1. Metafilter community saves Russian women from human trafficking.

    jake on 2010.05.21 at 11:40 am

    This is way too big an event to simply “share on Facebook.”

    A user on Metafilter gets contacted by an old friend and student about coming to the States and getting a job in NYC. She traveled from Russia with a friend and her communications started raising flags that she might be in over her head. Worried that human trafficking might be involved and distant from the situation our hero starts a thread at Metafilter and the community goes to work…

    Help me help my friend in DC. (via Boing Boing)

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  2. A Good Day for the Internet

    brian on 2008.11.05 at 12:03 pm

    Tuesday, November 4th, Americans participated in a historic election. Record number of voters turned out to vote. When the returns were in, people in cities across the nation took to the streets in celebration, as if their town had just won the World Series.

    But a few other things happened that went almost unnoticed yesterday, that are relevant to our discussion on this blog.

    First, the election of this historic figure, Barack Obama, may not have been possible without today’s Internet. The Internet has played a significant role in at least the last two elections, but this campaign was different. The level of sophistication has reached a threshold level. In technological terms, household and business bandwidth and penetration have increased significantly since 2004. This allowed more people to use the Internet to learn about the candidates, discuss their opinions, like previous years, but more so.

    But this year we had much improved social tools to motivate and organize voters and volunteers. The official campaign website listed no less than 16 social networks they were active on. We had wide-spread text messaging and services like Twitter distributing precisely timed messaging directly to people’s phones. This was the first truly mobile-enabled election in the United States.

    One thing the Obama campaigned used their Twitter account for was notification of live streaming web broadcasts of their candidate’s many speeches. I think this was a key breakthrough for campaigns. Prior to this, it was difficult to see a candidate deliver an uninterrupted, unfiltered, un-sound-bitten speech. In a world of 24-hour new networks, this is the next step.

    Not only did they stream their live speeches, but then they archived them for any-time watching on their site, and they also made excellent use of YouTube as a distribution service. I’m on record for saying I hate the term “Web 2.0” but the things that people lump under that title… almost all of them contributed to the victory of the Obama campaign.

    But the most interesting part is yet to come.

    Mr Obama is a savvy fellow. He knew he had to build upon the groundbreaking technological grassroots (the so-called “netroots”) movement of the 2004 Howard Dean campaign. Luckily, Governor Dean is the current chair of the DNC. The people who backed Governor Dean never stopped developing and helped build Mr. Obama the most effective campaign in American history.

    After this amazing integration of technology and human get-out-the-vote machinery, will an Obama campaign move forward with making the White House more open to citizen involvement? Don’t forget, Sen. Obama was behind the legislation that created a public website that allows citizen to see how the budget is being used.

    Mr. Obama supports net neutrality. Also, Mr. Obama will be the first President with an iPhone.

    Lastly, one other thing remarkable happened yesterday. Broadband in the United States got a huge shot in the arm when the FCC OK’d the Unlicensed Use of Television White Spaces.

    If that means nothing to you now, it will. WiFi makes use of unlicensed radio spectrum to provide wireless, fast Internet in small spaces. The so-called “White Spaces” may have the same effect, except it will cover the same territory of broadcast television signals. That’s huge.

    In all, yesterday was a good day for America, democracy and technology.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events · Technology · Web

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  3. News: I'm Apparently Going to Grad School

    brian on 2007.07.24 at 02:56 pm

    On a lark I signed in to the University of Massachusetts’ website this morning to check the status of my grad school application. There had been some trouble with them finding various things sent to them, not to mention my belated MAT test scores.

    There at the bottom of the status page, it stated

    It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been accepted to the University of Massachusetts Boston. Your official letter has been mailed.

    So, barring any unforeseen issues, this fall I will be enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston persuing a Masters in Education for Instructional Design and Technology.

    I will continue to work full time, and if I pull A’s, my company will be paying my tuition. That’s a wonderful perk. And of course, I will be blogging the revolution er, my education.

