Sunday, May 29, 2005

[politics] Remembrance

Poppy Day (2 minutes silence) ...In Flanders fields The poppies grow Between the crosses Row on row That mark out place We are the dead... -- Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Join Hands'
Drawing upon the poem "In Flanders Fields" that was inspired by the horrors of the Second Battle of Ypres (horrors that included the first use of poison gas), Siouxsie's discordant version carries with it the anger, chaos, and disruption of war. The poppies that blossomed amid the carnage and shell-churned soil of Ypres are the inspiration of our Memorial Day poppies today. Regardless of our feelings about our current wars, we owe a moment of silence for the fallen, past, present, future. And while this upcoming day is a remembrance of the sacrifices of American soldiers, let us not forget the greater costs of all wars. We have at this hour lost over 1,656 soldiers to this abomination; let us not also forget that the death toll among Iraqis is orders of magnitude greater.

While I hold no hope that this will occur in my (or my child's) lifetime, may there be no more wars. May there be no more blood needlessly shed for untruths large and small.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kristina said...

Yes.

Yes.

5/30/2005 10:17:00 PM  

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[random] That time of year: followup #2

Awoke this morning to much cawing coming from our backyard. While making coffee, the source became apparent: another juvenile raven (or crow - I'm wavering somewhat, but for now I'm still going to call them ravens), probably from the same clutch of eggs as the one that didn't make it, thought he was stuck on our neighbor's back porch. Mom & Dad were close by, periodically flying off to other nearby locations to, I can only assume, check in on their other fledglings... Given the amount of crowing and cawing that has been going on this morning, I'm guessing that they have at least two others who've survived so far. I'm happy for them... they were so angry with me after I disposed of the other baby, and harassed me mercilessly for a couple of days. (Yeah, yeah, I know - anthropomorphising, yadda yadda. You weren't dive-bombed ;-) ) Now, however, it would seem that the first baby was maybe fledged somewhat prematurely. Mom and Dad now appear to have their hands (wings? beaks?) full with the others.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

[random] New story up

over on slow memory leak. I think I like it, but I'm not entirely sure... I found myself second-guessing it over and over, but after some major rework, I think it isn't too bad...

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Friday, May 27, 2005

[random] Should we talk about the weather?

(hi, hi, hi) My friend Kristina over at Lively Writhing has a righteous kvetch to the weather entities (we're having a most atypical heat wave here in Seattle - we get one or two per summer, and they typically suck raw moose because so few houses here are air conditioned), but I think she's making a big mistake - it's July 4th that's almost guaranteed to be rainy, not Memorial Day. There's actually a simple programming demo on Microsoft's website where the (deliberately simplistic) example program is a silly little weather predictor: key in a date, and it uses a pseudo-random number to choose from a couple of vague options to tell you what the weather'll be. It's sorta like a magic 8-ball of Seattle weather (my sources say cloudy, with intermittent lattés). The sole non-random date? July 4 - 100% guaranteed to rain. I didn't get it until we moved here... Of course, now I don't think it's funny at all. Should we talk about the government? (hi, hi, hi, hi)

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[politics] Speaking of limits...

...and fascists, evidently: Microsoft is canning Ralph Reed. Hey Ralph! Don't let the door hit'cha where the Good Lord split'cha, 'kay? Thanks to John at AMERICABlog, who picked it up from The Seattle Weekly (trying to scoop The Stranger, I guess - ain't real competition great?). Read the Weekly's article - it's pretty interesting:
"...there's another potential cause of his deletion from Outlook address books at Microsoft: Reed is now caught up in the influence-peddling scandal in D.C., which includes accusations he worked in concert with two other top Republicans also once engaged by Microsoft. One of them, Jack Abramoff, lobbied for Microsoft in the late 1990s while a member of the Seattle law and lobbying firm Preston Gates Ellis—the firm of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' father, William H. Gates II. Abramoff is under investigation for possibly bilking millions of dollars from former Indian tribal clients and improperly using his friendship with House Speaker Tom DeLay, who is facing ethics charges and is the subject of federal investigations. (See "Following the Money," April 6.) Abramoff's questioned activities include a suspected money-laundering scheme that involves both Reed and fellow Microsoft adviser and lobbying superstar Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform."
Whatever the reason, I'm glad he's gone - the article still has pleny of nuggets to raise concern, but still... I'll take good news like this every day, particularly in light of boneheaded shit like Microsoft's new patent on XML serialization. Sigh. Like I said... Right now I gotta make the best of the good moments, 'cause the bad ones keep coming fast and furious...

