"A new flu pandemic could happen at any time and kill between 5-150 million people, a UN health official warned."Bird flu 'could kill 150m people'
"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.
Fri-Sep 30 2005
"A new flu pandemic could happen at any time and kill between 5-150 million people, a UN health official warned."Bird flu 'could kill 150m people'
I think it's interesting that "Surface", "Invasion", "Threshold", and "Lost" all have primary or secondary themes of body snatching/infection.
Regarding "Threshold": I can let slide the premise that an alien audio signal can somehow rewrite our DNA. But they've never really explained why these evil aliens intent on taking over our bodies waste their friggin' time on an isolated cargo ship. If I was them I'd have hovered over something like Times Square on New Years Eve and converted a couple hundred thousand people, not counting possible hits through television coverage. Hell, if I'm so damn smart I'd hack into a satellite and broadcast the audio signal into every TV that gets cable.
Thu-Sep 29 2005
From Season 2 / Episode 1: OceanicFlight815, an official ABC site:
Graphic, it spins like a radar display, only in 3 dimensions.
www.theislandiswaiting.com might have something. I didn't have the patience to wait the flash to load/run. It's registered to "Streetwise Concepts & Culture", which looks like a PR/Advertising firm in LA.
I don't know why I didn't think of checking out the Alt.TV.Lost Newsgroup. The group's FAQ has some good stuff.
Mon-Sep 26 2005
Sun-Sep 25 2005
Al, Run In '08
"We are now told that this is not a time to point fingers, even as some of those saying, "Don't point fingers," are themselves pointing fingers at the victims of the tragedy, who did not -- many of whom could not -- evacuate the city of New Orleans, because they didn't have automobiles, and they did not have adequate public transportation.Al Gore: A Moral Moment
Via Follow Me Here
"The Rick A. Ross Institute has assembled one of the largest databases of information about controversial groups, some called "cults," and related information on the Internet. The database contains thousands of press articles, court documents, and essays.
Sat-Sep 24 2005
Not His Electric Personality
"An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.He's lucky he didn't have to take a leak.
Power-dressing man leaves trail of destruction
Via Follow Me Here
"As Hurricane Katrina began pounding New Orleans, the sheriff's department abandoned hundreds of inmates imprisoned in the city?s jail, Human Rights Watch said today."You can trust us, we're with the government"
Prisoners Abandoned to Floodwaters
Via Boing Boing
I'm worried that the explanation for the mysteries on "Lost" may not meet my nitpicky standards. I can see how events on the island can be explained by sufficiently advanced technology but the whole "numbers"/fate/"brought to the island for a reason" aspect of the plot can run into problems. I don't think it could ever be as bad as the incoherent "X-Files" mythology car-wreck but I can see at least 2 ways they can blow it:
1: Lack of internal consistency-If the survivors were all brought to the island by some agency then that agency has almost supernatural powers to effect events all over the world over a period of years. Yet in the end it has to resort to the extremely risky tactic of crashing a jetliner. Unless it can somehow totally control a plane crash. And if it can do that then it's so fricken all-knowing and all-powerful why does it need to spend years subtly manipulating events in order to bring these people to the island in the first place?To avoid spoilers, Observations, net-research, and questions on the season two premier can be found in the Comments Section
Mon-Sep 19 2005
"The founder of this family, Master Tony Ferrari, is the Earth's representative in an organization called the Light of the Giant Moth. According to the stories of the fathers, the center of the Moon is inhabited. The Moonmonsters were originally men, inhabitants of Ancient Nasquat413G on Earth."We Have Missed You
Via The J-Walk Blog
Thu-Sep 15 2005
It Takes A Village To Flood A City
"The federal official with the power to mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina was Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, not the former FEMA chief who was relieved of his duties and resigned earlier this week, federal documents reviewed by Knight Ridder show.I like this, working up the line. So who's Chertoff's boss again?
