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january 2000
Welcome to the Naughties! 01/01/00

This has been a year of extremes for me. It began as bleak as it could, hopeless of change. It ends with the promise of everything good. For me, the new Millennium is teeming with possibilities, opportunities I didn't expect and couldn't have foreseen, some of which I had rather given up on.

This weblog has been one of the best parts of 1999. Through it I have met some wonderful people, and corresponded with many more. I have looked forward every day to making my entries; I have been delighted with the thoughtful notes I've received from many of you. Thank you for reading Rebecca's Pocket, and thank you for sharing with me your thoughts on the things I post.

I wish for you the best kind of year: challenges met, dreams realized, possibilities invoked. As you look over the last year, I hope that you will remember that an accurate assessment includes the ways in which you have failed and the ways in which you have succeeded. In 2000 please remember to be kind to other people and to speak as gently to yourself.

We live in interesting times. Thank you for sharing them with me.
--Rebecca Blood 01/01/00

How much do we miss jjg.net? We can take heart in the fact that he has completed his 1999 project seventeen syllables, which gives me hope that he'll be back, come back, Jesse, come back.... In the meantime, I intend to travel back in time for a little fix of Infosift. 01/01/00

This is what 2000 looks like. 01/03/00

Via lake effect this article that gives some numbers and tells more about the programs that The Hunger Site helps support. (Click in the left-hand column, every day.) 01/04/00

Bruce Sterling's Viridian Manifesto of January 3, 2000 has many interesting things to say. "The aggressive counter-action to commodity totalitarianism is to give things away. Not other people´s property -- that would be, sad to say, 'piracy' -- but the products of your own imagination, your own creative effort...Henceforth, artistic integrity should be judged, not by one´s classic bohemian seclusion from satanic mills and the grasping bourgeoisie, but by what one creates and gives away. That is the only scale of noncommercial integrity that makes any sense now...Freedom has to be won, and, more importantly, the consequences of freedom have to be lived...You have to create that freedom by a deliberate act of will, think it up, assemble it, sacrifice for it, make it free to others who have a similar will to live that freedom."

It puts me in a mind of the Weblog Nation in general, and Jason Kottke in particular... 01/04/00

Paul Cox is an ethnobotanist who wants to preserve the knowledge of indigenous cultures. "'Clearly, it is in the interests of Western societies to help protect indigenous cultures,' Cox writes. As an example, he cites the case of Epenesa Mauigoa, a 73-year old tribal elder from Western Somoa, who gave an interview that led to the development of the antiviral drug prostatin, effective against the human immunodeficiency virus-type 1." Here is his essay. 01/04/00

Does anyone else think that the new ABCNews.com colors are a very poor choice? Compounding that light green is the light medium green unvisited link color. Whee! (01/05: Kudos to ABCNews.com's design team for their quick response to my design critique.) 01/04/00

On the origins of Armageddon. 01/05/00

Dad News: Men who live with pregnant women undergo hormonal changes, too. 01/05/00

Demoralizing Deadbeat Dads News: Virginia has begun providing incentive to parents who are delinquent in child support by immobilizing their vehicles with the pink and powder-blue boots, and affixing a sticker to their windshield reading: 'This vehicle has been seized by the sheriff for unpaid child support.' An ACLU spokesman calls the program "part of a whole trend to reverse the way we do criminal justice and civil justice to a system we were using in the 17th century...It's a scarlet letter." (Notice how careful the article is to use gender-neutral language throughout.) 01/05/00

Five words: 10,000 year old mummified seal. Here's the antartica journal entry that goes with and more photos. 01/06/00

On Christmas Eve this year, Patricia White Bull, who has been in a coma for the past 16 years, must have hit her limit: "Don't do that" she suddenly said to the nurse who was fixing her bed. 01/06/00

Community of nations must save human rights, Kofi A. Annan, UN Secretary General 01/06/00

Rwanda Must Not Happen Again "The United Nations is still trying to come to terms with the fact that it stood by and let 800,000 Rwandans be killed in 1994...An independent report requested by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blames him -- he was then head of the U.N. peacekeeping apparatus -- his precedessor Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Madeleine Albright, then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the Belgian government -- which fled the scene -- and the U.N. Security Council as most prominent among those bearing major responsibility for failing to stop the killings." 01/06/00

