May 31, 2002

McCarthyism redux?

My immediate response to the new "guidelines" announced by Ashcroft yesterday was negative (I confess that I have a knee-jerk reaction to the A-G; if he's for it, I'm agin' it); Nicholas Kristof of the NYT has a more reasoned response from my side of the issue.

Anybody need a bulletproof (actually bulletproof, not in the figurative sense) computer? There's a prototype out; but it runs Windows, so how bulletproof can it be?

I am getting old, I think; I never used to feel sleepy after lunch, but now. . .it's a struggle to read and comprehend all my myriad of newsletters once I've scarfed up my (in today's case) corn dog slathered in mustard. It's not that I think napping is wrong or immoral, but vanity (I suppose) is keeping me from giving in to the urge. Sigh.

Posted by Linkmeister at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2002

Nukes and Burberries

In light of the events of the past couple of days, I had a rather odd thought this morning; it occurred to me that the only useful thing to come out of the LA riots 10 years ago may have been Rodney King's plaintive plea, "Can't we all just get along?" Granted, he's not a very savory character, but his remark in front of that mob of media may be more widely quoted than the mouthings of any other drunken loudmouth in recent memory. Anyway, I'll echo his phrase.

Salman Rushdie has an Op/Ed about the possible India-Pakistan war, with a suggestion for the international community. Another opinion piece offers suggestions for private/public cooperation in areas of cyber-security. A conflict of much smaller import, but one many of us apparently have, is embodied in the acronym "RTFM." Well, here's an article attempting to explain why we don't, and what companies are doing about it.

Jupiter Media just released their latest data showing traffic numbers for websites; here's an arbitrary analysis of some of those sites. For a better product than that offered there, you can do worse than Burberry; now may be your chance to buy stock in the coat-maker. Stockholder dividends paid in raincoats or brollies, perhaps?

Posted by Linkmeister at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2002


I feel I should say something about the controversy roiling the blogosphere today, so here goes:

Trust is an imperative in all personal relationships and interactions, and the trust of many folks in this community has been badly damaged by the inexplicable (at least to me) actions of one man. I have no idea what thought process led to his behavior, which appears to be fairly well documented elsewhere (see Batgrl's entry for a list of places to look). He's apparently hurt many women bloggers, for his own reasons, and he's falsely accused several bloggers of "stalking" him. He has undoubtedly caused many who have donated funds to a good cause to doubt whether that money was ever meant to go to that cause.

I just hope that some semblance of trust among people in this group can be restored, sooner rather than later, and that those who've been turned off by the whole fiasco can regain some hope that they can safely return.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2002

Vets to Anthro to Blogs

It's ailing dog week, apparently (see Batgrl's entry et seq.); the vet just found four small but suspicious lumps on our beastie. He wants to do full-on excisions rather than biopsies, on the theory that once the pooch is anesthetized, you're already halfway into the process, so why not go ahead and cut? This is part of a six-month checkup, and the lumps weren't there last check, so hopefully we've caught them soon enough.

On to the other news: writing about Bono and his African tour with SecTreas, Ann Powers discusses the intersection of entertainment and social activism, citing Geldorf, Nelson and Belafonte; she doesn't go back far enough (remember Paul Robeson?) but it's still a good sketch. Nurses aren't rock stars like Bono, but, like him, in great demand, nonetheless; BtC and TOC, take note.

Ship ahoy? A new shipwreck has been found in the Gulf of Mexico, smack dab under an oil pipeline. There's apparently a journal devoted to Nautical Archaeology, which shouldn't surprise anyone. More anthropology (hey, I picked the University of Arizona because it had a great Anthro department; I thought I wanted to do that forever): how did cooking affect human development? Then there's this little mystery...human faces carved in cave floors. Want some more human ingenuity? Try composing music onscreen, no lines, staves or notes required.

If you've got 10 minutes, you might want to read a somewhat turgid (my estimation) article about the convergence and divergence of blogging and journalism. It's an interesting analysis.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2002

Welcome Mat Out

I made it! Y'all shoulda seen me re-publishing each old entry individually, since I misunderstood the import instructions. The thing defaults to the same status your new entries have, and since I always start out in "draft," well...