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[politics] Limits

At what point do we suspend Godwin's Law? Okay, not Godwin's law per se - but when does the Nazi comparison stop being hyperbolic? Can it ever? Will there ever be a time when events trump the emotional loading of 'Hitler' or 'Nazi'? Is that time now? Consolidation of oligarchical and corporatist power into a small elite; media consolidation and control; military fetishism; denigration of women, homosexuals, and the ever popular 'others'. A Party solely concerned with concentrating power and power's mechanisms. Secret tribunals. Extrajudicial prison camps. With death chambers. Warrantless searches. Secret evidence. Secret surveillence. Police investigation and intimidation of political dissidents. If not now, when? Because when they're dragging you away, it's too late. When? (Mike Godwin, BTW, has his own blog on copyright and related digital freedom issues ssues called, appropriately enough, Godwin's Law. Check out the css and step into the wayback machine, you Mac fanatics out there ;-))

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Monday, May 23, 2005

[random] new blog

I've gone and created a new blog named slow memory leak. A few things have happened lately that have gotten me thinking about writing again... This blog is enough of a mishegas without adding more noise to the signal, so I decided to create a new space solely for writing and/or other creative endeavors. My first post is up, combining the two parts of "That time of year" into one piece and expanding upon it, with a little fictionalization thrown in for gloss... We'll see how long this lasts - I haven't written creatively for years, and I'm feeling kinda rusty.

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[random][geek] Reason #5,223,154 why I love the Internet

I've got my headphones on, listening to a French reggae/hip-hop tune being streamed in realtime by one of the rock channels of Swedish radio. Look for the word "Lyssna" to load the streams...

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[random] That time of year: followup

It is really quiet outside our house this morning. Quite a noticible change, in fact. The baby raven? Dead. I was taking some trash out this morning when I saw it lying in the gutter. Last night, one of our neighbors told us that it had hurt one of its wings, and that they tried to feed it. No luck. I went inside and came back out with a trash bag. Instantly, Mom started cawing and crowing at me, the tempo and pitch rising the closer I got to her baby. It surprised me with its softness, which I could feel through the trash bag. Its baby feathers were more like inky down than sharp, spiky quills. Its head lolled about, its eyes were closed. There was a huge bare patch on the underside of one wing - probably the original injury. Its legs were red with raw, exposed flesh - these were new. Mom dove at my head, and took a perch on the telephone lines overhead, still screaming at me. Sorry, Mom. I'm not the predator here... I'm guessing it got hit by a car, or got run over by someone who didn't realize it had taken shelter under their tires. It was so quiet on our porch - sitting, blinking at us, not making a sound. It sags limply in my hands as I cradle it in the trash bag. It's bigger than I thought it would be - about a third the size of an adult. I look for any hint of life: a blink, a twitch, a shallow breath. Nothing. It's still warm, but not as warm as a live bird. One of its legs juts out stiffly, awkwardly, a grotesque counterbalance to the dangling head and beak. Raw pinkish-red skin shows in sharp contrast to the fluffy black feathers, broken white ends of pinfeathers clinging to the edges of wounds. Specks of brown and white bird shit flecked its feathers. Mom still screams at me, futilely. Sorry Mom. She swoops at my head again as I get up and start to walk to our trashcans. She follows me until I step through the gates at the bottom of our driveway and sits on our neighbor's roof, cawing still, but not coming closer. I give it one last exam, hoping against hope for a sign that it is alive. I get what I expect: nothing. The body is still warm, but cooling. I bundle it up in the bag, tying it tight. We're supposed to get warm weather this week... Mom keeps her distance as I return to our front porch empty-handed. She is still crying out her warnings, her curses, black avian imprecations flying as her baby never will. Sorry Mom. It is quiet outside our house this morning.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

