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.: June 2006 --> June 2006

June 2006

» Oh, here's an idea I like: a library website that keeps a list of all the books you have read. What we want, of course, is a way to integrate that with our Amazon wishlists and then to import the data seamlessly onto our blogs.  [ 06.01.06 ]

» On using Amazon wishlists for library acquisitions. (via sp)  [ 06.01.06 ]

» Neat: The California Science Center in Ontario, CA is hosting a Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibition, which aims to teach kids science through the biology and physics of their favorite superheroes. "We're not strong as a bear, as fast as a cheetah or as indestructible as a cockroach. Our superpower is our intelligence and when we don't use it we are in trouble—and the forces of evil are everywhere." James Kakalios, physics professor at the University of Minnesota whose freshman seminar "Everything I Know About Science I Learned From Reading Comic Books" was one inspiration for the exhibit.  [ 06.02.06 ]

» Business Ethics Magazine: 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2006. (Here's an article with an easier-to-read list at the end).  [ 06.02.06 ]

» I want one: The China Himin Solar Energy Group is manufacturing an innovative, relatively low-tech heat-capture device that uses a tube-inside-a-tube to collect heat from the sun to power a new generation of low-cost solar water heaters that work even in the coldest weather.  [ 06.05.06 ]

» Over at Salon, Farhad Manjoo says No, it wasn't. You'd better read them both and see where you think the preponderance of evidence lies..  [ 06.05.06 ]

» Must-read article of the year: Was the 2004 Election Stolen?. "Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen. You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb." Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling.  [ 06.05.06 ]

» Summer reading list: Poetry to help pass hot summer days.  [ 06.06.06 ]

» The Perils of PC Posture, and how to fix it. Apparently men and women tend to develop a different set of debilitating habits.  [ 06.06.06 ]

» Researchers at London's Brunel University recently published the results of a 3-year study focused on the massive multiplayer online game Runescape which found that gaming may help young people learn important life lessons.

Study co-author, Nic Crowe says he was surprised by how quickly players as young as 11 years-old took up roles and responsibilities which demanded discipline, leadership and maturity. Young players actually set aside time for work (mining, fishing or crafting) and then made time for play (questing or chatting).

 [ 06.06.06 ]

» The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood is the story of author Sy Montgomery's pet pig [review]. It's a brand-new book, and I guess it hasn't quite found its audience yet. Today, when I clicked the link, Amazon was pairing it with Autobiography of Malcolm X as their "Best Value".  [ 06.07.06 ]

» The in-betweeners makes the very good point that the icons of the 60s are, in fact, not Baby Boomers themselves—they are of an older, in-between generation. The author presents 4 intriguing theses as to why this generation might have been so influential, but I think all of them are wrong.

When I was in high school and college, I listened to music produced by individuals about 10-15 years older than me. So did the Boomers. So does my 13-year-old niece. I would guess that the inordinate cultural influence of these writers and musicians is due to the number of boomers, not the innate "betterness" of their work compared to everything that has come since then. Madonna influenced an entire generation, too, but that doesn't make her the best singer of the age. Perhaps the Boomers are still driving cultural trends.

The Boomers came of age in a common culture that has all but disappeared. I'm not sure at what point things become irrevocably split—Cable TV?— but shared cultural experiences today are far more rare than they were 40 years ago. We may never see such a sizable "voting bloc" again. (via jch)  [ 06.07.06 ]

» A blind inventor plans to make Internet accessible to visually impaired people by rethinking the whole damn thing. "To use a screenreader you have to understand the visual paradigm—what dialogue boxes are, radio buttons and all the rest. That's the wrong model as far as I'm concerned. What you really want is a model that is intrinsically orientated towards a one-dimensional audio stream." Chris Mairs, founder of assistive technology charity A-Technic.  [ 06.07.06 ]

» They're coming fast and furious now. A summer 2006 reading list for golfers. A reminder: all of the Summer Reading Lists are compiled on one page, always accessible through the link in the sidebar under "Features".  [ 06.08.06 ]

» The University Place Branch of the Pierce County Library System has a monthly Mother-Daughter Book Club. They have a monthly breakfast meeting, and their website lists the books they have read with their reviews. It's a terrific idea, but what about one for the boys?  [ 06.08.06 ]

» Get Rich Slowly has some great advice on how recent graduates can provide themselves with a year or two of world travel—on the cheap. "Develop a travel plan that is so amazing, so glowing, that you are willing to walk blurry-eyed to work everyday to make the money necessary to reach the light. I don’t recommend a career job (there’ll be time for that later) and I don’t recommend just one job. [...] On my own, I have traveled to Thailand, India, Nepal, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Canada, Mexico, along with several treks across the United States. [...] I traveled for almost two years to all of the places listed above—all without using a credit card."  [ 06.08.06 ]

» I call it "Participatory Culture". Others have called it The Pro-Am Revolution [pdf] and "Mass Amateurization". I think it marks the end of the Industrial Age, and it's the very thing I've been speaking about this year, on this trip and elsewhere. Meet the Packagers, the Tinkerers, and the Masses: The Rise of Crowdsourcing.

Pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly funded InnoCentive’s launch in 2001 as a way to connect with brainpower outside the company—people who could help develop drugs and speed them to market. [...] The "solvers" anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per solution. [...] Jill Panetta, InnoCentive’s chief scientific officer, says more than 30 percent of the problems posted on the site have been cracked, "which is 30 percent more than would have been solved using a traditional, in-house approach."
The solvers are not who you might expect. Many are hobbyists working from their proverbial garage, like the University of Dallas undergrad who came up with a chemical to use in art restoration, or the Cary, North Carolina, patent lawyer who devised a novel way to mix large batches of chemical compounds.

 [ 06.08.06 ]

» An Interaction Design Summer Reading List by Dan Saffer, Senior Interaction Designer at Adaptive Path and author of the upcoming Designing For Interaction. No books here, just a list of PDFs.  [ 06.09.06 ]

» BC Girls is a bookclub for 7 to 8-year-olds, organized by one of the mothers to keep the girls reading over the summer. The article includes a sidebar of suggested books for various ages. "For this month, the selection is Freckle Juice, Judy Blume’s story about Andrew Marcus, a second-grade student who wishes he had freckles and plans to buy a secret freckle recipe from a classmate. This time, the BC Girls are bringing their own recipes for something they’d like to change about themselves."  [ 06.09.06 ]

» Vibram FiveFingers is a new "foot sheath" that is designed to provide a barefoot feel with the protection of a hiking boot. Centripetal Notion has photos and a link to some video.  [ 06.09.06 ]

» I'm leaving for our speaking tour. Internet access will be sporadic at best, but I'll try to schedule posts when I can get online. Comments are off during my trip since I have no idea how often I'll even be able to get online.  [ 06.12.06 ]

» An adult and young adult Summer Reading List by Sarah Bagby, co-owner of Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita, Kansas.  [ 06.12.06 ]

» What are you doing this summer?

 [ 06.12.06 ]

» NPR: Summer Pages for the Mind, Heart and Tastebuds. Karen Grigsby Bates' wide-ranging list of summer reading for adults and young readers ranges from mysteries, travelogues, and biographies, to books about food.  [ 06.13.06 ]

» Here's another family reading club. Philadephia's Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education has created a Jewish Family Summer Reading Club focused on Jewish-themed writing for children and adults [pdf].  [ 06.13.06 ]

» After analyzing the data, Brandon U. Hansen concluded that moving his commute schedule by a half-hour would save about 7.5 minutes of commute time per day, a total savings of over 30 hours a year, practically an extra week of vacation. Clive Thompson wants this data provided automatically by onboard car computers. (via htstw)  [ 06.13.06 ]

» Today is International Webloggers Day.  [ 06.14.06 ]

» A Summer Reading List for Foodies.  [ 06.14.06 ]

» NYT: On the complexity of Walmart going Organic, Michael Pollan.  [ 06.14.06 ]

» "Oui, Oui, Oui" All The Way Home. Jessica Helfand returns to France with her daughter to see if the Paris of her childhood, and its food, still remain.  [ 06.14.06 ]

» AIGA: Typography and the Aging Eye: Typeface Legibility for Older Viewers with Vision Problems / (1) Comments / [ 06.14.06 ]

» There's a new review of The Weblog Handbook online by blogger Tom Morris. He uses the review as a springboard for reflections on Britain, America, and the dreams people dream about technology.

Other blog books will tell you how to set yourself up with a Blogger account and teach you exactly what a Trackback is. If you'd bought a book about writing, and it spent the first chapter explaining to you what a pen was and how to use one, then went on to tell you that when you write you start at the left side of the page and progressed to the right hand side, then moved down to the next line, you'd feel a bit, well, swindled. ...
Instead, Blood covers the real hows and whys of blogging - the real big proper questions like 'where the hell am I going to find time to write all this shit?' (a rather rough paraphrase) and 'why, oh, why am I doing this?' and the suchlike.

