Friday, March 30

I'm getting a little sick of Jason dogging MetaFilter. Not as sick as this guy.
LOL: Greg wrote this, but it's technically not on his site that I've told you to read every day without further reminder, so it's okay to link.
Wow. Some dudes copied the MetaFilter design. Matt et al. took them down and, in the process, created the longest thread ever. Community action.
Someone said it doesn't matter what your religion is if it works for you. Some of us disagreed.

Wednesday, March 28

Death to the Minotaur: How Wizards of the Coast sacrificed its geeky, Gothic, sex-for-all idealism for Pokémon-size profits and Magic moola. Interesting read (i've seen it a couple of places, but followed the link on Hobbsblog).
First it was Pyra, now it's KnowNow. That's where all the A-listers work. Matt, Meg, Bryan... Perhaps I should send my resume :-)

Speaking of A-listers, have you noticed Jason's linking to 'Matt's a.whole'?

Tuesday, March 27

Scott started his own weblog. He goes to Baylor and has some commentary on the cat-skinning. You oughta' read it.
U.S. Only Nation to Signal Veto on UN Observers in Palestine. The United States has only vetoed five resolutions since 1990 – four of them dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The last U.S. veto, in 1997, quashed a resolution demanding that Israel stop construction of a settlement in east Jerusalem. (verbatim via the web today.)

Very interesting: 'The BBC used a combination of 2,000-year-old Jewish skulls and ancient religious images to generate what it claims is the first "true-to-life" picture of Jesus Christ.' (via LMG on MetaFilter. some discussion.).

I think it's worthwhile. Those of us who revere Christ need images for our devotion (at least psychologically, though let me prempt the graven images and iconoclastic remarks by saying that's not what i'm talking about). This helps to put those necessary images in the proper racial and cultural context.

Monday, March 26

I've discovered lately that a lot of people hate Orson Scott Card (here's his personal site). I like his writing and have no reason to hate him personally. Do you?
Have you been to Game Hippo? 100% free games.
Pure Machine: 180 still scenes from the Star Wars trilogy made of Legos. The amount of time this guy put in is crazy. Some of his scenes have me saying 'beautiful'.
I say 'more power' to David Gelernter and his product to organize information chronologically instead of in files and folders. Or give me the option. Let me store my data on a server where I can access it from anywhere. Let's push the current model.

The next exciting generation for me will be the ability to retrieve data as sound, text, or a combination from my cell phone/PDA or any other terminal and manipulate it any way I want. That would be a server-side application, obviously. (This might be kind of related to media types (via bkdelong on MetaFilter).)

But some of you may be able to school me on other, better options that are out there. Or is Gelernter legit? I know I've read about him before, but I forget what.
I'm pretty pleased with how the Oscars turned out. I liked 'Gladiator' and 'Crouching Tiger...' and 'Traffic' sounds like a worthy film. It sounds like the production was actually worth watching. I never even considered it. Now I feel I might have missed out. Oh well.
I love Honey Nut Cheerios. I eat them for breakfast every day when I'm home for breakfast, which is four or five days a week. They're best with whole milk or even two percent, but I generally eat them with skim. Drinking the sugar and honey infused milk is the usually the yummiest part of my day. The trick is to get the right amount of milk at the start. Too little limits the enjoyment. Too much dilutes the flavor.

Saturday, March 24

Things to say when taking your medicine:

(sung to the tune of 'I want to ride my bicycle')
I need to take my medicine
I need to take my meds
I need to take my medicine
to help me not to lose my head.


It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion.
Ryan and I were there early, so we went into other theaters to watch the previews. I love previews.

But the movies previewed were pretty disappointing: 'Swordfish' looks lame and I'm tired of John Travolta again. I make it a rule to stay away from Jerry Bruckheimer movies, but we'll have to see with 'Pearl Harbor'. That new Banderas/Jolie movie looks stupid. 'The Mummy Returns'. 'A Knight's Tale'.

Attention: there are some more really crappy movies coming out. Fortunately, most of them don't open very widely.

