Saturday, February 03, 2001fast as you can
more hype for the buck
worst show ever?
the year of the bat
must be chinese new year day in chinatown or some such event because suddenly i had the sensation that a marching band was headed up my steps. the stairwell (stairway?) amplifies sound from the street right into my apartment but only after a threshold has been reached. a row of snare and bass and i was practically curbside. theyre long gone by now. just me and spidey. did you know he has a translucent cape now?
Friday, February 02, 2001slave to the rhythm
whats in your mind?
is blogger dead?
i dont pay much attention to bloggerville anymore except when it doesnt work. so i was surprised to see a letter in salon noting pyra's demise. now ev, megnut and pb have closed off their blogs to the public. (theyre back now.) jack saturn and haughey have some thoughts and i guess its a hot topic on metafilter. heres the word from ev on pyra.
back to the future
stop me b4i blog again
margaret meads revenge
this is your life on blog
all penguins, all the time
not even zoloft could get this bird airborne --
"MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) - A baby penguin found wandering dazed near an Australian suburban fast food restaurant had to be treated for depression, local media reported. Police picked up the six-week old bird as it waddled through the streets of Melbourne in the early hours of the morning. ``(Police) were on a routine patrol in the Preston area and they found a penguin, just loitering in the vicinity of McDonalds,'' a spokesman told reporters. But a spokeswoman for Melbourne Zoo said the penguin was not exhilarated by its adventure -- which attracted significant media interest -- and had to be treated later for depression. ``Stress alone can make them very ill and kill them,'' spokeswoman Judith Henke told Australian Associated Press (AAP). ``They are not geared up for this and get very depressed.'' Experts could not say how the penguin came to be on Melbourne's streets, but speculated it had been picked up illegally on a beach or island off the mainland and later dumped."
rich man, poor man
"I don't want to be too hard on Wallach. For one thing, at the moment she's sitting two seats away from me on a Swissair flight headed back to the States, a fact that has an oddly inhibiting effect. For another thing, she wasn't alone in papering over these tensions. In Davos, John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, was on a panel with Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa, and neither took pains to highlight their differences. (A hint of tension between northern lefties and southern nations came when someone from the audience asked Mbeki if, given the environmental cost of an expanding global bourgeoisie, his people should pursue a less materialistic, more spiritual path than the north had pursued. Mbeki replied dryly that he was perfectly happy for his people to be poets, but he wanted them to write their poetry on full stomachs.)"
"I've always enjoyed the Park, but I used to be more interested in its artificiality; its calculated landscaping, and its interplay with the city. I must have had a closer focus on that day, sitting above the bit of stream that feeds the Lake, just west of Balcony Bridge. I noticed something moving along the watercourse, fragments through the foliage, but definitely...what? Bigger than a Guinea Pig, but the same shape; squared off profile; coarser coat; longer tail; wilder somehow, but...
I went into the Museum of Natural History and found a back corridor with dioramas of New York State Mammals. There it was: Marmotta monax, the common Woodchuck, AKA Groundhog. I felt reassured, knowing its Latin name."
news you can use
"LONDON (Reuters) - Do penguins topple over when they peer into the sky watching planes and helicopters fly over? Finally, a full blown scientific study has come up with the answer. They may waddle away in fright but they do NOT lose their balance and topple over. Rumors of falling penguins have abounded since British plane and helicopter pilots returning from the 1982 Falklands War claimed their flights had toppled the earth-bound birds. To settle the issue, a favorite of cartoonists and penguin jokes, environmental research scientist Richard Stone spent five weeks watching helicopters fly over two King Penguin colonies in the Antarctic, studying their effect on more than 1,000 birds. ``We saw birds moving away from the noise (of helicopters and planes),'' he said. ``Not a single bird fell over after 17 flights.'' ``As it (the helicopter) approached, the birds went quiet,'' he said. ``They didn't appear to turn around and look.'' Some birds waddled away from the helicopters. Others became quiet. A few minutes later, they waddled back. ``We don't know if it's the noise or the visual aspect -- whether it looks like a potential predator,'' Stone said. "
bought to you by...
angry libs an oxymoron?
high and tight
"What's old is new. Major league baseball, hoping to quicken pace and pulses, plans to go back to the future in 2001. The schedule, in practice, and the strike zone, in promise, are going retro.