 [ 06.15.06 ]

» Masuk High School Summer Reading Lists for English Department Summer Reading List and History & Social Sciences Department Summer Reading List. There's some good reading on these lists.  [ 06.15.06 ]

» For $10,000-$150,000, IBM is now offering businesses an Avian Flu assessment service.  [ 06.15.06 ]

» Ernest Partridge argues that Salon's rebuttal to evidence of fraudulent behavior in the 2004 election ignores most of the charges made.

Manjoo complains that Kennedy commits "numerous errors of interpretation and ... deliberate omission of key bits of data." But "the whole story" cannot be told in the allowed space. Even so, with his 206 endnotes, RFK makes a valiant attempt. More telling are Manjoo's omissions. [...] I found at least twenty key elements of Kennedy's case for fraud that were totally ignored by Manjoo.

 [ 06.15.06 ]

» Great reads. Jane See White eschews the classics and the bestsellers to construct a wide-ranging summer reading list filled with titles you may not otherwise have heard of.  [ 06.16.06 ]

» Welcome to Affordable Urine Samples.  [ 06.16.06 ]

» You'll like Action Girl's Guide to Living. In abbreviated form:

  1. ACTION IS EVERYTHING! Basically, what I mean is that it really doesn't matter what you say or even what you think, it's what you do that matters. It's pretty simple: if you think it's better to eat less meat, don't talk about it or write about it or have philosophical discussions about it, just eat less meat....
  6. BE OPEN.
  8. MOST THINGS SUCK. (Become a more discriminating person.)

Action Girl (Sarah Dyer ) has also put together a guide to Doing your own zine, and blogs over at Jinjur. (via grs)  [ 06.16.06 ]

» An open letter from Whole Foods in response to The Omnivore's Dilemma. I highly recommend the book, and I found this letter to be exceptionally interesting. I'm still going to do the bulk of my shopping at my local co-op, but after reading this letter I will feel better about shopping at Whole Foods, if I ever need to. (via rc3oi)  [ 06.16.06 ]

» After being on the road for nearly a month, it's a treat to prepare our own food again. Last night I was struck by how very simple some of our favorite meals are. We had brown rice risotto, a dish we usually have several times a month. It's simple, it's infinitely malleable, and it's delicious. And inexpensive: 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1/2 cup of arborio rice, 1/2 cup of white wine, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, a shallot, and a quart of stock. With a green salad, this is a feast.

I made the vegetable stock in the afternoon, and it's simpler still. A few cloves of garlic, an onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, some salt and thyme, and parsley if you have it. It requires a few minutes of chopping, 10 minutes of sauteeing, 20 minutes of simmering, and that's it: 4 quarts of very flavorful stock in about half an hour. I freeze it in mason jars.

I must confess that I never use stock for my soups. Any soup that starts with onion, celery, and carrots or a similar combination is already creating its own stock as far as I'm concerned. And when I've experimented, I quite honestly can never taste the difference between a soup made with stock and one that uses only water. (A light, brothy soup would be the exception of course, but in my house soup is usually the meal.)

Now that Meg is food-blogging fulltime, I wish she'd do a feature on this. Does it really make a difference to use stock in soup? Are other people really that much more discerning than I am? Is it only important when using a meat-based stock in a soup that otherwise contains no meat? Does it make a difference for most kinds of soup? Or is this such an article of faith that most cookbook writers haven't thought through when and how a stock is essential to soupmaking? / (7) Comments / [ 06.16.06 ]

» NPR: 'Talk of the Nation' Summer Reading List.  [ 06.19.06 ]

» For your summer vacation, The Universal Packing List. Input the length and type of your trip to generate a list of items to pack. (thanks, jjg!)  [ 06.19.06 ]

» Well, this is disappointing, if not surprising. Weird Al says he makes less on downloaded songs than on CDs, in spite of the lower overhead required for online sales. (There are, of course, IT costs but these would be borne primarily by the store selling the music, not the recording company.) And the recording industry can't understand why so many people don't mind cutting them out of the profit stream—they've made a career of doing that to musicians. (thanks, Kevin!)

According to widely circulated data from the coverage of The Alman Brothers suit against Sony BMG, you could expect something like $45 of each thousand songs sold to be paid to you in royalties. That's around 4% of the amount paid to Apple for your work, and around 5.7% of what was paid to the label. For The Almans', that works out to $24,000 when taking Nielsen SoundScan data of 538,000 Almans' songs sold as downloads since mid-2002. I don't have SoundScan data on your sales, but I'm sure you do. So the labels and Apple got 96% and you got %4. And as you said, there were no packaging, shipping or storage costs for your album sold though iTunes.

