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Saturday, October 02, 2004

October 31, 2004 

jest for pun (October'04)

October'04 BlogThoughts

Every calendar's days are numbered.

  • The living need charity more than the dead. - George Arnold The Jolly Old Pedagogue - 1866)

  • I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy. - Woody Allen (Clown Prince of American Humor, 1975)

  • It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and THEN do your best. - W. Edwards Deming

  • Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs. - David Ben Gurion

  • Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams. - Somerset Maugham

  • I envy people who drink -- at least they know what to blame everything on. - Oscar Levant

  • Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon (from Beautiful Boy - 1980)

  • All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

  • We need a President who's fluent in at least one language. - Buck Henry (circa 1992)

  • Chopsticks are one of the reasons the Chinese never invented custard. - Spike Milligan

  • The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working when you get up in the morning, and doesn't stop until you get to the office. - Robert Frost (1874 - 1963) - American poet. Winner of 4 Pulitzer prizes.

  • The gist of Bush's argument seems to be, John Kerry will raise your taxes; I'll just keep ballooning the deficit....

  • Life is nothing but change
  • October 31, 2004 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 30, 2004

    Discovery Health: Organ Donation

    Whether you're an organ donor or not, be aware that there's a need out there -- a big one. Today more than 86,000 men, women, and children are on the organ transplant waiting list. That's the facts. Some have made it their mission to match donors with recipients in this noble and ennobling cause. If you think you can't give, first dispel the myths about organ and tissue donation. Still have questions? Read up and then see your state's requirements for becoming a donor. Signing a single card could be the most selfless act you'll ever perform.

    October 30, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    October 29, 2004

    You tell me!!!

    A college student needed a small two-hour course to fill his schedule and the only one available was wildlife Zoology.

    After one week, a test was held. The professor passed out a sheet of paper divided into four squares. In each square was a carefully drawn picture of a bird's legs. No bodies, no feet, just legs.

    The test asked each student to identify the birds from their legs. The student sat and stared at the test getting angrier every minute.

    Finally he stomped up to the front of the classroom and threw the test on the teacher's desk.

    "This is the worst test I have ever given."

    The teacher looked up and said: "Young man, you have flunked the test. What's your name?

    The student pulled up his pant showing his legs and said: "You tell me!!!"

    October 29, 2004 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


    October 29, 2004 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Tie Goes to the...

    Interested in becoming president this year? If so, hope for an electoral college tie. With an unlikely, but plausible, perfect tie -- 269 electoral votes for both George W. Bush and John Kerry -- anyone meeting the Constitutional qualifications for president could end up president. Here's how.

    Most people know the electoral college, and not popular vote, decides presidential elections. Many people also know that if no one gets a majority of electoral college votes the Constitution directs the House of Representatives to choose the President. This has happened twice (not counting 1876, a technically different situation) -- in the strange tie of 1800 and the 4-way election of 1824. The contemporary prospects for a House election are slim. Only an electoral tie -- or a third party winning electors -- could produce it. However, a tie is plausible this year: if all states vote the same as 2000 except New Hampshire and Nevada, the electoral vote would be 269 to 269.

    continue reading...

    October 29, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 28, 2004

    When medicine meets moral philosophy

    Stem-Cell Science
    by Jonathan Shaw

    The next time you look in a mirror, reflect on this: the face staring back at you is literally not the same one you saw two months ago. Your skin is constantly renewing itself. Like most specialized cells in your body, skin cells are post-mitotic — they cannot replace themselves by dividing. Yet there is always new skin to replace the cells that die and slough off in the shower every day. The source of the new you? Stem cells.

    Doctors believe that if they can understand and harness the power of these cells, they will usher in a new era of regenerative medicine in which the body's own capacities for development and repair can be directed to cure such maladies as Parkinson's, diabetes, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), and heart disease. With clinical applications in mind — between 100 million and 150 million people in the United States suffer from diseases potentially treatable with stem-cell-derived therapies — the University announced this spring the creation of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), which will coordinate the teaching, training, and research of 100 scientists across 14 Harvard schools and affiliated hospitals (see "Stem-cell Science," May-June 2004, page 59). The HSCI has the full and enthusiastic support of President Lawrence H. Summers.

    continue reading

    October 28, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    October 27, 2004

    Petri Dish Autopilot

    'Brain' In A Dish Acts As Autopilot, Living Computer

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.

