"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
The Other Utility Fog
They link to me, I link to them, They link to me...
Safety Warning. Not for use as a stroller. May contain parts. Manufactured in a facility where one or more of the following may be present: Peanuts, almonds, unfiltered water, oxygen, ultaviolet and infrared radiation, sunlight. Use only as directed by your legal counsel. Do not use during earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding or presidential election years. Use of handles may promote RSI, see your doctor or therapist before opening. May be flammable when exposed to open flame. Not for use as a stepping stool or adult seat. May cause injury if dropped from a height. Does not enable user to fly. Do not eat. If erection lasts for over 4 hours call friends and brag. Persons attempting to find a motive in this blog will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. We don't need no stinkin' badges. Same-day service. Unplug after use. Slippery when wet. Ignore this notice. Use only as directed. Consume in moderation. Lather, rinse, repeat. Your mileage may vary. For external use only. Don't try this at home. No purchase is necessary. You must be present to win. Do not think of an elephant. Other restrictions may apply. Apply only to affected areas. Part of a daily balanced diet. No shirt, no shoes, no service. You need not be present to win. No user-serviceable parts inside. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Offer void where prohibited by law. Do not remove under penalty of law. You have the right to remain silent. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Valid only at participating locations. Freshest if used before date specified. Prices subject to change without notice. Do not fold, staple, spindle or mutilate. Contents may have settled during shipment. Caution! The edge is closer than you think. In emergency, break glass, pull down handle. Product is sold by weight and not by volume. Do not use if safety seal is torn or missing. If condition persists, consult your physician. Detach and include upper portion with payment. Nutritional need is not established in humans. Objects on screen are closer than they appear. Satisfaction guaranteed; return for full refund. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. May be used as flotation device in case of emergency. Please note locations of emergency exits upon arrival. No animals were harmed in the production of this page. Caution: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear. Please leave as clean on leaving as you would like to find on entering. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients.
Business is unpredictable and unsafe. The Internet is dangerous. Many blogs have been written about these dangers, and there's no way we can list them all here. Read the blogs.
The Internet is covered in slippery slopes with loose, slippery and unpredictable footing. The RIAA can make matters worse. Patent trolls are everywhere. You may fall, be spammed or suffer a DOS attack. There are hidden viruses and worms. You could break your computer. There is wild code, which may be vicious, poisonous or carriers of dread malware. These include viruses and worms. E-mail can be poisonous as well. We don't do anything to protect you from any of this. We do not inspect, supervise or maintain the Internet, blogsphere, ISP?s or other features, natural or otherwise.
Real dangers are present even on the Web. E-commerce is not the mall. It can be, and is, steep, slippery and dangerous. Web features made or enhanced by humans, such as firewalls and spam filters (if any) can break, collapse, or otherwise fail catastrophically at any time. We don't promise to inspect, supervise or maintain them in any way. They may be negligently constructed or repaired. The web is unsafe, period. Live with it or stay away.
Stay on trusted sites whenever possible. The terrain, in addition to being dangerous, is surprisingly complex. You may get lost. Carry food, water and an APU at all times.
Ads for things you don't want and other objectionable content can arrive from nowhere. This can happen naturally, or be caused by people around you that are being used as bots. Spam and disgusting images of all sizes, including huge images, can arrive, or pop-up with no warning. Use of spam filters is advised for anyone approaching the Internet. They can be purchased or rented from us. They won't save you if you get hit by something big or on a port you left open. A whole DOS attack might collapse on you and squash you like a bug. Don't think it can't happen.
Public opinion can be dangerous, regardless of the forecast. Be prepared with extra damage control, including press releases. Ticking off the blogsphere can kill you. The Streisand effect can turn a simple nastygram into a deathtrap.
If you make hasty comments about those in high places (making unsupported comments that reduce the image of a person, often posted quickly and without thinking) without proper thought and, or allow your employees to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you know what you're doing, lots of things can go wrong and you may be sued for libel. It happens all the time.
We do not provide rangers or security personnel. The other people on the web, including other visitors, our employees, agents, and guests, and anyone else who might sneak in, may be stupid, reckless, or otherwise dangerous. They may be mentally ill, criminally insane, drunk, using illegal drugs and/or armed with deadly malware and ready to use them. We aren't necessarily going to do anything about it. We refuse to take responsibility.
If you surf at work, you may become pre-occupied with it. This is true whether you are experienced or not, trained or not, equipped or not, though training and equipment may help. It's a fact, surfing at work is extremely dangerous. If you don't like it, surf at home. You really shouldn't be doing it anyway. We do not provide supervision or instruction. We are not responsible for, and do not track how much time you surf at work (although we could if we wanted to.) As far as we know, your employer may find out and send you plunging to unemployment. There are countless tons of loose management staff ready to be dislodged and fall on you or someone else. There are any number of extremely and unusually dangerous conditions existing on and around the Web, and elsewhere on the Internet. We may or may not know about any specific hazard, but even if we do, don't expect us to try to warn you. You're on your own.
