You know, until today, I had never read IndyMedia. Now I know where to go whenever I want to find stupid ideas thriving. Their latest article today describes Critical Mass, a collosal, Greenpeace-esque attempt to inconvenience as many drivers as possible. Indymedia describes it this way:
*cough* Post-automotive? That's pre-automotive, IIRC. And, even if I don't, the car is obviously a faster, more efficient way of transporting yourself from one place to another, and you can even get places comfortably when it's raining.
Indypendent goes on:
Meanwhile, they strangle the streets, cutting off the traffic of people who just want to go home or go to work in peace. Of course, actually doing something meaningful with their time is a foreign concept to them:
Look, socialize all you want. Great. Celebrate bike riding, wonderful. Just get out of the way of the people who have other important things to do.
Speaking of information overload, Harry Potter fans are getting headaches from reading the latest book.
I've never read the books, but I've heard they've only gotten progressively worse in terms of quality (reduntant wording, etc). Maybe that's the true source of their headaches.
Well, duh. That's why it's called the information age. Sink or swim.
A few academics in Berkeley (which makes anything they say suspect, of course) claim that we are "drowning in a rising sea of information."
That's great! Knowledge is power. But psychologist David Lewis disagrees:
My emphasis. At least one psychologist admits that data is unimportant to him. One might argue that that proves that psychology is not a hard science. But I digress.
Data is the source of information. Data is refined to make information. People are usually paid to refine data into useful information. data : information :: gold ore : wedding ring
And the more information you have, the more power you have over your business. That's the job of the manager: To understand the information and guide the company with it. That's why people have been trying to get this kind of information in the first place; that's the whole "Information Technology" industry.
Besides, who made Berkeley academics the arbiter of how much information is too much? The arrogance of these people, honestly!
One of my pet peeves is moronic school policies. Contrary to popular belief, Bob Jones is not that bad about such polices; at least, they can't be as bad as Deer Park High School in Boston. He "steals" a quarter's worth of melted cheese by accident (he thought the cheese was free), and even offered to pay when he was confronted about it. Quote from the story, my emphasis:
The next thing Campbell knew, Deer Park Police were giving him a ticket.
By the time this case works its way through court, a judge, a bailiff, a prosecutor, two clerks, the ticket-writing cop and a jury will all be paid for about two hours of work just on this case. The estimated cost for these services will be paid for by Deer Park taxpayers in the form of $396.
Via Dave Barry
Sorry about the light blogging this week; it's been incredibly busy. 5 tests, each demanding their own share of my time. Yuck! And a paper for my American Literature class.
I am never taking another literature course after this one. I'd even drop this one, except I need 9 English credits to graduate, and my ACT score was good enough to bump me up into the En102 (composition)-En103(Int. to Literature)-En203/4/5/6(Literature course of your choice) track. Foolish me, I took 206, American Literature from 1865-Present, thinking that it would be really interesting to read the stuff that we didn't get into with my high school literature course.
Those of you who have ever read anything written as literature after 1865 are giggling right now.
I think that there must be two separate classes of writing, even in writing fiction and poetry. The first class is the popular, "commoner" literature, the stuff that is fun to read, written to please an audience. The other class is the stuff that is foisted upon us in literature classes, where everything means something normal people wouldn't think of and where people actually write with philosophies like "Poetry should be hard" (T. S. Elliot). The awful, awful stuff studied as great masterpieces. For example, we've just begun on "Imagism." Allow me to quote a poem from this "movement."
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Now, normal people, when they write, want their writing to have a point to it and want that point to be as readily understandable as possible. What is Ezra Pound's point in the above poem? What was he thinking? My counter-poem answers these questions:
Hmm. We need to take out North Korea once we're done with Iraq and Iran. How can we stand by while babies are murdered?
[seething sarcasm]Oh, wait, we already do. We make sure we kill the baby before it's born. That makes it OK.[/seething sarcasm]
Something needs to be done about both issues.
angelweave has an entry about PETA joining with the obesity-police to try to ban soft drinks from school cafeterias. The lawyers are swimming around the fast/sugary/salty/good food industries like a shark circles a diver who's had an unfortunate accident with a motorboat.
The thing is, I don't think that the nutrition nazi's have as good an argument as the anti-smoking liars, for one reason: Smoking smells bad. It irritates the non-smokers around you. Eating a french fry doesn't have the same awful-smell quotient.
BTW, see the post below linking to Pyrojection's PETA entry.
Bringing back memories of the anthrax scares, a letter containing a vial of ricin was found today at a postal distribution center in Greenville, where I go to school. The postal facility has been closed out of "an abundance of caution." They don't believe it's terrorism, just extortion.
Nice of the guy to label the envelope "caution-Ricin-poison." Another example of America's shortage of high-quality criminals.
I really, really hate Doonesbury. Why can't they at least put it in the political section, where it belongs? Take today's strip, for example:
"Question: Were there any terrorists in Saddam's Iraq?"
"Could be... Alqueda had branch offices in scores of countries including the US!"
That's right. But notice how he says terrorists=Al Qaeda. There are other terrorist groups, believe it or not.
"But read on!"
