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« May 2002  2002 July 2002 »

I Discover Edward Tufte

A blogging smackdown in the house tonight, as each fights to craft the perfect entry, the One Entry that will suck traffic remorselessly away from the other.

It has been ark-building weather for three days now, assuming that Noah built his ark in a tropical swamp without benefit of air conditioning, and yet despite it all, the fireflies came out t…


Sam Spade

I have been listening to old Sam Spade radio shows, complete with plugs for Wildroot Cream Oil Hair Tonic.

Again and again, The choice for men Who put grooming first.

Obviously not directed at me. Although in other respects, the forties ( radio version ) seem like a good fit. …


Strange Noises

A beastly hot night, and the cat is doing pirouettes, trying to catch a moth somewhere. I have been listening to the pleasant 'ping' of the Semant-O-Matic, as people run searches and poke around. Listening and reading the Sunday papers.

And what interesting things there are. For one, the gigantic Arizona wildfire, all fifteen hundred square miles of it, which m…



I am sitting here trying to solve the mystery of the erratic dialup -- four or five minutes of blissful 56 Kbps browsing, and then *poof*! There is no more incoming traffic. I blame the iBook, because the cube in the other room stays online for long langorous hours.

iBook? Cube? No, this is not some ultra-hip chromed Architectural Digest fantasyland I inhabit. It is an ultra-hip rur…


NPR Rant

Here's something to really piss you off - NPR's bullshit linking policy. Basically, they want you to ask permission if you want to link to any part of their website. This is idiotic for what reason?

a) Because the whole point of a website is that anyone can link to whatever they damned well please.

b) Because it takes al…


Jose Padilla

Where is José Padilla? And why is almost nobody making a ruckus about him?

My one brush with arbitrary power came when I exchanged strong words with a jackass INS agent with tatoos all up his arm. I had moved to Vermont, and so it turned out my three hour drive to get a citizenship interview in New Hampshire was fruitl…


Poland 3; America 2

We won! We won!

And the first player to score was named Emmanuel Olisadebe! Black, Nigerian-born, and fluent in Polish. Who knew? It's great to see that we're not just a land of lily-white potato eaters anymore. This might be old hat to Denmark, France, or Germany, but Poland is the most 06.10.2002

Geek Factor 10

Today I got my research account for the Internet Archive - five terabytes of data to play with, and tickle, and cover with soft kisses! If only it wouldn't tease me so... I spent a bewildering half hour navigating various /usr/local/home/libs and other deep directories, but no sign of anything so far. I guess I will have to wait for documentation.


Dead Foal

A heartbreaking sight on the way to work today - a mare standing over a dead foal, out in the bright green pasture.…


French Elections


The French are voting today, and already we know that turnout is at a record low just one month after the LePen fiasco.

Who can blame them? We are no longer allowed to belittle the French electorate, because in our last election we wound up with George W. Anyhow, it is sl…


Matched Sets

Do you ever wonder why certain tastes and proclivities come as a packaged set? For example, why can people who like organic food and sandals reliably be counted on to be into African dance, practice reiki, sit in drum circles, wear hemp clothing, and smell kind of funny? Or for that matter, why do people who support school prayer also tend to oppose gun control and favor expanded oil drillin…


A New Kind of Science

I just got my copy of Stephen Wolfram's magnum opus, and it is a book to fill you with questions. For example, how can a guy be smart enough to single-handedly discover and explore a new branch of science, and yet not have the sense to hire an editor?

The text reads like B-movie mad scientist ( at least in the introductory bits ), but the pi…

Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law

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Every Damn Thing

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