    Posted in: Design · Recent Events · Technology

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  4. Michael Vick Is Inhumane (probably)

    brian on 2007.07.18 at 11:51 am

    If Michael Vick is found guilty, then I think he should hang. Or be electrocuted. Or his body slammed on the ground until he dies. Or death by firing squad.

    These are the ways federal officials accuse Vick of killing numerous dogs that were otherwise raised to participate in dog fights – usually battles to the death.

    So, in the same vein, I guess it would be OK if we treated Vick like a bull in a ring – stabbed until he succumbs to death.

    I guess you could say I have zero tolerance for animal cruelty. Do unto others…

    Instead, I doubt he’ll serve a minute in jail, pay a fine that may not even amount to one day’s salary for him, and the NFL will likely give him couple days off as “punishment.”

    I suggest instead that he be banned from professional sports and his fortune given to charity. May I suggest the ASCPA?

    (this is a little off topic for this blog, but this is something I feel strongly about, and I have more readers here than on my other, anything-goes blog. Also, thx to Jess for bringing the story to my attention initially. )

    Posted in: Rant · Recent Events · Sports

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  5. So it Goes, or, What I say when people ask who my favorite author was.

    brian on 2007.04.12 at 10:06 pm

    Kurt Vonnegut has passed away. He was 84. You very well may have heard about this already. I’m happy to see that he’s getting a lot of press in his death. He would probably find humor in this. I really should have read cite>Man Without a Country when it was published. Here are a few good articles on him,

    So now, what the hell this all means to me.

    I don’t tend to read novels. Why not, I have never really been able to nail down. I’m reasonably certain that people look down upon me over this. I mostly avoided reading them in high school. I think the main reason was I would pick them apart, “No one would really do that.” It was the fiction of it.

    When I was in high school, I had to write a book report. No way I was going to get out of it without actually reading something. (Not that I didn’t/don’t — I read too much — just not long fictional novels) A friend of mine suggested I look into his favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut.

    I ventured up to the school library and found Welcome to the Monkey House. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of it. Even Google had trouble finding it. That’s because KV was much more famous for his long fiction than his short stories. This was a collection of the latter. It became an instant favorite of mine. A satirical humor, a cutting wit, that just stuck a chord with me.

    Ever since that day, I’ve repeated in my head “I should really get one of those book of his that’s actually famous.” Today, I’m sad that I have not yet. I’ll have to choose one that’s not so science-fiction-y. To the chagrin many of my friends, I just can’t stand it. Ray Bradbury cured me of sci-fi books in middle school.

    When people ask me who my favorite author is, I cite Kurt. I feel a bit like a fraud having only read one of his books (but, heh, technically many of his stories) but it serves the purpose. Definitely my favorite fiction book. Plus, KV is a “cool” person to cite as your favorite author, so it’s a great cover. Guess the secret is out. But whatever my personal history with the guy, it’s clear his passing has had an impact on me, and so it goes.

    I think I’ll start with cite>Slaughterhouse 5, or, A Children’s Crusade. That seems like a safe bet.

    Posted in: Books · Recent Events

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  6. I hope you're having a Happy Halloween

    jake on 2006.10.31 at 03:38 pm

    It is very difficult figuring out if this is an awesome Halloween or a crappy one. I’m stuck at home sick today. This means I don’t get to dress up later and play Frisbee. It also means I get to watch scary movies all day and keep up the spirit in my Halloween pajama bottoms and a Halloweeny t-shirt.

    Being healthy and playing Frisbee is probably the optimum choice. Especially since it’s a typical cold that lends itself to being feverish and sporting a scratchy throat. If anything I write today sounds silly, just assume it’s the cold medicine.

    Here are some more Halloween themed links for any last minute preparations you might have.

    Have a Super Spooky Halloween!

    So everyone have a wonderful day. Now that The Price is Right is over I can concentrate on relaxing and trying to scare myself.

