Archive for June, 2002

Congress Up In Arms Over Pledge Ruling

Thursday, June 27th, 2002

from the one-nation,-led-by-idiots dept.

The House and Senate, sniffing an issue sure to be a slam-dunk with voters, and happy for anything that diverts attention from the need to deal with terrorist threats or reign in the fraudulent excesses of corporate contributors, are falling all over themselves to denounce yesterday’s federal appeals court ruling declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. I guess it’s indicative of how far outside the mainstream my views actually are, but this just lowers my opinion of our elected leaders, something I never think is going to be possible, but somehow always turns out to be.

Sartwell: ‘No Child Left Behind’ an Empty Promise

Wednesday, June 26th, 2002

from the creeping-cynicism dept.

Not having read Crispin Sartwell before, I was pleasantly surprised by his refreshingly pissed-off rant in the L.A. Times op-ed section today. The piece offers a criticism of the vacuous banality of the handy catchphrase “No child left behind,” uttered by every empty-headed politician from Elizabeth Dole to dubya to Al Gore. Good stuff (and, thanks to Sartwell’s personal web site, linkable without having to suffer the tortures of the L.A. Times’ Web-hostile required login).

Reback on IBM’s Patent Bullying

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

from the selling-off-the-future dept.

There’s a nice article at by tech lawyer Gary Reback on the out-of-control behavior of the US Patent and Trademark Office in granting patents on anything and everything. It includes a cool story about how, while he was working at Sun, they were shaken down by the patent-infringement goons from IBM.

TTT Trailer Available Online

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

from the 176-days-and-counting dept.

ymatt made fun of me for not being first with the news that you can now download the teaser trailer for The Two Towers online, so here you go. It’s mostly the same footage that obsessed fanboys (*cough*) and fangirls saw already in the in-theater preview, though with additional explanatory voice-over from Cate Blanchett. So, where will you be on December 18? I know where I’ll be.

Kournikova Gets Pissy with BBC Interviewer

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

from the see?-SPORTS-coverage dept.

Anna Kournikova continues to demonstrate that in the world of professional women’s tennis, you get way more headlines with a cute nose, good skin, and nice measurements than you do with actual talent. In this case, by lashing out at a BBC interviewer after her first-round exit from Wimbledon, causing a media frenzy. This is the fourth first-round tournament loss in a row for the fetching Russian.

Woman Sues DJ for STD Prank Call

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

from the crossing-the-line dept.

A woman in Florida has filed suit against Bruce Da Moose, a disk jockey at a hip-hop/R&B station, for having a faux doctor call her up and tell her, live on the air, that she had been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, in the process getting the woman to divulge details about her sex life.

The Wine Brick

Saturday, June 22nd, 2002

from the do-not,-under-any-circumstances… dept.
From a Nanog discussion, via Hiro, comes this story about the Wine Brick, something I’d never heard of before. During Prohibition, you apparently could buy a compressed block of grapes, ostensibly for making grape juice. It had instructions that began:

To make a refreshing grape-juice drink, dissolve contents in large pitcher of water…

But on the other side was a warning:

Caution: Never mix contents in two gallons of warm water to which you have added a pinch of yeast, and one pound of sugar. If this mixture is left to stand in a cloth covered container for two weeks, an ALCOHOLIC beverage will result, which is illegal.

I love this. As we grope our way toward an uncertain future, may we never lose sight of those things that make this nation truly great.

70 year old woman steels sheep for sexual plesure

Friday, June 21st, 2002

from the badly-spelled-user-submissions dept.
Yeah, I know. Not many updates lately. Sorry. Working on it. In the meantime, we’ve got another user submission. This one is fairly typical: bad spelling and doesn’t make much sense at all. But it’s something other than nothing, and the “1 Submissions” thing in the Slash admin bar kept staring at me and making me feel guilty. So follow the link, or scroll down, for the submission. Woo!

Man Arrested for Licking Women’s Feet

Tuesday, June 18th, 2002

from the excuse-me-while-I…-mmm dept.

I think the title says as much about this as needs to be said.

John Dean Fails To Out Deep Throat

Monday, June 17th, 2002

from the I-didn’t-believe-him-anyway dept.

John Dean, former Nixon lawyer turned felon turned informant, has now given us another reason to look down on him: Today’s deadline for his widely pre-publicized identification of who Deep Throat really was has come and gone, and Dean still doesn’t know. Supposedly, says Dean, Deep Throat is almost certainly one of the following five people: Pat Buchanan, Steve Bull, Raymond Price, Ron Ziegler, or Jerry Warren. Hey, great, whatever.

Kuro5hin on the Judi Bari Verdict

Sunday, June 16th, 2002

from the so,-whose-bomb-WAS-it? dept.

