"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

Utility Fog Banner

Lost / "A Take Of Survival"-Season 3 Clip Show
To me, the most interesting thing about this preview to Season 3 is that "Henry Gale"/aka O'Henry (Other Henry) is the narrator. This raised 3 questions to me:
  • Does this mean the character O'Henry is actually doing the narration?
  • If he is, does that mean O'Henry knows all the information he's saying in the narration? If he does, he's damn near omniscient.
  • Can any new information from him be considered canonical?
Now that we've got the required "what is real" Lost funk established, what did O'Henry/Not O'Henry say?:
  • The Losties were "Brought together by something they could not understand at the time. Something that caused their plane to split apart and fall from the sky." This could be a reference to the Losties being specially selected and brought to the island by forces unknown or just a reference to the plane crash bringing them together.
  • In their dealings with the Tailies, the "Others were determined to preserve their way of life." I have no idea what this might mean, but it's a whole new slant on the motives for the Other kidnapping spree
  • O'Henry explicitly says he is the leader of the Others

The Worst of the Worst

"Finding the answer wasn't easy. After a Supreme Court ruling in 2004 giving Guantanamo prisoners access to federal courts, lawyers for the detainees filed petitions challenging their clients' imprisonment. In about 130 of the cases -- there are about 400 prisoners -- a judge ordered the Pentagon to hand over its evidence.

Each prisoner's file included a page or two of the military's summary of evidence, often accompanied by supporting memos and a transcript of the hearing in which the military had reaffirmed that the prisoner was in fact an "enemy combatant." The files were publicly available at federal courthouses. But they had been rarely explored in depth, and their contents were never compiled systematically, which is exactly what Hegland set about doing.

After two months of sifting the information, Hegland had her answer. "The data was really clear," she says. "It was mind-boggling." It showed that most of the detainees hadn't been caught "on the battlefield" but rather mostly in Pakistan; fewer than half were accused of fighting against the U.S., and there was scant evidence to confirm that they were even combatants. In other words, most of the detainees probably were entirely innocent.

Just a few days after Hegland published a three-part series on her findings in early February, a law professor at Seton Hall University, Mark Denbeaux, and his son, Joshua Denbeaux, who together have represented Guantanamo detainees, published a study that also used the Defense Department's own data, though a somewhat different set. After stripping out the prisoners' names, along with the supporting memos and transcripts, the Pentagon had publicly released the summary of evidence against every Guantanamo prisoner. Using that larger but less detailed data set, the Denbeaux's findings echoed Hegland's: Only 8 percent of detainees at Guantanamo were labeled by the Defense Department as "al Qaeda fighters," they found, and just 11 percent had been captured "on the battlefield" by coalition forces."

Who are the Prisoners at Gitmo?
Via Metafilter

Click Goes the Remote
That damn Skittles ad with the singing rabbit manages to both depress and creep me out. Oh yea, now I feel like some candy!

Lost /Ep #302-screencaps
High quality screencaps for Season-3 Episode-2 - Spoilery

Too Much Time
Just in case you were wondering, apparently it is possible to wear 121 t-shirts at the same time.
Via J-Walk Blog

"To be sent on November 1, 2006

Lee Scott
President and CEO
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611

Dear Sir,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. cease distribution of the book known as the Holy Bible. We make this request after careful consideration, having examined numerous passages in the Holy Bible that are repulsive, stridently offensive and/or illegal. The following five examples reveal the obscene nature of this book and help you to understand why we are making this request.

1) The Holy Bible demands that readers murder hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees.

In Exodus 31:15 the Holy Bible demands: "For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death." This demand is repeated in Exodus 35:2: "For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death." To put these demands in context, please see Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24-25, Psalm 19:7 and Matthew 5:18-20.

Mr. Scott, you are in a unique position to understand how dangerous these statements are. Hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart's employees work on the Sabbath. The Holy Bible demands their murder. This threat to employee autonomy and safety should be both repugnant and highly offensive to Wal-Mart's senior management team as well as Wal-Mart's employees."
Sign the Wal-Mart Bible Letter
Via J-Walk Blog

I Love Halloween
rampaging pumpkin beast
The Beast
Via Eyebeam reBlog

All Singing, All Dancing
"O Haseena Zulfon Wali" - Insanely over-the-top Bollywood musical number.
Via Exploding Aardvark

Bruce Sterling Story
"That creepy "differential permissioning" sure saves a lot of trouble for grown-ups. Increasing chunks of the world are just... magically off limits. It's a weird new regime where every mall and every school and every bus and train and jet is tagged and tracked and ambient and pervasive and ubiquitous and geolocative... Jesus, I love those words... Where was I?

