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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.--Preamble, US Constitution 05/02/00
US Imperialism News: The US military is gathering around the small Puerto Rican Island of Vieques to forcibly remove locals who are protesting the US plan to resume military exercises on the island, which have devastated the island environmentally and economically. Use of depleted uranium and the toxins put in the air by the explosions are probably responsible for the high rates of cancer and other diseases on the island.
The bombing range encampments were born over a year ago in the wake of the April 19, 1999, death of civilian security guard David Sanes Rodriguez, who was killed by an errant Navy bomb during a botched practice run. The accident unleashed pent-up resentment in Vieques and across Puerto Rico that had been building since land was expropriated from local residents in the 1940s to create the bombing range. [Note: the US Navy owns 22,000 of Vieques' 33,000 acres]
Various local and national news media reports, citing a variety of Pentagon and Clinton administration sources, have said the raid to remove protesters would be led by the FBI and the Justice Department.
It would be a miracle if the military backed down, but as world citizens we must voice our condemnation of this government "of the people, by the people, for the people" which adheres to those standards only at its convenience, and only in response to those with economic power.
I love the principles on which my country was founded. I want to be proud of my country and its actions. I want my government to behave responsibly and compassionately. I know that more often than not this isn't the case, but unless we--all of us--hold the US accountable for its actions, it will never be so. 05/02/00
RIP: Steve Reeves is dead. 05/03/00
Temporary Tattoos for Teeth 05/03/00
PSA: Vending Food Recalled for possible Listeria contamination (Minnesota and the Dakotas) 05/03/00
Big Duh News: Lidocaine gel greatly reduces pain for men undergoing rectal prostate biopsy. Why, yes. Yes, it would. I suspect that even a little OraGel would make a difference... 05/03/00
1955 Redux (thanks, Lizard!) 05/03/00
Time to Stop Tinkering with the Machinery of Death, Senator Russ Feingold.
Today eight planets are lined up with the earth. Will there be spectacular disasters? Astronomers say no. Astrologer Rob Brezsny believes, though, that there will be an effect, and he advises us to hunt down and conjure up what's beautifully useful, while Antero Alli counsels us to proceed as if action is sacred. Good advice whether or not you believe in astrology. 05/03/00
As homosexuality gains mainstream acceptance, is gayness becoming boring?
The Ohio State Motto has been ruled unconstitutional. Oh, geez. That's in marble on the State House floor and everything! 05/04/00
Stone tools found at a fossil reef on Africa’s Red Sea coast may show that humans took up coastal life 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Oh, Ick! News: I didn't know that bacon comes from pork bellies. 05/04/00
Tiny Johnson Island, a wildlife refuge surrounded by 50,000 acres of coral reef, is being considered as a dumping place for PCB-tainted waste that Seattle declined to accept. The island had been used as a weapons-testing range, but is being cleaned up and was slated to be turned over to the Fish and Wildlife Service. (Thanks, Lizard!) 05/04/00
Geek News: A proposal to include Klingon in Unicode. 'Klingon enjoys both scholarly and popular use.' (Thanks, Kevin!) 05/04/00
I have to point you to Ribbit!, which continues to make me laugh out loud every time I go there.... 05/04/00
I received a spam last night that ended with this disclaimer to try to prevent you from reporting it:
The media has finally picked up the story of the terrible famine in the Horn of Africa. Many countries have pledged aid, but it will probably take months for any of it to arrive. Make a free donation today through the Hunger Site, and if you have a bit to spare, consider donating to a relief agency working to feed these people.
Starving Africans: Why Americans Should Care
In 1835, Englishman James Smithson, a man with no discernable ties to the United States, bequeathed $500,000 'to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.' 05/08/00
Spy News: Former CIA agent Antonio Mendez has written a book detailing his life and the adventures that earned him the title 'the master of disguise.' 05/08/00
If reverse-engineering becomes illegal, only criminals will reverse-engineer. 05/08/00
News of Real Progress: Last week Arkansas swore in its first two black sheriffs since Reconstruction.
'Bowing to the egg industry, House appropriators agreed Thursday to weaken the Clinton administration's plan to require more extensive testing of eggs for harmful bacteria.' Meanwhile, Clinton is asking that prepared meats be tested for the deadly listeria. 05/08/00
Lego and Director Steven Spielberg are teaming up to create the Lego Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker, a kit that includes a digital camera, lego sets, and editing equipment that will allow users to e-mail their completed films to others.