'Bridget Jones' Diary' looked like it has potential. I sure like the actors: Colin Firth, Renee Zellweeger, and Hugh Grant. Grant looks like he's playing a less diffident role for a change, so that's promising. Did you notice how Julia Roberts couldn't really hang with him in their scenes in 'Notting Hill'?

'Moulin Rouge' by Baz Luhrmann will probably be amazing. Unfortunately, I won't be seeing it. I know my limits.

'Planet of the Apes' looks promising.

I'd really like to see 'House of Mirth'.

You know how to look these up yourself if you want to, right?
Well, I finally saw it last night: 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. It was great. I hope it does very well in the Oscars. The fight scenes were spectacular. I also thought the acting was good. Ang Lee's visuals were beautiful, as always. And the ending was strong and not too sentimental. I'm sorry it's not doing better at home.

One minute criticism: The film's major moral point is: be true to yourself. Man, that's a Disney deal. It's too simplistic. We've got a problem when that's the only moral our culture can come up with. What if being true to myself is shooting, decapitating, and skinning a stray cat? Or worse?
Now that my list of weblogs to read regularly is growing, I'm going to have to not read so compulsively. Some of these I could check every other day, right?

Friday, March 23

You know, we could stop using apostrophes in contractions. Dont, Im, and wasnt arent words anyway. Ill could be mistaken, but we have other homonyms.
My man Scott goes to Baylor. Baylor is a self-proclaimed Christian school. Yesterday, Baylor suspended two baseball players charged with shooting, decapitating and skinning a stray cat. Scott, any comments for us?
Meg's back up with some nice stuff.
Interesting: Jorn's posting weblogs which support the Israel-divestment campaign. I do, so he did.
Yo, my weblog's in the dmoz directory (and I didn't even post it. I guess one of the editors did.). Remind me to update the URL when I get my own name domain name (sic.). Found it in my referrer log.
I crossed Jason's perfect PowerPoint slide with James' DOJ vs. MS project: voila.
We also had quite a discussion about the various PDAs and their uses. Therein I learned about Sounds Good. It's a visor expansion module that plays mp3s. You can also use it without the Visor. Sounds great to me.
We had quite a discussion about Wal-Mart.
Remember that link from lagado? Dan added a wicked cool quote in the discussion:

It was this event that Pitman and Ryan believe could be the flood recorded in the Book of Genesis. The salt water poured through the deepening channel, creating a waterfall 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls (anyone who has ever traveled to the base of the falls on the Maid of the Mist will have a sense of the power involved). In a single day enough water came through the channel to cover Manhattan to a depth at least two times the height of the World Trade Center, and the roar of the cascading water would have been audible at least 100 miles away. Anyone living in the fertile farmlands on the northern rim of the sea would have had the harrowing experience of seeing the boundary of the ocean move inland at the rate of a mile a day.

Dan got it from Smithsonian. Some of the conclusions sound fishy (no pun intended :-), but the archaeology is cool.

Thursday, March 22

Booyah! I'd been wishing for an export feature on Blink. I thought I'd look it up again and found it.

So I exported from Blink back to IE, then exported to Y! Bookmarks with Yahoo! Companion beats Blink with a wooden bat.
I really agree with Rob:

'Another irk: On a discussion forum, linking to a site such as IMDB with text such as "this film" is just plain useless. I don't want to click out just to get a piece of info as meager as a movie title. Linking to the IMDB with the movie title as the link text is a great idea, but obscuring data for the sake of... what is that, mystery? It's just silly.'

Rob started a discussion group. The invitation:

'I like talking with smart people.

If you're smart and like talking with smart people, sign up. If you're not smart, but like reading smart people talk, sign up. If you're stupid and noisy, piss off.'

Why not join?
James' latest project has real potential: Powerpoint slides from the MS trial.
What is the heck good is the shortcut bar on IE if it always links in the first window you open? One more good reason to hate MS.
Why not go wish Nathan a happy late birthday?
Exploring the Black Sea with robotic submersibles. The Black Sea is the largest body of anoxic water in the world. A remarkable thing happens in such waters: wood, cloth, food, and other organic materials do not decay and disappear — ships that went to the bottom hundreds or thousands of years ago still rest on the seafloor in almost the same condition as when they sailed the surface (via the always excellent lagado on MetaFilter).