Right. We teenagers have to live in "controlled spaces". Radio-frequency ID tags, real-time locative systems, global positioning systems, smart doorways, security videocams. They "protect" us kids, from imaginary satanic drug dealer terrorist mafia predators. We're "secured". We're juvenile delinquents with always-on cellphone nannies in our pockets. There's no way to turn them off. The internet was designed without an off-switch."
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google
Via del.icio.us

The only problem I have with watching both "Prison Break" and "Vanished" is that I keep getting the conspiracies mixed up.

Planetary Mystery
"Astronomers using small automated telescopes have discovered a new type of planet that is far bigger than Jupiter but weighs half as much and has the density of cork.

"It's baffling. We're never seen anything like it," said Robert Noyes, the Harvard University researcher that led the research team. "We know of rocky planets like Earth and gas giants like Jupiter. But this is different. It's four times lighter than water."

The newly-identified planet, which does not yet have a name, is located about 400 light years from Earth, in constellation Lacerta, where it orbits the binary star ADS16402. "
This planet sounds like it could be artificial.
New Type of Planet Discovered
Via Warren Ellis

Blind man was 'dangerous driver'
Via Fortean Times

The Money is Guilty
"Eighth Circuit Appeals Court ruling says police may seize cash from motorists even in the absence of any evidence that a crime has been committed.

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. In the case entitled, "United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit took that amount of cash away from Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez, a man with a "lack of significant criminal history" neither accused nor convicted of any crime. "
Federal Appeals Court: Driving With Money is a Crime
Via LinkSwarm

"Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason."
On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study
Via Neatorama

Start 'em Young
Baby Toupees
Via The Red Ferret Journal

Lost / Season 3 Sneak Preview
LOST - ABC Sneak Preview (contains SPOILERS)
Via Lost Spoilers

Silly Rabbit
CDC's Rabies Web Page That's Just for Kids!

Say Hello to the New Con, Same as the Old Con
THE SKY IS FALLING, and only the tough and manly Republican Party can save you, unless of course you're talking about a hurricane:
"For the past five years, Americans have been regularly regaled with dire predictions of another major al Qaeda attack in the United States. In 2003, a group of 200 senior government officials and business executives, many of them specialists in security and terrorism, pronounced it likely that a terrorist strike more devastating than 9/11 -- possibly involving weapons of mass destruction -- would occur before the end of 2004. In May 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft warned that al Qaeda could "hit hard" in the next few months and said that 90 percent of the arrangements for an attack on U.S. soil were complete. That fall, Newsweek reported that it was "practically an article of faith among counterterrorism officials" that al Qaeda would strike in the run-up to the November 2004 election. When that "October surprise" failed to materialize, the focus shifted: a taped encyclical from Osama bin Laden, it was said, demonstrated that he was too weak to attack before the election but was marshalling his resources to do so months after it.

On the first page of its founding manifesto, the massively funded Department of Homeland Security intones, "Today's terrorists can strike at any place, at any time, and with virtually any weapon."

But if it is so easy to pull off an attack and if terrorists are so demonically competent, why have they not done it? Why have they not been sniping at people in shopping centers, collapsing tunnels, poisoning the food supply, cutting electrical lines, derailing trains, blowing up oil pipelines, causing massive traffic jams, or exploiting the countless other vulnerabilities that, according to security experts, could so easily be exploited?

One reasonable explanation is that almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad. But this explanation is rarely offered.
Via Looka!

Tough on Terrorism, Tougher on First Responders
"Yesterday, Republican Senators blocked Senator Clinton's proposal to fund almost 2 billion for medical treatment for sick 9/11 responders. As reported in NYC's Daily News:
Senate leaders invoked parliamentary rules, saying Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-N.Y.)amendment to a measure funding port security was not "germane." NY Daily News
As I have repeatedly explained this past week, the federal government's response to the environmental effect of the WTC Ground Zero site almost precisely follow the profits over safety business model sometimes adopted by corporations.

This recent denial of comprehensive funding by the Senate further supports this characterization of the governmental response. In the wake of 9/11, federal officials downplayed and affirmatively misrepresented the danger of exposure to the WTC Ground Zero site.