    The “brain” -- a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat’s brain and cultured inside a glass dish -- gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level. By watching the brain cells interact, scientists hope to understand what causes neural disorders such as epilepsy and to determine noninvasive ways to intervene.

    As living computers, they may someday be used to fly small unmanned airplanes or handle tasks that are dangerous for humans, such as search-and-rescue missions or bomb damage assessments.

    October 27, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Voter... for the mathematician in you!

    Game Theory for Swingers

    What states should the candidates visit before Election Day?

    October 27, 2004 in World News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Why Study RPS?

    Why should I study RPS? What will RPS do for me? As with any sport, the answer to these questions is “That depends on what you put into it.”

    RPS is gaming at its most basic, its most fundamental. Take anything away, and it ceases to be a game at all. Every other game, at some level, contains RPS. Like chess or fencing, the rules are simple, but the game itself is as complex as the mind of your opponent.

    Playing RPS probably won’t make you rich and famous. Chances are good you won’t win an Olympic gold medal. And it’s not likely to improve your physique, maximize your sex appeal, jump-start your career or expand your memory. Many players have found, however, that studying RPS gives them a greater understanding of how gaming relates to human behavior. In that sense, RPS can help you find success in other areas, but only if you have the determination to work hard and think hard – not just in RPS, but in every area of your life.

    October 27, 2004 in Fun | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 26, 2004

    Tea has same effects as drugs against Alzheimers!

    Drinking regular cups of tea could help improve your memory, research suggests.

    A team from Newcastle University found green and black tea inhibited the activity of key enzymes in the brain associated with memory.

    The researchers hope their findings, published in Phytotherapy Research, may lead to the development of a new treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.

    They say tea appears to have the same effect as drugs specifically designed to combat the condition.

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with a reduced level of a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain.

    In lab tests, the Newcastle team found that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which breaks down this key chemical.

    They also found both teas inhibited the activity of a second enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), which has been discovered in protein deposits found in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's.

    Green tea went one step further in that it obstructed the activity of beta-secretase, which plays a role in the production of protein deposits in the brain which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

    The scientists also found that it continued to have its inhibitive effect for a week, whereas black tea's enzyme-inhibiting properties lasted for only one day.

    continue reading...

    October 26, 2004 in Food and Drink, Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Mongols in World History

    The Mongols have gotten an unfairly bad rap outside of Asia. You may have heard that Genghis Khan was a ruthless conqueror. But his real achievement was unifying the Mongolian tribes, so they honored him with the title "Chinggis Khan" (Khan of All Between the Oceans). Chinggis encouraged religious tolerance and created a legal code. OK, he did lead three invasions across China and central Asia. But Khan and his descendants made invaluable contributions to art, medicine, and architecture. They also forged a crucial trade link between Asia and Europe. This handsome site gives some respect to Mongol civilization and its legacy.

    October 26, 2004 in History | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 25, 2004

    Printers betray document secrets

    That staple of crime novels - solving a case by identifying the typewriter used to write a ransom note - is being updated for the modern day.

    US scientists have discovered that every desktop printer has a signature style that it invisibly leaves on all the documents it produces.

    They have now found a way to use this to identify individual laser printers.

    The work will help track down printers used to make bogus bank notes, fake passports and other important papers.

    October 25, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Lie Detectors vs Truth Serum

    "Human Lie Detectors Almost Never Miss". If you still don't trust them, then try this "mathematical truth serum".

    October 25, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    A common name can be a curse

    With an ever-expanding “no fly” list, a lot of innocent passengers are getting caught in the security net

    How to get your name off the Federal "Do Not Fly" list:

    According to this article, "... all you need to do to get off a do-not-fly-list is modify your name in some way by adding a middle initial or a suffix. In other words, the folks responsible for the list are too stupid to figure out how to prevent false positives, but a true terrorist can get off the list by adding a middle initial. This information comes directly from 'TSA Spokesman Mark Hatfield' as quoted in the article."

