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Some radical reading in honor of Independence Day: The Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.07/04/00
Happy Independence Day! Wherever your place of origin, how do you declare your independence? What would you like to be independent from? Something within yourself? Something in your environment? You can do it. Revolution reflects sudden change in thinking, but lasting change revolves around little continuous changes in action. Change an idea about yourself. Write it down. In the same place, write down three things you can do to manifest your new reality. Keep it before you every day. And watch your life change. 07/04/00
What do you love about your country and culture? Wherever and however you live, take a moment to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your culture and your life within it. We are all so lucky to be alive and to be living where we are...well, most of us. This is a good time to remember those who, through no fault of their own, are denied the most fundamental needs of everyday life. You are sitting at a computer: you can make a difference. Go to the Hunger Site and help to feed a hungry person. 07/04/00
The series is the New York Times' "How Race is Lived in America" and the article, Reaping What Was Sown On the Old Plantation, is one of the best-written pieces I've ever read. The article takes its time as it describes the varying points of view of individuals considering how best to portray slavery in a National Park at an old Louisiana plantation, and in the process subtly and brilliantly portrays the difficulties of Blacks and Whites speaking to one another about our past here together. 07/05/00
'A 100-pound Japanese mattress salesman known as The Rabbit set a new world record today by eating more than 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes at Nathan’s annual Independence Day hot dog-eating contest in Coney Island.' 07/05/00
This would be exactly like a Greek tragedy if it weren't so dumb. 07/06/00
Canadian scientists have found that gay people are more often left-handed. Blah blah blah left-handers are more creative blah blah right-brained blah blah. So my gay friends really do have a more fabulous color sense than I do.... 07/06/00
They've burned down the Double-R! 07/06/00
Locals watched Nazis dump crates into remote Lake Toplitz just before the fall of the Third Reich. Rumour has always held that they were crates of gold, but there's much more romance than that to the latest expedition to try and retrieve whatever is there.... 07/06/00
The Washington state GOP has had a brilliant idea: abolish those 'unconstitutional' tribal governments. (Thanks, Lizard!) 07/06/00
Favored Nation Status? feh. (Thanks, Ken!) 07/07/00
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is making inspiringly beautiful homes, furniture and sculptures from fireproofed, waterproofed, inexpensive, recyclable paper tubes. 07/10/00
Green chemistry 07/10/00
When interior designer Elizabeth Brawley's mother contracted Alheimer's disease Ms Brawley got her first look at a nursing home and then devoted her professional life to 'designing for Alzheimer's.' Her latest project is the Alzheimer's garden project. Meanwhile, doctors search for the earliest signs of the disease in an effort to stave the epidemic they fear will be upon us in the near future. 07/10/00
More Signs of the Apocalypse News: Heinz introduces green ketchup. 07/10/00
'Don Gean, Democratic candidate for the Maine State Senate, is taking advantage of the first law in the nation that allows candidates for state office in Maine to campaign using taxpayer money.' 07/10/00
Goth News: New Orleans has a long and distinguished history of its 'cities of the dead'...and the tradition of mausoleum burials is being adopted by the next generation of New Orleans deceased. 07/10/00
Sorry--updates may be short or sporadic this week. I'm having extreme connectivity issues.... 07/11/00
Last week I pointed you to the story of Lake Toplitz, where Nazi gold is rumored to be hidden, and where a high tech team has been trying to scavenge any documents from Holocaust victims. They have left, one week before their permit was up. It seems they've found everything there is to find.... 07/11/00
That's it. I'm going back to being a nanny. 07/11/00
Royal News: Traditionally, royals receive their own coat of arms when they come of age. Prince William just did, and, in a 'welcome innovation' has included a symbol from his mother's line in his. 07/11/00
The World's Richest Women
You haven't heard much about them lately, but the news isn't good: the spotted owl population is declining more rapidly than predicted. 07/11/00
I should be back to normal tomorrow. Meanwhile, read the following webpage carefully and then uninstall Smart Download immediately.
I'm still poking along at mere bytes a second, but Rebeccalab technicians are working day and night to get my connection working again. No ETA on when man can finally dominate this machine, though.