 [ 06.19.06 ]

» Geoffrey Chaucer is planning his new work, a title that will be set around a new group of superheroes, The Ocks-menne.

Noble heroes from al estates of the kyngdom aren broughte togedir by Professir William of Ockham, yclepede PROFESSIR OCKS, who beth confynede to a wheelchayre syn that daye longe agoon when he dide soore wounde hym selfe wyth a deadlie razor of hys owene makynge. He doth seeke oute folke wyth speciale poweres of magicke, who shal kepe reson and justice in the reaume. Thei do fighte ayeinst the evil JOHANNES GOWERE (who hath no powere othere than to produce boredom, the whiche ys dedely enogh).

You'll also enjoy reading this recent piece: Geoffrey Chaucer hath been interviewed.

What has been your worst blogging experience? Johannes Gowere tryinge to messe up my game.

(via jch) / (1) Comments / [ 06.19.06 ]

» Popular British television hosts Richard and Judy have released their Summer Reading List of titles, all by new or breakthrough writers. The "Richard and Judy" effect for book recommendations is apparently equivalent to the "Oprah Effect" here in the States.  [ 06.20.06 ]

» Fairfax County Public Schools Suggested Summer Reading Lists for 6th graders, 7-8th graders, and 9th-12th graders. Nice descriptions of the books listed, except for the last category, which links to various other lists on the Web.  [ 06.20.06 ]

» Phyllis Pellman Good is a Mennonite housewife who has sold seven million copies of her cookbooks—more than the combined US sales of Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and Jamie Oliver. "I think the food media has been responsible for creating this whole world of faux food, and this is a media largely consumed by people who eat out six times a week. We are not all served by thinking of food as a special-occasion product." Christopher Kimball, founding editor of Cooks Illustrated.  [ 06.20.06 ]

» Here's a good example of participatory culture: Now that the television and film franchises seem to have ended, Star Trek fans are taking matters into their own hands. Using professional-quality video cameras and computer editing equipment for production and the Internet for distribution, creative fans are creating their own Star Trek episodes. One series is so popular that Walter Koenig and George Takei, both actors in the original series, have agreed to guest star. "The fans are saying, look, if we can't get what we want on television, the technology is out there for us to do it ourselves." Paul Sieber, who likens his project to "online community theater." / (1) Comments / [ 06.20.06 ]

» When it's too hot to garden, what's a body to do? Read about gardening, of course.  [ 06.21.06 ]

» The Lexington (MA) High School Library has lists of required reading for all their students and numerous links to lists of pleasure reading for teens.  [ 06.21.06 ]

» Also from A Full Belly, Cork'd, a community site for reviewing wines. As someone who is always looking for an inexpensive, great-tasting wine, this looks like a promising resource.  [ 06.21.06 ]

» Wow, I love this idea: Europeans can adopt an olive tree in Le Marche, Italia and receive all of its produce for one year. They receive two shipments: one of extra virgin olive oil, and one of lemon infused olive oil and olive oil soap. I wish a grower here in California would take up this model. (And send me some olives, too!) (via afb)  [ 06.21.06 ]

» There are now 1/2 million more millionaires globally than the entire population of New York City.  [ 06.21.06 ]

» The BBC is to axe Top of the Pops, after 42 years of tracking the music charts on TV. [wikipedia]  [ 06.21.06 ]

» A College-bound Reading List compiled by Arrowhead Library System.  [ 06.22.06 ]

» Now read this: Sarah Crown considers the semiotics of the Summer Reading List. What are they really trying to tell us?  [ 06.22.06 ]

» Guardian Unlimited: Writers' and editors' recommended Summer Reading Lists, including suggestions from Dave Eggers, Antonia Fraser, Kazuo Ishiguro, and George Monbiot.  [ 06.22.06 ]

» is a new online comparison service that allows you to place several books, DVDs and CDs into a cart, and then compare prices between online services on the full order, including shipping.  [ 06.22.06 ]

» Did omega-3 fatty acid lead to the "great cognitive leap" in the Palaeolithic era—and is omega-3 deficiency responsible for contemporary brain dysfunctions like dyslexia, ADHD, and depression? (via robotwisdom)  [ 06.22.06 ]

» Michael Pollan replies to Whole Foods' open letter to him. Quite honestly, it's as interesting as the first. (via mn)  [ 06.22.06 ]