Oh, well...the Yankees/Red Sox game got out of hand early anyway.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2002

Scientifically speaking

Lest one forget how amazing a feat it was, Lindbergh's flight (which ended in Paris 75 years ago Tuesday) is recounted here. I've seen that airplane; when I think of all the flight hours I've got in its descendants, I can only shake my head. Thinking of a slightly smaller plane? Try this. Speaking of science, here's your chance to search a database of topics compiled by the editors of Science magazine; it's a collection of "interesting science sites" noted over the past four years. Also from the world of science: the top 10 Internet scams are announced, as are nominees for "Best UK Science Book of 2001".

Hey! Another celebrity blog! This one's by Anita Roddick, of Body Shop fame.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:58 PM | Comments (10)

May 23, 2002

Digicams & other thoughts

Here's an innovative idea for old computers: use 'em as projectors for all those digital photos. In fact, if a digital camera is calling to you, I recommend the entire NYT Circuits section this week; it's chock-full of potentially useful articles, including one about help for chocoholics!

How can one equate Big Bang theory with the September 11 attacks? Here, a physicist tries to do just that. There's an interesting anecdote in there about Vietnamese immigrant kids seeing Fourth of July fireworks; it reminds me of a story a Vietnam vet friend told me long ago. He and a buddy had just been discharged after a Navy tour on a river patrol boat in the Mekong Delta. After getting out, they went to Disneyland, and were walking by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride just as the cannons fired. Both of these guys were in dress whites, and both immediately hit the ground and rolled under the nearest bench. Imagine his embarrassment, particularly in a crowd of tourists which included his wife. The experience of both the kids and the vets is instructive about instinct and conditioning, I think.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:39 PM | Comments (6)

May 22, 2002

Domains, Drugs & Politics

I bought the domain name today. Kinda catchy, yeah? I found about four others I'd like to have for business purposes; that search and register process can be seductive!

Asking patients if they are currently sad or depressed sounds well and good, but I wonder if the Prozac-makers are behind the study?

I've liked T.R. Reid since I first heard him on Morning Edition; he's now based in London. Here he writes about Bush's European trip, and what the President should expect to find there. Political news closer to home: the verdict in the Birmingham church bombing has been handed down. In light of that, here's a helluva buy: Diane McWhorter's exhaustive book about the incident and its locale. I paid full price; it's now $7.99!!!

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:46 PM | Comments (1)

May 21, 2002

In Memoriam

R.I.P. Stephen Jay Gould. I have only one quibble about the obit..."In 1967, he received a doctorate..." Surely he earned it?

Also in a scientific vein: a conversation with an anthropologist who studies nuclear scientists. I have a college buddy who works for DOE at Los Alamos, so... Seguing neatly (?) into medical history, here's a review of a US smallpox epidemic, 1775-1782. General Washington had a serious problem beyond the British Army, it appears. From science to the arts: here's a thumbnail sketch of some of the films presented at the Cannes Film Festival. (Pick your own language there.) What if art became part of computer security systems, using images as passwords?

Here's a brief history of settlements in Israel; one columnist calls their establishment "suburban colonization". I wonder if the slow- or no-growth movement in the US has yet discovered that felicitous phrase? Here are yet another couple of phrases: "ethnic panic" and "For Netanyahu, by contrast, every Nacht is Kristallnacht." Both lines are from an interesting essay by The New Republic's literary editor, Leon Wieseltier. He argues that there is an unhealthy tendency among some Jews (particularly in the US) to see every affront to Israel or Judaism as a harbinger of doom. The author was interviewed on NPR's ATC today.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:23 PM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2002

Radio follies

If there are any "Fresh Air" listeners out there, here's the website of Geoff Nunberg, the linguist who occasionally does a piece on language for the show. There was apparently quite a flap about the piece he recently did disputing the premise of Bernard Goldberg's "Bias" claiming network news departments tilt toward the political left. Nunberg links to the original article, the objections, the table supporting his argument, and a follow-up piece.