This chimp can remember the sequence of five random numbers, possibly bolstering the idea that some animals have a basic numerical ability. 01/06/00

In what must be a first, or at least a second, the Seattle P-I has taken an editorial position promoting the Newshour's Presidential election coverage. Is this that "convergence" I've been hearing so much about? 01/06/00

Distributing film on the web 01/07/00

1/ Search for gothic music; 2/ Choose "C"; 3/ Look at the last band in the right hand column of the page. 01/07/00

The Amazing Shrinking Iguana. (Thanks, Laura!) 01/07/00

Vietnamese Food News: A nationwide noodle scare has devastated pho shops across the country ever since a whistle-blowing employee revealed that noodle-factories across Vietnam have been using formaldehyde in their noodles. 01/07/00

Naturally Pregnant Grandmother Expects Triplets You go, grrl! 01/07/00

Pirate Radio News: Technology advances and, for a moment, chaos surmounts order. 01/07/00

The Y2K glitch of your dreams. 01/07/00

Episiotomy, a routine procedure designed to hasten delivery time and protect the mother's pelvic floor, preventing later incontinence, may actually cause incontinence instead. 01/09/00

Bigorexia 01/10/00

Starved for some intellectual discourse? Step onto the Edge. 01/10/00

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 01/10/00

Ollie Moses Wilbur, a Tulalip Indian, died Wednesday, after living during three centuries. 01/11/00

Need some research money to study the use of luminescent genes to identify cancerous tumors and nerve gas? Easy: manufacture novelty items such as squirt guns filled with glow-in-the-dark liquid, glow-in-the-dark beer and soda, and glow-in-the-dark hair mousse, then use the profits to fund your research. 01/11/00

Penis News: Circumcision costs and benefits: negligible/negligible. (I didn't realize that the US is the only industrialized country that still routinely practices this procedure.) 01/11/00

The Chinese search for Extraterrestial Life. 01/11/00

It's Eating Me Up! News: Yesterday was the day we were supposed to get the answer to the mysterious pro-Ballard bus ads, but I haven't seen one yet; If only I could be more like Ballard! "'It's just a real strange one,' said Mary Hurley, a 15-year resident and owner of the Best Regards card shop in downtown Ballard. But 'we sure thank whoever is calling attention to Ballard.'" 01/11/00

Amory Lovins says he can build a carbon composite car that is "competitively priced,...with BMW performance, 120 miles to the gallon and no emissions." The catch? Car makers, not anxious to retool their steel-based factories, are just not interested. 01/12/00

GM has built the prototypes: "The Ultralite carried four passengers, could go from zero to 60 in 8 seconds, and had a top speed of 135mph. The carbon body weighed only 420 pounds; in total, the car came in under 1,400 pounds. Because of its light weight, it took only 4hp to drive the car at 55mph, a fourth of what it would normally take to push a car that size. At a speed of 50mph, the Ultralite achieved 100 miles per gallon" 01/12/00

I've been asked for a pda-friendly version of the pocket. I've linked it at left. Will you kindly report any problems back to me? 01/13/00

Tall guys get the girl. Now that "providing" equates with holding a high-paying job, and women are more frequently in the position to provide for themselves, I'm waiting for a study entitled "Smart guys get the girl." And 200 years from now, another: "Nice, dependable guys have to beat them off with long sticks." Of course, it's a very fine line between being a visionary and a nut.... 01/13/00

When will the children come first? Elian Gonzalez should go home to his father. Unless there is demonstrable chance of harm to the child, grandparents should be able to visit their grandchildren. Baby Jessica should have stayed with the couple who was raising her. Parents should have the right to raise their children as best they know how, but children are not the parent's property. Unfortunately, that rationale seems to me to be the one upon which many of these decisions are made (except of course, in Elian's case, where he's being treated as the property of the state.) 01/13/00

W.R. Hambrecht is revolutionizing the initial public offering process with OpenIPO: opening first day access to IPO stocks to individual investors and at the same time reducing immediate profits by preempting the aftermarket pop. 01/13/00