    October 25, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 24, 2004

    Nat Decants

    Natalie MacLean writes fluidly about liquid pleasures. She's especially keen on the savor of wine -- the scent notes that describe a bouquet; the color and structure of a sip; and, of course, the meal that makes a wine unforgettable. Based in Ontario, Canada, where the provincial government regulates wine sales, MacLean pours forth monthly tasting notes for the latest local releases. Spirited reviews range from Argentine chardonnay to South African pinotage to French and California classics as well as highlights of Canadian viticulture. Mindful of our pleasure (and her own), the amiable Ms. MacLean focuses on bottles that score well enough to be worth remembering and shopping for. Go ahead, take a sip and relax.

    October 24, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wine for the Confused

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Since when does a Python worry about what kind of wine to have with a meal?

    Monty Python comedy veteran John Cleese decided to crush his grapes of ignorance and explore just what all the gourmet magazines and wine experts are talking about.

    "I felt it was a shame that something that is such a source of pleasure should have become restricted by all this snobbery," Cleese told The Associated Press in a phone interview from his Santa Barbara, Calif. home -- which is nestled close to the state's wine country.


    October 24, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 23, 2004

    Chips Coming to a Brain Near You

    In this era of high-tech memory management, next in line to get that memory upgrade isn't your computer, it's you.

    Professor Theodore W. Berger, director of the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California, is creating a silicon chip implant that mimics the hippocampus, an area of the brain known for creating memories. If successful, the artificial brain prosthesis could replace its biological counterpart, enabling people who suffer from memory disorders to regain the ability to store new memories.

    And it's no longer a question of "if" but "when."

    October 23, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


    October 23, 2004 in Humor | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 22, 2004

    The leaning Tower oops, Taj Mahal of Agra!

    Indian authorities have launched an urgent investigation after historians reported that the Taj Mahal was leaning and in danger of sinking.

    The government in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has asked a committee of experts to report back in a week.

    The historians fear the drying out of the nearby Yamuna river might have affected the Taj Mahal's foundations and want urgent action.

    India's greatest tourist attraction marks its 350th anniversary this year. Celebrations to mark the 350th anniversary of India's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, have begun in the northern city of Agra.

    Check In pictures: Taj Mahal celebrations.

    October 22, 2004 in World News | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    The Worst Jobs in Science: The Sequel

    Monitoring dumps, extracting worms, lobbying politicians: science's ugly side.

    Think your job’s bad? Try dragging a bedspread around tick-ridden thickets, pausing regularly in the 100-degree heat not to squeegee the sweat from your brow but to tweeze dozens of the tiny pests into a collection jar. Reconsidering your career choice? Imagine training for years as a veterinarian, only to find yourself engaged in labwork designed to make the tail-wagging puppies in your charge sick, knowing all the while that when the study is over, the pooches will be euthanized. Having a bad day? Just be glad you’re not spending it in minute examination of unusual growths on a dozen or so people’s posteriors.

    But don’t feel sorry for the scientists and staffers employed in these travails and the 14 others gathered in this, our second annual countdown of the worst jobs in science—they probably wouldn’t want your job any more than you’d want theirs. Case in point: As we canvassed hundreds of scientists for worst-job nominees, an inexplicable thing happened—the glorious and esteemed calling known as “science journalist” kept garnering votes. Something about missing out on the chance to do real science ourselves, coupled with our need to simplify (or was it “oversimplify”?) the subjects we cover.

    That, of course, is part of the fascination of an exercise such as this. Job horror is in the eye of the job holder. And to the great benefit of society, most of these job holders simply don’t regard their occupation as being that horrible—or, at any rate, are willing to endure the horrors for the opportunity to do virtuous and important work. We salute them.

    (via Popular Science)

    October 22, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Online Guide to Whistling Records

    Do you like to whistle? Have a knack for it? Maybe you could join a select few who've made a profession out of it. For decades, whistlers graced vinyl with their own unique renditions and creations. Heck, even birds got themselves a record deal. And despite being an obscure musical niche, whistling still boasts an occasional tune that almost everyone knows. Brother Bones, a virtual unknown, recorded one of the most instantly recognizable songs of all time. Just go to a Globetrotters game and listen. So while it may be a dying art in the music biz, there's still a devoted faithful today who just aren't done puckering up.

