grist for the mill
A not-so-secret research cache
Friday, January 30, 2004
NPR : Rabid Reader: Lynne Cox, 'Swimming to Antarctica': "Think it's hard to swim a few laps in a pool? Try swimming the English Channel. That's what long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox did when she was just 15 years old, breaking both the men's and women's records at the time.
That swim, which took more than nine hours, was just a prelude for Cox's real triumph. She swam the frigid Bering Strait separating Alaska and Russia, a feat never before successfully attempted.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
M a r r y T h e r e s a . c o m
The Imaginary Girlfriends made me think about Theresa. I hadn't been by her site in a long while. Boy has she been through some changes.
ebay is carrying auctions for "Imaginary Girlfriends." And people are actually bidding. I'm going to go lie down now. Sample listing:
Nice & sometimes naughty college girl (theatre major) who is looking to make a few extra bucks and have some fun doing so.
I'm always interested in meeting new guys (or gals). Let me be your imaginary girlfriend. Win this and I'm yours! Remember when love was new? All those warm feelings? Get those again with me! You will receive:
A photo of myself
A hand-written love letter written personally to you about how happy I am to have you in my life
A personal item, of your choice, from my bureau
4 Weeks Of Unbridled Romance
A Huge Self-Esteem Boost
I'll make sure that you are reminded of me always. Email me today if you have any other requirements.
Just need a nice (or naughty) girl to talk to? Need a girl's opinion? Want proof that your mojo is running at top speed? Want to live vicariously? Secret Affair? You tell me and I'll do everything this girl can do to keep you satisfied.
FYI...My girlfriend's been trying to get me back, so there's a strong chance that we may try to work things out and get back together when we're through. But who knows what tomorrow will bring. Don't make me wait...similar auctions have been de-listed before closing!
On Jan-27-04 at 16:52:02 PST, seller added the following information:
THIS AUCTION IS NOT FOR MY PANTIES!! IT IS FOR THE SERVICES OF "IMAGINARY GIRLFRIEND" ONLY!
kuro5hin.org || Otherkin: A Short Introduction.
: " I have heard a lot recently about Otherkin (aka Fae, Fairths, Metahumans) -- those who believe that they are spiritually or physically other than human. It might surprise you to know that whole communities have built up around these kinds of beliefs.
Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories: "Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories provides the opportunity to listen to former slaves describe their lives. These interviews, conducted between 1932 and 1975, capture the recollections of twenty-three identifiable people born between 1823 and the early 1860s and known to have been former slaves. Several of the people interviewed were centenarians, the oldest being 130 at the time of the interview. The almost seven hours of recordings were made in nine Southern states and provide an important glimpse of what life was like for slaves and freedmen. The former slaves discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, how slaves were coerced, their families, and, of course, freedom. It is important to keep in mind, however, that all of those interviewed spoke sixty or more years after the end of their enslavement, and it is their full lives, rather than their lives during slavery, that are reflected in their words. They have much to say about living as African Americans from the 1870s to the 1930s, and beyond. As part of their testimony, several of the ex-slaves sing songs, many of which were learned during the time of their enslavement. "
Monday, January 26, 2004
Rural Cambodia, Though Far Off the Grid, Is Finding Its Way Online
: "It is a digital pony express: five Motomen ride their routes five days a week, downloading and uploading e-mail. The system, developed by a Boston company, First Mile Solutions, uses a receiver box powered by the motorcycle's battery. The driver need only roll slowly past the school to download all the village's outgoing e-mail and deliver incoming e-mail. The school's computer system and antenna are powered by solar panels. Newly collected data is stored for the day in a computer strapped to the back of the motorcycle. At dusk, the motorcycles converge on the provincial capital, Ban Lung, where an advanced school is equipped with a satellite dish, allowing a bulk e-mail exchange with the outside world."
Dennis Miller on what's up on new 'Dennis Miller'
: "'Simple fact is, I'm of both persuasions,' he said. 'If two gay guys want to get married, I could care less. If some psycho from another country wants to blow up their wedding, I expect my government to kill him preemptively. I guess that makes me a right-wing fanatic, and I'm more than happy to bask in that assignation.' "
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Friday, January 23, 2004
Michigan mother of sextuplets says she's getting her strength back
: "The Van Houtens used fertility drugs to become pregnant." - [I marvel that people go this route knowing the possible outcome of multiple births. Still, God bless 'em.
Power and Weakness - Policy Review, No. 113
: "Americans generally see the world divided between good and evil, between friends and enemies, while Europeans see a more complex picture. "
The Register - All Internet voting is insecure
: "'The flaws are unsolvable because they are fundamental to the architecture of the Internet,' said David Wagner, assistant professor of computer science at UC Berkeley. 'Because the danger of successful large-scale attacks is so great, we reluctantly recommend shutting down the development of SERVE and not attempting anything like it in the future until both the Internet and the world's home computer infrastructure have been fundamentally redesigned, or some other unforeseen security breakthroughs appear, states the report. There is no way to plug the security vulnerabilities inherent in the SERVE on-line voting design, according to the report's authors. "
Judge won't toss flight abuse lawsuit
: "A federal judge refused Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by parents of a Bay City girl who said she was molested on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2001.