Tests done on a few strands of Napoleon's hair have experts wondering whether traces of arsenic indicate that he ate shellfish before he died...or was poisoned. 05/09/00
Nordic Biker News: The trial of three Finnish gang members accused of killing rival gang members during a break in a court hearing is being held under heavy security in a bomb shelter.
A judge has ruled against a film company that sought damages from an animal wrangler after her mule failed to cooperate while filming. 05/09/00
German scientists have developed a razor that smells of lemons when it begins to dull. 05/09/00
It may have had the most profound effect on women in all of human history. The Pill is 40. 05/10/00
Japanese Police are seeking the leaders of a foot cult, which claims to be able to diagnose illness by examining the soles of people's feet. 05/10/00
A journalist examines the media and asks Where have the poor disappeared to ?
A new study shows that the status and well-being of mothers is a reliable predictor of the well being of children, identifying 'female education and use of voluntary family planning as most closely associated with improved status of mothers and children.' 05/10/00
Tragic Domino News: Wild Turkey Bourbon Plant Burns 'Fire consumed a bourbon warehouse this afternoon and threatened the city’s water supply.' Got milk? 05/10/00
Fashion News: Prehistoric Venus figurines have been commonly identified as deities, but a new theory proposes that the decorations on these figurines were made by pressing textiles onto the clay, indicating that humans manufactured sophisticated textiles much earlier than previously thought, and suggesting that the figurines may have been used to advertise clothing available from individual craftspeople.
India reaches 1 billion people today. 05/11/00
Most of us can spot a liar about half the time. But those suffering from aphasia--difficulty understanding words--are accurate lie detectors almost 3/4 of the time. It may be that their perception isn't masked by the words being spoken, or perhaps they are taking a more holistic view of the face. 05/11/00
The School of Seduction 05/11/00
'Friedensreich Hundertwasser...was already a painter and an environmental activist in the early 1980s when the municipal government, knowing that he would oppose yet another boxy, gray housing project were they to propose one, challenged him to design an apartment building.'
Why is it that some people, confronted with obvious wrongdoing, respond with: "What would you have done?" Really. If everyone you knew--knowing that they wouldn't be caught--jumped over a cliff, would you follow? 05/11/00
Two 1.7-million-year-old fossil human skulls discovered in the republic of Georgia may be remnants of the first humans to migrate out of Africa. 05/12/00
The first thing I'm going to do when I move into this house is to paint the Subterranean Fortress in non-websafe colors. (Thanks, Lizard!) 05/12/00
Physicist Freeman Dyson has been awarded the Templeton prize, given for outstanding originality in advancing the world's understanding of God or spirituality. His nomination notes that he
'has written extensively on the meaning of science and its relation to other disciplines, especially religion and ethics.... He is truly a man of a third culture that is in the making.'
Mr Cranky reviews Battlefield Earth (review rated PG)
Dutch scientists have found a group of seals infected with an infectious strain influenza-B, previously thought to be carried only by humans. 05/12/00
Oh, GREAT News: After observing their reaction to electrical shocks, scientists have determined that cockroaches, snails, and slugs feel pain. (No more salt in the garden for me....) 05/15/00
World War II research on radar detection indicates that changing the way in which mammograms are read could improve early cancer detection by reducing the rate of human error. 05/15/00
Things of Beauty News: The winner of the Million-dollar-moment photo contest makes me very happy indeed; looking at it and the other finalists makes me long to photograph the world around me.... (via Metafilter)05/15/00
Columbia University's Madelyn S. Gould says that 'suicide contagion' is real, and urges the media to take steps to avoid playing an unwitting role in encouraging depressed individuals to take their lives.
The nation's second largest flour processor has developed a procedure that grinds whole wheat so finely, now Wonder Bread aficianados can enjoy a better white bread. 05/15/00
In short: gender assignment doesn't work. 05/15/00
The web has created a renaissance for short film, and enabled a revolutionary enhancement to the medium. Cannes Film Festival entry The New Arrival breaks new ground by allowing the (PC) user to control the camera's perspective as they watch the film. This film kicks off AtomFilms 360 Degrees Forward interactive movie contest: one film treatment using the new technology will be chosen. The prize? AtomFilms will produce the film. 05/16/00
Re-live the excitement: In 1997, against all odds, the record-breaking Land Shuttle regains its World's Record for a journey by a mechanical excavator.
