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march 2000
Internet film is fast, imaginative, relatively inexpensive, in demand...and pays pennies. "One thing that these big Hollywood studios are discovering,' Boaz Halaban said, is 'that when people log onto the Internet, they don't want to watch 'Friends.' They want to watch something unique that they know could never be on TV, or surprises them in a way that TV doesn't. That's our challenge.'" 03/01/00

Penis News: Hey Ladies! A recent study shows that the overall quality of US semen has remained unchanged for 50 years. 03/01/00

Doris made it. 03/01/00

As techniques improve, the number of living organ donors is growing. "Living liver donors are newer, particularly between adults. For years, doctors have transplanted a small piece of an adult liver into a child. Now, increasingly, they are transplanting larger sections into other adults. The partial livers in each person regenerate and grow into full livers." 03/01/00

Alice redesigned 03/01/00

Simone Swan, devotee of Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, wants the poor to begin living in inexpensive, beautiful, and durable adobe homes. "'The client I am interested in,' Fathy once said, 'is represented by the statistic which reported that there were 800 million ... people of the third world doomed to die prematurely because of the bad conditions of their housing. This is the client the architect ought to serve, but architects are not interested in these poor. It's like the barefoot doctors in China; they need barefoot architects, too.'" 03/01/00

Heartless Bastards News: Aetna informed the parents of a seriously ill infant that it intended to stop providing home nursing care, costing about $300 a day, for the child next month. After Gore made a plea at a campaign rally for them to reconsider, Aetna agreed to continue care. "The vice president said the couple told him the company suggested another option. They could put their son up for adoption. He could then obtain the care through Medicaid, a federally funded health insurance program for the poor. Gore said the parents rejected that option and had authorized him to tell their story." 03/01/00

Code-talker GI Joe "The action figure comes with a short history of the code talkers. Lift the foot-tall toy's arm and he says seven phrases in Navajo, followed by English translations. 'Request air support' and 'attack by machine gun' are among them. The important thing, Billison said, is 'that this will let people know about the code talkers. I think it's really going to put us on the map'" 03/02/00

"Consider the risk: For 30 years, one by one, you collect the best American modernist paintings (1913-45) money can buy--O'Keeffes, Hoppers and Sheelers when you can get them, and Aults, Guglielmis and Slobodkinas when you can't. You figure someday you'll give them all to an unspecified museum." 03/02/00

Magnet in bra leads to drug bust 03/02/00

Myra Jodie just won an iMac in a contest on a teen web site. She's excited, sure, but she won't be surfing the web from home anytime soon. She lives on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and she doesn't have a telephone. 03/02/00

Have you enjoyed my collection of goth group names? Here's a long list of collective nouns. (Thanks, Ivan!--who suggests that a collection of Backstreet Boys fans is a vacuum) 03/02/00

113 Ways to Get Government to Work for You: A Practical Guide to Active Citizenship (via Bird on a Wire) 03/02/00

In an apparent attempt to prevent tobacco from being regulated as a pharmaceutical requiring a prescription, Philip Morris has agreed to what it calls "tough but reasonable" regulations. 03/03/00

Soft Money Strikes Again: A mysterious group called "Republicans for Clean Air" is spending millions of dollars to discredit McCain's environmental record. No one knows who they are. "Davis called the ads 'a dirty trick,' saying he could find no evidence that Republicans for Clean Air exists." 03/03/00

I've been concerned about Mozambique and wanting to know how to help. Rebekah was good enough to provide the following links:

Please do what you can to help. 03/03/00

Good News, Bad News: TV brings families closer together and disturbs children's sleep. 03/03/00

Gah!: Twice in the last week I've mentioned a problem I've had using a website to a representative of the company and been told that I need to change my browser settings. As if!.... 03/03/00

Soft Money Followup: Dallas investors Sam and Charles Wyly are "Republicans for Clean Air", an organization they formed last Friday. "The ad attacks McCain for voting last year against solar power in a Senate bill. One of Wyly's main investments at this time is Green Mountain Energy, a Vermont-based company that is selling solar and wind-powered electricity in markets that have been deregulated...Wyly family spokeswoman Mary Spaeth said Wyly was careful to avoid any violation of federal campaign laws that bar coordinated third-party expenditures. 'The Wylys are exquisitely aware of the rules that govern that, and they follow them scrupulously,' Spaeth said." Meanwhile, the campaigning gets nastier. (Thanks, Rafe!) 03/04/00

The New Economy may be kinder to the Earth. 03/06/00

Granny News! In 1991 the female elders of a remote Aboriginal community founded the Yuendumu Night Patrol. "What is clearly crucial to the night patrol's success is that its members are women, and that they are elderly - all of the core members are in their 70s or older. There was a brief attempt to do something similar with men. But 'they never did it properly,' [Jillie] Nakamarra says. 'They used to join in the drinking.'" 03/06/00

Generation Jones gets ready to roar. 03/06/00

When Art School Goes Bad News: Jonathan Yegge has been forced to drop performance art class at the innovative San Francisco Art Institute after his performance piece, which included unprotected oral sex and exchanging excrement with a bound and gagged classmate. "Yegge insists that he intended the piece as an exploration of Hegelís master-slave dialectic and Kantís theories on freedom of thought and action...'Iím just shocked and appalled that you canít do certain things in art school,' Yegge said. 'All these bodily fluids have become a medium. Since the beginning of time these have been used as a medium. This is hardly something revolutionary.'"