Is Aggression Biological? 01/14/00

My, The Times We Live In! News: Two British millionaires, an egg-donor, a surrogate mother, and twins born in the United States. One potato, two potato, three potato, four.... 01/14/00

Making your point by example. 01/14/00

Baptist Martin Luther King is a candidate to be recognized by the Vatican as a martyr for the Christian faith. (Thanks, Lizard!) 01/14/00

Dream of This 01/17/00

For complete disregard for and unconscionable negligence towards spam, the tribunal hereby sentences @Home to a full active Usenet Death Penalty. 01/18/00

I am certain that this was supposed to happen to me. 01/18/00

Prince Hal News: And this is how I would do it. 01/18/00

No Smacking "Legal moves to ban the use of the cane or belt on children...are to be unveiled by the [British] government. Under the proposals...the use of any implement to admonish a child could be made a criminal offence in England." 01/18/00

Baby Bush isn't making progress against McCain, and Gore is creeping up...and is this a crazy composite, or what?

gw bush looking consternated, mccain looking angry, and gore in the background looking thoughtful 01/18/00

Should current child pornography laws be repealed? Canada considers. 01/19/00

End Times News: Yesterday a green object flew across the sky over the Yukon, and tomorrow the moon turns to blood. 01/19/00

Full Active Usenet Death Penalty rescinded. 01/19/00

Who poisoned the White River? "'It is like someone dropped a nuclear bomb,' said Josh McDermott, who lives near the river. 'The fish had jumped 6 or 7 feet onto the shore. It was like they were jumping out of the water to try and get away from whatever it is.'" 01/19/00

Sister Maria Stephanopolous is occupying a 19th-century monastery in Jericho on behalf of the White Russian monks who were evicted by the Palestinian government after the Orthodox Russian Church approached Yassar Arafat claiming to own the property, and the Palestinians handed it over. 01/20/00

Goth News: Every January 19, in deepest night, a stranger clad in black leaves three roses and a bottle of cognac at Edgar Allen Poe's grave in commemoration of his birthday. It is known that the originator of the ritual died in 1998. Beyond that...nothing. 01/20/00

Randomwalks has come up with an answer to the "links open in new window" vs "never open a new window for me!" dilemma: a checkbox that allows you to decide. Perfectly user-controlled, perfectly user-centered, and perfectly elegant. 01/20/00

Hedy Lamarr is dead. "'Any girl can be glamorous,' she once said. 'All you have to do is stand still and look stupid'...Drawing upon knowledge about military products that she picked up while married to [her first husband], Lamarr came up with the idea of a radio signaling device that would reduce the danger of detection or jamming. She and a friend, composer George Antheil, developed the idea further and received a patent in 1942. The method was not used in the war, but since the ‘80s, high-tech versions of the concept, called 'spread spectrum,' have been used in some cordless phones, military radios and wireless computer links." 01/20/00

Schrodinger's Cat News: Physicists say they have moved an atom from here to a quantum state and back--a difficult feat, since even observing a quantum state--where it is in two places at once--can cause it to revert back to normal. 01/20/00

More End Times News: Scientists puzzle over huge ice balls falling on Spain "Scientists confounded by bizarre iceball phenomenon" (I am not making this up) Here's a more complete report. 01/20/00

Bats begat butterflies 01/20/00

The attorney of a man who shot his wife while being interviewed for a news story has prepared his defense: "It was the reporter's fault." 01/20/00

"One out of every three women worldwide has a serious long-term health problem linked to beating, rape or other violence, U.S. health experts said on Thursday...'The language women use to describe the violence and their fears, and the excuses men give are strikingly alike,' said Johns Hopkins researcher Lori Heise. 'In every country surveyed, the victim is still being blamed.'" 01/21/00

While travelling in Yemen, a French couple was kidnapped, released, and then kidnapped again. 01/21/00

More Reason to MP3 News: "A deeply controversial amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act--added without congressional debate or input from artists--now allows record companies to treat musicians’ recordings as 'works for hire.' Tacked onto an omnibus appropriations bill by a congressional staffer and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Nov. 29, the new amendment could prevent artists from reclaiming the rights to their work after 35 years, the current legal waiting period." 01/21/00