More radio news: Adam Felber of Wait Wait, the NPR News Quiz, has a blog. Now if only Roy Blount Jr. would start one.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:06 PM | Comments (3)

May 19, 2002

How I Spent My Weekend

On Saturday there was what's hoped to be the first of many Hawai'i Mini Blog Con picnics; you can read about it here. Some photos included; more to follow. Then Sunday afternoon between innings of the Pirates-Astros, I added a page of photos to my newly-created site for The Willows, the restaurant we went to for Mother's Day last week. Learned a few more things about coding tables and spacing thereof; that was useful. Learning new programming languages is always interesting.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2002

Another Mom's Day pic

Here's the whole crowd.

Click to Enlarge
Posted by Linkmeister at 05:01 PM | Comments (8)

Hawai'i Blog Con etc.

Tomorrow is the first Hawai'i Mini Blog Con!

In other news: Can you spell lousy security? Apparently Ford Motor Co. can't; how else do you explain its loss of a code enabling hackers to steal 13,000 credit reports?

When I lived in Virginia I remember visiting Williamsburg, but not the way it is now portrayed; when I visited, if my memory is accurate, there were no depictions of slavery at all. That's changed.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:52 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2002


Unless you watch C-SPAN, you missed this, but here's an interesting insight to American-European differences from the UK Foreign Minister: "But Europeans tend to see the United States through a different prism." If the Europeans were perusing Salon's article about online dating services, that prism might be even more distorted. Other culture meldings of note: wanna bank at Wal-Mart? If the archaeologists are to be believed, this guy needed a bank. Interesting; apparently the rule of thumb for measuring Bronze Age finds is "rich"=four or five objects; this guy had over one hundred.

Here's an idea which probably could be put into practice in the US: archiving dialects electronically. Keeping (or bringing back) old forms of culture is also at the root of purple carrots. Seeing red rather than purple are several museums who had sixty Old Masters stolen and destroyed. The perp confessed, but his moll escaped and passed the word of his capture to his mum, who'd been harboring the goods.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2002

Early IBM motto: THINK!

If any of you are antique electronics scavengers, you've got competition; NASA's buying on E-Bay. Other innovative government ideas in today's news: Bees as bomb-sniffers. Non-governmental ideas: how about an alternative to Microsoft's Office which comes at a very good price? Or, really, at no price at all; yup, it's free and open-source. Yet another idea: hamsters to read text messages on your cellphone. [Squ]EEK!

DNA research is intriguing for many reasons, not the least of which is historical; new studies shed light on Jewish history. More history: tourists threaten 16th-century ship in Sweden.

Political blog ahead: LyingInPonds attempts to score the political punditocracy by partisan leaning. I picked it up from Mr. Kurtz at Media Notes.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:28 PM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2002

Mother's Day photo

The family on Mother's Day (I took the picture). We went to a restaurant which had been open for 50 years, closed, then was purchased and re-opened about three years ago. Nice watery grounds and flowers; maybe I'll put up some pictures of it, too.

click to enlarge
Posted by Linkmeister at 10:46 PM | Comments (7)

May 12, 2002

Happy Mother's Day!

I thought of this this morning; the ultimate Mother's Day Song?

from AA Milne
The Kingston Trio

James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George DuPree
Took great care of his mother though he was only three
James James said to his mother:
"Mother," he said, said he
"You must never go down to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me.
Don't ever go down to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James Morrison's mother put on her golden gown
James James Morrison's mother, she drove to the end of the town
James James Morrison's mother
She said to herself, said she
"Well, I can get down to the end of the town
And be back in time for tea.
Well, I can get down to the end of the town
And be back in time for tea."

King John put up a notice: "Lost, stolen or strayed,
James James Morrison's mother,
She seems to have been mislaid
Wandering vaguely all about quite of her own accord
She tried to get down to the end of the town--
Forty shillings reward.
She tried to get down to the end of the town--
Forty shillings reward.