When Con Men love too much. 05/16/00
Medecins Sans Frontieres has advised 15 African countries not to ratify new patent laws it says would obstruct access to drugs by preventing signatories from locating alternative suppliers, and reinforcing the monopoly given to patent-holders. 05/16/00
Penis News: Sumo wrestler Asanokiri lost Saturday due to a rule forbidding exposure of one's privates during a match after his belt came loose.
The UN Committee Against Torture has rebuked the United States over prison brutality and called for an end to specific practices prohibited by the international convention against torture. 'This is the first time the United States, the world's most vocal defender of human rights, has been put in the dock before the Geneva-based body alongside the usual suspects such as China.' 05/16/00
Right now you can donate an extra 5 cups of food to feed someone in need at the Hunger Site. Make your usual donation, and then click the link below to receive their bi-monthly newsletter about hunger and the Hunger Site. Unsubscribing is easy if you decide you no longer want to receive this information. 05/17/00
Media Madness! Thursday at 11am EST (8am PST) Christopher Lydon's The Connection will be doing a show on weblogs! The one-hour show will feature Mad Genius Ev Williams, National Treasure Brad Graham, and me.
Happy Birthday, J. You Rock my World. 05/17/00
'JumpStart Baby™ breaks new ground by offering a peripheral designed just for babies!' (Thanks, Lizard!) 05/18/00
A new study has found that hostile young adults are 2.5 times more likely than others to develop heart disease later in life; given heart scans for calcification of the arteries ten years later, they confirmed that they literally were hard-hearted. 05/18/00
It's getting worse. In the last week
Motley Fool reports that there are only five domain names left. Which, I guess, goes a long way toward explaining why five automotive companies have elected to name their new automotive internet exchange Covisint. (via Jim and Anil) 05/18/00
In 1989, Manhattan developer Seymour Durst put the National Debt Clock, marking the second-to-second growth in US debt, on top of a building near Times Square. Now that the government is promising to reduce the debt, his son has decided to retire the clock.
Important News from Click for a Cause (feeditsomemore on the left): Respond.com pays for 600 (!) servings of food for the hungry if you submit a free request for offers on something you'd like to buy. There's no obligation and, unlike their usual sponsors, there's no once-per-day limit. See if you can get a good offer on a guitar, a TV and a dishwasher and feed 1,800 people at the same time. It's easy to do good. 05/19/00
Convergence News: Concerned about high rates of sexual activity and gonorrhea among African-American teenagers, public health practitioner Tamera Coyne-Beasley has polled black clergy in North Carolina to see if they would be interested in extending the health education role of the church to include sex education--and a majority say they would.
More Convergence: After decades of resisting their influence, doctors, aid workers and government officials have begun to work with the traditional healers of Ghana to improve basic health care in the country.
Let's say it together: These are just Bad Men. 'A study from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed a 33 percent increase in tobacco advertising in magazines with at least 15 percent youth readership.' 05/19/00
When Drag Queens Go Bad
Last night on the way home from dinner we saw a cat on the street. It was one of those hairless cats with the oversized ears. It seemed agitated, as if it were lost, or scared to be on the street. Another woman stopped when we did. She said it was a very expensive kind of cat.
Media portrayals of religious committment tend to revolve around the most intolerant factions, the most frequent 'newsmakers.' It is easy to forget that this is not an accurate reflection of the vast majority of religious humanity.
I buried Paul. (thanks, Lizard!) 05/22/00
After years of boycotting their fradulent elections, Haitians have registered en masse, and, threatened with violence, have traveled in groups to their polling places to vote in an election that is expected to restore democracy to their desperate country. 05/22/00
Nothing too detailed
A new study suggests that the traditional 'fight or flight' response is not be universal. It seems that the female response to stress--in humans and numerous other species--is to tend and befriend. (Or the modern version: massage and exfoliate.) 05/08/00
'Locked in mortal combat for 80 million years,' a fossil of two dinosaurs fighting will be on display this summer at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. 05/22/00
There's a forty-percent chance that I'm a man. 05/23/00
AT & T, which has been airing promotions to customers making long-distance calls before connecting them to their party, thnks they're helping out. 'We don't view it as advertising, we view it as providing information to AT&T customers.'