'I just can't agree with you,' U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen told Northwest Airlines lawyer Daniel Seymour of Detroit, who pushed to drop the suit at a hearing because the airline had no legal obligation to protect the child.
Rosen said the fact that the girl's mother paid a $40 fee under Northwest's special program for unaccompanied children entitled her to the expectation that the airline would ensure 'a safe, comfortable and fun trip' as billed on the airline's Web site.
'The $40 fee has to mean something. It can't be just for processing,' Rosen told Seymour.
The girl, then 11, said she was repeatedly fondled by a man aboard a flight to Detroit on Aug. 4, 2001. The girl said she was too frightened to tell flight attendants what had happened but told her stepfather after she arrived in Detroit. He alerted police, who arrested Ravichandra Thuluva, then 28, as he waited for a connecting flight to Bombay. Thuluva, a computer consultant from India who sat next to the girl on the flight, was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse.
Thuluva denied assaulting her but said he placed his hand on her thigh for extended periods to calm her during takeoff and when the plane encountered turbulence. A federal jury acquitted Thuluva in February 2002. "
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
The Salt Lake Tribune -- Sundance flicks weigh in on flab
: "'Super Size Me' explores the ubiquitous nature of food franchises, noting that McDonald's can be found in airports, Wal-Marts and even hospitals. 'We have let ourselves become franchised,' Spurlock said. 'The whole country's a strip mall.' "
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage - "Film Review: Super Size Me
Wed January 21, 2004 03:37 AM ET
Super Size Me
By James Greenberg
PARK CITY (Hollywood Reporter) - Following in the footsteps of Michael Moore's work, 'Super Size Me' is one of the new generation of documentaries in which the filmmaker becomes the subject.
In this case, director Morgan Spurlock had the bright idea that he would eat three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald's and see what happens. The outcome is not a pretty picture, but thanks to Spurlock's oversized and buoyant personality and some pretty nifty filmmaking, the results are as entertaining as they are sobering.
Spurlock got started on his journey, which took him to 20 cities, after seeing a news story in which two teenage girls were suing McDonald's, blaming fast food for their obesity. The question of personal responsibility vs. corporate responsibility is a central issue in the film, with corporate deceit taking more of beating. If the documentary has a shortcoming, it is its failure to acknowledge that all obesity is not the result of eating junk food.
But a lot of it is in this country, which Spurlock notes is the fattest nation in the world with 100 million overweight people, 60% of whom get no exercise. Spurlock manages to cram in lots of alarming facts and stats with the smart and amusing use of animation and music. For instance, a colorful map of Manhattan sprouts flags indicating each of the 83 McDonald's locations on the 14-mile island. Later, over a split screen of smiley Ronald McDonald commercials, Curtis Mayfield sings the classic 'Pusher Man.' "
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
The Globe and Mail
: "People of retirement age who took supplements of both vitamin E and C daily saw their risk of Alzheimer's disease plummet by almost 80 per cent, a new study shows. "
"The difficulty in determining the effectiveness of vitamin supplements is that they are just one tiny part of a person's diet and that people who take supplements tend to have healthier lifestyles to begin with, which confounds the scientific results.
In the Alzheimer's study, for example, those who took vitamin E and C supplements were principally younger, more educated women who reported better overall health than other participants"
Op-Ed Contributor: Life (and Death) on Mars
: "Every two years the orbit of Mars creates a window of opportunity to send fresh supplies at a reasonable cost. An initial colony of four astronauts, equipped with a small nuclear reactor and a couple of rover vehicles, could make their own oxygen, grow some food and even initiate building projects using local raw materials. Supplemented by food shipments, medical supplies and replacement gadgets from home, the colony could be sustained indefinitely. To be sure, the living conditions would be uncomfortable, but the colonists would have the opportunity to do ground-breaking scientific work and blaze a trail that would ensure them a permanent place in the annals of discovery."
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
: "Why can't Homeland Security tell the difference between Al Quaeda and my six-year-old daughter?
Friday, January 09, 2004
Succession of Drawings Done by a Subject on LSD: "5 hours 45 minutes after first dose.
Patient continues to move about the room, intersecting the space in complex variations. It's an hour and a half before he settles down to draw again - he appears over the effects of the drug.
'I can feel my knees again, I think it's starting to wear off. This is a pretty good drawing - this pencil is mighty hard to hold' - (he is holding a crayon)."
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
The New Yorker: Fact
RUNNING ON INSTINCT
by MARK SINGER
Howard Dean’s critics say he is winging it. Can that get him to the White House?