[random] The boy and I go reaving

Reaving. Not the usual sort of activity one engages in, eh? Even if you live in an area with as strong a Scandinavian heritage as Seattle, it's ya-sure-you-betcha loggers and fishermen most folks identify with, not Vikings. In our house, we dig Vikings... At any rate, the boy and I went to the Viking Festival in Poulsbo, WA. I know, the place was founded by squarehead[*] loggers and fishermen, but what the heck, right? The weather didn't look too bad, we needed to get out of the house, so I figured we'd go the long way, up to the Edmonds ferry. After his initial reaction ("Oh boy! Vikings!"), the boy was kind of skeptical. "Are there going to be real Vikings there?" No, there will be people dressed like Vikings, showing you how Vikings lived. "Aren't there any more Vikings?" No, they stopped being Vikings after a while and became farmers and traders. "Why? Did they run out of monks?" Snort. Heh. Like I said, in our house, we dig the Vikings. Pirates are okay, too - but there's just something about Vikings... At any rate, despite a horrific downpour that struck just as we were looking for parking, we had a great day. We rode some rides on the carnival, we ate some typical Kiawanis/Cub Scout/Lions Club festival food for lunch, rode some more rides, then the boy got to wear a 'real' Viking helmet (excellent craftsmanship), check out some superbly-made chain mail, and heft a dull but otherwise perfect throwing axe... "There", the interpreter says, as he shows the boy what he looks like in a mirror, "ready for pillaging." "Cool.", I say, "Let's go find us some monks." There is an appreciative chuckle from the latter-day Vikings behind the table. All-in-all, it was a good day. * Yes, squarehead... I figure having more than a couple of Gunnars and Carls on one side of the family gives me some latitude ;-) Oh, and the Irish monk jokes? That's covered by part of the other side of my family... [back]

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

[random] That time of year.

For the last couple of weeks, we've had a raven crowing at us incessantly every time we've stepped out onto our front porch. Late last week, I watched it chase two fat raccoons through our backyard, not letting up until they were a block away - one trickster to another, right? And this past week, we had our front steps worked on by this Russian carpenter with a very dry sense of humor: "Ah... I see my assistant is already here...". I was afraid he was going to add a noise-hazard premium. Well, today our suspicions were confirmed: this morning there was a fledgling raven sitting on our front porch. Blinking at us (no fear - not that it would have done it any good), waiting to see what happened next, Mom verbally abusing us the entire while. So far, it looks promising: this evening, I heard Mom cursing out someone up the block. Junior has achieved lift-off.

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[politics][geek] A return to the Middle Ages...

At least, in terms of our approach to science... From a piece in The American Journal of Bioethics titled "Well, it worked with Schiavo: The President Prepares the Nation for a Stem Cell Crisis":
Either way, buckle your seat belts for a week that will see the President of the United States make the strongest statement against science to be made by the leader of a superpower since the Popes of the 12th century.
Jesus. Wept. I've been trying to console myself now for a while with the convenient fiction that these bastards are really only interested in moving us back to the Gilded Age of robber barons and the untrammeled power of the wealthiest elites... No, these fuckers are going for the mother lode - they want complete and total devotion to our new feudal lords. Unquestioning obedience. Fealty. Not Capitalism: Feudalism. That's what these bastards want. That Enlightenment? Fuck it. What did it produce that was worthwhile? You know, apart from THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS! Again, capital letters are a piss-poor substitute for the absolute outrage I feel. Don't mind the screams coming from the abbatoir - we're converting some heathens today... Just kiss the President's ring and leave your tribute at the door.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

[politics] Yeah, that'll work...

Washington Post headline on MSNBC this morning: U.S. tells Iraqis not to abuse prisoners: Warnings lead to friction between U.S., Iraqi forces
In a letter last month to troops preparing to serve as advisers to Iraqi units, Army Gen. George Casey, the senior U.S. officer in Iraq, said one of their principal missions would be to ensure that Iraqi forces understood and complied with proper standards of detainee treatment.
Yup. We've got the moral high ground on that one, haven't we?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moral high ground... yup. Especially with the new revelations of the Afghani version of the Abu Ghraib tortures being reported yesterday and tomorrow in the NYTimes. *sigh*

5/21/2005 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger protected static said...

Those hits just keep on coming!

5/21/2005 09:19:00 PM  

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

[geek] What's old is new again...