    Posted in: Art · Cool Info · Holiday · Recent Events · Web

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  7. Wired Releases AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Information

    jake on 2006.05.22 at 05:28 pm

    Earlier today Wired released the information from former AT&T technician, Mark Klein. This all revolves around the NSA wiretapping debacle and includes a followup to explain.

    Former AT&T technician Mark Klein is the key witness in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s class-action lawsuit against the telecommunications company, which alleges that AT&T cooperated in an illegal National Security Agency domestic surveillance program.

    Why isn’t there more of a fallout for crap like this?

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  8. Kevin Smith talks back

    jake on 2006.04.03 at 11:50 pm

    Kevin Smith came under fire for a speech he gave at the University of Pennsylvania. He recounted the story of his buddy Jason Mewes battle with addiction. The problem is that everyone is jumping on the few sentences that include Jay sleeping with Nicole Richie. Which I have to imagine only happened because of her being in the spotlight. I won’t debate her worthiness of such attention but I’d like to point out Kevin’s attempt to get the whole story out.

    Since the gossip sites have seen fit to print only the portion of the Jason Mewes story I told at UPenn (that portion being what said sites seem to feel is the only interesting aspect of Mewes’ life), I figured why not put the whole tale of Jason’s battle with drug addiction into print here, where folks can get a better idea of who Jason truly is and maybe why he fell victim to heroin abuse in the first place.

    The story is a good example of what drug addiction can do to you and the people around you.

    Update: Added more parts.
    Update 2: And another part…
    Update 3: man, how many parts are there gonna be?
    Update 4: Finally, the conclusion.

    Posted in: Movies · Recent Events

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  9. Jill Carroll Freed

    jake on 2006.03.30 at 12:17 pm

    Well I haven’t been remotely politial for months. But I just had to point out the fact that Jill Carroll has been free by her captors.

    Jill was captured on January 7^th^ enroute to interview Iraqi politician Adnan al-Dulaimi. Thankfully she has been released.

    Boing Boing has been keeping up to date on this issue for the last couple months.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  10. Link Dump; Curve Ball, $ 10 Color, Cheap Fireflies, Magdalene Sisters

    jake on 2006.03.02 at 05:12 pm

    Well today is another birthday for me. I am now a whopping twenty-seven years old. I’ve discovered two new famous-ish people to add to the list of people who share my birthday.

    Here are the people I didn’t know…

    • Bryce Dallas HowardBryce Dallas Howard – Not only is she cute, but she’s going to play Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3. I guess I’ll have to start watching all her movies or something. One time this crazy lady at the store claimed I looked like Bryce’s dad, Ron Howard. I’m not sure what that lady was smoking.
    • Daniel Craig – Oh great, now I have to stick up for the new James Bond every keeps making fun of. Well maybe not that much…
    • Lou Reed – Co-founder of Velvet Underground
    • Tom Wolfe – Author of The Bonfire of the Vanities
    • John Irving – Author of The Cider House Rules
    • Heather McComb – Actress from a bunch of different random things. Also married to Dawson. He’s actually a few days older and originally from a neighboring town. And has a couple indirect connections with me.

    And the ones I already knew…

    And finally some random tidbits I wanted to share.

    Update: Added some more birthday people…

    Posted in: Movies · Recent Events · Science · Television

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  11. 1000 Executions in the US.

    brian on 2005.12.02 at 10:02 am

    The 1,000 US citizen since 1977 has been executed by his own government. 121 countries around the world have banned state-sactioned executions.

    The top four countries who execute their own citizens are China, Vietnam, Iran, and the United States.

    Additionally, 80% of executions are carried out by southern states. Texas has nearly triple the number of killed citizens, 354, for the next most deadly state, Virginia, 94. South Carolina will be executing its 35th citizen in a few days.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  12. New Legislation in Washington

    brian on 2005.12.02 at 09:29 am

    Two pieces of legislation pending in Washington. We’ll start with the more serious of the two.

    By creating a federal agency shielded from public scrutiny, some lawmakers think they can speed the development and testing of new drugs and vaccines needed to respond to a bioterrorist attack or super-flu pandemic.

