1. Tech That Should Die?

    brian on 2003.09.30
    at 08:06 pm

    In the MIT Technology Review, Bruce Sterling takes ten technologies to task, and sentences them to death. Some of them are pure genius, but I'm not so sure he had his head on straight when he says "Newfangled electronic-parole monitors and ubiquitous computing offer plenty of opportunities." Well, that's nice but no GPS-equipped anklet is going to stop someone from assaulting or robbing another human being. In fact, this might not even be proper punishment for white collar crime.

    Posted in: Technology

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  2. Overheard at Coolidge Corner

    brian on 2003.09.30
    at 03:02 pm

    While attending to some morning errands, I saw a trio of stumpers at Coolidge Corner (corner of Harvard and Beacon Streets, for non-Boston-area readers), I overheard their mantra:

    "Stop the Cheney-SchwarzeNazi Recall Hoax!"

    That was an interesting start to the morning. Think what you may about the situation, but it isn't a hoax, it's happening.

    Posted in: Politics

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  3. Breaking Political Blog News: Clark and Cam

    brian on 2003.09.29
    at 09:24 pm

    Breaking news from the land of Blog, Cameron Barrett, proprietor of the blog-world-famous is the head of blogging team for Democratic newcomer and presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.).

    A big congratualtions is in order to Cam on this huge new project, and we wish him the best of luck.

    This story was broke by Dave Winer, announcing that Cam will be a guest at BloggerCon 2004 at Harvard this coming weekend. Here's hoping Cam will swing by and say hello at the store!

    Posted in: Politics · Web

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  4. World Beard and Moustache Championships

    jake on 2003.09.24
    at 01:26 pm

    Carson City, Nevada, USA -- November 1, 2003

    Willi ChevalierBlues News pointed me to this web site for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Taking place in the US this year. Pictured here is the freestyle champion from 2001. I enjoyed just going through the gallery and looking at all the wild "designs." Although some are a bit more tame.Picture is from the official web site.

    Posted in: Rant · Sports

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  5. Doune Castle - It's not a model

    jake on 2003.09.16
    at 02:42 pm

    Doune CastleThis past weekend I was pointed to the article about Doune Castle in the local paper. Coincidentally I am giving the Collector’s Edition of Holy Grail to my little bro for his birthday. My friends and I growing up made sure he loved all things Python, he actually requested it as a must have. Well after Soul Caliber II.

    I figured this was a good way to christen the image capabilities I recently added. I had a hard time coming up with the first picture to post. Anything relating to Monty Python is a good candidate in my book. It probably has some bugs to work out, but it seems to be functioning fairly well.

    Now, about that article, the most interesting thing to me is the real history behind the castle. It is one the best preserved castles in Scotland. And though it was built a hundred years later it is in a region where people like William Wallace traveled.

    Overlooking a picturesque river just south of the brooding Scottish highlands, Doune Castle is in a region once roamed by Scottish heroes like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.

    The 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge — in which a force led by Wallace defeated the English — took place eight miles southeast of here. A monument at Stirling pays homage to Wallace, long revered in Scotland but little known in the United States until Mel Gibson portrayed him in the movie “Braveheart.”

    Doune Castle is considered the best-preserved medieval castle in Scotland. It was built at the end of the 14th century by Robert Stewart, the first Duke of Albany, whose story is laced with intrigue.

    Of course people wandering around there randomly spouting quotes from the movie is pretty sweet too.

    Image from Talin’s Illustrated Travel Journal

    Posted in: Movies · Rant

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  6. Ashcroft to visit Boston Tuesday (9-9-2003)

    brian on 2003.09.08
    at 01:56 pm

    As part of his Partiot/Victory Act National Propaganda Tour, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft will be making an appearance at a place that knows a little about freedom, Boston's Fanieul Hall. If I weren't working, I would most likely be there protesting (Here's directions should you like to).

    Why are these two acts bad? Lisa Rein has some great clips and excerpts from Ted Koppel's Nightline to give you some insight.

    I was made aware of Ashcroft's Boston visit by a email. However, since MoveOn lacks any sort of permanent links to things like this, I have nothing to link to from them. I couldn't even find an email address to send my complaint to.

    However, I did find a link from the ACLU who are actively organizing protests for each of the Ashcroft stops. Here's a page where you can find out if Ashcroft is coming to your town, when, and what you can do about it.

    I was thinking: what does this propaganda road show cost the American taxpayers? Should a government be lobbying its own people? And did anyone notice that the stops are all in states the President did poorly in, in the 2000 election? If he's stealth campaigning, shouldn't his campaign be paying for this? What could we do with this money otherwise? Put it towards that $87 Billion we're investing in making a free Iraq/Afghanistan? All while we're whittling away our own freedoms? You could drown in all the layers of irony!

    Posted in: Politics

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  7. Surprise! Monday Apple Updates!

    brian on 2003.09.08
    at 12:48 pm

    In an update best described as "out of nowhere," especially noting the Apple Expo Paris coming later this month, Apple updated several products this morning.

    First new iMacs, same price points for a 15" and 17", faster specs. Now they sport 1 GHz and 1.25 GHz respecitively. The only other differences between the two models now are the optical drives (combo vs super) and the video cards.

    Secondly, perhaps more surprisingly, is a quick revamp of the iPod line. Apple swapped out the 15 and 30GB models for 20s and 40s! Prices remain the same.

    And it wasn't even a Tuesday…

    Posted in: Apple · Technology

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  8. Bush's Update on Iraq

    brian on 2003.09.08
    at 12:49 am

    $87 Billion, please. Thank you.

    Perhaps George could put this one on his tab.

    Posted in: Politics

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  9. Reading between the Smiles

    jake on 2003.09.02
    at 07:04 pm

    Wired's Culture section has news of a new pair of CD's to teach people how to read small expressions. Apparently many of us have trouble reading them.

    "These expressions tend to be very extreme and very fast," said Paul Ekman, professor of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and an expert in the physiology of emotion and nonverbal communication. "Eighty to 90 percent of people we tested don't see them."

    Looks like an interesting thing to study to me.

    Posted in: Science

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