» A Little Weekend Cooking: Upon my return, my community garden plot was overrun with rosemary. What to do with the surplus? I started searching on the Web and found so many interesting recipes, I wish I had brought more home:

The Basics



Main dishes and Sides



 [ 06.23.06 ]

» A summer reading list in business skills for creatives. Anything you would add (or delete)?  [ 06.23.06 ]

» Armchair travellers alert: Salon is compiling a literary guide to the world.  [ 06.23.06 ]

» Next game controller: your phone. First comes the Wii, which will have the impact Oklahoma had on musical theatre. Or heck, the impact the talkies had on culture as a whole. It's a paradigm-shifting change. And once gaming can be done with an object you already carry around with you everywhere.... Get ready.  [ 06.23.06 ]

» Ethan Zuckerman on finding frugal carbon-neutral strategies for cost-conscious jet-setters. This is way cheaper than I thought it would be, even going through the spendy outlets. I intend to work this into my travel budgets. (via rw)  [ 06.23.06 ]

» A Little Weekend Reading: Mark Crispin Miller responds to Farhad Manjoo's dismissal of the Rolling Stone article that alleges the 2004 election was stolen—and he's having none of it. Worth reading, particularly for his analysis of the media's response to the allegations. Interestingly, Salon refused to run his piece.

Bill Anthony, the Democratic chair of Franklin County's Board of Elections, has quietly contradicted what he said both to Manjoo and Baker, telling Bob Fitrakis, on the record, that he does believe Bush/Cheney stole Ohio, largely by fiddling with the numbers in the rural counties in the state's Southwest (a major vote-theft, as Kennedy explains in Rolling Stone). [...] Bob Hagan, a Democratic state senator from Youngstown, tells of having had his own e-vote for Kerry flip to Bush -- a glitch that wiped out Kerry votes throughout Ohio (and at least a dozen other states), and yet the Democrats told Hagan not to mention it: "The Kerry campaign said, 'Leave it alone. Don't talk about it. It's not something we want to get out.'"

(via rw) / (1) Comments / [ 06.23.06 ]

» NPR: Dive into a Sea of Good Summer Food is Bonny Wolf's recommendation to make the most of summer eating.  [ 06.26.06 ]

» NPR: Swell Books for Summer Loafing. Summer reading suggestions from three independent booksellers.  [ 06.26.06 ]

» Why does this crack me up? CBS has pulled a new reality show after only two episodes. The premise? Following the lives of members of a book club in Scottsdale, Arizona.  [ 06.26.06 ]

» A new study reveals that Americans are sharply more isolated than they were 50 years ago. "I don't see this as the end of the world but part of a larger puzzle. My guess is people only have so much energy, and right now they are switching around a number of networks.... We are getting a division of labor in relationships. Some people give emotional aid, some people give financial aid." Barry Wellman, University of Toronto sociologist. (thanks, lizard!)  [ 06.26.06 ]

» Around the world, devout Muslims, Jews, and Christians—especially Christians—are taking steps to fulfill the prophecies of their own religion in order to hasten the coming of the Messiah. It's fascinating to compare both the messianic prophecies and the individual attitudes towards other religions. / (2) Comments / [ 06.26.06 ]

» Warren Buffet is giving away his fortune—most of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. What a great day.  [ 06.26.06 ]

» A summer reading list for bookworms over 60.  [ 06.27.06 ]

» NPR: Standup comedian Leo Allen has decided to read 100 books in 365 days. Here is a list (with some mini-reviews) of the 51 he has read since last fall.  [ 06.27.06 ]

» Jessamyn has a thought-provoking post on social networking and how it amplifies the weirdness that is always associated with breaking up. "I started this relationship before the dawn of most social software and the ubiquitous presence of 'network' in my life, and I’m ending it afterwards. [...] Do I take my ex off my buddy list? Do I remove his blog from my RSS feed reader? Should I stop commenting on his Flickr pictures or block him from commenting on mine? How many passwords do I need to change?"  [ 06.27.06 ]

» Absolutely brilliant. I've been wanting something like this for a long time, only in my vision, film makers and craftspeople comment on other people's films. I'd love to hear my favorite directors talk me through the films they love. For that matter, why couldn't an aspiring film critic/commenter start to make a name for herself by doing the same thing? (via rw)  [ 06.27.06 ]