    The proposed Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, or BARDA, would be exempt from long-standing open records and meetings laws that apply to most government departments, according to legislation approved Oct. 18 by the Senate health committee. “AP report”:

    This is a bad idea. The government that we pay for should be open to our scrutiny.

    Number two, on the lighter side, is a la carte options for cable and satellite television.

    A la carte would allow cable subscribers to pick and pay for individual channels rather than being forced to buy packages. A parent, for example, could pick Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network — and not have to take MTV or other channels they may find objectionable as part of a bundled package. “AP report”:

    This is a good idea. If you buy a house, you’re not forced to take all the furnishings inside. If you go to buy groceries, you’re not forced to take whatever the supermarket puts into the basket. Why should I have to buy five Christian religion channels, 10 foreign language channels, 10 children’s channels, five shopping channels, or anything else I wouldn’t otherwise support? Consumer choice is always a good idea.

    Interesting twist, conservatives in Congress are for the a la carte option. Normally, they would be against anything that tells a business how to do business despite the government’s role of keeping businesses in line. The interest in a la carte for conservatives is seen in the quote above, people who don’t want to see MTV or CNN or anything but religious channels can simply opt out of them.

    Most cable companies (but notably not all) are expectedly against a la carte, stating that it would thin the choices in television programming. I’m tired of the cable companies choosing my programming. I bought a TiVo to filter out all the junk that’s on my TV. But, I refuse to buy the highest, most expensive cable packages just to get the Outdoor Life Network, or Speed Channel. You can keep the religious, foreign and children’s channels… give me the WRC and Le Tour de France. And cut my bill while you’re at it.

    Posted in: Media · Politics · Recent Events · Science

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  13. I wish I could stop hearing about the fake “Cyber Monday”

    jake on 2005.11.30 at 05:26 pm

    I started getting frustrated by Mr. Kottke’s blind regurgitation about “Cyber Monday” but luckily he was put straight by a couple other readers.

    “Cyber Monday” (Notice those quotes?) is in fact a press release from an online retailer. It’s actually a wonderful work of fiction. Business Week sets us straight (from Forevergeek)

    For most online retailers, the bigger spending day of the season to date was way back on Nov. 22, three days before Black Friday. What’s more, most e-tailers say the season’s top spending day comes much later, between around Dec. 5 and Dec. 15.

    DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. So what’s up with this Cyber Monday idea? A little bit of reality and a whole lot of savvy marketing. It turns out that, an association for retailers that sell online, dreamed up the term just days before putting out a Nov. 21 press release touting Cyber Monday as “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.”

    Gotta love how all the news outlets follow blindly after reading a press release. Anyone have a good idea for a ludicrous press release we can send out?

    Posted in: Rant · Recent Events

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  14. A NOLA Insider's Slideshow

    brian on 2005.09.10 at 09:12 pm

    A pretty fascinating slideshow from Alvaro, a New Orleans resident who stay through the storm… and then found a few days past that it was time to get out of town.

    A real insider’s view.

    (I had this open in a tab, and have since forgotten its origins…)

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  15. Donate to help Katrina Victims

    brian on 2005.09.01 at 08:51 pm

    Please give what you can to help those in the path of Hurricane Katrina.The American Red Cross

    Last night I gave to the American Red Cross. I had to decide between them and AmeriCares Domestic Relief Fund. I gave to the Red Cross in the end, hoping that perhaps my company might start a matching drive, and in the past they have given to the Red Cross. Today, I found that my friends at 37 Signals were matching their blog reader’s contributions up to $5,000. All you have to do is email your donation confirmation to Jason Fried. Maybe my donation will be matched several times.

    The web is mobilizing in response to the catastrophe. The always first-class Craigslist is doing what they do best… they sprung into action with new sites for cities hit the hardest. They are a great resource for people trying to find each other, help, and housing.

    Additionally, the people behind have set up a housing website, for people who have space to let someone without a home settle in until things start to improve.

