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Brazilian culture has a long history of deference by the poor toward the rich--to the point that it was taboo for a poor person to mug a rich one! Maids have existed on the bottom of this social ladder, accepting poor pay, physical and emotional abuse, and insecure working conditions...until Benedita da Silva, deputy governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro and a former maid, began working to provide maids with basic employment rights. Now the maids themselves have begun to respond to this call for responsibility. 04/03/00
Star Trek News: The common CBC (complete blood count) is performed by drawing blood, which is sent to a laboratory for processing, with results delivered back hours or days later. Now James Winkleman, MD has developed a new device that uses spectral imaging to perform the same test instantaneously and non-invasively. 04/03/00
The Practical Japanese have developed a device the uses global positioning and cellular phone technology for tracking their elders when they stray. 04/03/00
Manitoba: ask for it by name. 04/05/00
The impending Goods and Services Tax has Australian women riled: while exceptions to the tax will be made for necessities such as sunscreen, incontinence pads and condoms, tampons and menstrual pads will be taxed. Women are responding with beautifully imaginative protests, none more so than Rhonda Ellis, who transforms herself into Tanya Tampon. During one Prime Ministerial visit, police arrested environmental protesters but left Tanya and her cohorts to themselves. 'I believe it's because the police were reluctant to approach the tampon,' she said.
Mike the Headless Chicken is now immortalized in sculpture. 04/05/00
Through careful observation I have concluded that driving one's motorcycle very fast up and down the hills of SF in the wee hours of the morning must be one of the great pleasures of this fair city. Otherwise why would it happen outside my window every single night? 04/05/00
Dumb News: Will Wright, 42, accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's 19-year-old daughter, will plead insanity, based on his use of Viagra. 04/06/00
Bolivia is under martial law right now as the government seeks to put down citizens protesting last year's sell-off of Cochabamba's public water system to foreign investors. Keep current with the situation with boliviahoy. (Thanks to Jessamyn for the pointer) 04/10/00
Dork News: The Web Standards Project is justifiably upset that Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.5 abandons the standards it has publicly supported. "Coming on the heels of Netscape's preview release, it's hard not to view this as exactly the kind of 'predatory' behavior the U.S. Justice Department laid at Microsoft's door." (via Metafilter) 04/10/00
BMG is fighting back with their plan to offer digital singles for sale on the web--but not in the MP3 format. 04/10/00
Science has confirmed what I've known all along: when I say I feel fat--I am. 04/10/00
An oil spill on Phillip Island, southeast of Melbourne, Australia has left fairy penguins at risk: the oil has destroyed their natural insulation and put them at risk for poisoning from preening. How to help? Knit them little wool sweaters. 04/10/00
A group from the Seattle Institute of Art have designed an innovative new wheelchair that allows its user to change their height and position, and which moves on a single, gyroscoping wheel. 04/10/00
Don't miss Fred's hilarious Ten Signs That I Am Becoming Everything I Once Despised. 04/11/00
In 525 BC, King Cambyses II conquered Egypt and ushered in a period of Persian rule. One day he set off into the desert with an army of 50,000 to capture the Oasis of Amon, and disappeared without a trace...until now. 04/11/00
Wanted: reliable, hardworking, and energetic person or couple to do 14 jobs on a small Scottish island, so that current employee can retire. 04/11/00
Lawyers Be Damned! News: Ignoring the threats of Joe DiMaggio's estate, the city of San Francisco has decided to rename North Beach Playground after the baseball legend. 04/11/00
Hey! I didn't know that Taylor has a weblog! My two-word synopsis of Taylor is: unfailingly polite. I introduced myself to him at SXSW and told him how much I had enjoyed hearing him speak at another web conference the year before; that is practically an exact transcript of the interaction. However, every single time I passed him on the street or in the hall after that, he greeted me. This probably impressed me more than it should have, but really, it seems to me that politeness has, in large part, gone the way of the fedora hat. So Taylor has my vote.
