Tuesday 2-29 - Leap Day
Join the amazon.com
Although I'd been vaguely aware of how a certain
varied demographic finds this hairstyle acceptable,
even desirable; my perception wasn't focused until
until I first read Scott use the term "mullet". (He just
the German version recently.) Libby Copeland
forth in the Washington Post about
this coiffure, providing an etymology:
The slang use of the word "mullet" to describe a hairstyle
seems to descend from "mullethead," whose first mention in
print can be found in 1857, according to the Random House
Historical Dictionary of American Slang. "Mullethead,"
meaning a "stupid, ignorant person," was first truncated
to "mullet," meaning "fool," around the 1950s. No one is
quite sure when "mullet" came to mean a particular
hairstyle, but it seems clear the term is
not a compliment.
In an effort at taxonomy, let me mention another
hair term, with hopes that it will become more
widespread: my Charlottesville brother and/or his
wife calls either the pattern-baldness guy who
does it, or the "combover" itself, the yinkel.
Read Norman Solomon as he slams
"Dr" Laura and her homophobia. I
don't like her either; had my initial
exposure on LA radio (AM station KFI) before she went
national. Curiously, she has fans in
some female friends of mine,
who should know better.
excerpts from Sam Smith's Great American Political
Repair Manual demonstrate "The most
important fact about race - it doesn't really exist."
Our concept of race comes largely from religion, literature,
politics, and the oral tradition. It comes creaking with all
the prejudices of the ages. It reeks of territoriality, of
jingoism, of subjugation, and of the abuse of power.
letter to the "Denial of Service" perps - Naomi
Klein of The Nation says:
The flood of messages just formed a virtual blockade.
Like Critical Mass bike rides, in which hundreds of
people on bicycles peddle down the middle of a busy
street bringing cars to a standstill, the hacks
restricted access to the e-commerce sites simply
by taking up space. Besides, the real war on the
Internet has already been fought and, for the most
part, lost. World War Internet was a virtual coup
d'état. The blood started flowing when the
dot-coms figured out how to stage the hottest IPOs,
and suddenly freedom and interactivity
were about our right to have carefully monitored AOL
chats about Time Warner movies.
Update on the Cynthia Stewart case I mentioned
a week ago: Salon had a "Mothers Who Think"
by James R. Kincaid late last month, which
mentioned her among others who're in trouble
because of busybodies with film
Since it is what is outside the frame (the
intention of the photographer, the reaction
of the viewer) that counts legally, we are
actually encouraged to fantasize an action
in order to determine whether or not this
is child pornography. Every photo must pass
this test: Can we create a sexual fantasy
that includes it? Such directives seem an
efficient means for manufacturing a whole
nation of pedophiles.
Read the piece to find out about the large
(and possibly Italian) sausages.
Feeling flatulent? Curious about the
silent but deadly? Speaking of Salon,
check their Q&A
with "Dr. Fart" for the stinky.
"On average the
normal number of flatulatic occurrences
a day is ten." So there.
Related trivia you'll probably
never use: in Japanese, the word for this
is Hé (pronounced hey!) and
in German, ein fart ist ein Furz.
Some highlights from a
...just one pound per month? I easily
satisfy my quota!
- Providing good news to chocoholics, researchers at
a major scientific conference said on Friday that a
preliminary study had shown chocolate to have a
positive impact on cardiovascular health.
- White chocolate did not have the same apparent
beneficial effect on the heart as regular chocolate
- Most of the new research was sponsored by
chocolate maker Mars, which said it was
encouraged by the early results.
- Chocolate consumption in the United States
lags far behind that in some other countries.
Industry figures for 1999 show that Americans
eat 12 pounds of the substance a year, compared
with up to 35 pounds for Europeans.
Regular readers of Salon might've
missed Tom Tomorrow's Schulz
eulogy. "How strange
that he passed away as his final strip ran in
the weekend papers... the strip didn't die
with him - he died with the strip."
The word of the day is "viridian" - it's a shade
of green with a touch of blue; according to
my dictionary, "chrome green."
Cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling
has started a movement with this
name; a good place to begin their
web site is perhaps his
Listening to NPR radio last night, heard the sad,
infuriating tale of Cynthia Stewart, the mom who's
being pilloried on obscenity charges due to the photos
she took of her eight-year-old daughter bathing. What
made me choke was the characterization by a major
developing lab of their "good corporate citizenship"
by snitching the particulars of any suspicious
pictures to the authorities. Previously I'd heard
that as long as the photo depicts a solitary individual,
any state of (un)dress was tolerated; and
objections were rare since lab personnel's scrutiny
of output was haphazard due to process
automation; but they said evry photo is
inspected (for "quality") and observation
of certain subjects (like naked children)
triggers law enforcement notification.
(Personally, I always give 'em a fake
name.) Can't find anything but
summary posting - it has a
paragraph - scroll down.
Jay Hawkins died - ironically, of an intestinal
blockage. His "Constipation Blues" began with a
spoken-word intro: "Up
until now nobody's done a song about real pain."
Finally the tobacco companies are being made to
tell what else they put into cigarettes, at least
The ingredients include sucrose, cocoa, citric acid
and ammonium - which speeds up the nicotine "hit".
Stephen Hesford, a Labour member of the committee,
suggested later that the additives also included
cynanide and lead.