This may bear fruit in study of the ProtoIndoEuropean culture that probably began near this area. It's a particular interest of mine.

There's some interesting speculation that the flood which created the Black Sea could have been Noah's flood (if you accept that Noah's flood was not a global flood).

lagado also recommended a book on the subject.

Wednesday, March 21

'My desires are to plant and to destroy, these are the vices that sit on my shoulders and whisper into my ears. I suppose an ideal situation would be to rip out a man's heart and sprinkle some seeds into the cavity. Bonus points for self planting, sucking chest wounds.'

'I don't think there is anything wrong with me.'

John writes interesting stuff.
Online Monster Manual (via Hobbsblog). The 'basilisk' article represents an amazing amount of work.

Tuesday, March 20

You may have already seen this, but I hadn't: the art formed by a sand pendulum during the recent Seattle earthquake (via the always-good lagado on MetaFilter). Cool.
Web Intersections: cool link digest, or 'what the digerati are reading' (via Mo Nickels on MetaFilter).
in the news:

Web-Savvy Busboy Allegedly Duped Tycoons. funny.
World's Biggest Offshore Oil Rig Sinks. not funny.

Monday, March 19

I've known about Adbusters, but hadn't visited their site. I enjoyed it, especially the spoof ads. You should check it out.
The First Church of Wintermute (also via Captain Cursor). If you've read William Gibson, you might want to check it out.
Slashdot had a cool (but long and fairly involved) interview with Clay Shirky, who has some pretty smart things to say about how the Internet will develop (via Captain Cursor).
The Planetary Society is testing a solar sailer.

'The project is a Russian/American space venture, the first private mission of space exploration technology and the first by a private space interest organization. The spacecraft is being built by the Babakin Space Center in Russia under contract to The Planetary Society.'

Cool, and I support human space flight, but I'm on the record as thinking Sagan was incredibly misguided.
This post is going to seem like I'm ripping Greg off. Maybe I am. Maybe that's just life with kids.

the kids are big fun. they're repeating more now, and moving on to intelligible two-syllable words. Wil loves to read, especially to stave off bedtime. 'more' he says.
'more reading?'
'eah' (like 'yeah' without the 'y').
'can we sing a song?'
'noooo.' (it's drawn out.)

and here's a typical conversation with Elizabeth:
'Daddy loves Elizabeth.'
'Daddy loves Momma.'
'Daddy loves Wil.'

oh yeah, and with all the basketball we've been watching, Wil is saying 'bahbah' (that's basketball. i know this because if i ask him if that's what he's saying, he will say 'eah.'). and sometime thursday he took to picking up his blue Nerf soccer ball and throwing it, walking after it, picking it up, and throwing it again. when the commercials come on he says 'more.' we say 'more basketball?' and he says 'eah.'.
Jason's got some nice stuff recently including (but not limited to) prime illuminati, the grammar of 'all your base are belong to us', and good advice for Scooby and Shaggy.
I'm almost done with 'Undaunted Courage' - 14 pages to go. Can I expect these guys to be less racist than they were? Should they be held to a higher standard than was normative in their time? The Native Americans were totally impinged upon and violated and then the whites cried foul when the Indians struck back. Sure, the Indians did some bad things to whites, but they were here first, and 'Manifest Destiny' is crap.

After the trip Clark's slave, York, asked to be set free as a reward for his invaluable services on the expedition. 'His wife belonged to someone else and lived in Louisville, Kentucky [presumably with their children].' Clark refused and then beat York when he was 'insolent' as a result.

To add to Clark's faults, he defended Lewis to the end, when the latter's life, and especially finances, was a shambles.

I don't want to idolize these men. So I'm not disappointed. But these faults seem like near deal-killers. There's very little left that's worth admiring in my mind. They were brave. Lewis was pretty-well prepared. They endured a lot.