The schedule is being unbalanced so that there will be less travel east to west and the strike zone is being fashioned to create more room south to north. A person in solitary confinement the past 30 years would find quite familiar what major league officials are instituting - or re-instituting - this season: more divisional games and strikes that are called above the belt."
"There's not much public information yet about the Napster's blueprint for a membership-based service. But in private meetings with major-label chieftains, CEO Hank Barry has still been pitching a $5 a month fee, according to sources. That's the same estimate he made back on Halloween when he first announced the alliance with Bertelsmann. That figure, though, has been criticized by record moguls. Vivendi Universal vice chairman Edgar Bronfman told Wall Street that any charge would have to be at least three times as much and both Universal and EMI have floated subscription plans with fees closer to $15 a month. A back of the envelope calculation shows why: Napster claims 57 million users, which, at $5 a pop, would result in $3.4 billion in service fees each year (assuming that digital musos don't flee to Gnutella and that teenagers can lift their parent's credit cards.) But charging three times more brings in at least $10.2 billion, which would go a bit toward replacing the $14.6 billion in annual record shipments, assuming a worst-case Napster world in which nobody ever buys a CD again. Then again, the $5 fee may always change as Napster and corporate partner Bertelsmann seem to see things somewhat differently. This past week, Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff told an international conference that the subscription service will debut this summer; Barry said there was no timetable."
"Some of us may have to hold our nose a little bit but I think we have to help," said Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado. This is a minority opinion. If California wanted a bailing out from the Bush administration, it should have picked a different time to stop being a swing state."
whos in charge?
the wrath of kirk
william shattner in character on conan --
"im canadian. if america and canada went to war, it would be my duty to kill as many americans as i possibly can."
3x a laity
spare us the cutter
"For George W. Bush, by contrast, the message of any development, bad or good, is: Let's party! During the campaign, he called for tax cuts on the grounds that prosperity was generating more tax revenue than the government deserved. Now that prosperity is in some doubt, Bush's recommendation is …? Why, tax cuts, of course. Mad cow disease turns half the population into human sponges? Tax cuts. The second coming of our lord Jesus Christ? What better way to mark the occasion than by cutting taxes?"
Thursday, February 01, 2001backflips
dead as a dotcom
learn to burn
"The Swoosh seems to be everywhere. But up until about six years ago, Nike suffered a peculiar blindspot. When it came to the world's most popular sport, the world-beating shoe company was a virtual non-entity."
"AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Fans of the soccer club Ajax Amsterdam let two cows loose on the team's playing field to protest against the poor state of the turf. The grass in the Amsterdam Arena has been replaced 24 times since the stadium was opened in 1996 but critics say the pitch has not got much better. One of the two cows made its contribution to improving the quality of the grass by providing some natural fertilizer of its own. The next team to visit the Amsterdam Arena will be Willem II Tilburg, who play Ajax on February 11 and may request permission to train there the day before the game to get used to the conditions."
Wednesday, January 31, 2001wavering
"After inexplicably running aground on a reef, an oil tanker on a regular supply run from the Ecuadorean port of Guayaquil to San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Islands spilled more than 150,000 gallons of heavy fuel into waters that are the habitat of some of the world's rarest marine and bird species. An environmental disaster was avoided only because winds and currents shifted soon after the leak began, carrying the fuel away from remote islands where large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas and blue- footed boobies live."
"Five members of the Falun Gong movement set themselves ablaze in the middle of Tiananmen Square, capping months of almost daily smaller acts of civil disobedience by group members. Despite an 18-month crackdown on the sect, China has been unable to suppress or even identify its followers, and on Jan. 1, its leader, Li Hongzhi, announced on his Web site that followers should not practice forbearance in the face of unreasonable attacks."
sticks and stones
francis and zoe
"So maybe the most interesting thing about Amazon's layoff strategy is its less widely noted plan to create a "trust fund" of about $2.5 million in stock on behalf of the 1,300 it has downsized. (The laid-off will also reportedly get 12 weeks of severance pay.) The thinking is that those who are being sacrificed in the effort to mold Amazon into a shape that will redeem its business model (and thus its stock price) will at least kind of, sort of get to be among the beneficiaries of that sacrifice at the same time—they will "share in the fruits" of Amazon's future success, as CEO Jeff Bezos put it."
shot through the heart
on the prowl
not naders fault?