"The following rant is a public service message to an incredible 69% of Americans."
Better be careful; shouting at 69% of Americans as though they are idiots will only further damage your readership base.
"THERE IS no EVIDENCE OF A LINK BETWEEN SADDAM HUSSEIN AND 9/11! NONE! EVEN THE WHITE HOUSE ADMITS IT!"
BTW, if the picture doesn't load: This frame takes up most of the strip. First: Saddam did have links to Al Qaeda. He supplied them with money and probably weapons/supplies/loyal extremist followers. Therefore: Saddam--Al Qaeda--9/11. That's a link between Hussein and 9/11.
Zonker sez: "Don't take this clown's word for it! Read up on it!"
See what I said about offending your readership. Please do read up on it. Try looking at more than one source too: IndyMedia isn't the best source for unbiased commentary.
Duke's Bonus Fact: "15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, not Iraqi!"
Oh, so 4 were Iraqi? Wouldn't that be (cue dramatic music: Dunh-Dunh-DUUHHHH) another link?
Bonus Warning: (president as an asterisk in a roman helmet): I'll be continuing to link them through innuendo
Hmm, let's see. At the begining of 2002, President Bush gave a State of the Union Speech. In it he said:
Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice. And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world. (Applause.)
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
I'd hardly call that innuendo. He clearly stated why we were going in. Now Iraq is no threat, and possibly an ally if we handle its people well. I know you hate to see your political enemy doing well, but that 69% of Americans you're talking to actually like victory.
Even (especially) when it comes at a cost to the liberal agenda.
Hmm. Still looking through Pyrojection, and I came across something else: "Taking Back the Malls"
This one I'm a little less pleased with. Basically, a chain of malls has taken to imposing curfew policies on their teenage visitors, citing loud/abusive/harassing behavior. So, because of the few idiot gang members, anyone under the age of 16 has to be accompanied by an adult (21 years old or older) after 4 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Now, I'm 19, so this policy wouldn't apply to me, but I still don't like it. I understand the mall's desire to make the shopping experience more pleasant, but how would it go over to say something like, "Our demographic research indicates that black people are more likely to be in gangs, harass other mall customers, and shoplift. Therefore, after 4 pm on Friday and Saturdays, any black person at this mall has to be escorted by a white person."
You can just see the NAACP descending on the mall like hawks. The response would (quite reasonably) question why innocent people are being punished for other people's crimes. So, why should teenagers (like my little brother or his friends from school/church) have to have a 21 year old escort in the mall?
Punish the offenders, not everyone who is like the offender.
Skimming through Pyrojection, I found a great article on my least favorite senator, Fritz Hollings. To paraphrase the Dixie Chicks: I'm ashamed that he's from South Carolina. Thank GOODNESS that he's stepping down.
I've found a new blog that I like! Pyrojection This particular article deals with PETA, the "screaming two year old in the grocery store of life." I like!
When I start my own company, I want this guy on my team. Just not my legal team.
He sold 4 people each a large screen "plasma high definition picture," for a total net profit of $11,726. Then he sent them each a photograph of a HDTV. Technically honest, but tricky. He's got a career in marketing, to be sure.
(Via cut on the bias)
This is neat: Fire Paste. It looks like a very strong heat resistant compound. The guy wants to put it on the space shuttle as a replacement for heat tiles. I mean, look at this!!
He says the fire insurance industry is very interested. I imagine so.
Apparently, cigarette cases are becoming more popular as the EU puts more and more offensive "warning labels" on the original boxes (The new versions are going to have photos of diseased organs). I wonder if some day, we'll want to start carrying our own "fry cases" when we go to Wendy's.
You know, I didn't use to mind the anti-smoking zealots like these liars. But now... I don't know. I guess I've learned that the government tends to screw up everything it touches, and so therefore the government should stay out of as much as it can. All I want is national defense, police, currency, and roads. Other than that, I want to be left alone (both my person and my pocketbook). It's not so much to ask.
Don't get me wrong, I don't appreciate the smell of cigarette smoke, so I'd prefer you not smoke near me. (I've also stepped on a number of fresh cigarette butts, and that's no fun). But on the other hand, I object to the government assuming my stupidity and assuming a role as my protector from the EEEEEEEEEEEVVIILLL tobacco companies. No one is forcing me to smoke. I think it's stupid (setting something IN ONE'S OWN MOUTH on fire, honestly!), but it's none of the government's business.
::Sigh:: I want to start my own country. Anyone now of any chunks of unclaimed real estate?
Our education system is a wreck, but I'm sure we're still way ahead of this Russian guy
The great thing about a free-market system is that you can try to sell anything. Even stoolpants.
Terrorist Advisory: Avoid Serbian weddings.
(Via Dave Barry)
Boycott Lexmark! Following software manufacturers' and the RIAA's lead, they've found a way to deprive customers of their rights to use their property the way they want to. Quote:
Would you pay extra when buying a new car for the right to re-sell it? How about for the right to take it to any repair shop you choose? Those are decisions you might have to make in the not-too-distant future.
