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february 2000

Underpants news: Filipinos burned women's underwear yesterday to protest military exercises in their country, which they believe will lead to a rise in prostitution. 02/01/00

Well, it's official, I'll be attending the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin March 11-14. If you're not attending, live the excitement at SXSW Blog, courtesy of those fine folks at Pyra. 02/01/00

Twelve men executed, thirteen exonerated after their conviction...hang on now! 02/01/00

Oh, can't we all just get along? 02/01/00

Agatha Christie News: A family doctor in an English small town has been convicted of murdering 15 women patients with heroin. 02/01/00

Happy Groundhog's Day! 02/02/00

One of the ten Kenya air-disaster survivors didn't know how to swim...so he survived by applying his engineering knowledge and mimicking action heros he'd seen in the movies. "I kept myself afloat using engineering skills and information and above all determination. I...have learned a lot from movie culture...If you spend a lot of time watching people's quest to survive, you end up believing you can do it too." (The Washington Post uses Double-click, too!) 02/02/00

Quick-thinking eighth-graders saved their tarantula's life after he took a tumble by super-glueing him back together. (Thanks, Neil!) 02/02/00

Jason Kottke perfectly expresses perfectly my thoughts on Doubleclick and why you should opt out now. Alternately, open your cookies file and change the tracking number.02/02/00

Personalities on Parade!
(the following links are from the NY Times: when you register, you will receive a Doubleclick identifier. if you are registered, you already have one.) 02/02/00

Johnny Staats is a UPS driver who is increasingly recognized as a master mandolinist. Those who hear him play fall completely under his spell. "Others who have been drawn in by his playing include Roger Hunt, an eccentric millionaire from Charleston, W.Va., who not only helped finance his music but also has volunteered to be his roadie; Scott Hill, a local pet store owner who during an epiphany while selling his umpteenth can of flea powder decided to quit the family business and signed on as Mr. Staats's manager; Derek O'Brien, a potter from Atlanta who volunteered to sell T-shirts; and John Van Meter, Jon Ely and Ron Sowell, three country-music veterans with very little production experience who decided to become his producers." 02/02/00

The European Union has threatened to diplomatically isolate Austria if the anti-immigrant Freedom Party enters the Austrian coalition government. The Freedom Party's leader, Jorg Haider has offended many people with his seemingly Nazi-sympathetic remarks. Haider's reaction: "if the president and other parties bow to foreign pressure, 'then we might as well abolish democracy in this country straight away.'"

I'm not sure what I think if this. Surely nations standing up against "behavior of a racist or xenophobic character" is positive; but what are the ramifications of the EU diplomatically isolating another country whose view are not in line with theirs? What if the views were reversed? On the other hand, prevailing feeling creates current standards. Is this just reality? I know that if other countries were threatening to take diplomatic action after an individual was elected to the US government, my knee-jerk would be that the American people's democratic process--as lousy as it can be--should not be circumvented by any other country's demands.

It's a interesting topic to me. I'd like to hear your perspective. I've started a forum if you're interested in discussing it. 02/02/00

In a similar incident, loud-mouth John Rocker has been suspended from playing baseball for his offensive remarks, outraging the player's association. Is this a free-speech issue? Should an employee be held accountable for what he or she says--even publicly--when not at work? Should some professions be held to a different standard than others? Marge Schott, owner of the Cincinnati Reds was suspended for her public statements about blacks and Jews. Should a team owner be held to a different standard than a player? 02/02/00

Pierre Trudeau, whose charm and charisma captivated a nation, is now 80. He lives alone, mourning the death of his son and contemplating a vastly different political climate from his progressive era. 02/03/00

End Times News: On May 5 Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon will align with the Earth...and, perhaps, the Internet will fall. 02/03/00

Rafe linked yesterday to the Center for Democracy and Technology's excellent Doubleclick action page. Here you can opt out, send a letter to prominent DoubleClick's member Web sites, and then to Kevin O'Connor, CEO of DoubleClick. I encourage you to take all of these steps. 02/03/00