Bengladesh scientists report at the annual Digestive Disease Week meeting that an inexpensive traditional folk remedy is effective for treating persistent childhood diarrhea. 05/23/00
Good News: The Oberammergau Passion Play has been performed every ten years since 1634 to honor a pledge made by villagers when their village was delivered from the plague. This year's version represents a milestone in a decades-long effort to expunge Jewish stereotypes from the play.
Galileo has beamed back pictures of the Io's surface, showing the geysers, lava lakes and snow of Jupiter's moon, which has the 'greatest temperature range of anything in the solar system.' This week: Ganymede. 05/23/00
Think you need funding? In spite of a lack of access to expensive equipment, amateur scientists continue to make significant contributions in the observational sciences.
Wretched Excess (when are you going to start your own weblog, Lizard?) 05/24/00
'A study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health concludes that G-rated animated films contain a surprising level of violence, and that the violence is increasing.' 05/24/00
Egyptian archeologists have uncovered the tomb of Gad Khensu Eyuf 'a provincial mayor who dared in his lifetime to represent himself in temples in the same style as kings.' 05/24/00
Baldrick has joined Britain's Labour party's national executive committee. 05/24/00
Animals in the Kabul Zoo, once on the frontline Afghan's fighting, are now being tortured by zoo visitors while guards on duty do nothing. (Warning: rough link ahead!) 05/24/00
Common wisdom has it that they are more creative, but why are some people left-handed? One researcher believes that it comes from the lack of a right-handed gene. (NY Times, free registration required.) 05/24/00
American and Syrian archaeologists have discovered the ancient city of Tell Hamoukar, which was apparently a thriving urban community from 3700 to 3500 B.C, suggesting that civilization as marked by urbanization developed hundreds of years earlier than has been believed and before the invention of writing. 05/24/00
It has long been an mystery to Americans that Europeans eat course after course of rich foods without suffering the chronic obesity the US has been struggling with for decades. Is it the wine with meals? Is there a magical combination of foods? A new study indicates that 'half of European adults will be obese by 2030, partly because of an emerging epidemic of obesity among children and adolescents.' Why? It seems that young people aren't exercising as much as their elders did. 05/25/00
The EPA has proposed new rules reducing acceptable levels of arsenic in tap water by 90% as an important public health measure. Water agencies agree that it's necessary, but say those levels will be too expensive to achieve; environmentalists say the proposed levels are still unsafe. (NY Times; free registration required) 05/25/00
'The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a denomination long divided on issues of homosexuality, ruled today that its ministers may conduct religious "holy union" ceremonies for same-sex couples, as long as the ceremonies are not regarded as marriages.' (NY Times; free registration required) 05/25/00
British researchers are developing a breed of non-GM "super-broccoli" jam-packed with the natural compounds that fight cancer.
I'm taking the day off. I'm reading for pleasure, I'm answering email for pleasure, and I may just take a walk up to a bookstore and browse for a bit. I'll be back Tuesday. Meanwhile, enjoy these always-reliable voices: bradlands, Bird on a Wire, iBoy, jessamyn, and MISCmedia. Have a great weekend! 05/26/00
This turned out to be website-beautification weekend (® Brad L Graham). I've added and subtracted and rearranged my books, domestic, web basics, design, and html pages, moved my fonts reference page to the menu bar, and added a few more goth group names (and one not!). Whew! 05/26/00
A nation of phone-callers finally pays off the Spanish-American War. (Thanks, Jim!) 05/30/00
More from Bishop Spong:
Jeff has begun a fascinating-looking list of Postmodern signifying practices and intertextuality. 05/30/00
You know you're overlooked when greedy corporations won't even market Barbie to your little girls. 05/30/00
Cyber Box Tops 05/31/00
The British Medical Association says that media images are contributing to the rise of anorexia in young women.
Hire a Vet! 05/31/00
Against all odds, with internet companies in need of 'knowledge engineers' and 'vocabulary-resource managers,' linguists find themselves in demand. 05/31/00
Sebastian attended Convergence VI. Looks like it was fun.... 05/31/00
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