Friday, March 30
Wednesday, March 28
Tuesday, March 27
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
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.
Saturday, March 24
(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.
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?
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?
Friday, March 23
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
So I exported from Blink back to IE, then exported to Y! Bookmarks with Yahoo! Companion beats Blink with a wooden bat.
'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.'
'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?
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
'I don't think there is anything wrong with me.'
John writes interesting stuff.
Tuesday, March 20
Monday, March 19
'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.
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.
'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.'.
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
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.
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
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.
Tuesday, March 13
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.
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
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.
Saturday, March 10
'It was less successful in the sense that it turns out they developed both some very effective chemical and biological agents.'
Friday, March 9
'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
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
Wednesday, March 7
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
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.
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.
'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
(reminder to self: post this on MetaFilter on monday, when people are more likely to see and discuss)
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.
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.
Thursday, March 1
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:
Harry Browne is stark, raving mad.