James James Morrison Morrison, commonly known as "Jim"
Said to his other relations not to go blaming him
For James James said to his mother
"Mother", he said, said he
"Don't ever go down to the end of the town,
If you don't go down with me.
You must never go down to the end of the town,
If you don't go down with me."

Now James James Morrison's mother,
She hasn't been heard of since,
King John sent down to give his regrets,
And so did the queen and the prince,
King John, somebody told me,
Said to a man he knew,
"If people go down to the end of the town,
Well what can anyone do?
If people go down to the end of the town,
Well what can anyone do?"

Posted by Linkmeister at 08:58 AM | Comments (7)

May 10, 2002

Entertainment news

Cash flow per screen; here's a small primer on the movie theater business. The theater may soon be showing you that movie via digital projector; alas, there goes the projectionist job. I once did that for a few weeks as a part-time job in an outdoor theater on Kwajalein; you gotta pay attention towards the end of each reel. There used to be a little marker in the top right corner of the screen which indicated when to cut over to the next reel of film; it's an exercise in timing. I imagine Batty could explain further. More entertainment thoughts: "...all Hollywood has to do is introduce its own secure, copy-protected consumer-electronics devices"... Another, more strident view: Cory Doctorow of EFF excoriates the idea that "a $35 billion entertainment industry sacrifices the $600 billion technology industry on copyright's altar." EFF has a Blog updating the activities of the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group, in case anyone's interested.

Books about blogging? Uh-oh. The author also has come up with an admittedly sparse "glossary" of weblog terms. I think/hope this is tongue-in-cheek. You do not need a password to access the glossary, which is good, since we all have way too many already. Oh, and you may have to remember them for longer than you thought; life expectancies are increasing.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:06 PM | Comments (3)

May 09, 2002

Whose history is it?

Here's some fascinating reading: FBI FOIA files on subjects as diverse as Mickey Mantle, Einstein and Winston Churchill. Mickey Mantle? High school seniors apparently would be hard-pressed to even recognize most of the names in that index, if a recent report is to be believed. Those of us of a certain age group might more easily recognize this material; Top 40 radio airchecks from the 50s through the 70s.

The folks at Raising Hell might be interested in research which indicates that "Sons cut short their mothers' lives."

I haven't seen the New York Times obligatory blog article linked anywhere, yet, so I feel it is my duty (?) to do so. "At Large in the Blogosphere" appeared in last Sunday's Books section. Likewise, John Leo of US News has weighed in on the phenomenon. I've often disagreed with him, but not on this point. Grins...

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2002


This is a twelve-string. I bought a six-string version for $200 in 1973 from a friend. Mine is identical to the one in the photo, other than the peghead. It cries out to be hung on a white wall in an apartment with highly-polished wooden floors, dontcha think?

click to enlarge

In other news: I am worth exactly: $1,782,260.00. These guys said so.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:17 PM | Comments (5)

May 07, 2002

Pride and "rules" and links

There was a threatened lawsuit against the Dep't of Ed. here recently. The issue: could a graduating senior girl wear slacks under her gown. This was settled yesterday, after the state Attorney General told the DoE (paraphrasing): girls wearing slacks is a quite acceptable practice. The DoE is the institution which is responsible for educating children, and they have to be told this? OY! Care for some more governmental foolishness? From today's HHS press release, this quote: "To highlight the health benefits of physical activity, especially for older Americans, Secretary Thompson today will lead senior citizens on a half-hour walk around the National Mall in Washington." Ah, symbolism!

Here's a nice book link...Great Books and Classics. From Sophocles to Solzhenitsyn, no less. (Link found at Becky's place). Another nifty site: a webcam at the North Pole; it's described as an attempt to decipher changing weather patterns in the Arctic. This item is non-web technology, but I'll betcha it makes it over here from the UK soon: prepaid minutes for your cell phone available at ATMs.