Friday, March 16

Wow. Someone posted a Scientology text on Slashdot. The Scientologists claimed copyright and ordered it removed. Slashdot decided not to fight that battle and removed it. But they posted tons of stuff about Scientology, including many other links where you could get the same info. How will the scientologists fight it? defamation suit? It looks like they hurt themselves more by going after Slashdot. Here's the lesson: never make a geek angry.

One of the links from the Slashdot page makes Scientology sound totally crazy, if the material in the linked document is at all reliable. It sounds like a bad science fiction story, in short, like 'Battlefield Earth'. You guessed it: same author.
Well, Iowa won yesterday, so that's great. Otherwise, I got pretty rocked on my picks. I picked all Big Ten and they went 1 for 4. Iowa State lost. Not good.
Starting tomorrow, I am no longer going to tell you to go read Greg. You just have to read him all the time for your own good (make sure you follow the Slurpee link).
Science Friday: Some hardcore math/s discussion over in MetaFilter including nonEuclidean geometry, Turing machines, perfect numbers...
I have to have 'Undaunted Courage' finished by Tuesday for book club. So I'm working hard on it. It's not fast reading.

Here's something I didn't know: Jefferson hoped that American pioneers already west of the Mississippi would accept land grants back east in Illinois. He would move them, then the land west would all be a reservation (in the best sense of the word) for the Indians. Ambrose picks up:

'This absurd notion showed how little Jefferson knew about Americans living west of the Appalachians. With the [Louisiana] Purchase, or even withou the Purchase, there was no force on earth that could stop the flow of American pioneers westward. Good, cheap land was a magnet that reached all the way back te Europe. The pioneers were the cutting edge of an irresistible force. Rough and wild though they were, they were the advance agents of millions of Europeans, mostly peasants or younger sons of small farmers, who constituted the greatest mass migration in history.'

It goes without saying that neither Jefferson nor any president after him would take up the Indian's cause against whites. It's too bad.

Wednesday, March 14

Nathan's got another Jack Chick/DandD post today that LOL funny.
Steven has been a very thoughtful participant in MetaFilter. He's got his own gig, now, which promises to be good.

And, wow, for starters Steven has a very powerful piece about not fitting in as an adolescent.

I can identify. Though it came on at 10 for me. I desperately wanted girls to like me and boys to be nice to me. I tried to pick my best friend based on who was nicest to me, but he wasn't very interesting. My best male friendship didn't develop until I was 22. It's tough out there.
Bush Backs Off Campaign Pledge on Pollution I guess it could be reasonable to change one's position based on new developments. But I still think this is the wrong move. We have made no efforts to curb our usage, and that should come first. We can cut back on our usage and help the environment.

Tuesday, March 13

The rhyming dictionary is soo cool (thanks, iceberg273!).
Ever play Dungeons and Dragons? Jack Chick is against it. Surprise, surprise.
The word of the day yesterday was avuncular. The original Latin root, avunculus - maternal uncle - got me thinking about a little of the research on ProtoIndoEuropean that I did last summer (mainly in this book, which I recommend - especially if you can get it from the library or interlibrary loan). Scholars believe the maternal uncle played a special role in PIE culture, probably having some responsibility for a boy that his father could not fulfill as well because of the competition within the clan.

Nepotism is also a related concept, sharing common roots with nephew. We view nepotism as a bad thing, but it was my impression that it was necessary in PIE culture.
I posted the following link over on MetaFilter

Have you seen spiked?

spiked is a website for those who want to see some change in the real world as well as the virtual one. If you think that the power of the internet could be used for something more than shopping and pseudo-sex, get spiked.

Pretty lofty goals. What do you think? Their take on the European food problem seems sane, at least.

Sunday, March 11

Iowa won the Big Ten Tournament. I wouldn't have predicted that. I'm glad. It's fun. It was a good game.
Sean Meade has created an on-line web site to host your bracket pool using the CBS SportsLine Bracket Pool Manager. You can access this site at any time using the web address:

Tulsa Invitational

You will need a CBS SportsLine member ID and password to access the pool. If you aren't a CBS SportsLine member, you can sign up for free.