    October 22, 2004 in Fun | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 21, 2004

    India as Innovation Hub

    Wired News writes:

    Generations of Indians have grown up recounting jokes about how the only contribution their nation has made to the world is the invention of zero. Innovation was something other people did.

    That's no longer the case. At research labs across the country, Indians are creating technologies specifically designed for the nation's multilingual masses and its poor. In doing so, the country is emerging as a research hub for technologies geared to the Third World.

    The article also discusses a number of examples of innovation happening in India. I will be writing a series as part of my Tech Talk columns on Innovation in India sometime soon.

    October 21, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Vote for US President Even if You're Not American...

    A London based, political/art/media/flash mob group has created a site where non-Americans can vote in a mock US presidential election; the idea is to see how global view of American leadership differs (or is the same) from the country itself. The result will be communicated to the US media 48 hours before the real vote.

    Even if you are not a US citizen, the November 2 presidential election will have a huge impact on your life. The very idea of democracy requires that you should have a say in choosing who determines your destiny.

    So here you go: Global Vote

    (via Glutter)

    October 21, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Pencils down, people GLAT is here

    The Google Labs Aptitude Test. Potential employees are asked some neat questions!

    If you're the kind of uber-geek, you'll enjoy taking it, and maybe you'd enjoy life as a Googler. Give it a try. The GLAT is four pages long; you can print them out here, here, here and here. When you're done, send your completed test to:

    Google Labs Jobs
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043-1351

    October 21, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 20, 2004

    The Challenges of Paradigmatic Change

    HBS Working Knowledge has an article by Jonathan Byrnes:

    Paradigmatic change is very important in business. It has the potential to create major new value and to renew a company, but it is very difficult to accomplish in the absence of a business crisis. Managing paradigmatic change is fundamentally different from managing incremental improvements to the existing business.

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn Book.JPG

    This book grew out of Kuhn's research on the history of science. Before Kuhn's work, the prevailing view of knowledge building in science was that it was a linear process centered on the so-called "scientific method." According to the traditional view of this process, scientists posit hypotheses, test them, and in this way, build knowledge. However, when Kuhn looked closely at what actually happened, he found that this could not be further from the truth.

    Instead, Kuhn found that knowledge building in science was a process that was marked by occasional great lurches forward. In fact, most science took place within the context of a broad, tacit, explanatory framework that he called a "paradigm." The Aristotelian system that theorized that the sun revolved around the earth is an example of a paradigm.

    What Kuhn found in science plays out in business every day. A manager seeking to create paradigmatic change, whether in market focus or vendor integration or manufacturing process, will hit a wall of "the way we do business," that is analogous to Kuhn's paradigm.

    As in Kuhn's process, simply showing evidence that a fundamentally different way of doing business would provide higher returns will not be sufficient to motivate paradigmatic change unless a dire crisis is clearly imminent. It will be ignored much as Kuhn's anomalies were ignored.

    October 20, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    How to prevent motion sickness - naturally

    Did you know that half a teaspoon of ground ginger is more effective than chemical medication in suppressing motion or seasickness? And unlike most medication, it will not make you drowsy. Ginger has been used in the Orient for centuries to prevent sea sickness.

    Researchers asked subjects who were especially susceptible to motion sickness to sit in a reclining chair that spun around at high speed. All the subjects who ingested a well known medication or who took a placebo experienced violent nausea and/or vomiting.

    On the other hand, six of the twelve subjects who took ginger twenty minutes before the test experienced no discomfort. They consumed only 840 milligrams of ground ginger, which is the equivalent of half a teaspoon.

    The Japanese have a very curious method of treating all kinds of motion sickness. They use an adhesive plaster to fasten an “umeboshi” (a very salty fermented plum, available in most health food stores in the West) to their navel. The idea may seem a little strange, but what have you got to lose!

    October 20, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 19, 2004


    Ever eaten food that makes you exclaim "shiok!"? Do you indulge in decadent morsels so "shiokadelicious!" that you can't stop eating? In Singapore people say "shiok!" [shee-oak] when food is to die for. Renee Kho, author of this Singapore-based blog, is on a continual quest for new dishes, tasty tidbits, and classic Singaporean comfort foods. Wander through the Mid-Autumn Festival. Explore seafood recipes infused with Asian flavors. Discover cooking tips and savor restaurant experiences. The mouth-watering pictures and sensuous descriptions are sure to make you hungry. Eat it up and enjoy!