Morse code beats IM:
an Australian museum recently decided to run a hilarious speed trial -- between a bunch of teenagers using SMS, and a 93-year-old telegraph operator using Morse Code and an old-school telegraph lever. Who could send a message faster?
Heh. Who indeed? Three guesses, first two don't count...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

[geek][random] #1 in Japan...

google.co.jp, that is... It's funny seeing who comes here and why. For instance, you've got to be careful if you're going to use technorati's tag - I blogged about Camille Paglia's death and liked to Susie Bright's reflective piece on her passing. Since much of what Bright and Paglia both wrote about involved sex and porn, I put those in as tags... ...and got a bunch of visits from IP addresses in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. I'm pretty sure they went away disappointed... At any rate, it's kind of weird being the #1 Google result for legitimate programming keywords.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

[politics] Scotty McClellan's new rectal orifice

...courtesy of Keith Olbermann:
Whenever I hear Scott McClellan talking about 'media credibility', I strain to remember who it was who admitted Jeff Gannon to the White House press room and called on him all those times. Whenever I hear this White House talking about 'doing to damage to our image abroad' and how 'people have lost lives', I strain to remember who it was who went traipsing into Iraq looking for WMD that will apparently turn up just after the Holy Grail will - and at what human cost.
For the sordid details of Gannon, go here - but before you do that, read the rest of Olbermann's piece because he is dead-on. These craven bastards (can one use the word 'craven' too often with this pack of jackals?) and their congenitally spastic lackeys are taking Newsweek behind the woodshed for what? Printing the truth. Oh. Wait. My bad. This administration makes its own truth, remember? We're the ones hampered by the reality of, oh, reality. Well, please show these bastards that we like the truth. We like reality. And we like it when our media has the courage to print it. Send Newsweek an email or letter of support, please: WebEditors@newsweek.com Letters to the Editor for the U.S. print edition: Letters@newsweek.com Mailing Address: Newsweek 251 W. 57th St. New York, NY 10019 (thanks to OLinda and SusanHu)

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

[politics][media] Go, Bill! Go!

Bill Moyers, that is... Speaking before some 2500 people attending the closing plenary of The National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis, MO, Moyers said:
"The more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party," he said. "That’s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth."
Ain't that the truth... Media today is afraid to "speak truth to power". They've forgotten the origins of the term "Fourth Estate", or they're more interested in being part of the offical power structure, or they're more interested in market control and cost-cutting than reporting and truth-telling. MP3 audio of Moyers' full speech here. Streaming video of the conference can be found here.

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[geek] 30-second science blogging - something very right with Kansas...

...and I'm not referring to the far-right morons that are determined to turn Kansas' science curriculum into a religious text. What I'm referring to is one word: Niobrara. I wasn't familiar with it either (at least, not by name) until I read this piece (thanks, Hunter!). Short version: massive chalk bed teeming with evidence of Mesozoic sea organisms. Shorter version? Sea monsters. From the article:

"The predatory king of the Niobraran Sea was this fellow, Tylosaurus, a mosasaurid that reached lengths of up to 50 feet. It’s a giant, air-breathing reptile, and is probably most comparable to a killer whale.

I’ve only briefly visited modern Kansas, but the Kansas of my imagination is a fiercely exotic ocean, a warm and savage sea richer than any place still extant. Try mentioning the magic word “Niobrara” to a paleontologist, or any enthusiast familiar with Mesozoic reptiles…their eyes will light up as it conjures visions of the world of 85 million years ago, a world well documented in the incredible fossil beds of Kansas. It’s a powerful, evocative word that links us to a wealth of evidence and a complex, fascinating history."

Go. Read. Good stuff.

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[geek][politics] Bill Gates' educational double-speak

Okay, perhaps more 'double-think' than 'double-speak', but still... I recently had this excellent op-ed piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer pointed out to me, and I felt that it highlighted a key dynamic in the maneuvers made by big business today, a dynamic repeatedly supported by the Republican enablers of our modern-day robber barons... Here are the first two paragraphs of the column:
In a recent speech before the National Education Summit on High Schools, Bill Gates spoke of the dismal state of U.S. public schools. He called for action: "We'd better do something about these kids not getting an education, because it is hurting us" and " ... because it is hurting them." He was speaking as co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where high moral purpose is combined with analytical skill to accomplish crucial work in world health and U.S. education. As chairman of Microsoft, however, Gates is responsible for a business policy that actively harms public schools. Microsoft maintains a small office in Reno, Nev. -- a state with no corporate income tax. Sixty billion dollars in licensing fees for Windows and Office software has passed through that office, and an estimated $300 million in taxes has been lost to Washington for the sale of products produced in Washington.
So... on the one hand our wealthiest citizens [*] tell government that current levels of education funding aren't cutting it, that we aren't spending enough to try and provide an intellectual infrastructure that will stand us in good stead in the face of growing global competition. Then on the other, they do everything in their power to reduce the amount of money that they pay that could fund those services. $40M, or approximately 15% of that $300M, would elevate Seattle's per-student school funding to more-or-less median national levels. How are we, as citizens, to make up that burden? I know that I certainly can't, as an individual, contribute $300M in revenue to WA's coffers. Yet this is the direction in which the GOP is pushing our country: less and less of the burden is to be borne by those citizens with the greatest ability to pay. Bill Gates is doing some excellent work with his personal fortune through the Gates Foundation, and I laud his stated goal of spending his kids' inheritance so that they'll have to work for a living. I view these as the actions that should be taken by a responsible citizen, particularly a citizen with the kind of revenue flow that Gates has. So why can't Microsoft (and other corporate citizens) behave similarly? After all, fully funding education should be in their long-term corporate interests, too. * By way of the word 'citizen', I'm definitely including corporations like Microsoft - if we're going to extend free speech protections to corporations, we bloody well better be expecting them to ante up in order to pay for the services and protections that work disproportionately to their benefit.[back]