The CBS SportsLine Bracket Pool Manager makes participating in your bracket pool easier than ever!

You'll enjoy the convenience of a private web site on which you'll make all your picks. The CBS SportsLine Bracket Pool Manager will calculate all the pool's results, including standings.
Ha ha ha! While all of the digerati are at SXSW I will steal their audiences with brilliant weblogging!
If I knew someone who had a very little extra server space and they let me host some stuff there, I would get the domain name '' and put this there, along with my meadenet domain. Then I wouldn't have to have banner ads anymore. Anyone know of such a situation?

Saturday, March 10

Just reading along on MetaFilter and I come across:

Gwyneth "needs-to-eat-a-sandwich" Paltrow

True and funny.
'The United States during the Cold War ran covert operations against the Soviet Union to exploit nationalist tensions and divert its resources to biological weapons programs Washington believed were not useful.'

'It was less successful in the sense that it turns out they developed both some very effective chemical and biological agents.'

Oh, great.

Friday, March 9

Go read what Greg has to say (especially you, Christine). It's good for you.

Exhibit A:

The World Has Gone Insane: 38,763rd in a Series

The woman in front of me at the ice cream shop ordered her chocolate sprinkles on the side.
'You like me, you really like me.' The community thought I had a good idea. Then I discovered it was Matt's all along (read to the bottom).
Interesting - a Neil Gaiman weblog. I've never read any of his stuff, but I know the name (via consolation champs).
I just copy Jim's posts (guess that's the journalist in him):

'The NEA and the RIAA (demon spawn) collaborate on a list of the top songs of 20th century, topped by Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The list was picked by hundreds of "music lovers across the country" from "all walks of life," including the "music industry," according to the press release. The voters picked from 1,100 songs provided by the RIAA and the NEA, though write-in spaces were available on the ballots. The announcement of the list is part of a wider effort to bring the songs to school-age children and adolescents, in a project that involves Scholastic publishing and AOL (the Great Satan). Step right up and take a few whacks at them...'

Jim posted the above on MetaFilter. Make sure you read the discussion. It's funny
The Watoto Children's Choir came and sang at our church this morning. I feel particularly connected to that part of the world, having lived for three months in the NW corner of Tanzania. Many of these children are AIDS orphans, others are orphans because of war, on top of all of the difficulties in E Africa that produce orphans.
I got tickets to the WAC Men's quarterfinal yesterday. My boss, Bill, and I went to watch Fresno State (ranked 24th nationally) play Rice. Rice acquitted themselves well, though they were obviously overmatched. The infamous Jerry Tarkanian is Fresno State's coach.

One of the things I like to do this time of year is to mimic TV color commentary. For example: 'Bill, you can't just play this game for 34 minutes. You have to play for all 40.' Or: 'Those young men from Rice can hold their heads high, Bill. They've really won the hearts of this crowd.'

Get it? Anyway, it was fun.

After that I met Christine at Borders. Since we don't have much money these days, we like to go there when we can get a babysitter and just sort of kick around. I'm a big Frank Miller fan and saw his relatively new '300'. I read the whole thing and it was wonderful. It's about the Spartans standing up to the Persians at the Hot Gates. Amazon says they don't have it, but Borders does.

Thursday, March 8

Attention: you are so impressed! I checked out a couple books on html and am actually coding some of this using styles. Whoa!

Wednesday, March 7

Nathan refers to people searching Google for new acquaintances to see if there's something shady in their past. Then he introduces a concept called the Google Spike, where you have dirt on someone and you post it on your website so that Google searches on that person will pick it up. Interesting dynamics.
Rave for the Handspring cell phone add-on (via Robot Wisdom). I thought this was the right future (add-on mp3 player and we're there). Now I see I was right.
Dang, Matthew White's Homepage is impressive. I got there via 13 Labs (and John got it from Mike of Larkfarm). The original link I followed was Middle Earth in 1999 (Mirkwood National Park, now that's funny), which led me to Matthew White's Alternate Histories. Don't miss Matthew's Historical Atlas of the 20th Century. Just dive in somewhere. Truly impressive.
Okay, Mike's still taking me to the woodshed. I'm okay with that.

