You’ve probably heard about it, or seen it, elsewhere, already, but in case you haven’t, you can watch the 13-minute video they recovered from Columbia, ending about 8 minutes before the shuttle broke up.
Archive for February, 2003
From Hiro comes word of masskilling.com, where the good folks at PETA compare the plight of animals on factory farms to Jews in WWII-era concentration camps. Needless to say, this has certain folks in an uproar.
From Mnemnor comes word of this fun site dedicated to the irrational side in all of us. It nearly crashed my browser, but that’s life on the edge for you.
I think I’d prefer to live in the world where this image gives an accurate depiction of world leaders’ obsessions with each other. Thanks to Bravo for the link.
Lots of snow in the East has apparently led to an outbreak of naughty sculptures: Police Field Complaint About Busty Snow Woman, Women’s Group Debates Snow Penis, and a statue that brings new meaning to the term snow blower. Remember to wear your mittens! Update: Hiro brought another one to my attention, for those who prefer their snow pr0n to be hard core.
From Reuters/Yahoo/Janus comes this fun story: Canada Politician Says Americans Damned Bastards. The politician has since apologized for her remarks, but I can’t see why; we clearly are damned bastards.
Someone who taught me, and a lot of other boys and girls, about the values of caring and openness and honesty passed away this morning. Fred Rogers, rest in peace.
Ovid, over at use.perl.org, made a cool journal entry today, in which he pointed to a couple of places (like the White House site, which has a transcript, and C-SPAN’s site, with RealAudio video) where you can catch White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer’s briefing from yesterday. And the fun part is, at the very end of the briefing, one of the reporters pesters Fleischer about a report that the U.S. is offering to use trade incentives to bribe Mexico (among others) into voting our way on the U.N. Security Council. Fleischer responds, “But think about the implications of what you’re saying. You’re saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition.” And the entire room of reporters bursts out laughing. Fleischer gives a curt, “thank you” and leaves the podium, and as the reporters are getting up you can hear one of them joking with another, “Laughed off the stage!” At least you can on the RealAudio clip; the transcript doesn’t include that, but interestingly enough, it does include the “(Laughter)”. Poor Ari.
Evan Coyne Maloney made a really interesting video, which you can grab from brain-terminal.com (assuming you have QuickTime, and a decent-sized pipeline). He went out on the streets of New York and interviewed anti-war protesters, and found, perhaps not surprisingly, that many of them have only the vaguest notion of what an appropriate alternative would be to the actions they’re protesting against. So, hey, protesters: think about that, okay?. You really ought to have an answer.
From Bravo comes word of this cool op-ed piece from the L.A. Times (login with cypherpunk98/cypherpunk): North Korea: The Movie. By political psychologist Jerrold M. Post, it looks at some of the cool wackiness behind North Korea’s leader.
From Paul Rogers at openDemocracy.net comes War by Timetable, which looks past the smoke and mirrors about inspections and U.N. votes, and tries to deduce the war timetable from U.S. troop and armor movements. His conclusion: the war will begin on or around March 15.
Interesting discussion lately about the Pentagon’s so-called “Shock and Awe” plan for the opening round of the Iraq war (the official war; the current bombing doesn’t count). Pentagon planner Harlan Ullman told CBS News about Shock and Awe in late January, and folks on both ends of the pro/anti-war spectrum have been making pretty outrageous claims about it since then. Ira Chernus asks if Baghdad is going to be the next Hiroshima, while Geov Parrish wonders if the rest of the world will ever be able to forgive us. Meanwhile, the arch anti-liberals at Blogcritics pooh-pooh such alarmism, asking, at one point, “Do seemingly reasonable people really think the United States military would willfully and purposefully engage in indiscriminate bombing and mass murder?” Um, actually, yeah, I think it’s a demonstrated fact. The truth about what we intend for Baghdad probably falls somewhere in the middle, between those who say we’re planning to reduce its population to ashes, like we did in Dresden and Hiroshima, and those who say we’re going to employ weapons so intelligent that they will only destroy water treatment facilities, power plants, and “command and control” centers, while not actually harming any of the millions of human beings who live in their vicinity (well, at least until they succumb to the resulting disease, thirst, and famine). But think about it for a moment: A cruise missile, when it detonates, has an effect roughly similar to that of an airliner, fully loaded with fuel, plowing into a building. This country experienced three such events, over the span of a few hours, and the horror of it is still with us a year and a half later. What we’re talking about now is unleashing 800 such explosions on a densely populated city over two days. Eight hundred. Your tax dollars at work. Sigh.
From Janus, who is mourning the appearance of tabbed browsing in the unauthorized Safari release (Janus takes Macintosh UI decisions very seriously), comes word of this fun re-interpretation of an icon from ready.gov: Don’t Worry. Go Out and Party.
I have no idea what this site is trying to do, but it still blows me away. Thanks to Bravo for the link.
Much fun has been made of the whole “duct tape and plastic” thing lately, but joking aside, if you haven’t, you really ought to go browse the calm, sensible advice that the good people at ready.gov have made available. Not just because it will, as they point out, help you and your loved ones be better prepared for disasters both man-made and natural, though that’s a perfectly acceptable reason, too. No, I want you to go check it out so you can appreciate the Strangelove-ian idea that permeates it: that our only real duty as citizens is to calmly prepare ourselves and our loved ones for horrors the like of which we’ve never seen, and then, when those horrors come to pass, to seal ourselves in our inner rooms and quietly watch TV to find out what those wise men who have everything under control want us to do next. So go out and buy your plastic sheeting and bottled water, but at the same time, consider this: If these threats are real (and I can’t see any reason to think otherwise), we have another, even more urgent duty: to work with like-minded folks to send our current leaders back where they came from, replacing them with people of more wisdom and less arrogance who can plot a course to a future in which the innocent don’t have to die for stupid reasons like these.
I don’t even know what to say about this, it speaks for itself. From afterlifetelegrams.com: For a fee of $5.00 per word (5 word minimum), our customers can have telegrams delivered to people who have passed away. This is done with the help of terminally Ill volunteers who memorize the telegrams before passing away, and then deliver the telegrams after they have passed away. (Emphasis is that of the site, not mine). The FAQ is highly illuminating.
Interesting piece from fpif.org on the debate currently going on inside the Bush administration over just what a post-war Iraq will look like. Apparently there’s no consensus among those who steer the President’s views this way and that, so, assuming we go forward with our plans to invade and overthrow the Iraqi government, I guess we’ll just kind of make things up as we go. Which should work just great; I mean, look at the inspiring way democracy has flowered in Afghanistan since we fixed the broken government they had there.
From Norway, via Bravo, comes this fun, if frivolous, music video snippet featuring Bush and Tony Blair mouthing sweet nothings to each other (requires QuickTime). Lies.com, serving your presidential information needs for more than 7/10 of a decade!
Nice article at the Houston Press (pointed out to me by Hiro), about a lawsuit brought against Klein High School and the Klein Independent School District in Harris County, Texas, to get the school to allow formation of a club for gay and straight students to talk about discrimination. The school board, with the encouragement of right-thinking parents, intends to fight the suit. More detail available from the Houston Voice, the New York Times, and the Houston Chronicle.
Funny story, courtesy of AP, courtesy of Yahoo, courtesy of Janus, about how Fox News ran a CNN video feed, uncredited, showing the space shuttle Columbia breaking up. Gotta love those boys at Fox. Nice journalistic ethics there, guys. Goes well with all that right-wing lunatic raving that makes up your “news coverage.”