A private Indian cemetery has been desecrated by unknown villains. Possibly for the money. I'm not even going to start on this. But I'm spitting. (via Lizard) 04/12/00
A pope's skull vanished Friday from a Spanish museum. The skull is all that is left of Pope Benedict XIII, who ruled from Avignon during the Great Schism, when there were two, and for a while three, Popes in power at the same time. 04/12/00
Disneyland has extended its adult ticket price--$41--to children 10 and above, apparently because it believes adults are enjoying themselves more than the children: "We believe our attractions are enjoyed by people 10 years and above, based on height requirements, so the change was appropriate."
Scottish researchers have announced that adding a bacteria supplement to farm animal feed improves their digestion and reduces the amount of methane they produce via gaseous emissions; sheep fed the supplement excreted 4 liters less methane a day. I wonder how they test this.... 04/12/00
Better than BLOAT! 04/13/00
Were Jamestown colonists poisoned? 04/13/00
Convergence News: Interior designer Philippe Starck has designed the world's first interactive hotel, a space which allows guests to choose the color of their room decor and which aims to create public spaces that make people dream. 04/13/00
I have been focusing on fitting my things into the very limited space this apartment affords. Even when I'm not consciously thinking about it, I find myself peering into the most obscure nooks and crannies trying to imagine which of my items I might fit there. As I do this, Bryan Boyer's Hidden Information Spaces has persistently floated in front of me, and I realize that the web has become for me, in this instance, a metaphor for the tangible world. 04/13/00
Last week the European Commission made it illegal to sell cosmetics tested on animals, then delayed implementing that measure since it would prevent the US and other countries from selling cosmetics in their jurisdiction. (WTO, anyone?)
Machiavelli News: The gentle Cape honey bee competes with the African "killer bee" with a fascinating mixture of infiltration, deceit, and high intrigue that puts all of human history in a new light. 04/13/00
Good News/Bad News: Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that reportedly reduces body fat, increases muscle mass, lowers serum cholesterol, inhibits cancer growth, and prevents or reverses arterial disease. The richest food source is Cheez Whiz. 04/13/00
Is the web-economy just another scam? Yep. (thanks, J!) 04/14/00
A group rebuilding the Columbine High School library has accepted a donation from strip club owner Troy Lowrie of 600,000 shares of stock in an outdoor advertising company. "'This money is from a media company that is not related to the adult industry. I hope they wouldn't turn it down,' (Lowrie) said." 04/14/00
Ludicrocity: Metallica is suing Napster and several colleges for copyright infringement. Normally I wouldn't even bother, except for this:
Demonstrating a sincere commitment to sensationalism, ABCNews entices readers with the link text
Police in Washington, DC raided and shut down the headquarters for protesters against meetings between the World Bank and the IMF, claiming fire hazards. Find out what kind of weaponry police say the protesters had.and then reports without question or outrage that DC police have raided protest headquarters and seized chains, chicken wire, gas masks, and a "pepper-spray-like concoction". Protesters say that the cayenne pepper and garlic police seized were being used to cook meals.
'We’re simply concerned about their safety, and we want to make sure there are no fire hazards,' [Police Chief] Ramsey said.As outrageous as I think this is, I'm much, much more angry about ABC's coverage than about anything else. We have the right to and the need for complete and critical information about all of our government's actions. 04/15/00
I'm not yet finding anything about this on DC Indymedia, but I've linked on the left in order to provide quick access to a less compliant view of the proceedings. Do you have another source I should add? 04/15/00
First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
Force and Opinion, by Noam Chomsky
In 878, Alfred, king of Wessex, repelled Viking invaders at The Battle of Ethandun, thus preserving nascent British culture and language. 1200 years later nearly a quarter of the human population speaks English, and as English spreads, many Englishes evolve. 04/17/00
Does the World Bank need to be reformed? Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist for the organization thinks it does. 04/17/00
On the Value of Dissent Sociologist Todd Gitlin on why we need activists to disrupt the the status quo and empower insiders to make changes.