Kuro5hin has a nice round-up of information about the recent $4.4 million jury award to Judi Bari (well, her estate) for being framed by the FBI in the wake of being blown up by a “homemade” bomb while en route to an Earth First! meeting. Too bad we can’t fast-forward to 30 years from now, or so, when our descendants will finally get to see the FBI files showing who really planted that bomb.

Winona Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

Sunday, June 16th, 2002

from the the-wheels-of-justice-grind-on dept.

So, Winona Ryder had her delayed-due-to-elbow-breakage hearing, and pled (pleaded? pleadified?) not guilty to shoplifting charges. Stay tuned for more.

Jury: ‘God Told Me To’ No Excuse for Starving Child

Sunday, June 16th, 2002

from the with-a-God-like-that,-who-needs-Satan? dept.

Coward writes “According to the website, jurors have convicted Jacques Robidoux of murder in the first degree in the death of his son. The method of the crime? Deliberately withholding solid food from his child on orders from God. Observant readers will notice that the evidence bringing the case to trial was received from another couple with a dead baby that received immunity for testimony (was one baby more valuable than the other?). For more information on the religious sect that Robidoux belongs to, check out this entry in the excellent (albeit slightly Christian biased) Apologetics Index.”

Mysterious Noises Emanate From Ocean

Friday, June 14th, 2002

from the things-that-go-bloop-in-the-deep dept.

CNN has a story about a super-powerful undersea noise that has scientists baffled. It bears the hallmarks of a biological origin, but matches no known noise pattern, and is extremely loud. Giant squid, maybe, goes one of the guesses.

Teacher Suspended for Humorous Math Test

Friday, June 14th, 2002

from the those-who-can’t-teach,-teach-math dept.

A Canadian math teacher apparently based a real test on the somewhat-funny “City of Los Angeles High School Math Proficiency Exam,” which features word problems describing gang members, crime, and prostitutes. The teacher has been stripped of her classroom duties and suspended without pay for three days. Canadians have no sense of humor.

EW: The All-Digital Yoda

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

from the pint-sized-action-hero dept.

From the good people at Entertainment Weekly comes the behind-the-scenes story of the creation of Attack of the Clones’ all-digital Yoda. The thing about this I find interesting is where the animators talk about how their first attempt, in which they went all-out for realism, was creepy-looking. Apparently they had to recreate the jerky movements and other limitations of the original Frank Oz puppet before audiences would accept the new Yoda as “real”.

Ebay: Pay for Wife’s Boob Job, Cop a Feel

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

from the what-a-country dept.

From Ebay, as archived at Feel Wife’s Breasts If You Pay For Boob Job. Can’t blame a guy for trying, I guess.

Space Station Commander Invites Cindy Crawford to Visit

Sunday, June 9th, 2002

from the lonely-cosmonauts dept.

Valery Korzun, the newly arrived Russian commander of the International Space Station, told reporters yesterday that he has no problem with NSync’s Lance Bass visiting the station, but if he had his druthers, he’d rather host Cindy Crawford (or “one of the supermodels,” at least). Dream on, Valery.

Ex-Convict Impersonates Special Forces Officer at Bridge Collapse Site

Saturday, June 8th, 2002

from the anything-for-attention dept.

Investigators have identified the man who showed up in fatigues and a green beret at the Tulsa bridge-collapse site hours after the disaster, claiming to be an Army Special Forces officer and seeking (with at least some success) to take over various aspects of the operation. He was Billy Clark, a 36-year-old ex-convict from Tallapoosa, Mo. Clark apparently commandeered a pickup from a car dealership in order to travel to the site, then arrived on the scene telling anyone who would listen that he was “in charge”. He subsequently rented eight rooms in a nearby hotel (only one of which he used; the rest were for his “team”, which never arrived), and ate lots of free food. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest.

Prosecution: Moussaoui Competent To Defend Himself

Saturday, June 8th, 2002

from the bring-on-the-circus dept.

The trial of Moroccan-born Frenchman Zacarias Moussaoui, the “20th hijacker” who was in jail on a visa violation on 9/11 and so far is the only person to have been charged in the attacks, is only going to get wackier, apparently. Yesterday prosecutors argued in favor of Moussaoui’s request that he be allowed to fire his court-appointed lawyers and represent himself. Seems a psychiatric evaluation showed he was competent, and prosecutors prefer the idea of facing off against a rabid, anti-American zealot to arguing their case against actual lawyers, who presumably would have a good chance of preventing Moussaoui’s execution, seeing as no one has ever been executed in this country merely for planning to participate in a heinous crime, as opposed to actually doing so. Judge Leonie Brinkema is scheduled to rule on Thursday, but experts are saying she will have few options other than to grant Moussaoui’s request. Fasten your seatbelts, America.