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october 2000
Cheese Lovers Unite! The FDA is considering banning raw-milk cheeses, depending on the results ofa study they have commissioned. The American Cheese Society has developed a pro-raw-cheese petition to print out and send in. (via the excellent RC3.org)

Of course, when you think about it, the WTO would surely not allow the US to place such unfair restrictions on any imported items. I wonder how the US would react to being bested by a small, cheese-loving nation via the WTO? 'Unfair!' we would cry, 'Unacceptable!' Whichever party was not in the White House would blame the President for his 'lack of leadership' and then senators from both parties would retire to the Rose Garden for some wine and a nice plate of Camembert - (a Village, a Cheese). 10/05/00

You can keep up-to-date on the events in Yugoslavia via Free B92. Linked in the left-hand column. (via metafilter) 10/05/00

It was ultra-bleach. 10/05/00

Investigative journalist Steve Weinberg writes about the influence of the New York Times in the Wen Ho Lee case, and reflects on the editor's hidden hand in reporting. 10/05/00

A brief look at fetish wear in Christian fashion. (surely this came from the lizard) 10/05/00

ps--I've missed you! 10/05/00

Weird News: The 'Twinkie Defense' psychiatrist has been stabbed. Is there any part of this story that isn't bizarre? 10/09/00

Ford is installing recalled Firestone tires as spares on some models of Ford Ranger pickups. I haven't been following the story closely, but based on the little bit I know, I'd say that Ford probably bears the bulk of blame in this whole matter. 10/09/00

On defrosting cheese in the microwave: 50% power is too high. That is all. 10/10/00

The Serbian Revolution, it turns out, had one of my favorite qualities in an historical event: intrigue. 10/10/00

I just now realized what it is about autumn light.

Yesterday tree-cutting crews lopped off most of the branches from the trees on the corner: I'm really surprised the trees can live with this few leaves. But just now I looked down the street and thought how autumn-like it seemed, and that it had to do with the light.

Then it dawned on me: what I'm seeing and remembering is the brightness of the light after the leaves have fallen. The brightness of even a cloudy day without leaves to shade the ground. 10/10/00

Bangladesh is facing a crisis: according to the World Health Organization, 85 million of its 125 million people may have been accidentally poisoned by naturally-occurring arsenic in their water.

For 30 years...Bangladesh has sunk millions of tube wells all over the country, providing the mass of the people with a convenient supply of drinking water free from the bacterial contamination of the surface water that was killing one-quarter of a million children a year....
The Bangladeshi government's task is now to stage a counter-revolution to wean the people away from the most convenient innovation they have ever encountered.
(via thewebtoday) 10/11/00

Money Makes the World Go Round News: The Justice Department is trying to crack down on US corporations that turn a blind eye to business arrangements involving laundered Columbian drug money: $5 billion dollars a year in goods and services, an amount that has largely eliminated our trade deficit with Columbia. With the exception of General Electric, though, the corporations targeted by the DOJ assert that they simply can't tell where the money is coming from.... [NY Times: rebeccas_pocket, password: pocket] 10/11/00

Thanks to all of rebecca's irregulars (if I may steal keith's term) for testing dealtime for me. It seems that the form is preset to 'california' although the reasoning behind that escapes me. Any theories? 10/11/00

If you have never used Dealtime before, will you do something for me?
- Go to dealtime books
- Search for Oliver Twist
- Click on any title
and if the form box is preset to the state in which you live, will you let me know? 10/11/00

Look at the pictures in these two articles:
Gore says Bush is plenty smart. (what a nice guy!) [note the sidebar at the bottom of the article regarding Bush's gaffes]
Gore promises to stop exaggerating. (Eeeeeee-vil) 10/11/00

I'm just going to point you to Follow Me Here today. As always, filled with sustantial, interesting links and commentary. Worth checking out every day, actually. 10/12/00

Every company should have an option #7

(Thanks, Laura!) 10/13/00

Pundits have worried that the web is isolating people, cutting them off from real relationships to flesh-and-blood human beings. That may sometimes be true. But the web I know is also a powerful force for bringing people together, enabling us to share the essential experience of being human. (You may wish to be alone when you read this.) 10/13/00

Powers for Good News: Steven Feuerstein is receiving some flak for the examples he has chosen to illustrate programming solutions in his latest book on Oracle PL/SQ: databases to track war criminals (including Henry Kissinger for his secret bombing of Cambodia), police brutality, and US government slashing of social programs in order to finance tax cuts, among others. In his latest article he provides a lucid explication of the potent political assumptions contained in the non-controversial examples commonly used in such texts.

I wonder if he knows that Patrick Ball has spent years using his data mining powers for good, connecting names to human rights abuses all around the world. (Feuerstein link via rc3) 10/13/00

Breast News: Four women, three words: topless prayer vigil. 10/16/00

There's a new salaryman in town....and his name is Kintaro. 10/16/00

The feminine mystique continues to fascinate both men and women. But what makes women different from men? One woman traveled to the circus to learn how to become a woman. 10/16/00

Plato was teaching. Aristotle was 12. Near the Gulf of Corinth, Helike, a center for worship of Poseidon, was destroyed one night by an earthquake and tidal wave. For centuries afterwards, ancient writers claimed that the ruins could be seen on the floor of the sea; in modern times no trace was visible. But times change, and so does the coastline.... [NY Times: rebeccas_pocket, password: pocket] 10/17/00

Grrl News: Chick football. The Minnesota Vixens vs the Austin Rage. Oh, yeah. (Thanks, J!) 10/17/00

As has been noted elsewhere, media coverage of the major party candidates during this election has been easy on Bush while consistently framing Gore's statements in terms that cast aspersions on his character or his intentions. But rather then attribute this to political leanings of the media outlets or the reporters themselves, the Columbia Journalism Review proposes a very human explanation.

...media reporter Howard Kurtz observed, 'Bush makes the reporters feel that they each have a personal relationship with him.... Most reporters insist their daily coverage is not influenced by whether a candidate is friendly or distant. But these sharply divergent views of the presidential contenders from the rear of their campaign planes help explain why Bush is consistently portrayed as relaxed and confident and Gore as someone who often fails to connect with people.

Unlikely New Hero News: At the Creating Digital Dividends conference focusing on private industry investments in developing countries, Bill Gates suggested that direct technology investments might be of little use to a populace that is illiterate or unhealthy, prompting conference chair Scott Shuster to comment on CEOs who don't 'get' the internet.

'I've never been a "get it" kind of guy,' Gates said. 'But I get there are other things these people need other than technology.'

At one point, Shuster pressed Gates about the viability of the market of people who make less than $1 a day. Gates paused, and said... 'Do people have a clear idea of what it means to make $1 a day?... There is no electricity. No power systems. These people are trying to stay alive. There is no need for a PC.'

Fuzzy Math? It seems that both of our boys could use some remedial arithmetic. 10/19/00

comments? questions? rebecca blood

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