Our economy is far healthier than any of the economies of Europe or Canada, which in turn drives better living conditions for all people. Isn't that really more humane?

Yes, our economy is healthier, but that doesn't translate to better living conditions for all people. Trickle down is wrong. It's the reductionism in conservative economics that I just can't buy. It's not more humane. The growing gap between the rich and the poor in this country is not more humane.

You cited health care as an example, but our health care system, flawed as it might be, is far more advanced and accessible than their government-controlled schemes. That's why Canadians and Europeans who have the greatest need and the greatest means come to the United States for health care - because they can't afford to wait in line for socialist rationing of health care resources.

Yes, our health care system is far more 'advanced and accessible' if you can pay for it. 'That's why [rich] Canadians and Europeans... come to the United States for health care'. There ought to be a higher priority on basic healthcare for everyone than on advancement and access for the wealthy.

It is a well-established fact that people who have more money give more of it away to charity, and that people who fear economic insecurity are less likely to give to charity. When the economy is strong, charities have banner years as they did in the recent economic boom. But when the economy sags, charitable giving dries up. Clearly, a vibrant, growing ecomony not only serves charities better, it eases the demand on their resources.

Okay, how about this: people wouldn't give enough more to charity if taxes were cut to justify the tax cut.

In the end, I'm not willing to let King Economy drive all of my policy decisions. I know it would be more Republican and more Jeffersonian to only have the government assist commerce, but I have different values.

And the less oppressive our government is, the more likely our economy is to stay strong.

And, finally, don't you think it's overkill to say our government is oppressive? Then what term do you use for China or Sudan? We've got rhetorical inflation or proliferation or something here.

Tuesday, March 6

I was looking for 'Practicing the Presence of God' by Brother Lawrence and found all of these other classics. Cool.
On the other hand, my boss says the best answer to the campaign finance problem is immediate and complete disclosure. That way people know who the interests are with your ear. What do you think of that?
Greg wants a dinosaur toothbrush. Me, I'm happy with my Princess Leia toothbrush.
Statistics: I had my biggest day ever on friday - 24 hits. And, if you scroll down, you'll see I have quite a following in Australia: 'Good on ya'!'
Holey Mackerel! Mike took it to me for critiquing him over here. That's got to be good for my hit count, since, on average, about a hundred more people per day hit his site than mine.

His critique is too extensive to post over here. Go read it if you want to. I will reply, though.

Government larger than the size libertarians like Browne (and Mike?) advocate doesn't equal big government. I don't necessarily want our government as big as it is. Mainly, I want as much as possible moved to the local level.

We need to stop corporate welfare. I'm for smaller government in that regard.

People barely give to charity. More money is spent on pet care than all charitable giving combined. And I say people wouldn't give more to charity if they paid less in taxes. And you say they would. And I say 'My dad can beat up your dad', ad infinitum. It's a moot point (did you know most people misuse 'moot'?).

Over human history, governments have most often served as a tool of oppression than of protection, while limits on government have given us freedom, peace, and prosperity. When we wake up and strip our government of the powers outside those limits we set for it over 200 years ago, we will be a freer, happier, and more prosperous people.

I disagree with that statement. While governments are oppressive without exception, limits on government are often worse. Look at the turn of the 19th century. Does anyone want to go back there? Child labor, robber barons, horrible health. The more socialist governments of Canada and Western Europe seem a lot more humane to me than ours. And they have reasonable limits on things like CEO salaries.
I started 'Undaunted Courage' last night. It's pretty good so far. We're reading it in the book club I'm in.