Rescue services are not provided by us, and may not be available quickly or at all. Local computer geeks may not be equipped for or trained in hard drive recovery. If you are lucky enough to have somebody try to get rid of a virus or find that deleted file, they may be incompetent or worse. This includes your local computer store. We assume no responsibility. Also, if you decide to participate in a rescue of some other unfortunate, that's your choice. Don't do it unless you are willing to assume all risks.
By entering our site, you are agreeing that we owe you no duty of care or any other duty. We promise you nothing. We do not and will not even try to keep the premises safe for any purpose. The premises are not safe for any purpose. This is no joke. We won't even try to warn you about any dangerous or hazardous condition, whether we know about it or not. If we do decide to warn you about something, that doesn't mean we will try to warn you about anything else. If we do make an effort to fix an unsafe condition, we may not try to correct any others, and we may make matters worse! We and our employees or agents may do things that are unwise and dangerous. Sorry, we're not responsible. We may give you bad advice. Don't listen to us. In short, ENTER AND USE THIS SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. And have fun!
Warning: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.
Warning: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them.
Caution: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.
Handle with Extreme Care: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles per Hour.
Consumer Notice: Because of the 'Uncertainty Principle,' It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.
Advisory: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Known as 'Tunneling,' This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.
Read This Before Opening Package: According to Certain Suggested Versions of a Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting This Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.
This is a 100% Matter product: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.
Public Notice as Required by Law: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.
Note: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a 'Gluing' Force About Which Little Is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.
Attention: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer Is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.
New Grand Unified Theory Disclaimer: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are 'Rolled Up' into Such a Small 'Area' That They Cannot Be Detected.
Please Note: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State.
Component equivalency notice: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied.
Health Warning: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User.
Important Notice to Purchasers: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot be Guaranteed.
Use inside a nuclear power facility voids warranty.
Sat-Apr 30 2005
Best Headline This Week
"Seventh Seal Finally Opened: Tom Cruise Makes Katie Holmes His Love Slave"
Old School Shout Out
A short history of yelling "Freebird!" at concerts.
For the record, I've always gone for the contrarian "Whipping Post!".
Fri-Apr 29 2005
Hot Glue Guns At 10 Paces
Finally, something to take the place of the late, lamented "Junkyard Wars":"Craft Corner Deathmatch!"
Good To Know
I'm glad to find that "Liverpool" came from the Old English for "Pool with Muddy Water" because the obvious alternative is unsettling.
Thu-Apr 28 2005
"Before a Senate commission revealed that the Bush administration's claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was "dead wrong," the public preferred to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt. According to a Gallup poll released today, that's no longer the case: Fully 50 percent of Americans now believe the Bush administration deliberately misled them on the issue of Iraqi WMDs.Link
I Can't Even Think Of A Word That Rhymes
I got a e-mail invitation to go to a dinner with Dan Gillmor. I don't know which is more eyebrow-raising; that the Seattle Times is even vaguely aware of my blog, or being referred to (along with about 40 others) as a "great local blog". Whew
Spam subject of the week: "Marmalade Norphradine". Because everybody likes prescription drugs on a toasted english muffin.
Mon-Apr 25 2005
Darth Vader Has A Blog
"You know what I hate? Idiots.Link
Sun-Apr 24 2005
No Aston Martins
What is The Sandbaggers?Unqualified Offerings clues me on to The Sandbaggers. And lo and behold, Scarecrow Video has all three seasons on DVD. I loves me that there dark bleak spy stuff.
P.S. I think "The Hairy Palmers" would be a great band name. They could all wear black-rimmed glasses.
P.P.S. Charles Stross mixes the bureaucratic spy story with Lovecraftian horror in "The Concrete Jungle". Good Stuff
The Talking Dog Blog has an interview with Jose Padilla's court-appointed attorney Donna Newman.
"Talking Dog: Do you think that, by and large, the American people actually care about this case, and care about what happens in it?More information on the "Non-Detention Act" and it's use in contesting detention of "enemy combatants".
Via Unqualified Offerings
Sat-Apr 23 2005
Thu-Apr 21 2005
Interesting Career Choice
I got spam from "Jamal - Sperm Manager".
Tue-Apr 19 2005
Jeez, this Marwan character is like a comic book super villian. He crashes a train, then he kidnaps the Secretary of Defense to cover up his attempt to meltdown all our nuclear power plants. Then he steals a stealth fighter to shoot down Air Force One so he can retrieve the nuclear command "football" so he can hijack a nuclear weapon. And those are just the high points. I wouldn't be surprised if next he tries to melt the North Pole and knock the Earth off it's axis. Plus he seems to have an inexhaustible supply of minions. All he lacks is a hidden fortress of doom and a harem.
Mon-Apr 18 2005
" Comcast, the top U.S. cable TV network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information, court records showed Thursday.I'm no fan of the phone company, but I think I'll be choosing DSL when circumstances allow me to get broadband.