    In addition to my donation, I’m hoping our good site’s stance with Google will help spread these links…

    Update— Apple has put up a donation link via the iTunes Music Store.

    Posted in: Recent Events · Weather · Web

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  16. National Guard Deployments and Katrina Relief

    brian on 2005.08.30 at 01:43 pm

    Despite reports that the National Guard has enough troops to respond to the growing disaster in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina around the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama region, I’d still be much more comfortable if the National Guard was, um, guarding the nation.

    About 35 percent of Louisiana’s National Guardsmen and 37 percent of Mississippi’s have been deployed to Iraq. Shouldn’t we have 100% of our Guard available at home?

    Someone had their email read on CNN yesterday asking if the world would send help to the US, like the US sent to aid Tsunami relief. Whereas I understand where he’s coming from… we send enormous amount of aid to the whole world, more than any other country, and get very little credit for it. However, there are two truths, one, we are the richest country in the world, and we can afford to give. Two, you can’t buy friends. We will be judged by our actions, not our dollars. And the world will look at our actions they don’t like before the ones they’re thankful for. And the world is looking at our actions in Iraq.

    In recent years our National Guard has seen more deployments overseas. I think that’s a role for our full-time military and reserves. The National Guard belongs at home. 100%.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events · Weather

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  17. Big Storm Brewing

    brian on 2005.08.28 at 11:11 pm

    Should I get excited about a category five Hurricane with its sites on the mainland? Well, I certainly fell sorry for those who will face destruction, but I get excited even when weather catastrophes are baring down on me directly.

    Usually, I get to enjoy blizzards, but we’ve had our share of hurricanes in New England, as well. I think the worst was a Cat. Four, Bob, I believe. That was back when I was Connecticut native. And I vaguely remember Gloria, when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

    Well, I am happy to see the Weather Channel has gone to all-Hurricane coverage, since I’m such a geek who likes to see reporters get soaked and blown around.

    I’m looking for some good webcams to checkout, since the main landfall should be both on a city and during the middle of the day.

    The downfall of my plan is the certain power loss when the storm gets good. I was thinking, if a municipality had solar powered WiFi antennae on their street lights, they could form an ad-hoc network through out a city, allowing city state and federal authorities to broadcast lots of information with their constituents and receive equally useful info.

    I realize this is a bit of a pipe dream, but imagine what could happen if this network were in place. Let’s just talk about the emergency usage. First off, officials would have a very fast connection to emergency bunkers that wasn’t dependent on wires that can be blown down. Wireless mesh networks that can patch themselves (like the internet itself) if intermediary nodes go down, would allow excellent connections for emergency personal. Real time images and maps.

    For citizenry, you could receive evacuation routes and much more specific and up-to-date info that you could listening to a radio broadcast. You could get the whole story regardless of when you tuned in. Of course, you’d have to have energy efficient portable and good wireless reception. iBook, anyone?

    It would very impressive if you could co-op private WiFi routers as nodes for the emergency, but of course, this brings up the power issue again. Perhaps a car battery plus a 12v-120v power converter… but now we’re in serious geek/hacker category. But with a volunteer geek corp, you could get some really useful webcams, uploads of still and video images. Useful for neighbors to know what’s going on, micro-casting of local news, really; and useful to emergency personnel who would have so many more eyes and ears.

    MIT has a rooftop network experiment for community networking that could serve as a model for the networking. Add WiFi routing / access points powered the way those highway call boxes are, with the little solar panels. With the close nature of housing in the northern suburbs of Boston, reception would be easy. It would be great.

    Who’s in?

    Tangentially related: NOAA Podcasts

    Posted in: Recent Events · Weather

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  18. Guitar Solos, Storm Harvey, Fictional Critic, How to respond to jerky emails

    jake on 2005.08.04 at 12:44 am

    In this installment of link dumping we have some interesting tid-bits for all you readers out there. I’ll try and give my thoughts on the latest Harry Potter book if I get a chance. I finished reading it today.

