, was my interpreter' (from

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Monday, April 28, 2003

The Telegraph found documents that 'provided the first evidence of a direct link between Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorist network and Saddam Hussein's regime' (from The Telegraph).
Total Lunar Eclipse Coming May 15-16 (from, via Yahoo News).
A Russian capsule docked with the International Space Station, and its crew will replace the astronauts who were stuck on the station after the Columbia Shuttle disaster February 1 (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Dixie Chics have posed nude in reponse to their critics... um, yeah; at least that'll distract 'em (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).
The new Matrix movies will be released on standard and Imax screens, though the first of the two films will show on Imax screens two or three weeks after its general release, the second of the two will release at the same time, cool (from Dow Jones, via Yahoo Finance).
'A group of Florida-based porn peddlers, penis enlargement and Viagra spammers has united to file suit against anti-spam organisations'; ah yes, from the state that couldn't vote properly ;-) (from The Register). There are possibly 180 spammers who are responsible for virtually all junk e-mail.
The BBC's William Horsley says there are two things Paris could do to regain some of its lost favour in Washington: to write off much of the debt owed to it by the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein, and to support the US call for Nato to take a key role in Iraqi peacekeeping (from the BBC).

Monday, April 21, 2003

Private Manned Space Plane Unveiled

Private manned space plane was unveiled, it was built in secret, and, if functional, it will be the first private manned space program (from MSNBC).

Saddam's Secret Files, the Newsweek cover story (from MSNBC).

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Chicago Cubs player Sammy Sosa was hit in the batting helmet by a pitch, the helmet saved him and he is okay (from The Washington Post).

Helen of Troy Miniseries Tonight

The Helen of Troy Miniseries show tonight at on USA, and I hope they have done a good job, because the story of the most famous war ever is quite good.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

The Iraqi information minister talking doll, made by, is now availible (for more on the Iraqi information minister, visit, article from CNN).
There is a cool jet pack being made by Millennium Jet (if that link doesn't work, check the google cached version, from CNN).

Friday, April 18, 2003

CNN inadvertently released their prepared obituaries for famous people (who are still alive, from The Smoking Gun).
Pilots will start having guns in cockpits as early as Sunday, thanks to the Transportation Security Administartion (from AFP via Yahoo News). The Transportation Security Administartion, closing the barn door.
Mass Grave a Quarter Mile Long Found in Iraq "Captain Hawez, the police officer, walked in the graveyard this afternoon, head down, dust rising as he slowly strolled, his subordinates keeping a little distance. He seemed near to tears. His story was dark. 'I loved a Kurdish girl,' he said. 'The Iraqi regime took her when we were young.' He paused and swallowed, before explaining his reddened eyes: 'Every time I find new graves I feel like it is her in the ground.'" (from The New York Times).
Exhibit 13 is Blue Man Group's tribute to the events of September 11th.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

42% of Americans still aren't using the Internet, so you are in the 58% group (from The Washington Post).
Russia is against lifting UN sanctions on Iraq, which makes sense since they were on Saddam's side (from AFP via Yahoo News, and from The Telegraph).

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Monday, April 14, 2003

Perfidious French: The French broke the rules, and as recently as last year were still suppling Iraq with weapons and other items banned by the UN in 1990; I'm shocked, amazed, and I might start to think of the French as French (from MSNBC).
Personality Identification Playing Cards, the playing cards (with Saddam's cohorts on them) that you've heard so much about (from Defense Link).
The first day-time television on-screen lesbian kiss will happen April 22 on 'All My Children' on abc (from Reuters via Yahoo News).
Russia helped Saddam Hussein by providing intelligence on Tony Blair's discussions with other Western leaders, lists of assassins available for 'hits' in the West, and agreed to help each other to 'obtain' visas for agents to go to other countries (from The Telegraph).
An update on how Afganistan is doing, it is slow, but progress on nation-building is being made (from The Washington Post).
In the short term, U.S. dollars probably will be the currency of choice in Iraq (from The Washington Post).

Saturday, April 12, 2003

A former Marine wants to fast track the awarding of US Citizenship to 'Mohammed,' as well as his family, who at great risk to himself (and family) produced information which enabled the rescue of Jessica Lynch. You can sign the petition (via Blogs of War).
Some say that CNN's unwillingness to report Saddam's secret atrocities (as discussed in a New York Times article yesterday) implicates CNN in Saddam's crimes (from The Washington Times).