Chris Byron details the insanity of the current e-IPO frenzy for you, in clear, understandable language. "...this whole Internet IPO thing has become a swindle and a disgrace — as shameful in its way as stealing pennies from the cups of the blind. And the fact that stupid and naïve investors keep coming back for more is no excuse to keep robbing them. Should the clever and greedy be permitted to prey on the slow-witted and foolish?" (Thanks, Kevin!) 02/03/00

Even as the US evangelizes the free-market economy, US Farmers worry that trade regulations requiring GM foods to be labelled will hurt them. Meanwhile, Frito-Lay has told its suppliers not to sell them genetically altered corn; farmers fume. Let the market decide! 02/03/00

Brig added 60! new weblogs to her portal Saturday, bringing the total to 538, and crossing the 500 mark is surely noteworthy.

With 29 Dutch entries, the Netherlands is definitely the nation with the highest weblog per capita. I predict that by the end of 2000 everyone in the Netherlands will be either doing a weblog, know someone who is doing a weblog, or know someone who knows someone who is doing a weblog. 02/06/00

Globaldoras describes goth as "the most resilient subculture ever and still relevant" and predicts that "if they could continue to take themselves less seriously, bets on that it's the Goths who'll inherit the earth." (via salt.) 02/06/00

My latest epinion is Birth Control and the Cost of Raising a Child 02/07/00

A new study indicates that 14% of women calling the national emergency contraception hotline will not get the morning after pill. "According to the report published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the women were able to get an appointment or telephone prescription 76% of the time. However, 11% of the physicians referred them to other doctors or services in place of an appointment or prescription. Fourteen percent of the time they were either unable to reach the provider or were told that the doctor would not see them -- either because they were not regular patients or there were no available appointments." 02/07/00

El Nino has been linked to an increase in diarrhea cases, especially among children. "'You don’t want to use a single study to mandate foreign policy and dictate national health policies,' says Robert Parmenter...'But this appears to be another example of a completely different class of diseases created by different organisms showing environment-related responses'" 02/07/00

The Center for Democracy and Technology continues it's fight to protect your privacy. They have a new action page that enables you to opt out, send a message to DoubleClick's Abacus email address demanding to know which are the participating web companies, and write to the companies that haven't responded to these complaints. Here is the list of those who have responded and those who have not. If you care about your privacy, do not visit the websites of those companies which have not pledged to protect your personal information. 02/08/00

I forgot to mention that Gael is now weblogging for her newspaper. The dream lives.... 02/08/00

Via her excellent Pop Culture Junk Mail...Little People! 02/08/00

Colombia is facing a new drug threat: burundanga, a substance which places its victims in a trance-like state in which they are powerless to resist orders and causes temporary amnesia. 02/08/00

Jutta Degener has written a wonderful essay on hypertext writing. (found by skrik.) 02/08/00

Sex therapist, 90, plots next sexual revolution (Thanks, Gilbert!) 02/09/00

A UW study shows that while African Americans in Washington state are starting businesses and increasing household spending more rapidly than the state average, their per capita income is still only $12,590. 02/09/00

The FTC is informally investigating Amazon subsidiary Alexa, which tracks web user's movements as they surf, in response to two lawsuits which allege that Alexa software (which may be installed on your browser) "secretly intercepts personal data and sends that information to third parties, including Alexa’s parent company, Amazon.com." An Alexa spokeswoman says "As for the lawsuits, we believe the claims have no merit." They believe? Wouldn't you just know? 02/09/00

Eighth grader Nick Breach is my newest hero. Dying of a brain tumor, he has decided to donate his organs when he dies. Says his physician,"He can save more lives than I can...There are many people who've heard his story, and because of that, there will be other people who will donate." National Organ Donor Day is February 12. Do your loved ones know whether you want to donate your organs when you die? 02/09/00

And small-town life always seemed so appealing with its simplicity, slower pace, and straight-forward approach to life's problems... (Thanks, Loren!) 02/09/00

metascene is back! 02/09/00

Philadelphia International Airport's new $221 million runway isn't getting all that much use: it's too short. 02/09/00

Scumbag News: Looters are illegally digging up fossils to sell in the black market, recklessly destroying and breaking those that won't command a good price. One investigator "has received death threats at his unlisted home telephone number and has seen a 'wanted' poster of himself, offering $40,000 for his capture. He once found his two house cats on the front porch with their necks broken." 02/09/00