Auto makers have revealed the difference between those who buy SUVs and those who buy minivans: SUV-owners have committment issues. (NY Times, free registration required)
I'm not back. Well, I might be, but I'm making no promises.... 07/19/00
Nature or Nurture News: Is music an evolutionary adaptation designed to attract a mate, soothe babies, or strengthen social ties? Or is it, as many believe, merely pleasurable? 07/19/00
While Iran and Pakistan loosen their dress codes, Swaziland is imposing a new one.
I looked out the window today to see a couple passionately kissing. It took me a moment to realize that they were both women. I love living in a place where people can express their love for each other freely, but it made me wonder: if girl-on-girl action happens in the Castro, is it still hot? 07/19/00
Researchers have found that the same brain centers used in learning a new task are activated during sleep afterwards. Ah! To sleep, perhaps to learn! 07/19/00
Thanks to Jim and Lizard for generously sharing all of these links in these trying times. 07/21/00
Parents and educators are increasingly worried about the effects of media violence on their children, but writer Gerard Jones argues that media violence can be good for our children.
God's hit list 07/21/00
What can rural people use to get broadband? DSLAM. 07/21/00
I guess you could call this direct action by labor. I call it selfish and stupid. 07/21/00
The Smithsonian Museum now houses a century's worth of mattresses. 07/24/00
After a disasterous air-drop damaged their structure, Mars Society colonists have had to scale down their mission to spend the summer simulating life on Mars in the Arctic. 07/24/00
Should health insurance companies cover the cost of female contraceptives? In a blow for women throughout the US, one pharmacist has filed a class-action suit to try to make them do just that.
Something Nasty Behind the Woodshed News: In Little River County, Arkansas something is eating small animals, has bitten a goose, and convinced the herons to move elsewhere. What is it? Well, locals say it's a 30-foot-long boa constrictor that was reportedly set free, and the Arkansas Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Association going to try and capture it. 07/21/00
Counterculture icon Ken Kesey made his name travelling across the country with his band of Merry Pranksters, experimenting with drugs and documenting many of his hijinks on film. These days he's using the internet to edit the film and sell it directly to his fans via his website.
This week from ABC.com's Working Wounded column comes this profound little ditty on 'getting the most from the Net':
They can put a man on the moon, why can't they keep their server secure? <sigh> (Thanks, Jim!)) 07/25/00
Sick and wrong (Thanks, Lizard!) 07/25/00
Cracks found in every concorde: one grounded The part that scares me about this: one grounded. 07/25/00
An enlightened group of Italian designers have produced a line of clothing designed for disabled women. 07/26/00
Good News/Bad News: The wildfire in Colorado is threatening Mesa Verde, one of the nation's largest ancient Indian archeological preserves; interestingly, it has also uncovered some previously unknown ruins.... 07/26/00
From the Hunger site newsletter:
In an attempt to intelligently move into the future, adopting those things that enhance human experience and rejecting those that diminish it, some Italians towns are designating themselves as slow cities. 07/26/00
Professor Ingo Potrykus worked seven years to develop golden rice, a genetically engineered crop that contains Vitamin A. He wants to give the technology away, to make a real difference in the quality of life for poor people around the world. But with more and more industrialized nations opposing any GM food, the tangle of patents that surround his achievement, and growing cynicism on the part of the (wealthy) public, it's not that easy.
Fidgeting is NEAT 07/27/00
Grrrl News: Proctor and Gamble has launched a website aimed at young women. It discusses puberty, health, relationships, and features a dancing tampon. 07/27/00
Does your health supplement contain bovine brains from a mad cow? 07/27/00
Traveling at an average speed of about 50 mph, a solar-powered car has travelled from Halifax to Toronto using only $2 worth of electricity. 07/31/00
'Cobalt Networks Inc., manufacturer of the Qube server appliance, alleged on Friday that Apple had infringed its trademarks. Cobalt’s Qube, which was launched in May 1998, is a deep blue, 7-inch-square server for hosting Web applications.' 07/31/00
Prophetic politics 07/31/00
'Police used a water-cannon robot to subdue a shotgun-wielding 91-year-old early Sunday and end a 31-hour standoff that began with a shooting death at the man's home.' 07/31/00
Take Back Vermont Just do it. 07/31/00
5000 years of drinking. 07/31/00
Stop! Just STOP! Is there any way we can make this stop? 07/31/00
Pain endured by premature infants during medical procedures may wire the brain for increased pain over their entire lifetimes. 07/31/00