It's been a mystery about whatever that stuff
might be in the "lite" smokes' blends; 'way back
in the 60's the talk was about Marlboros and how
they contained fiberglass fibers which would make
the user sterile.
Check Dvorak's take on
"cross-site scripting" and what Microsoft means
by its advice to "avoid
promiscuous web browsing" (in PC Mag).
Found the repository of Phil Agre's
Rock Eater essays - I'm catching up on his
"News and Recommendations." He's some UCLA
academic, writing's cerebral but very astute
and agreeable. Two samples:
... the tendency of people who define themselves
against something to simply invert whatever it is
they oppose, rather than actually having a new idea.
Conservatives and liberals do this to one another all
the time. Each side wants you to split your
conscience, suppressing one half and hyperdeveloping
the other half to the point of distortion. As a
result, both sides are half right and three-quarters
wrong, and in symmetrically related ways. Once we
recognize this, we recover a moral orientation to many
topics that we had formerly associated with the raving
of the moralists. But we also get a sense of proportion.
In discussing the commercial forces arrayed against
the Internet's open platform model, for example in the
proprietary networks of AOL and Time Warner, I messed
up my biology a little. The mollusc that attaches
itself to the insides of pipes and sucks out the
nutrients that go by, reproducing until it clogs the
pipe, is called a zebra mussel, not a tiger mussel. I
was writing quickly and got my striped animals mixed
up. If you search for "zebra mussel" on the Web, you
will discover a minor industry of research on this
pest, a nonnative species in the US where it is
causing a lot of trouble, for example in the Great
Lakes. I think it makes an excellent metaphor.
The Science Fiction Weekly site has an
with William Gibson:
I think that what happens is that in the course of
writing on a very regular basis, the membrane between
conscious and unconscious gets sandpapered down paper-thin,
so there can be, like, ruptures. And then this stuff
emerges that the conscious mind could never make up. For
me, the trouble with too much genre SF is that it's so
obviously the product of the conscious mind. I'm just
not very interested in that.
[on cyberpunk] Those days are over.
I don't know what the equivalent would be, "biopunk,"
or something. You know, kids in the Haight doing their
own genetic manipulation. [Laughs.] That kind of thing
is closer. What cyberpunk has become, I think, is just
kind of a tag for a particular flavor of popular
culture. You can describe a video or a pair of
trousers as "cyberpunk." It's not really happening.
It's not really happening anymore.
I'm no fan of "The "City" comic
strip - in fact, author Derf's
style annoys me; but when I
moved back to DC for those
three mid-90s years I got
used to him, published weekly
in the City Paper. The
has a bigger dose, the multi-page
story of his Ohio
days with Jeffrey
Dahmer - Derf was his
fan club's President!
Concerning the recent far-right
political victories in Österreich,
the Eastern Empire - unlike the
usual oblivious media output, check today's
Daily where Martin Schneider comments on
the irony of our home team's right-wing
tendencies and influence on the story.
[Freedom Party's] Haider
has cribbed much of his platform from the conservative
wing of America's Republican Party -- he has
proposed a Gingrichian "Contract with Austria,"
advocated a Forbesian flat tax, and closely
studied former California governor Pete Wilson's
Shoes in the News:
Those absurd 'glam' boots I
observing on short girls in Japan last
year are now suspect in traffic accidents
there, and may be forbidden in the
driver's seat - details in
There was an
in yesterday's Post about the current state
of Usenet - the author's Rob Pegoraro, whose
verbiage provided me with the necessary info and
encouragment to post my first web pages. My
own assessment of those on-line forums
(a few of which I check daily, as I've been
doing since 1994) is the annoying commercial
spam which had infected the newsgroups (back
when the web was new) is now rare.
Yab Yum. Know
what it is? Something tantric, we read about the
beats doing it in The Dharma Bums, but in
Airport authorities have refused to even
consider giving a permit to Yab Yum, saying
it wouldn't fit with the overall philosophy
Schipol is the Amsterdam airport, and it's quite
a nice facility. According
Yab Yum offers an expensive menu of caviar, champagne
and sex at plush locations in downtown Amsterdam
Radio interference - disruption because
of the KQED
fund raising campaign, a phenomenon about which
I've railed previously.
The horizon-broadening result is my exposure
to much more of KFJC
(the excellent local college station);
"information radio," a less-polished and
hence more attractive NPR alternate (but
with a weaker signal); the
local Pacifica station, in Berkeley:
and the modern-rock "Alice"
(KLLC) whose morning drive-time team of
Sarah and Vinnie's actually not bad.
Courtesy the nearby More
Like This weblog, learn about
A Web Bug is a graphic on a Web page or in an Email message that
is designed to monitor who is reading the Web page or Email
message. Web Bugs are often invisible because they are typically
only 1-by-1 pixel in size. They are represented as HTML IMG tags.
...but the specified SRC is a program, not an image.
Saw "Magnolia" and found it lacking, a
tedious, annoying, though at-times
interesting film. They're raving
about his portrayal of the misogynistic
"TJ" character but I thought he
was bogus; the best Tom Cruise moment
occured before the movie even started,
that sequence with his shades in
Woo "M:I-2" preview.
University of Alaska Poker Flat Research Range
Information and Images. (Nice pictures, but the site's one
of those all-too-common examples of web pages made irritating
and user-hostile due to the unnecessary, innappropriate
usage of frames.)
Rash Weblog Archive: January February
Back to current weblog
space provided by