Study shows industrial hog operations appear to impair health, life quality among neighbors "In North Carolina there are approximately 2,500 intensive hog operations, and they are located disproportionately in areas that are poor and nonwhite...The public health and environmental injustice implications of this geographical pattern extend beyond the physiologic impact of airborne emissions to issues of well-water contamination and the negative impact of noxious odors on community economic development." 02/09/00

The Russians have tested a new, reusable space launch vehicle, but there's only one problem: now that it has landed, they can't find it. "'We consider the operation successful. We will continue searching for the device in the morning,' a Russian Space Agency spokesman said" 02/10/00

Material Grrl News: Japan's "Parasite Singles" 02/10/00

Good News: "In its 10th annual report on the state of world hunger, the Bread for the World Institute said that if the U.S. Congress raised the minimum wage by $1 a hour and put an additional $5 billion into public feeding programs like school breakfasts and lunches, hunger rates would be halved in the United States from 31 million to 16 million...The group said if the United States invested another $1 billion a year overseas, world hunger could be cut in half within two decades." Here's how you can help. 02/10/00

Scientists may have done it again: created the kind of matter that became our universe. Others are not so sure. "I think they’ve exceeded the bounds of the evidence by a considerable margin...Not everything you don’t understand is a discovery." 02/10/00

Woman, 90, Arrested for Trying to Create a Zombie 02/10/00

The Nerve! I got spam today that ended with: "PS. Should the above address be down, please Fax your reply to; xxx-xxx-xxxx with your 'E-mail address' and the word Sign Me Up 'Attention: John'." Just a little preventative in case his pesky ISP shuts him down before I have a chance to reply.... 02/11/00

Love the Web News: A woman who spent 38 years searching for her brother traced him during a free 90-minute lesson on how to use the internet. 02/11/00

Web Millionaires are creating new models of philanthropy with their youthfulness, long-term approach, and "venture philanthropy." 02/11/00

The CIA's new venture capital fund is backing NetEraser, software designed to protect against DOS attacks, and allow the surfer to travel the web in anonymity. Might solve a few problems...might cause a few problems.... 02/16/00

Rabbi Irving Greenberg, whose views are controversial among some Conservative Jews, has been named to Chair the Holocaust Museum, which has had its own controversial history. 02/16/00

Now it's the sharks. 02/16/00

I guess in a Capitalist Society, the threat that a website might lose commerce or advertising dollars for a few hours might be cause for concern, but it's hard for me to stomach all the hand-wringing the denial of service attacks have provoked.

It did make me think this, though: DOS may be the achilles heel of online voting. Imagine any unscrupulous group whose agenda was to prevent a particular candidate from being elected, or whose aim was simply to disrupt the election process.... 02/16/00

Finally! The woman's touch influences office furnishings. "In a nutshell, women in the office place, as well as diverse cultures, have significantly influenced form...We're seeing that influence in all of the products we're currently working on. They have a much more organic feel to them, instead of being very square. They tend to have a lot more texture so there's a more tactile sense of the product. And we're looking at lighter colors and lighter scale. Things aren't as heavy-handed; they don't have to look as strong. Certainly, women are influencing that." 02/16/00

Philip Morris, which manufactures and promotes a product that has been proven to kill people and which lied for years about that fact, was offended at being portrayed as liars and killers in two new anti-smoking television ads. American Legacy Foundation has withdrawn those commercials in order to keep the rest of their campaign online. 02/17/00

Fat cats. (Thanks, Lizard!) 02/17/00

"When a New York hospital called a Virginia man and asked him to rate the facility's care of his late son, there was one problem. Beth Israel Hospital had failed to notify the father that his son had been hospitalized, let alone dead." 02/17/00

A coalition of construction companies has threatened to withdraw campaign contribution support from House Speaker Dennis Hastert...because he has delayed a bill designed to discourage aggressive inspections by job-safety and labor-law regulators. 02/17/00

Buh! News: "Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan wants to use money from the city's share of the national tobacco settlement to pay judgments from lawsuits expected against the city as a result of its police corruption scandal." 02/18/00