Friday, April 11, 2003

Gory news that could not be reported during Saddam's reign because reporting it put Iraqis and press people in danger of being tortured or killed by Saddam's secret police (from The New York Times).
An odd 'Can you hear me now...' flash parody (from

Stay Dead Online

A new flash player for the short film 'Stay Dead,' [player has gone offline, please watch here] which is screening tonight at 9 PM at North Beach in Chicago (coarse humor and sexual situations, parental guidance suggested).

A funny spoof picture of what it's like driving in Iraq.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Saddam's government seems to have dissolved quickly; it remains to be seen if it is a deliberate retreat, or chaotic collapse (from The Washington Post).

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

A good run down of some of the events of the war yesterday, including Saddam Hussein's symbolic loss of power in Bagdad (from Blogs of War).
'The Baathist terror state in its death throws' says Dean's World in an account of spontaneous rejoicing near Detroit (via Blogs of War).

Icons of Saddam Hussein were toppled

Icons of Saddam Hussein were toppled in Iraq today, and people took cool pictures (from Yahoo News).

Monday, April 7, 2003

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Politcal cartoon of the Iraqi information minister's next broadcast (from via's AIM chattroom).
America's smart bombs now cause fewer deaths than the EU development budget, so perhaps trying consolidate Europe isn't a painless thing to do after all. The previous attempts to consolidate Europe, back in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, did set off the most violent, destructive wars the world has ever seen (from Daghtator Blog).

Saturday, April 5, 2003

A first-grader became the latest kid suspended from school for having a nonweapon 'weapon' (a plastic school cafeteria knife), but his parents threatened criminal charges against the school (for arming 6-year-olds with weapons) if the suspension stood (from News of the Weird).
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).

US troops moved into Bagdad

US troops moved into Bagdad briefly (from Associated Press via Yahoo News).

Friday, April 4, 2003

Funny flash parody of intermission (from
Live video from Bagdad in windows media player format (from MSNBC via
General Tommy Franks' effective strategy briefly analyzed and compared to the German attack on the French in 1940 (from Asia Times Online).
An Iraqi man saved Jessica Lynch at great risk to himself and his family (from

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Record Industry Sued 4 University Students Running File-Sharing Networks. I think the students may be judgment proof, and I doubt these suits will stop music piracy at all; the RIAA is trying to intimidate all college kids everywhere into obeying authority, which if you've ever known (or been) a college kid, isn't a very effective way to get a college kid to do what you want (from
US intelligence reports say Iran will infiltrate 5 Iraqi cities to harass American soldiers once Saddam Hussein's regime falls (from
A CNN medical correspondent (who is also a neurosurgeon) performed emergency brain surgery in an effort to save the life of a 2-year-old Iraqi boy; the press can do the right thing (from
Coalition forces four miles from the edge of Baghdad (from
An LA times photographer doctored a photo that was published on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Monday (from

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

A good run down of the day's war news (from

In the last hour a US Helicopter was shot down

In the last hour, a US Helicopter was shot down by small arms fire and a US Navy F/A-18C Hornet was shot down by a surface to air missile; the fate of the soldiers aboard both the aircraft is not yet confirmed (from Yahoo News).

Coalition Is Within 30 Miles of Baghdad

Coalition Is Within 30 Miles of Baghdad (from Associated Press via Yahoo News).

Friday, March 28, 2003

Wisconsinaphobia - James C. Schaefer recently self-published an autobiography chronicling what he believes was his textbook case of Wisconsinaphobia (heightened anxiety attacks and debilitating back pains at any mention of the state or anything associated with it).
Suggestions on what put in care packages for US troops and what to leave out. Ideas include: baby wipes, surgical masks, toilet paper, eye drops, lip balm, sun block (from The Miami Herald).
Saddam Hussein met with a woman who may be a bio weapon scientist (from

Army Reports Iraq Is Moving Toxic Arms to Its Troops

Army Reports Iraq Is Moving Toxic Arms to Its Troops. This is not good; in the end, no one benefits from the release of chemical weapons, or Biologic and Atomic either (from The New York Times via Yahoo News).