I see this result of art school over and over again: as if it weren't bad enough to begin wildly over-analysing every work they come across, appallingly, students feel compelled to read snippets of philosophy and then construct art pieces around them. 03/06/00

Penis News: After Jim Webb's left testicle was removed he discovered that no reconstructive surgery was available...except for animals. So, Webb contacted Neuticles, makers of artificial testicles for pet owners, who offered him the large, collie-sized Neuticle. Then the FDA got wind.... 03/06/00

Epidemiologists from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that the Shoalwater Bay Tribe's miscarriage rate is 50 percent to 67 percent, but no one knows why. 03/07/00

I'm rather shocked to discover that my complete and utter lack of pity for this woman is cultural. 03/07/00

Bill Strickland was a hostile kid who was changed forever by his high school art teacher, who taught him ceramics and, when it was time, took him to apply at the University of Pittsburgh. Mr Stickland has since founded the Manchester Craftmen's Guild, and arts-education program for at-risk kids.

"My building has a fountain in front of it. Why? One of the Carnegie museums has a fountain in front of it because the people who built that museum thought that visitors deserved a fountain ... So I had my designer put a fountain in front of my building because I think that welfare mothers and steel workers deserve a fountain too."

"I round up kids -- 400 of them in grades 8 through 12, half of them white, half of them black. I teach them clay or photography or computer imaging, and three years later, 80% are in college, and that's happened 10 years in a row. I don't teach them academics; I teach them attitude. Because you can't teach these kids algebra if they don't want to live. How do you get them to want to live? You show them affection and aesthetics and enthusiasm. Then you say to them, 'Do you want to live like this -- with people celebrating your talent? Then you've got to go to school. You've got to get good grades.' And they do." (via INNOVATION) 03/07/00

Can you believe it? Silly Putty is 50. 03/07/00

Marilyn Reynolds, a retired teacher, wrote "Detour for Emily", because she felt there were no books that accurately reflected the lives of her students. Her award-winning book is a cautionary tale of a straight-A student who becomes pregnant, considers an abortion, and decides to keep the baby. Dysart Unified School District Elementary School does not approve. They have forever banned "Emily" from their library shelves. (Thanks, Gilbert!) 03/07/00

He's Back! After an extended hiatus, Jesse James Garrett debuts his new project, Weblog Nation, your one-stop surf for the best of the best of the weblogs. 03/07/00

The magical kite: scientific instrument, surveyor's tool, propaganda machine...and man's oldest form of aviation. Through April the Seattle Museum of Flight will hold workshops on the history and construction of kites, in Port Townsend, the three-day Fort Worden Kitemakers Conference starts this weekend, and next week the Drachen Foundation will sponsor a lunch seminar on kite aerial photography!

For those of you not in the Pacific Northwest, here's a list of kite information on the internet (this guy will trade HTML for kites!) and another list of links about kites. Check out the names of some of the stores: Deliterious Delusion, the Extreme Academy (which offers power kite training), and of course, Hang-em-High.

Wow! here's a site on Japanese kites. 03/08/00

Entry 666 in my referer log yesterday was from the mysterious deepleap project. Be very afraid. 03/08/00

Oh Dear News: In an attempt to combat the growing number of abandoned babies, Germany has opened its first baby-bank, a facility where women can open a drop-slot, slip their baby into a carrier, and go. The baby will be kept at the facility for two months in case the mother reconsiders, and then put up for adoption. One worker says "It is not illegal to leave their babies here. What would be criminal would be to leave them somewhere where there is no help. We at least can take care of their children." I have to agree. 03/08/00

Generation Jones? Try Generation Sucks! Feel the genvy. (thanks, j!) 03/08/00

Nazi Theme Park News: Jewish rights activists, the Israeli and German embassies, and government officials are trying to persuade the owner of Seoul's "The Third Reich" to change the theme of his bar. Locals, largely uninformed about the monstrocity of Hitler's reign, find the uproar puzzling. '"This is a well-designed bar. The colors match, and the music is good. Thatís all I care about,' said Yo Sung-kwan, 25, a design student." 03/08/00

I'm on my way to SXSW Interactive. I doubt if I'll have time to update. Meanwhile, look every day at MiscMedia for some of the best content around, and at my portal page for a choice selection of weblogging. See you when I get back. 03/10/00

Last year shock jock Doug Tracht made a racist joke so offensive that he was fired from his job. In the last year he has had counseling, volunteered at a homeless shelter, and made amends--and friends--with people in the black community, including the family of the victim about whom he joked. He still cannot find a job.