As Governors, Senators, and Pastors question the wisdom of continuing capital punishment in the light of hard evidence that innocent people have been routinely executed in the US, Sears has stopped sales in the furor over Benetton clothing's newest ad campaign about capital punishment. 02/18/00

Dream of This: Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "Our country chose a middle way of individual amnesty for truth. Some would say, what about justice? And we say retributive justice is not the only kind of justice. There is also restorative justice, because we believe in Ubuntu -- the essence of being human, that idea that we are all caught up in a delicate network of interdependence. We say, 'A person is a person through other persons.' I need you in order to be me and you need me in order to be you." (straight from iBoy) 02/18/00

"Invisible City Productions is a group of artists, writers, zine editors and game designers...dedicated to creating, promoting and distributing alternatives to the products and activities designated as 'entertainments' by a monolithic cultural empire. The alternatives may take many forms: anything from a self-produced magazine to a new version of tag. We are particularly interested in products and activities that embody the following principles: play, collaboration, creativity, inventiveness, intelligence and an expansion of the possible...." (thanks, Jeremy!) 02/18/00

Amphibians, regarded as an "environmental barometer", have been dying off at an alarming rate in the last five years. Now the National Science Foundation is funding research to discover why. 02/18/00

Jesse James Garrett has found two of the censored commercials. (via Metafilter) 02/18/00

This report on the UW's recent forum on liberal education absolutely reflects my views on the value of a liberal arts education. "Education involves not just the dissemination of knowledge. What’s worth knowing is how to ask significant questions. We want our students to explore ideas from different angles, to think critically. We want them to learn how to learn." 02/18/00

Without further ado I bring you: Mr T vs the Matrix Pity the fool! (Thanks, Lizard!) 02/23/00

Stuffed Dog is back! 02/23/00

Ravi Desai, president and CEO of Logical Information Machines, is chairman and founder of The Desai Foundation, the largest poetry-focused foundation in the world. "'Supporting poetry has certainly attracted its share of attacks, but I still think there’s a role for difficult poetry in our culture, and I want to contribute to its creation,' Desai said." 02/23/00

Did I mention that my Valentine bouquet came from Proflowers.com, which has been sponsoring the Hunger Site since I found it? I was thrilled to discover that my boyfriend had clicked through the Hunger Site to order my bouquet. I wholeheartedly recommend them: each "dozen" consisted of 14 roses in beautiful shape. 02/23/00

I came home tonight to no kitties. I'll be with them soon enough, but it's a little strange right now.... 02/23/00

A new discovery makes it possible to harness photosynthesis to produce large quantities of hydrogen gas from sunlight and water. "Preliminary rough estimates, for instance, suggest it is conceivable that a single, small commercial pond could produce enough hydrogen gas to meet the weekly fuel needs of a dozen or so automobiles." (Via RW via /.) 02/23/00

The PNW Weblog Summit was terrific. Jessamyn, Anita, Nina, Lisa, Dan, Julia, Clark, Jim, and Eric all showed, with a guest appearance by Jesse James Garrett. A smart, fun, funny group. We had to leave for another social engagement, but honestly, I could have hung out all evening. Anita has pictures of the whole motley crew. 02/23/00

Eau de PEZ 02/23/00

Gother than Thou: the most pretentious cardgame ever made (via Kempa) 02/24/00

It seems the virus has spread overseas. 02/24/00

JFK, Action Figure 02/24/00

In 1961 Preston King was sentenced to 18 months in prison for refusing to take a physical because all-white draft board wouldn't address him as "Mr", as they did white inductees. After 39 years in England, Mr King is returning to the States with his MP daughter for the funeral of his brother, thanks to a petition from the judge who sentenced him. 02/24/00

Good News! After inventorying the Earth, scientists have concluded that a third of Earth's species reside on 1.4 percent of its land surface. Conclusion? "...conservationists just need to focus on safeguarding 25 species-rich 'hotspots'— mostly tropical rain forests. 'The whole point of this is that for a few hundred million dollars a year, focused on these hotspots, we can go a long way toward guaranteeing maintenance of the full range of diversity of life on Earth'" 02/24/00