    October 19, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Coke versus Pepsi: It's all in the head

    Coke-vs-Pepsi neuromarketing: Functional MRI brain scans show that Coca Cola's advertising and branding has been far more succesful than Pepsi's in creating consistent preferences for their beverage.

    The experimental design enabled the researchers to discover the specific brain regions activated when the subjects used only taste information versus when they also had brand identification. While the researchers found no influence of brand knowledge for Pepsi, they found a dramatic effect of the Coke label on behavioral preference. The brand knowledge of Coke both influenced their preference and activated brain areas including the "dorsolateral prefrontal cortex" and the hippocampus. Both of these areas are implicated in modifying behavior based on emotion and affect. In particular, wrote the researchers, their findings suggest "that the hippocampus may participate in recalling cultural information that biases preference judgments."

    I predict this is just the beginning of the neuromarketing cola wars.

    October 19, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    October 18, 2004

    Paralysed man sends e-mail by thought

    "An pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far," reports Nature.

    "The device, called the BrainGate, was developed by the company Cyberkinetics, based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Each electrode taps into a neuron in the patient's brain. The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head."

    October 18, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    China as Early Wireless VoIP Market

    Barron's writes:

    Dense cities, with millions of people who can't afford cars or cellphone service make China a great testbed for wireless VoIP. That could create opportunities for makers of wireless networking chips, like Intel, Broadcom and little Atheros Communications.

    Chinese phone operators have a good reason to bankroll voice over Wi-Fi or WiMax: Subscriber growth at China Mobile and China Unicom has been slowed by the availability of a cheap wireless alternative called Personal Handyphone Service. PHS offers limited-range wireless service at a fraction of the cost of cellular, typically about 8 bucks a month. Subscriptions for PHS have grown tenfold in three years, to more than 55 million. It's been a clever entree into wireless for its sponsors -- the fixed-line phone companies, China Telecom and China Netcom. It's also been a windfall for equipment suppliers like UTStarcom, the fast-growing -- if unevenly managed -- telecom outfit in Alameda, Calif.

    To compete against PHS, China's mobile operators need a technology that's cheaper than cellular. Urban Wi-Fi networks would allow them to offer voice and Internet services at a comparable price to PHS, says Colin Macnab, the marketing vice president of Atheros. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Atheros has competed successfully against Intel and Texas Instruments with chips that are cheaper, yet more powerful. With a reception range of more than 800 meters, Atheros Wi-Fi chips can reach twice the distance of competing products. Wi-Fi makers are also adding power management features, to conserve battery life in devices like a handheld phone. So Wi-Fi voice technology has attracted the attention of China's phone firms, Macnab suggests.

    (via emergic)

    October 18, 2004 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The gobbledygook generator

    Have you ever wanted to become a stereotypical consultant? Do you find yourself lost for meaningless, empty phrases that make you look 'in the know'?

    Try the gobbledygook generator.

    October 18, 2004 in Fun | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Earth today

    world meter

    October 18, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 17, 2004

    The Military-Industrial Complex

    Over forty-three years ago in January 1961, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address warned of the dangers of the "military-industrial complex". In view of the upcoming US presidential elections and the global conflict that the US is engaged in, I think it is appropriate to carefully consider what he had to say. Here are a few excerpts.

    (via Deesha)

    October 17, 2004 in World News | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    The Choice: 2004

    The Choice: 2004. Frontline documentary. First aired on PBS earlier this week, the full two-hours is now available online. Examines the lives of Sen. John Kerry and President Bush -- from their days at Yale through their military experience and the political world. NPR interview about the show.

    October 17, 2004 in World News | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    NPR: RSS Feeds

    NPR provides RSS feeds for upcoming features on their marquee programs (as well as schedules from a few member stations). They also offer a number of news feeds including Top Stories and World News.

    October 17, 2004 in Info | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 16, 2004

    Blog Move

    I now have made typepad my new blog home after mblog unceremoniously decided to shutdown and abandon all their bloggers.