    Posted in: Movies · Music · Recent Events · Web

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  19. Homeownership

    brian on 2005.07.29 at 11:27 am

    Yesterday Amanda and I signed approximately 3702 pieces of paper and we are now officially homeowners in the city of Medford, Massachusetts. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Medford is a northern suburb in the Boston Metro area. If you’ve ever heard of Tufts University, we’re about two blocks from that.

    It’s exciting and scary. Homes are so expensive (and we only bought a condo) around here that there’s naturally some trepidation in regards to the financial burden you’ve just put yourself under. I mean, wow, if we’re not firing on all cylinders, how will we pay the mortgage? They wouldn’t have OKed me for this loan if I couldn’t pay for it, right? And like many people in this housing market, we’re afraid we paid too much. I heard an interview on the radio the other day with an area real estate rep and she stated the Boston market still could not supply enough first time home owners with housing within their price range… in other words the market isn’t going down anytime soon. Other people say the bubble will burst. Based on our experience buying, I’d have to agree with the former… but then again, to part with the money we just did… wouldn’t we have to buy into that?

    Read on for much more on our first time home buying experience thus far

    Read More

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  20. Judge John Roberts

    brian on 2005.07.20 at 01:05 pm

    Here’s some information on President Bush’s nominee, Judge John Roberts

    • Roberts appears to want to limit the scope of the Endangered Species Act, and in papers he wrote while in law school he supported far-right legal theories about “takings” which would make it almost impossible for the government to enforce most environmental legislation.
    • He opposed clean air rules and worked to help coal companies strip-mine mountaintops.
    • Roberts worked to keep Congress from defending parts of the Voting Rights Act.
    • As a appeals court judge, Roberts ruled that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to some prisoners of war.
    • Roberts argued that schools should be able to impose religious speech on attendees.
    • Roberts wrote that “Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” He also weighed in on behalf of Operation Rescue, a violent anti-abortion group, in a federal case.
    • As a lawyer he argued (and won) the case that stopped some doctors from even discussing abortion.

    If that disturbs you, here’s a petition you can sign to ask your representitives to oppose his nomination as your lifetime proxy on the highest court in the United States. And by the way, since this links to, just to mention, there’s been some talk that MoveOn is some sort of ultra-leftist organization. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Read their stuff and see if it aligns with your own. Don’t let some talking head on the boob-tube tell you what to think.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  21. Private Warriors

    brian on 2005.07.16 at 01:54 am

    I just finished watching an episode of PBS’s Frontline called Private Warriors. It details what’s going on with the Pentagon’s use of contractors in its wars.

    The US has traditionally used contractors to ferry cargo across the world to it, or provide provisions, etc. But never has the government used so many contractors in so many positions. In fact, contractors are the second largest force in Iraq.

    There are tens of thousands of contractors in US war zones right now. Many carrying guns. But none of those gun-toting people have accountability outside of being fired. None of them have the intelligence or communications that soldiers in their positions would have. If someone dies, who is responsible when someone dies? Or kills an Iraqi? And if one of those contractors who is doing a very important security detail decides he wants to go home… can. A soldier cannot just decide to leave his watchtower without repercussion.

    Most importantly however, is the fact that an Iraqi doesn’t know who is a US Soldier representing the citizens of the United States… and who is an unaccountable contractor.

    Clearly there is a place for contractors, but perhaps when we take a look at who we have in there and what they’re doing, that maybe we should reconsider exactly what’s going on over there.

    You can go to PBS’s website and watch the entire episode, free. Well, since PBS is partially funded by your tax dollars, you’ve already paid for it. It’s a great resource and I would hope more of their episodes get archived there.

    Come to think of it… since many in the government are trying to cut the funding of PBS, perhaps they’re doing to good of a job. Get this info before they shut ‘em down.

    Posted in: Media · Politics · Recent Events

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  22. Watch le Tour

    brian on 2005.07.12 at 01:40 pm

    Hey, if you’re in the Boston area and have Comcast cable, they’ve added the Outdoor Life Network so that you can watch Le Tour De France. If you’re in Brookline, you’ll find it on channel 62.