There are some things for which there are no amends, or no quick ones; sometimes the price of a mistake is to forever remove a person or situation from our grasp; and this is how we learn. 03/09/00

Japanese researchers say: elderly people who want to retain their memory need to chew. 03/09/00

Transportation News: Now those wacky Japanese engineers have invented a flying train. 03/09/00

Willie Oquilluk would tell of the summer that never came to the villages of Northern Alaska, a story told to him in the early 1900s by his grandfather. Sure enough, it seems that an enormous volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed so much ash that in 1783 summer ended before it began. 03/09/00

Scientists have confirmed it: extinct species never come back. 03/09/00

I am wiped out. What a week. I will say that new media folks appear to be the nicest people alive. I've never met a sweeter (or smarter) group of people. 03/17/00

Weblog News I: Jesse James Garrett is featured in a very smart interview on Minnesota Public Radio's Future Tense! (Real Audio) 03/17/00

Weblog News II: Intrepid reporter Monica Summers covered the weblog panel at SXSW and then wrote an article about weblogs and webcams, sort of missing the point of both. I'm too tired to comment extensively, except to say: there are as many kinds of weblogs as there are people; and I seriously doubt if anacam or jennicam take less time to maintain than a weblog.... 03/17/00

Weblog News III: Brig redesigned! 03/17/00

Weblog News IV: No more weblog news. 03/17/00

You may have seen some pictures of me among the copious SXSW documentation currently floating around the web. I just want to say that I am not nearly as intense as I look in some of those pictures. I am a sweet confiding girl. A simple man of the people. Really. 03/18/00

Were Alaska Airlines mechanics pressured to cut corners in maintaining their aircraft? Grrrr. 03/19/00

Dentist pulls wrong boy's teeth. 03/19/00

The divorce rate among elderly Japanese couples is growing at an alarming rate. Some attribute it to the emphasis placed on work, which has resulted in couples who simply don't know one another. "The dilemma is highlighted by the response [marriage counselor] Ikeuchi usually gets when she asks a woman what kind of person her husband is. 'Their immediate reaction is to give his job title or his height. But when I ask what his interests are or what preoccupies him, they draw a complete blank.'" 03/19/00

The fossil record shows us the ancestors of elves. 03/19/00

Go Grrl News: A group of Kenyan women representing 24 Catholic church groups, frustrated with their husband's drinking and subsequent impotence, staged an all-day protest at a local police station demanding that the police officer in charge order his men to make love to them or find them new husbands. Love that direct action. 03/19/00

Oral Ecology 03/21/00

soulbath oh, yeah. (thanks, Kevin!) 03/21/00

The UK will allow insurance companies to use genetic testing to assess an individual's likelihood of developing a disease...and charge them accordingly. Lizard sez: this is brimming with lameness. And how. 03/21/00

As we move into the technological age, the third supercivilization arises, following the agrarian and industrial before. The world now adapts to a trisected geopolitical system, and leaders must begin to focus on minimizing the inevitable strive that will result. (via squidfactory) 03/21/00

Brain News: Men and women use different parts of their brain to navigate...and men are better at it. 03/21/00

Pocket News: I am on my way to San Francisco. Look for an update next week.

Here's what I need to know: which are the best second-hand clothing stores in SF, and where are they located?

What is your favorite SF coffee shop?

Best goth clubs, clothes, and the like?

Please let me know.

This move was brought to you in large part by the excellent Jessamyn. Please visit her often. 03/22/00

Earthquake could knock out state's top trauma center No need to read the article, really; just look at the headline and think about it.... 03/22/00

If you're an adult driving car, your chance of being involved in a fatal crash drops with each passenger you add to the car. But if you're a teenager, it rises, and continues to rise with each additional passenger, especially if they are teenagers. 03/22/00

Love the dark skin, but her clothes are all wrong, and she plays Inuit games...introducing Tlingit Barbie. 03/22/00

I have arrived safely and only a little worse for the wear. Thanks to everyone who sent me advice on shopping, cafe-ing, and clubbing in SF. I look forward to investigating all of your suggestions for myself.

To everyone I haven't emailed: I want to, really I do. I am currently receiving email but can send it only during unpredictable short windows. I had the same trouble in Austin. I am working with Speakeasy on this (read: waiting for them to answer my email :P).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. 03/30/00

"America's largest group of rabbis yesterday became the first major religious denomination to officially sanction same-sex unions, offering the protection of Reform Judaism to clergy who decide to officiate at such ceremonies." 03/30/00

Raphael Gray hacked into (allegedly) nine ecommerce sites and retrieved credit card information related to more than 26,000 accounts, including that of Bill Gates, then e-mailed credit card details to NBCi. Gray: "I just wanted to prove how insecure these sites are. I have done the honest thing, but I have been ignored." Oh, and arrested. Errrgh. 03/30/00

I was on the road when the Kingdome came down. However, upon arrival here I was able to implode it myself (Thanks, Robert!). 03/30/00

comments? questions? rebecca blood

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