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[random] We've survived!

Rule 1: entertaining 10+ children with a median age of 5 is best done outside of one's own house. Rule 2: see Rule 1. The mouse's 5th birthday party seemed like a big hit yesterday - Romio's pizza in Greenwood was the locale, Thistle Theatre (a puppet troupe) provided excellent entertainment, and we didn't have to clean up at all. All-in-all, it was tiring but fun. Last night was the benefit auction for the school he'll be attending kindergarten next year, and despite a slightly rough start (too few tables for the actual sit-down dinner component of the evening) and some minor overindulgence on our part, this also went exceedingly well. Oh, and any parents of Seattle K-5 children who are concerned with the School Board's slash-and-burn approach to 'fixing' our current school budget problem, a parents' group I've been working with at the boy's new school has posted a rational and reasoned rejection of the current restructuring plan. We'd like to get the themes in this piece out into wider distribution, so please take a look - if you see things you like, please feel free when using them to write letters to the editor. I'd also like to say that the Seattle PI has been doing a bang-up job covering this (Horesy? You da' man!), with their editorial board showing great concern for balancing the competing needs of students with the need to balance the deficit - the Seattle Times? Not so much...

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

[blogger] Template tweaks...

Comments are now inline - click on the comments to see them in context instead of on a separate page... It didn't entirely go according to Hoyles (I tried to get fancy - shoulda known better...), but this hack gave me all the info I needed.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kristina said...

Oooooh. Nice! I will do this now, thankyouverymuch!

5/11/2005 10:48:00 PM  

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

[geek] ...but has anyone told William Gibson? (part 2)

Hacker warfare: South Korea and China against Japan. From the article:
In the fortified control room of a major Internet security firm, a beleaguered team of experts slouched behind glowing computer screens, tracking overseas hackers through billions of lines of data. They glanced up periodically at an electronic world map on the wall where, every few seconds, red lines lit up, revealing a new cyber-war aimed at Tokyo.
Doesn't sound all that far removed from:
Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding... --William Gibson, "Neuromancer"

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[politics] Where are we going...

...and what are we doing in this handbasket? The Army and Marine Corps are getting concerned that they aren't meeting their recruiting goals. The Army? The Marine Corps? Remember them? The ones that the generals said needed more 'boots on the ground'? The ones that the neo-con cabal are grinding down? 40% off is a lot, people. The Marines have missed their recruiting goals for 4 straight months. Four months. The Army has missed them for 3. Despite all the rosy talk about how they always get more recruits in the summer months so they aren't too worried, they're saying something different off the record. Before this clusterfuck in Iraq started, I had an arguement (well-mannered, polite, considered, but an arguement nonetheless) with a Vietnam-era vet who was all gung-ho for us to kick Saddam's ass. I responded that while I thought Saddam was a destabilizing figure in the region, our erstwhile President had decided to invade Iraq before 9/11, and I for one didn't want my son drafted so he'd have to serve at some Syrian/Iraqi border version of Checkpoint Charlie. He made some non-commital noises about this being necessary, and we wouldn't be there that long, it wouldn't come to that, yadda yadda. I still call bullshit.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

[geek] ...but has anyone told William Gibson?