Chertoff delayed federal response, memo shows
Wed-Sep 14 2005
"The official autopsies of the flawed response to the catastrophic storm have already begun in Washington, and may offer lessons for dealing with a terrorist attack or even another hurricane this season. But an initial examination of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demonstrates the extent to which the federal government failed to fulfill the pledge it made after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to face domestic threats as a unified, seamless force.NYT Katrina Failure Overview
Sun-Sep 11 2005
"This work takes advantage of recent improvements in real-time face tracking and gesture recognition to use their face in the control of effect parameters and preset selection. Although the face is the most expressive and malleable part of the body, until now the face has been a largely unused effector in music. This project explores the use of the face for both gestural and continuous control of musical effects. In affording continuous control, the system replaces existing continuous input devices. The gestural/conversational control feature is a new method of interacting with an audio effects processor."Facial Control for Electric Guitar
Via we make money not art
Sat-Sep 10 2005
"A few blocks from Mr. O'Dwyer, in an exclusive gated community known as Audubon Place, is the home of James Reiss, descendent of an old-line Uptown family. He fled Hurricane Katrina just before the storm and returned soon afterward by private helicopter. Mr. Reiss became wealthy as a supplier of electronic systems to shipbuilders, and he serves in Mayor Nagin's administration as chairman of the city's Regional Transit Authority. When New Orleans descended into a spiral of looting and anarchy, Mr. Reiss helicoptered in an Israeli security company to guard his Audubon Place house and those of his neighbors.Rebuilding NOLA, Without Those Pesky Poor People
Via robot wisdom weblog
Hey, At Least He's Consistent
"But it's so unfair, isn't it, to attack poor Dubya like this? Just a little misplaced? After all, Bush has always been the rich white man's president. He is the CEO president, the megacorporate businessman's friend, the thug of the religious right, a big reservoir-tipped condom for all energy magnates, protecting against the nasty STDs of humanitarianism and progress and social responsibility.Morford: What Did You Expect?
"Sept. 7. 2004Uncanny
Veep Predicted Katrina
Yea, Go Prepare
"Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael ChertoffOh goody, Brownie is free to destroy another city.
Brown Moved From Field
Fri-Sep 09 2005
Thu-Sep 08 2005
I Don't Know What To Think
Utility Fog reader Zeus points out an incredible story. Note the date.
"Sunday, July 24 2005You're On Your Own
Via My Suddenly Useful Comments System
" At a news conference, Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush's choice for head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency had "absolutely no credentials."But everything is going to be alright, because GWB himself is going lead an investigation into Katrina relief failures.
"The government's disaster chief waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss to send 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region ? and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents.Hey, I've got an idea. Why not train FEMA employees BEFORE THE DISASTER HAPPENS.
The Randi Rhodes Show homepage has timeline links:
Wed-Sep 07 2005
Daily Show ScreenCap
Give him time.
" As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.I almost missed the worst part. Wasting badly needed firefighters on community relations is incompetence, but using them for a photo-op when they could be saving lives is criminal.
But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.
From My Comments/Katrina
"I am from New orleans and I know there were thousands of buses,at least one ferry (a block from the convention center and some tour boats also available to evacuate those people both before the storm and in many cases after the levee break. Those people were murdered..pure and simple."Link
Mon-Sep 05 2005
Whatever You Say
"In film, the Duke Leto (father of Paul) would be a man castrated in a ritual combat in the arenas during a bullfight (emblem of the Atreides house being a crowned bull...) Jessica - nun of the Bene Gesserit -, sent as concubine at the Duke to create a girl which would be the mother of a Messiah, becomes so in love with Leto that she decides to jump a chain link and to create a son, Kwisatz Haderach, the saviour. By using her capacities of Bene Gesserit - once that the Duke, insanely in love with her, entrusts her with his sad secret - Jessica is inseminated by a drop of blood of this sterile man... The camera followed (in script) the red drop through the ovaries of the woman and sees its meeting with the ovule where, by a miraculous explosion, it fertilises it. Paul had been born from a virgin; and not of the sperm of his father but of his blood...Go, Baby, Go! Somebody needs to hook Alejandro up with a renegade Korean anime house and enigmatic swiss venture capital financing. He tried to get Dali to play the Emperor. I don't know who is crazier.