Were dinosaurs warm-blooded? A newly discovered dinosaur heart may indicate that they were. (NY Times registration: ID: rebeccas-pocket, password: pocket) 04/21/00
Why are the Dutch the happiest people on earth? Some say it's due to their more balanced way of life. I've always thought it was because they have more weblogs per capita than any other nation on Earth. But now I know that it's due to their enlightened and helpful police force. 04/21/00
It isn't online yet, but the May Harper's Index contains the following factoid:
In keeping with its theme of communication across time, The Frequency website allows you to post messages for others that cannot be retrieved for 30 years. Suggestion: tell them you love them...and then go tell them today. 04/21/00
Embedded Propaganda News: The Army is busy creating the wired soldier of the future with it's Joint Expeditionary Digital Information program...or JEDI for short. 04/21/00
Glasses for colorblindness! 04/21/00
Dr Peter MacNeilage has been cataloging the babblings of infants, identifying universal patterns of sounds and comparing them to words in 10 languages. Now, flying in the face of accepted linguistic theory, he has concluded that human language may have a set of "ancestor words" from which languages evolved. 04/21/00
I just want to say that if you don't visit Larkfarm regularly, you should. Damnedest stuff around. 04/20/00
David Grenier is back from DC. His account contains a very lucid explanation of the issues, and continues with his eyewitness account of the proceedings.
Researchers have identified seven ancestral mother groups from which all Europeans may appear to have descended, all of which seem to have descended from the Lara clan, one of three clans that exists today in Africa. 04/24/00
Elian Conspiracy Theory News: Against all odds, the Elian story becomes more bizarre as relatives claim that the photos of the boy's reunion with his father show much longer hair than the photos taken hours before during the raid on his home. (Here's a photo from Friday.) Don't miss Florida Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart's theory of brainwashing: 'I saw a little Band-Aid (in the Maryland pictures). I think the drugging has already begun.' 04/24/00
Dolphin Search is a new search engine based on the strategies dolphins use in building information patterns that allow them to precisely differentiate objects in their environment. 04/25/00
Inuit hunter Steven Kooneeliusie has lived all his life in the Canadian Arctic. In the last few years, the seasons around him have changed.
Scientists have identified two genes that allow bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics. 04/25/00
Dirty Trick News! Continental Airlines is threatening to sue United over a new baggage sizer installed at security checkpoints which they say enforces baggage size requirements smaller than their own, one way Continental seeks to differentiate themselves from other airlines. 04/25/00
Britannica Article: Jefferson and the Guillotine. In which Thomas Jefferson's great love for the cause of Liberty blinds him to the tragedy of the French Revolution. 04/25/00
I usually stay as far from this kind of thing as possible, but a couple of people have taken Mark to task for his latest feature, He Blogs for Webgirls. Objections range from the use of the word 'girls' to a perceived patronizing tone.
Important News: In the late 90's, Sophonie Telcy's mother illegally entered this country from Haiti, looking for a better life for herself and her daughter; last spring she turned the care of the 6-year-old child over to an old friend, returned to Haiti to see a doctor, and died.
QOTD: 'BoyCaught does not judge a blog by the color of its links, but just by the content of its characters.' 04/26/00
Despite improvement, the environment continues to be neglected by the nations of the world.
The Guardian weblog is the first such major media venture I've seen that really 'gets' weblogging, to the point of linking to the Brunching Shuttlecocks (an ancient weblog staple), and attributing and linking the (independent) weblogs on which they find material. Wide-ranging content, too. Welcome to the community!
Danny Schechter writes persuasively about how the US media has focused on Elian at the expense of many other people and children in the world in desperate need of help. This article is worth looking at if only for the great picture of Elian at the top of the page and this aside:
Michael Moore is spearheading an effort to get ficuses on ballots across the country.
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