    Side note: Dear OLN, why bother having the official American lTdF website if it is going to be so dreadfully slow? You attempts to style and brand the site is one of the reasons your site is so handicapped… you’re sucking bandwidth. Your costs are going up and readership down. I won’t wait a full minute for your site to load through my fast pipe. I’ll get my web coverage from the Tour Blog and ESPN’s Tour Tracker.

    Posted in: Bicycle · Media · Recent Events · Sports · Web

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  23. Citizens Respond to London Attacks

    brian on 2005.07.07 at 01:41 pm

    In light of this morning’s bombing attacks in London, you may be interested in the web community’s reaction, and one place to look would be on Flickr. There is a London Bomb Blasts group with (at this moment) 200 pictures.

    It kinda sucks that a good number of the pics are TV captures and web page screen shots. But it’s the in-betweens that are golden citizen photographic journalism.

    One interesting pic that is a screen shot is this one

    Well, the picture is uninteresting, other than the BBC site is swamped… but the comments are cool… BBC employees are responding to the picture, and commenting on server load.

    You’re not going to get this on TV, radio or in newspapers.

    Update: See also WikiNews and WikiPedia for more outstanding citizen-based reporting.

    Posted in: Media · Photography · Recent Events · Web

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  24. Link Dump #43.6727

    jake on 2005.06.22 at 04:57 pm

    Well my PowerBook is back, my frisbee team isn’t doing too well and I got to see Batman Begins yesterday (my thoughts in a following post). But I haven’t posted in a few days, so let’s give anyone reading out there a little tidbit of what I’ve found interesting recently.

    Posted in: Movies · Recent Events · Web

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  25. To Serve Man

    jake on 2005.05.31 at 03:44 pm

    Let’s try this again shall we? The post last night for Revenge of the Sith posted but ecto spit back some errors I couldn’t work out before having to get some sleep.

    To Serve Man

    There is an episode of The Twilight Zone —based on a short story—where aliens come to Earth and trick us into trusting them. Coincidentaly it was released on March 2nd, which happens to be my birthday. Not the same year of course.

    Mr. Chambers! Don’t get on that ship! The rest of the book, “To Serve Man”, it’s… it’s a cookbook!

    I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidense but that is what the Billboard Liberation Front put on their protest of McDonald’s corporation.

    From: Boing Boing

    Posted in: Recent Events · Television

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  26. Breaking News: Auto Accident at Beacon and St.Paul St.

    brian on 2005.05.24 at 11:53 pm

    Brookline Citizen Journalism Experiment

    We interrupt your regularly scheduled weblog with…

    Two car accident at the intersection of Beacon and St. paul Streets in Brookline at about 8:30pm Tuesday evening Two car accident at Beacon and St.Paul Sts, Brookline, MA 2004 May24

    St. Paul Street traveling south is being rerouted via Parkman to Powel, which intersects Beacon one block further east, and via Pleasant which intesects Beacon two blocks further West (just east of Coolidge Corner)
    Two car accident at Beacon and St.Paul Sts, Brookline, MA 2004 May24 Alt angle

    More info and pictures coming. Watch this space for updates.

    UPDATE 1: Two pictures, both facing south on St. Paul, Beacon crossing left to right. Green Line train at the St. Paul T-Stop, heading inbound to Boston. Apologies for the poor night time photography, and iPhoto doesn’t quite have Photoshop’s abilities yet. Maybe I’ll adjust levels in PShop later, speed is important in the breaking news business.

    Update 2: The car closest in the picture had major damage to it’s passenger side read door. It’s a compact, I believe a Toyota Corolla. It was struck by a larger sedan, I believe a Toyota Camry, which struck the Corolla with its passenger side headlight, which you can see better in the 2nd picture, but crumpled the hood pretty good. The weather very well could have been a factor, seeing that it was pouring thanks to the nor’easter.