The sneakwrapping of American law took another fateful step last week with a decision rendered by the U.S. District Court in the case of Lexmark versus the Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers Association (ACRA). The court's ruling -- dismissing ACRA's charges of deceptive practices against Lexmark -- implies that a manufacturer can deprive mass-market consumers of their rights just by slapping a license agreement on its product.
Snooze Button Dreams brings up the relatively new "superhero" BibleMan. Now, when you read that name, you laughed involuntarily. Or at least smiled. Because it's ridiculous.
(Oh, and of course, we have to have the politically correct BibleGirl too.)
Ya know, speaking as a Christian (obviously--See the subtitle of my website), I have to ask: Do we really need a Christian version of everything? I drove by a Christian bookstore today, and they were selling a Christian weightloss book. Now, really, what can they say different?
But "Bibleman" actually borders on offensive: My faith is too important, too real to be reduced to the same level as a cheesy superhero. Didn't we (as a culture) once have a reverential attitude toward God? What happened?
(Via the Snark Hunt. Thanks to Kate for linking me too!)
My little brother sent me a link aboutUltralight Helicopters. These things are small enough to not need a FAA license to fly. The things look like death traps, but it's kind of a cool idea. This one reminds me of those old 20's early attempts at flying machines. Pretty neat.
I know, InstaPundit got it first, but I still think that the new
space laws are interesting. I also think that China's space program might (hopefully) kick off a new space-race.
Virginia's public school system at work.
The Patriette has moved into her new home on the web. Yay!
To anyone who doubts CNN's political bias: Look here
By the way, word to Maryland's first lady. Many share your opinion, ma'am.
I love this picture. Arnold rocks.
I think that if Arnold does what he says he will do, then he should be very good for the California economy. He talks about cutting spending; hopefully he'll follow through.
Also, if he does, I'd love to see someone who combined the moral character and international policies of George W Bush and the economic policies of Arnold. That would be a good president.
This civics quiz is interesting. Once you click on the right answer, a popup window will show up with some interesting statistics for each question. For example, according to a recent poll, 14% of high school seniors thought we declared our independence from France (!) What will we do when these people are old enough to run the country?! It's as bad as Daschle thinking that the president could override Supreme Court decisions. (idiot)
(Via Ipse Dixit)
WORD. Vote Libertarian/Constitution. This president spends like a liberal.
Whew! An hour and a half later, and my new site design is born. If you find anything truly annoying about it--maybe I missed a CSS tag or something--please, let me know! Otherwise, enjoy!
Pardon our dust...
I think I'm going to try redesigning my blog. I dislike this "stock" arrangement, and I think I can do better. And I created a design while I was watching Lilo and Stitch on TV tonight. Anyways, things might look funny for a while.
Oh, BTW, in case you were wondering: Yes, my blog *is* off-limits to the BJU people. However, that's only because it's on a free domain; if I can find a cheap domain name and server, then I can show my friends. If anyone knows where I can get these, please let me know via email to H2OKID-at- Peoplepc -dot-com.
Common Sense and Wonder has a story about one of my hot buttons, emminent domain. The whole concept ought to be utterly anathema to anyone who believes in property rights. The idea that someone could come, knock on your door, and say, "Here's what we consider to be the fair market value of your home, now get out, we need a Wal-Mart" is abhorrent to me. I know, emminent domain is supposed to be used for public works and not just for stealing property to give to developers, but it's so often abused that it needs to be abolished or (at a minimum) seriously reworked.
Anyway, CSaW (That's cool... see-saw, CSaW... Ha!) recommends donating money to the Institute for Justice in response. It's certainly a worthy cause.
UPDATE: In searching through the site, I found the button you now see on my sidebar. Donate!
I'd really love to get this. Something tells me that it's price will keep it on my (figuartive, not Amazonian) wishlist for a long, long time.
Look, folks, I'm sorry for your loss, but when your mom weighs
500 pounds, it's going to be hard to find an adequately sized casket. I'd suggest either custom-building one yourself, having one built for you, or (as my dad has suggested for his own funeral) try using a large trashbag.
Besides that: Why in the world should any human being weigh a quarter-ton? I mean, I'm overweight, so I understand that, but five hundred pounds? I can't believe that anyone could be that overweight without actively trying to be! Anyone want to guess what went on the coroner's report as the cause of death?
Sorry about the intermittent blogging. Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short. I blog when there is time. And that time tends to be on weekends, pretty exclusively.
Anyways, we've had a couple of distinguished guests on campus recently. One was a talk-show host and pundit Armstrong Williams, who came to visit on Tuesday. I'd never heard of him before; he calls himself a Christian, and has "Christian Values." (Which means he's a conservative) I gathered from the Question and Answer time after the meeting that he draws his values from a sort of investment theory. That is, if the action has long-term good effects, it is good; likewise, if it has short term pleasures, but long-term bad effects, it is bad. He sounds like a good guy.
The other distinguished guest we received was the Honorable Steven K. Musyoka, the foreign minister of Kenya. The link (at present) contains a summary of the event. (I've copied the text of the bju summary for when link rot sets in; if you want it, e-mail me.) So, that was kind of neat. I'm told that political candidates tend to come by during election season, so I might even get to hear El Presidente at some point.