"This event is emblematic of Republican governance. It encompasses every fuck-up they've perpetrated since they took over the entire national governament --- failure to plan, embracing only the best case scenario, lagging response, ignoring the experts, slashing funds and endless, endless happy talk that we can SEE WITH OUR OWN EYES is bullshit. (They are already saying that nobody is reporting all the "good news.")Katrina is all about politics
"Other swimmers had to break through rooftops with their bare hands, prompting the Coast Guard to begin outfitting all of them with axes. Gerald Hoover, 39, of Perry, Fla., used one to break through a window so he could lift a 160-pound woman into a rescue basket. He and his crew, their helicopter hovering, then had to work in concert to carefully lift the 70-year-old between her building and a tree so that the basket would not smash into either.Somebody on Cable News said that the Coast Guard has made more rescues in the last week than in the last 50 years.
Katrina/What Went Wrong
"Day after day of images showed exhausted families and their crying children stepping around corpses while they begged: Where is the water? Where are the buses? They seemed helpless, powerless, at the mercy of forces far beyond their control. The lack of rapid response left people in the United States, and all over the world, wondering how an American city could look like Mogadishu or Port-au-Prince. The refugee crisis-a million people without homes, jobs, schools-hardly fit George W. Bush's vision of the American Colossus.New Orleans-The Lost City
Via robot wisdom weblog
Sidenote: Dr. Phil and Geraldo have leaped into action and camera range, so we have that going for us.
Talking Points Memo is all over Karl Rove's Katrina storyline. Those damn facts seem to keep getting in the way of Bush leading us boldly into a glorious future.
"It's almost awe-inspiring to see the level of energy and coordination the Bush White House can bring to bear in a genuine crisis. Not hurricane Katrina, of course, but the political crisis they now find rising around them.
Saucing The Goose
I don't really care much about what the American Legion says or does but I'm lifting this post wholesale from Billmon/Whiskey Bar because it's the perfect example of "They say THIS now but they said THIS then"
""The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu" . . . "We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens. Public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies."
Dear Mr. President:The funny thing is that you wish the Legion would apply the 4 Yugoslavian points to Iraq as well, because they're good points.
Via Craig's Booknotes
Katrina/It CAN Get Worse
"BROOKLIN, Canada - Up to 12 more tropical storms are expected to follow Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive storm to ever strike the United States, and four may be major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The Endless Hurricane Season
Via robot wisdom weblog
Sun-Sep 04 2005
"(CNN) -- The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates.Incredible
FEMA chief: Victims bear some responsibility
WASHINGTON (Reuters)-Two key U.S. senators said on Friday they will launch a bipartisan coverup of what they described as an "immense, but probably unavoidable failure" of the government response to Hurricane Katrina.Via Making Light
Nothing To See Here
If I hear another Authority Figure/Talking Head say "Now is not the time to start blaming people/play politics" I'm going to be seriously tempted to head-butt my TV. Yes, why don't we wait until later when Katina has dropped out of the news cycle and we're all distracted by some new scandal-de-jour and celebrity divorce.
Sisyphus Shrugged's big bunch of Katrina links
Red Cross: "We're not being allowed into New Orleans".
Times-Picayune: An open letter to the president.
Dear Mr. President:Via Looka
It seems my RSS feed has been kaput for at least a week, maybe two. My apologies, it should be fixed now.
Sat-Sep 03 2005
"The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.FEMA Head fired from last job, unqualified
Via Boing Boing!
"Virtually everything that has happened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck was predicted by experts and in computer models, so emergency management specialists wonder why authorities were so unprepared.They Knew What To Expect
I've heard a number of people point out that the question might not be "why aren't these people getting help?" but rather "why weren't these people evacuated before the storm hit?"
We live in Science Fiction: Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling
I wonder if people are going to say "Everything changed after New Orleans" like they do now for 9/11?
Fri-Sep 02 2005
Massive explosions and fire on the New Orleans waterfront.
Good stuff at Looka! , one of my favorite blogs.
Blogging from New Orleans
Lots of NOLA Photos
"Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.Via The Interdictor
Here's a forecast: There are 2 words you are going to hear a lot more of in the future-"SELA funding"
Good coverage at The New Orleans Times-Picayune
"What has happened down here is the wind have changedRandy Newman - Louisiana 1927
It doesn't look like we planned properly for a force-5 hurricane hitting NO. I knew years ago that the entire city could be flooded by a high enough (and possible) storm surge.