The idealist in me was profoundly disappointed in the life of Virginia plantation owners, especially Jefferson and Lewis. Not only did they live off of slave labor, which is completely horrible and reprehensible. They also raised tobacco (a crop with no redeeming value that badly leaches the soil of nutrients) through unsustainable agricultural methods. But back to the real problem: Jefferson knew slavery was horrible. He knew that any child raised as a slave owner would tend to be permanently warped. But he held that it couldn't be abolished in his generation, that the next generation would abolish it having tasted freedom (from England). Talk about rationalization. He said Virginia would lead the way. Instead, they later led the way in resisting the change.
My friend Stephanie (also the name of a little-known band) was telling me yesterday about sailing off Oahu when a sub surfaced near them and scared them to death. She said you can't imagine how big they are. Well, I know the Russian Typhoon-class are the size of WW2 aircraft carriers, and I've been on one of them. Yikes.
I posted the following over on MetaFilter:

'Industry pumped in a record 696 million dollars to elect George W. Bush and a GOP Congress. The Mother Jones 400 reveals the nation's top contributors -- and what they expect in return.'

The donors complain in this article about how much they have to shell out. Are their complaints legitimate? Is this simply the cost of doing business? Is this the way campaigns should be funded?

In my view, it's ludicrous that they would complain. We need campaign finance reform 20 years ago. Arrgghhh! Check out Common Cause, especially their latest news on the Senate bill. And check out Americans For Reform to see all of the organizations that are supporting the bill.

It's a pretty complicated thing. And it might be pretty hard on the Democrats. That might be okay. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to see the balance of power tip too far.

Friday, March 2

I checked, just for kicks, and is available. Any takers?
If the goal is to cut teen pregnancy (which, admittedly, is a good thing), then the Dutch win. If the goal is something different, like helping people toward a whole, healthy sexuality, which I think Scripture clearly teaches can only potentially occur in heterosexual marriage, then we all have a lot more work to do (via frykitty on MetaFilter).
Moratorium 2000 is a campaign to obtain an immediate cessation of the death penalty. They have a petition which has garnered 3.2 million votes (via res publica). Why not sign?

(reminder to self: post this on MetaFilter on monday, when people are more likely to see and discuss)
'Acting without mindfulness is acting amorally.' Chris Alvarado (Avogadro of MetaFilter fame) has a new weblog out - res publica. I loved every word. No review. Just go read it.
Will wonders never cease? The Vatican's recommended movie list (via tiaka on MetaFilter).
More science friday:

Bryan Boyer mentioned the 'Powers of Ten' flipbooks and I thought 'Great idea!', so I added them to my Amazon wishlist. I've often thought about that movie since I saw it in hs chemistry.

Then I thought 'This stuff has got to be online.'. Voila. The Eames homepage is the granddaddy (they did the movie). There are some other great ones out there.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are cool. They had a script contest and the winner gets to produce his movie with a million dollar budget and them as executive producers. They've got a busy, ugly site, though.
science friday:

Doggoneit: NASA Terminates Space Plane Project. The Space Station's in trouble, too. I don't know if NASA is a good investment of tax dollars or not, objectively, but since I like space exploration, I always pull for them. MeFi discussion.
Correction: John was familiar with Harry Browne before I posted him here. John told me that in passing in a very nice email that he dropped my way.

Thursday, March 1

I started reading the Harry Browne article posted by John on MetaFilter, and couldn't keep track of all of the things I totally disagree with. Then I thought, wait a minute, this guy sounds familiar. Then I realized I'd posted a Harry Browne article from Mike, below. Then I had a revelation: I led John to Harry Browne (see his comment below). The horror. The horror.

Still, John wasn't necessarily saying he agrees with Harry (Do you, John?). He was asking if Bush is a communitarian. Interesting question. There's discussion you-know-where.

Maybe I'll try to list my objections. In a libertarian USAmerica:

  • Many people will be destitute in retirement because they don't have the discipline to save and they'll be on their own and it'll be too bad: they can go to hell.
  • The number of drug addicts will increase, unproductive members of society who scrape and beg to get by.
  • Your neighborhood will be much more dangerous because there will be more guns and, as a bonus, fewer police.
  • Health care will be much less accessible and much more expensive. Health will be much worse, as it was before regulation in the 60s.
  • Rich people will live in 'gated' (read 'fortress') communities with Gibson-esque (Virtual Light) security guards.

    Harry Browne is stark, raving mad.
  • Hans incited an interesting conflict over on MetaFilter. He's 17. Many of the A-listers commented.