Via Boing Boing
Sun-Apr 17 2005
Sat-Apr 16 2005
I went to the Seattle Public Library Book Sale today (books, acres of books!) and I actually heard a little semi-old lady ask a volunteer "are these alphabetized at all?".
Bad UI, Sit!
I like Comcast's "On Demand" service-who wouldn't like being able to watch disturbing anime any time you want? What I don't like is the way they've set up the controls. Let's say you want to watch music videos. It takes 14 key presses to get to /Home/Music/Music Choice/Rock/ and anywhere from 5 to 20 presses to get to a video you want, so let's just call it 30 key presses. Now you watch the video, and then everything goes horribly wrong. Instead of leaving you in Home/Music/Music Choice/Rock/ where you might be expected to watch another video, they kick you into Home/Saved Programs/ (where you can't do shit) from whence all you can do is hit the "Last" button to get to Home and then go through the whole 30 key presses again to get back to where you were. It's not so bad with something long like a movie, but all that unnecesary button pushing every 3 minutes is a pain.
Are universal constants really constant?
More seriously, our results have the potential to revolutionise the way we understand the universe on all scales, from the subatomic to the universal. All of modern physical theory is based on the assumption that the laws of physics remain the same no matter where or when you happen to be. Physicists have what is called a "standard model" of the universe which allows them to explain all observed phenomena. This standard model cannot explain variations in the constants and so, if our results are correct, the standard model would need a complete overhaul: we will have discovered the first hint of a completely new set of physical laws, hitherto unseen and not to be understood for some time.Link
Another Brush W/Celebrity
I met J.P. Patches today. I moved about 600 pounds of stuff into his garage and he gave me a t-shirt. Nice guy, the Patchster is.
Fri-Apr 15 2005
Tue-Apr 12 2005
So I'm watching "24" and I just had a "what the hell?" moment. Our hero Jack has been sent to retrieve the presidential nuclear command "football". What is he armed with when he gets out of the helicopter? Answer: One basic semi-automatic handgun. He just left headquarters; he could easily have armed himself to the teeth, but all he has is a pistol. Stupid, Jack, real Stupid.
Mon-Apr 11 2005
Graphical responces to the creepy BK commercials:
Found on the web
My own creations
Fri-Apr 08 2005
I Just Wonder
" leave no property behind me of which it is necessary to dispose. As for the everyday objects that were of use to me, I ask they be distributed as seems appropriate. My personal notes are to be burned. I ask that this be attended to by Father Stanislaw (Eds: his personal secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz), whom I thank for his collaboration and help, so prolonged over the years and so understanding. As for all other thanks, I leave them in my heart before God Himself, because it is difficult to express them."Why did John Paul II want his personal notes destroyed? It just seems odd to me, especially since I suppose he could easily have had them locked away for say, 100 years or so. I also find it interesting that throughout all of NPR's painfully extensive coverage I've heard no one comment on the Pope's request.
Complete Text Of Will
Wed-Apr 06 2005
"I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.Link
Mon-Apr 04 2005
"This case has been written off by US officials as a "horrific accident" that occurred on what we are told is "the most dangerous road in Iraq," where insurgents are constantly waiting in the bushes to attack. The Pentagon further contends that the Italians failed to slow down at a checkpoint and only after repeated attempts to stop the car did soldiers fire on the Italians. The problem is, according to Sgrena, this shooting didn't happen on that road. What's more, Sgrena says that there was no US checkpoint for which to slow down.Link
"During sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 19, 2004, Senator Jack Reed asked General Sanchez, who commanded the Combined Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7) in Iraq, whether he "ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison." General Sanchez testified in response that he "never approved any of those measures to be used in CJTF-7 at any time in the last year" and that he "never approved the use of any of those methods within CJTF-7 in the 12.5 months that I?ve been in Iraq."Link
Dialogue from Spongebob Squarepants:
Strangler: "Get your feet out of my eye sockets!And I spotted the gang from "The Big Lebowski" on "Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends"
I watch a lot of cartoons. That and the ever growing genre of motorcycle-building reality shows. I'm waiting for "Los Alamos Chopper", where 2 theoretical physicists create a bike out of dark matter powered by zero-point energy.
Fri-Apr 01 2005
There's this commercial running on AM radio that begins with the announcer saying "Summer is coming, and that can only mean one thing: boat season is coming". This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy, because it's just plain wrong. Summer might mean different things to different people, including boat season, but I am absolutely certain that Summer never, ever means just one thing. And to add insult to injury some chucklehead actually got paid good money to write this.
All Hat And No Cattle
I saw this bumpersticker the other day and I had to laugh. Not because it's funny, but from the sheer absurdity of the idea that Reagan and Bush could ever be considered cowboys. It's all smoke and mirrors, and it's scares me that millions of people buy into this bullshit. A little googling brought to light the fact that Bush's Crawford ranch has only existed since 2000, and that the 200 or so cattle on it belong to someone else. At the website of the company selling the sticker you can see the kind of reaction these fauxboys get from other people.