Global warming may be speeding up. 02/25/00

Corporate Madness News: Ericsson managers staged a fake bus hijacking as a "team-building" exercise for their employees...but they didn't count on an alert motorist with a cell phone. 02/25/00

From the Hotsy-Totsy Club, If Lassie was a cat: "What is it, Lassie? What is it, girl? Little Timmy has fallen into the bottom of your food dish? And he needs more food? Let's go!" 02/26/00

Is Honda insane? Joe Schreiber has been maintaining honda.net since 1996: a site for Honda enthusiasts like himself. Now Honda is suing him for trademark dilution, infringement, and cyberpiracy. What part of free advertising and customer goodwill don't they understand? Need I say that I am spitting about this? (via Metafilter) 02/26/00

Unbelievable News! Guess the Evil Dictator or Television Sit-Com Character; I picked a sitcom character I was sure wouldn't even be in the running and...it guessed it! (via at The Mysterious Box, via Strange Brew) 02/26/00

A Danish physicist and her team of collaborators have found a way to slow light to less than one mile an hour by shining it through atoms cooled to only a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature, at which all motion stops. 02/28/00

A ghetto mom talks back I have so much to say about this, and so little. I know how demoralizing poverty can be; I remember days when I fervently believed I could not ever get a job because I didn't have any skills. It wasn't true, of course: I had just been struggling for so long on so little that my perception of my abilities had shrunk to an absurd degree. It was terrible. I have never been in a situation that matches hers.

I want to believe that the conclusions this woman reaches about her son's future are untrue, filtered through that terrible demoralization. But I want to believe in good things. (via Diary of a New Homemaker) 02/28/00

The wrinklies keep rocking 02/28/00

An Egyptian woman has given birth to a 15.2 pound baby...delivered early. 02/28/00

Loaded with Goodness! The Department of State International Information Programs Publications including Basic Readings In U.S. Democracy, The Freedom Papers, The Language of Trade, Media Guide for Women, outlines of American geography, history, literature.... A tremendous resource! (found on Crayfish) 02/28/00

New Zealand company stops breeding huge 'mutant' fish "A New Zealand company has agreed to kill all its genetically engineered fish to end a controversy involving leaked secret documents, deformed fish heads and gargantuan salmon." 02/28/00

Mohammed el-Wasimy, either 80 or 125 years old, has become a living encyclopedia in Kum Ashfin, the village where he has spent his entire life. 02/29/00

Haider Resigns 02/29/00

Putting bullsh*t business-to-business patents in the shade, the DNA landlords keep on patenting your genes. Correct me, please, but wouldn't that patent belong to God? 02/29/00

If you only knew.... 02/29/00

Go Granny, Go! News 90-year-old Doris Haddock is about to finish walking across the US to protest campaign finance. "She got the idea from the Tuesday Morning Academy, a group of 19 women in Dublin [NH] that meets weekly to discuss world affairs. While members of her own family expressed reservations, club members supported her cause."

In my estimation Doris Haddock is a great American. Take a look at her website. "In this generation, the fate of our natural environment, and of our democratic environment will be decided. Only great leadership, and great love, can get us through the times ahead. We must all take our part in this great drama. It is more than politics; it is a struggle of the soul, and it is exquisitely personal to each of us."

Doris still believes that one person can make a difference, and so, by God, do I! 02/29/00

Click for a Cause (feeditsomemore on the left) has a few sponsors who will donate 40 servings of food for a click. Go click! Click now! 02/29/00

Hell, no, WTO: we have echelon "What’s really going on here is that our European friends have been stung a number of times by U.S. intelligence collecting information about them bribing their way to contracts in Latin America, and the Mideast and the Far East...It’s the American government’s effort to enforce a level playing field in big international contracts." And of course the NSA asserts that they are breaking no law. 02/29/00

Eau de Eau "Generally, the more natural a water is, the better it will taste. The more chemicals added and the more processes used, the greater the chance that there will be some residual tastes. Potassium, for example, makes it sweeter; calcium and magnesium give it fullness. Ideally, no one flavor should overpower the palate." A saucy water, with playful notes of grass and sunlight, and a full, satisfying finish.... 02/29/00

comments? questions? rebecca blood

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