Did anyone watch Masterpiece Theatre last night? Here's an analysis of the story upon which the program was based. It's a story of surgeons' hubris and reluctance to believe their actions were killing approximately 300 kids.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:34 PM | Comments (1)

May 06, 2002

Duh, in color

Today's statement of the obvious: "Sleepiness is a serious cause of social problems" Stay awake out there! Another statement which seems obvious: "Leaving a co-habitation, like a marriage, tends to have a detrimental effect on health..." If you're observing, best do so in color. That seems to help image retention. One image you'd better retain in memory is Harry Potter, since the fifth volume will not appear as scheduled. And all you ER fans may want to bid on this: Anthony Edwards is putting his personal trailer up on E-Bay to benefit the Cure Autism Now Foundation.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:27 PM | Comments (4)

"I don't need no stinking treaties"

Ho hum. Another month, another international treaty the Administration refuses to acknowledge. Today it's the International Criminal Court. Before that it was Kyoto, the ABM Treaty, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation. For a group of people who vow to "shape" the world rather than react to it, these guys have a peculiar way of going about it. Without engagement, how does one "shape?" Without credibility, who cares what one says? Here's Rumsfeld in the Post article, asserting the court would be a disincentive to US military engagement: "If so, it could be a recipe for isolationism – something that would be unfortunate for the world, given that our country is committed to engagement in the world and to contributing to a more peaceful and stable world." Interesting logic, that. Being isolationist could contribute to isolationism. Hmm.

Posted by Linkmeister at 03:08 PM | Comments (2)

May 05, 2002


Just FYI for all the blogspotters and other blogger users: YACCS has upgraded its system to reduce its bandwidth usage, which requires that all its users also upgrade to its new format. You've got two months from April 29 of this year to do it; penalties may include preclusion of new comments to your posts. See its main page for FAQ's about the upgrade.

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:09 PM | Comments (3)

May 04, 2002


Should anyone come across this site looking for Verisign, please read the article linked and think twice about submitting your domain name to them for registration. The article relates a story which might give you pause, or indeed infuriate you.


Posted by Linkmeister at 01:58 PM | Comments (4)

May 03, 2002

Flowers & hockey & ...blogs?

Springtime in...Kew Gardens? Can that be the home of reputedly the world's smelliest flower? And now comes news that the world's oldest flower may have been found in China (ok, the fossil thereof, anyway). Once you've absorbed that, play a rousing game of table ice hockey. More news from the UK: Monkey mascot elected mayor! Now if Jon's town elected that dopey chicken. . .

"There are war blogs, peace blogs, food blogs, crude blogs, humor blogs, culture blogs to occupy your day. Geek blogs, freak blogs, teen blogs, mean blogs, fanaticals and radicals who like to rant away. Worker bees and histories, punditry and poetry, diversity, adversity and spicy verbal play. Optimists, pessimists, enthusiasts and hobbyists, journalists and journal-ists with something big to say." That's a quote from an article written by Jennifer Balderama, who is CNET's copy chief. That lovely enumeration put me in mind of a song. Does anyone remember "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats?"

Oh, speaking of song: if any of you find that lyrics site useful, sign the damned guestbook! Grins...

Posted by Linkmeister at 04:49 PM | Comments (2)

May 02, 2002

New link

For all you music fans who are looking for song lyrics or songs by an artist, check out the International Lyrics Playground button over there on the right, above the Hawai'i Stories one. Some friends and I worked pretty hard for a few months on that; it now has songs in the thousands, along with links to other sites for widely popular artists.

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:53 PM | Comments (5)

Editorial request

Caution: ill tempered whine ahead. I'm starting a campaign to persuade all MT users to feel pity for the 13" screen users of the world (that would be me) and make their comment boxes resizable! It's easy to do (thanks to Shelagh for showing me how):

This is the code at the top of the index file:

function OpenComments (c) {'<$MTCGIPath$>mt-comments.cgi?' +
'entry_id=' + c,

To make the box resizable, put a comma after the status=yes statement, then just add the phrase "resizable=yes" (without the quotes). This will allow the comment box to be maximized when right-clicked. Your readers (like me) will thank you for it; it's a pain to drop the task bar down and then raise it again after the box moves, and that's not always successful.

Got any articles which need blue pencil work?

Posted by Linkmeister at 09:46 PM | Comments (6)