While the idea of offshore data havens is nothing new in science fiction (and to a lesser degree, reality - some dude who owns a large WW2-era anti-aircraft platform in international waters off the UK has been trying to set himself up as a data haven for a while now), this little gem of an idea brings it that much closer to reality: a former cruise ship, 3 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, hosting an international team of developers and consultants: no labor laws, no H1-B issues, no taxes, no indecency or spam laws... I just want to be able to download programs into my brain... but I'll be damned if I'm gonna beta test that! ;-) Think that's any closer, either?

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[random] Happy International Mother's Day of Peace

If only, right? Well, that was the intention of Julia Ward-Beecher when she came up with the idea for Mother's Day. The first modern wars occured in the 1860s and 1870s - the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War: trench warfare, machine guns, full-fledged bombardment of civilians as strategy, wholesale devastation of cities as a matter of policy, concentration camps. Too bad no one paid attention. At any rate, horrified at the brutal price borne by women during wartime, Ward-Beecher proposed an international observation of the stupidity and brutality of war: an International Mother's Day of Peace. In that spirit: Happy Mother's Day.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

[geek] 30-second science blogging - transitional dinosaur fossil

I know this is a couple of days old, but still:

How cool is that?

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Friday, May 06, 2005

[geek][politics] MSFT blinks

It's official - I first read about it on Scoble's blog: Steve Ballmer sent out an email (also posted on Microsoft's press page) pledging that MSFT will support any future version of HB 1515; he also states the company's future commitment to non-discrimination legislation at the Federal level. From Ballmer's email (italics are my emphasis):
[...] Microsoft will continue to join other leading companies in supporting federal legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation - adding sexual orientation to the existing law that already covers race, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability. Given the importance of diversity to our business, it is appropriate for the company to endorse legislation that prohibits employment discrimination on all of these grounds. Obviously, the Washington State legislative session has concluded for this year, but if legislation similar to HB 1515 is introduced in future sessions, we will support it.
On dKos, I characterized it as Microsoft 'caving' - after some consideration, I don't think I'd call it that. I think they got caught off guard, and needed to do damage control - they are based in Seattle, after all, and they played a major role in this city becoming as free-thinking and independent as it is. I do think that we've won a minor victory, though, and right now things look so bleak that I'll cheerfully take the small ones. Remember guys: we're gonna be watching what happens next session in Olympia. And while you're at it, stop hanging out with Taliban-wannabes like Ralph Reed. You want pro-business GOP lobbyists? Fine. But if your stated future plans consist of staying focused on issues that affect the tech industry, don't associate with far-Right assholes whose own agendas extend far beyond the desktop and server room and into the bedroom, classroom, doctor's office, and research labs. Because they don't share your belief that (as Ballmer stated in his email) "...diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in [Microsoft's] legislative agenda".

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

[geek] Zen poetry, Google-style

MSNBC's Clicked! column pointed me to some neat photos of abandoned stuff; the spookiest series of photos is definitely that of an abandoned amusement park:

I can neither read nor speak Japanese, so I thought I'd use Google's language tools to translate the page... The unexpected result? Poetry! The caption for this:

Burning mourning urgent release Large hotel tinted autumn leaves garden
It works in a surreal sort of way, doesn't it? Feels kind of like deconstructed haiku...

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

[random] First look at Narnia

I know they're publicity stills, but even still... Newsweek has a first peek at Disney's forthcoming The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and they are gorgeous.

Conspicuously absent? Aslan, of course. About Mr. Tumnus et. al. I have no doubts - Gollum from The Lord of the Ring series tells me that they'll be fine... But I'm imagining that it'll take an astounding amount of CPU horsepower for the CGI necessary to render a convincing Aslan. We'll see. Color me cautiously optimistic.

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

[politics] Happy May Day

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(picture courtesy of the Marxists Internet Archive) Why is this imporant? Well, much of the latest information suggests that fewer and fewer Americans (who are fully employed) regularly work 8 hour days. Well, in 1886, in Chicago, a labor rally (in favor of among other things, the 8 hour workday) in Haymarket Square was bombed and the police opened fire into the crowd. Many workers and seven policemen were killed; eight anarchists were arrested, though it is widely suspected that Pinkerton detectives actually bombed the rally. Of the eight arrested, only one was actually at the rally, and he was addressing the crowd when the bomb exploded. After a show trial with zero evidence, all were convicted: four were hanged, one committed suicide, and the rest were pardoned in 1893 in a move by authorities to quiet a new round of civil unrest. May Day - the real Labor Day.

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