» Producers of the English Standard Version Bible wanted an electronic database that would identify all 5,500 direct quotes in the Bible by speaker. So they uploaded all of the quotes to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a service that pays volunteers a small amount to perform tasks computers have trouble with—in this case, two cents a quote. The result? A Bible database that is unique in the world, for a cost of about $75. (via rw)  [ 06.27.06 ]

» A new study finds that widespread reports of U.S. boys being in crisis are greatly overstated, and may "derive from inadequate research, sloppy analysis and discomfort with the fact that although the average boy is doing better, the average girl has gotten ahead of him".  [ 06.27.06 ]

» American Photo editor-in-chief David Schonauer's summer reading list for photographers, including the best photography book ever written.  [ 06.28.06 ]

» A summer reading list of environmental fiction. Plus two solar cooking cookbooks. It is my dream to someday have a solar cooker and a solar food dehrydrator. We environmentalists sure know how to have fun, don't we? / (3) Comments / [ 06.28.06 ]

» Tropical Stonehenge found in the Amazon basin. "The traditional image is that some time thousands of years ago small groups of tropical forest horticulturists arrived in the area and they never changed—(that) what we see today is just like it was 3,000 years ago. This is one more thing that suggests that through...thousands of years, societies have changed quite a lot." Michael Heckenberger, Assistant Professor, University of Florida Department of Anthropology. / (1) Comments / [ 06.28.06 ]

» Brain scans have revealed that Chinese speakers rely more on visual regions than English speakers when comparing numbers and doing sums.  [ 06.28.06 ]

» Oh, it's about time. Democrats vow to block Congressional pay raise until the minimum wage is increased. I didn't think they had it in them.  [ 06.28.06 ]

» Jon Udell updates the venerable summer reading list by offering his suggestions for a Summer Listening List. He's also created "Summer Listening" tags on and Technorati in the hope that other people will contribute lists of their favorite podcasts.  [ 06.28.06 ]

» Pitchfork's annual Summer Reading List is all about—naturally—rock music and pop culture.  [ 06.29.06 ]

» A Summer Reading List for Lesbians.  [ 06.29.06 ]

» Did you know that green tea is an Umami-rich food? Now you do, thanks to the Umami Information Center. One of their recent articles describes the complexity of choosing, preserving, and cooking with konbu, although there is little in the way of concrete advice offered to the home cook. / (4) Comments / [ 06.29.06 ]

» Wine 101: A Sensory User's Manual ... using chemistry, physiology, physics and psychology to develop a wine palate, and this list of recommended books on wine. Also see this recommended article, Intro to Wine Tasting by Lauriann Greene-Sollin, Sommelier-Conseil.  [ 06.29.06 ]

» It seems that as people age, they get better at perceiving happiness, and worse at perceiving fear. / (2) Comments / [ 06.29.06 ]

» A list of words that are their own antonyms. (via rw)  [ 06.30.06 ]

» Outstanding reviews of children's books by 6-year-old Andrew Oglesby. From his review of Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons):

When they got to Chapter Two, I could tell that was the Hansel and Gretel story because the witch lived in some kind of gingerbread house and she says, "Come in, eat my candy. It's delicious." Since dragons love candy, he went to get the candy. But the girl pulled his tail and she said, "We can't go in there. She's going to eat you." In the real Hansel and Gretel story the boy and girl just go in the house, but this is stranger safety.

I would read this young man's review of any book, any time. / (1) Comments / [ 06.30.06 ]

» A short profile of San Francisco blacksmith and master forager Angelo Garro, the man who taught Michael Pollan to hunt for The Omnivore's Dilemma.  [ 06.30.06 ]

» An Army document proves that Guantánamo interrogators were taught by instructors from a military school that trains U.S. soldiers how to resist torture. The most enlightening part of this article is the description of mock prison camps in the "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape" (SERE) school, from a retired Army Ranger who passed the course in 1994. American soldiers are subjected to a variety of abuses in an attempt to prepare them for possible capture by the enemy.

In addition to sexual humiliation, psychological duress is a big part of the program and comes in a variety of flavors, including an overall assault on a soldier's values. Mock interrogators desecrated an American flag, stepped on a copy of the Constitution, and "kicked the Bible around," the Ranger said -- an echo of the abuse of the Koran alleged at Guantánamo. Soldiers were ridiculed for their lack of knowledge of the Constitution and U.S. history. "They begin to preach propaganda and attack your institutional base," the Ranger said. "Everything about SERE school is a mind f***."

We imagined a most terrible enemy, then, in a time of great fear, modeled ourselves on that creature. It's almost literary in its tragedy. / (4) Comments / [ 06.30.06 ]



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