    But I must admit mblog taught me a lot. They did attempt to provide an exceptional service for the blogging community at no cost. Unfortunately due to member abuse, inability to reach agreement with Moveable Type and hosting cost overhead they have incurred an extremely high deficit. Unfortunately they can no longer offer support or continue this service.

    So basically this is my third blog home first one being with Bloggers which still has all my archives so far. I do plan to inform my readers about the change but please pass the word.

    October 16, 2004 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (5)


    This is a test post Forsv

    October 16, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Go West, Young Pollutocrat!

    Bush administration makes big push for oil and gas drilling in West

    With unprecedented speed, the Bush administration has opened vast swaths of environmentally sensitive land in the West to oil and gas drilling -- this by-now-familiar story is told comprehensively in articles in The Washington Post and The Seattle Times. The situation is summed up by Dave Alberswerth, former Clinton adviser and now a lobbyist for The Wilderness Society: "They haven't changed any statutes. They haven't changed any regulations. But they've changed a whole lot of practices and policies without any real public scrutiny." Bureau of Land Management employees are now rewarded for speeding through approval of leases for energy companies, which in many cases are writing land-use plans themselves. Opposition is spreading from environmentalists to traditionally conservative ranchers, hunters, and anglers. Bush administration officials deny that they're damaging wild areas, but they happily concede that the balance for "multiple-use" areas has been moved toward resource extraction.

    straight to the source: The Washington Post, Joby Warrick and Juliet Eilperin, 25 Sep 2004

    straight to the source: The Seattle Times, Craig Welch, 26 Sep 2004

    Posted by SV at 06:54 AM | Comments (0) to view click on the post time. | TrackBack

    Baked Alaskans

    Global warming is destroying Eskimo villages

    While debates over the "precautionary principle" and economic tradeoffs take place down in the cozy lower 48, global warming is entirely less abstract to nupiaq Eskimos on the coast of Alaska. They're not so much worried about losing jobs as losing, well, their villages. The annual mean air temperature in Alaska has risen 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years, the warm season now starts earlier and finishes later, and Arctic Ocean ice has shrunk 5 to 10 percent, making ice fishing more difficult, among other problems. In spots, the coastline is disappearing -- some villages have lost up to 300 feet. Many villages are facing the ultimate decision: "Is it practical to stand and fight our Mother Ocean? Or do we surrender and move?" asks Edith Vorderstrasse, mayor of Barrow, Alaska. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study estimated that relocating one small village of 380 people, Kivalina, would cost $100 million to $400 million -- at the top end, more than $1 million a head. If that sounds forbidding, ponder for a moment the cost of relocating, say, San Francisco.

    straight to the source: Time Magazine, Margot Roosevelt, 27 Sep 2004

    Posted by SV at 06:50 AM | Comments (1) to view click on the post time. | TrackBack

    October 01, 2004

    'The Borowitz Report: Big Book of Shockers' On Sale Today




    When these big stories rocked your world, the so-called "mainstream media" was asleep at the wheel -- but The Borowitz Report was there.

    And now one hundred stories just like these, plus tons of material never published anywhere, have been collected in the first-ever book from The Borowitz Report.

    By purchasing your copy of THE BOROWITZ REPORT: THE BIG BOOK OF SHOCKERS Book.JPG for the low, low price of $9.95 (I would have paid $99.95 too), you'll be doing more than revisiting the biggest news stories of the past few years, like OPENLY EPISCOPAL MAN JOINS VILLAGE PEOPLE and SADDAM BOUGHT GERANIUMS, NOT URANIUM.

    You'll be ensuring that the Borowitz Report continues to be the one of the world's most consistent providers of fake news, second only to CBS.

    So show your support the news organization that says, "Give us thirty seconds, and we'll waste it." And when Osama bin Laden finally turns out to be hiding on John McEnroe's show, we promise you: the Borowitz Report will be there.

    PS - If you'd like an autographed copy, come to the Barnes and Noble in Union Square this Sunday at 1 PM. You'll walk away with a memento that's not even available on eBay - although I suspect that by Sunday night it will be.

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    what blogs are good for, aside from ego expression... Sort of like putting your face, life story and personal opinions on a milk carton so other people can see them.