I have previously gone into detail about just how reckless federal officials' conduct appears to have been. Others have also provided additional details. Congressmembers are urging that criminal charges be brought against Christine Todd Whitman, the Bush appointed former EPA chief who made the most forceful public misrepresentations that the site was safe. Indeed, A NY federal court recently found that her conduct "shocked the contemporary conscience" and waived the usually granted governmental immunity.

In short, it is clear that federal officials misrepresented the danger at ground zero, and I and others have argued that they did so, at least in large part, to save money.

So, after it is clear beyond a doubt that government officials are responsible for knowingly endangering the public health, this same federal government refuses to pay for the effects of its error. "
Congress Rejects Aid For Sick 9/11 Responders: Puts Financial Safety Over Human Safety
Via Looka!

Runs Clean Straight
Waste hours looking at the pretty pictures on Craigslist using ListPic
Via Lifehacker

Lost / Jigsaw Puzzle Hatch Mural w/ Additions
It seems the Lost jigsaw puzzles have on their reverse side the Hatch Mural in black-light ink. And there's new information:
"c12/1+3 c14/8 c21/9 c6/1 c2/5 c7/37 c6/1 c2/5
c21/9 c14/8 c18/5 c20/1+1 c12/1+3 c12/6+5 c12/2 c1/7
c7/8 c10/1+1 c8/2 c12/1+3
Arrow Station Primary Function: Restocking and staging area for DIHG
Possible terminal point for subterranean EEP tunnel network?
Final destination in case of code 42?
Hub of DIGH road system or other major route of overland travel
Possible manufacturing facility with light industrial equipment
Suspected shutdown date 10 28 84
c20/4 c11/2 c8/2+5 c2/7 c21/9
c18/3 c7/2 c11/3 c10/8 c8/2
c14/1 c3/1 c10/4 c9/2 c7/4+3 c1/5 c5/1 c7/37 c7/1 c10/8
c12/6+6 c14/8 c2/7 c1/13 c16/6+9 c9/2(or 1*)
c16/20 c20/1+1 c9/2 c12/2(or 1*) c14/8 c21/9 c 20(or 10*)/4 c8/8 c7/8
c2/5 c16/13 c20 (or 10*)/1+1 c10/1+2 c70*/4 c12/2
c14/1 c1/1 c9/2 c3/1 c5/1 c3/1+5 c15/1
c12/2 c6/1 c12/2 c14/1+3
Geological composition of rocks likely to cause magnetic disturbances
interfere with weather forecasting project interference also prevents

Note from discoverer:
(I couldn't tell if some numbers were 1s or 2s and if that was 70, it could be the handwriting or it could be that the glow in the dark was messed up.)"
Secret "Spoilerish" Map on Back of Lost Jigsaw Puzzles

From Unfutz:
"This is an open letter to every liberal / progressive / lefty who says "If the Democratic Party nominates X for President" -- most recently I read a comment where someone said this about Hillary Clinton -- "I'm going to sit out the election or vote for a third party candidate."

Dear Sir or Madam:

You are an idiot.
I don't want to hear about your principles, I don't want to hear about the lesser of two evils still being evil, I don't want to hear about how the two parties are basically the same, I don't want to hear any of those really lame and pitiful excuses, I want to hear only one thing from you, how sitting out the election or voting for a third party is going to help throw the goddamned Republicans out of office. If you can't do that -- and you can't -- then you are truly worthless and the rest of us are just going to have to save the country for you without your help."
An Open Letter

What Could Go Wrong?
"A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.

The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law.

The person's name, address, and photograph would be placed on a new Internet database and the person would be subjected to the same registration and community notification requirements and restrictions on where he could live.

A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again."
Plan gains to publicly identify accused
Via Slashdot

Suave Men Of Action
man from uncle big little book illustration

man from uncle big little book illustration

man from uncle big little book illustration

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - The Calcutta Affair (Flickr Set)
Via Boing Boing

Made for Cocktail Onions
Hot Dog Infused Vodka
Via Needcoffee.com

Technicolor Yawn
RainbowPuke.com. A happy place for sad rainbows
Via The Presurfer

Growing New Brains
"Adult human brain cells can generate new tissue when implanted into in the brains of mice, new research reveals.""
My army of supersmart mice is one step closer to global domination. Prepare to surrender your cheese and dub reggae mp3s.
Via warren ellis dot com