Tuesday, January 30, 2001filter feeds
Monday, January 29, 2001super bore
im guessing the only superbowl record broken yesterday was for most punts in a superbowl game. i managed to watch most of the simpsons and the underrated grosse pointe on the wb during the game w/o missing much and i turned it off intime to avoid getting sucked into the toxic pit of survivor part duh. heres a wapo take on the games repercussions in medialand. dont miss the "what was your favorite ad poll? and why not clickon over to adcritic, sure to have something commercial going on. i thought bob dole mocking himself and viagra in the pepsi ad was right on target. actor dole is much like politician dole. they both have a sly sense of humor and are willing to act the fool/straight man but will shill for anybody willing to put him on the dole.
i guess i should amend the notion that i thought the halftime show was good or even well done, it wasnt, but it was a far cry from the pointless pageantry we are usually forcefed. i question why they think any footballers even highschool girls forced to endure the game with their boyfriends would want to listen to nsuck or the backalley boys but maybe im missing the point. if they advertise these events maybe they think that prepubescent girls will tune in just for the music? huh? its all about rating i guess.
as long as im ranting about tv sports -- nbc gets a big thumb up their ass for their replay policy. oftentimes when there is a foul or a stoppage of play, instead of replaying the event which lead into the break so the viewers can judge for themselves what happened, nbc will run with a prepackaged set of highlights from a few plays back reinforcing the blather of the color commentators, and then just completely ignores whatever just happened. it is most infuriating. im sure this policy is by design to minimize complaints about bad officiating. the nba, like most corporate entities, seeks to minimize any dissent or notions of impropriety within their ranks. and one more thing -- the engorged promo syndrome. nbc continues to shrink the size of the screen during games. two years ago the promos that slide up on the bottom of the screen to publicize nbcs mustavoid tv seemed to be about 25% of the screen. last year they raised it to about 40% and this year it seems like its reached the 50% mark. soon the game will be down to 10% while previews of three sisters and the latest reality bust run on the rest of the screen. also, there will be a translucent peacock superimposed over the 10% of the screen that still has the game but this is only to "help" viewers recognize the station when channel surfing. a caution should be noted as the peacock bristles with color when the game goes to commercial and has been known to setoff pacemakers and car alarms.
Sunday, January 28, 2001puritan zeal
In 1629, John Winthrop heard about a new venture called the Massachusetts Bay Company. In those days, groups of investors would put their money together and establish trading companies. The company would send workers to the New World to obtain furs, spices, and other exotic goods and ship them back to England for a profit. Each company had to be specially chartered by the King to receive authority and land to establish a colony in the New World. The colony would have a governor, but the board of directors and chief executive officer would stay in England, overseeing the operation and collecting the profits. On paper, the Massachusetts Bay Company appeared to be just another trading company. But there was a small technical detail that made it different from the other companies: The board of directors was not required to meet in London. In fact, the charter did not mention where the Company would meet. The King of England didn't notice this fact when he signed the Company charter. But the implications of this small oversight were enormous. The whole company, including the board of directors and the governor, could move to the New World and effectively set up their own autonomous government. They could establish their own laws and operate without any direct supervision by the King's authorities in London. Most of the members of the Massachusetts Bay Company were Puritan. They had the full legal authority, if they so desired, to move to New England and build an independent society where they could govern themselves according to the dictates of their conscience.
a halftime show worth watching. screw the theatrix, its rock concert all the way. nice mixture of old and new black and white, etc. from rundmc to nysnc, hey aerosmith youve come along way but its all been downhill and right into your fat bankroll. and finally some advances in sports broadcasting. eyevisions 360 degree simulated viewing. i think i heard 30 cameras are linked to create the panoramic effect. like we said, the innovations come first in video games before they can be realized in actuality. boy. glad im a jet fan today. the giants are stinking it up. i guessed the ravens would win 24 -13. memo to giants quarterback kerry collins -- your team has the blue jerseys, throw it to them not to the team in white.