Scottish social workers are in trouble for working to rescue a pet monkey from a heroin-addicted couple, but neglecting to notice their five-year-old child. (This story is a little rough--proceed at your own risk.) 01/21/00

At long last, a compelling reason to look forward to middle age: alcohol will be good for you. 01/21/00

Sorry for whatever I did 01/21/00

Homo negotiator "This myth that human beings have been killing each other most of the time for as long as they have existed - that it's our basic nature and if you scratch the veneer of civilization you get a Bosnia or Rwanda - is fundamentally mistaken. It is not borne out by what we know scientifically...." 01/25/00

Umami is the fifth flavor: but what does it taste like? 01/25/00

"In the age of super-boredom hype and mediocrity, Celebrate relentlessness menace to society...A wolf in sheep's clothing the ultimate disgrace wrapped up as a gift of god exploding in your face..." (Megalomaniac by KMFDM) 01/25/00

Just a little patch of grass. 01/25/00

Japan is introducing new health insurance designed to prevent death from overwork. 01/26/00

A woman for President? Barbara Bush says real soon, now. 01/26/00

In an innovative program designed to test the waters (and, I surmise, create brand loyalty), McDonalds has opened a kiosk in a Rio de Janiero slum--selling ice cream and water. 01/26/00

End Times News: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is breaking down sexual and racial barriers by simply accepting people as they are. 01/26/00

Striving to align their worklife with their faith, these CEOs are seeking to run their businesses in alignment with their Christian principles. 01/26/00

Something I like very much from the above article: Avodah means both "work" and "worship" in Old Testament Hebrew. 01/26/00

Over the weekend, City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck forced the Seattle Center Fun Forest to remove 10 video games that contain graphic depictions of violence. 01/26/00

The elephants are in danger again. Protections against poaching are apparently being ignored since a relaxation of the ban against ivory trading. "In April 1999, Japanese ivory traders bought nearly 60 tons of ivory from Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. 'The sale of ivory to Japan was supposed to be preceded by implementation of international safeguards in the form of a monitoring system to detect increased poaching...The system was not established and now elephants are paying the price.'" 01/27/00

A man has been shot for shovelling snow in the direction of a neighbor's truck. 01/27/00

It's just a little different when it involves someone you love instead of some hypothetical irresponsible woman, isn't it? 01/27/00

I hope that this is a sweet story, but I wonder if it was just convenient/necessary. 01/27/00

Heads Up!: Via the excellent Metafilter: After all their promises to the contrary, it seems that Doubleclick plans to aggregate your data and, when you register for something, boom! connect it with your name, complete with a profile of your interests and internet buying habits. Fortunately, Jesse James Garrett has unearthed a link to the opt-out page. I was alarmed when I clicked through to discover that I had a cookie registered! I had no idea. Go see for yourself. 01/27/00

Remember that hand transplant? In spite of three rejection attempts, one year later it's working just fine. 01/27/00

Independent filmmaker? Have a short film? Do I have a deal for you. 01/27/00

It's serious and it's horrible, but there's just something funny about the phrase "contaminated dip". 01/28/00

Those Crazy Kids News: A recently opened 1837 time capsule contained seed catalogues, maps, coins...and a surprise. 01/28/00

The surprising origins of emeralds. 01/28/00

Breast News: A media-literate breast cancer awareness campaign in San Francisco is raising some hackles by featuring models with a mastectomy scar superimposed on their bodies. People are talking. (Here's more.) 01/28/00

grrrr 01/28/00

the iSmell 01/31/00

Creating a code of conduct for temporary agencies. 01/31/00

Environmentalism gets religion 01/31/00

US Joins GM Foods Treaty "The protocol allows a country to ban imports of a genetically modified product...[and]...provides rules for the transport and labeling, requiring that the words 'may contain living modified organisms' appear on all shipments of genetically altered commodities, such as corn and cotton." What about US-grown foods used in the US? 01/31/00

Big Day for AIDS News: An unorthodox treatment shows promise; with better treatment comes riskier behavior (prevention is still number 1: use condoms!; and hundreds of Roman Catholic priests have secretly died of AIDS. 01/31/00

comments? questions? rebecca blood

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