    As I walked up the street to get to the scene, an ambulance was just leaving the scene. I saw no occupants of either car still on scene. Several police officers, their cruisers and the flat-bed wrecker truck, all of which had the scene cleaned up by about 9:15pm

    Update 3: Backstory: I was watching some science show in my living room when the fire trucks pulled by. No big shocker, it happens all the time, we live on one of their favorite routes. They passed, I un-paused the TiVo. But minutes later I hear loudspeakers and seeing flashing blue lights. I determine out our bay window that Brookline Police had blocked off St. Paul one block north of Beacon and were barking directions attempting to redirect traffic.

    I suit up in my rain gear and boots grab the camera and walk down the block. Then I hustled back to upload the pictures. If I could find my damn USB cable… and that leads to now, in which I now wait to see when/if this report’s been picked up by Universal Hub the Boston area’s citizen journalism hub and general place to read blog rants.

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  27. More and More Everyday

    brian on 2005.04.01 at 01:36 am

    More and more everyday our country is being silenced by its GOP leaders. It’s come to the point where young Americans who disagree with their President are identified and removed from public events where the President will speak, prior to the event.

    The un-American actions of the Republican party have been also documented in the Denver Post.

    The President is even embarrassing us overseas, as the Guardian reports the same un-American conduct even to one of our last allies in Britain.

    Why isn’t this front page news, or leading the nightly network news broadcasts?

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  28. Torturers Even Disgusted

    brian on 2005.03.17 at 01:13 pm

    I’ve refrained in recent months from posting a lot of political commentary here, because it was simply making me angry. I wanted our blog to be a more upbeat place. Well, after reading a piece in the Boston Globe, I must break my vow of silence.

    It seems that things are getting so bad at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, that the Navy wanted to pull out of all involvement with the interrogation proceedings. Earlier, the FBI had similar concerns. This is an outrage.

    How many year can you torture someone, and continue to get new and current and pertinent information out of someone you’ve had in detention for several years? Does this make sense to anyone?

    And all of this leads me to ask, has there ever been an administration in our White House more criminal than the current? I mean George II is beginning to make Nixon look like a Teddy Bear. And that analogy makes the bear’s name sake, Theodore Roosevelt (the greatest Republican president) simply roll over in his grave.

    This President is leading this country down the road of international ruin.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  29. Rumor Sites under Scrutiny

    brian on 2005.03.10 at 02:13 am

    I’m trying hard to keep my opinion about this whole situation to myself, but since Chuq has come out and written a very nice blurb on the whole situation, I simply must link him here. His family’s background in journalism helps him speak with authority.

    To me, it’s sad, some of the people in the blogosphere I respect the most are getting this one quite wrong. But differences in opinion are OK.

    Posted in: Apple · Recent Events · Web

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  30. Blizzard Post #3 - Pics

    brian on 2005.01.26 at 12:40 am

    So, as threatened, I’ve posted some pictures on Flickr.

    Here’s my set of pics I took on the way to the ceremonial digging out of the car. Now featuring car-roof-high snow drifts…

    Blizzard of 2005!

    Posted in: Photography · Recent Events

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  31. Blizzard Post #2

    brian on 2005.01.23 at 04:47 pm

    We’re still snowed in here in Brookline. We’ll brave the blizzard in an hour or two to start digging out the car. We may not need the car tomorrow (see the next sentence) but we want to start working on it. Amanda already has the day off tomorrow as her school district called the morning to inform her. I am surprised enough that I have today off, that the wheels of American commerce have ground to a halt for a day. We’ll see about tomorrow. The city of Boston has already called school off for Tuesday as well.

    I’ve been looking at a lot of pictures of the storm from the surrounding area, and a good deal of them are posted on Flickr, a free, online photo site, which has attracted the attention of bloggers of late. I decided to sign up for an account to play around with it. The biggest thing people have been loving recently is the “tagging” feature (meta data, ‘folksonomies’) where if you put, say a ‘Boston’ tag on a picture, you can see all the photos on Flickr that are Boston related. You can also cross reference, like ‘Boston’ and ‘Snow.’ Very cool. I currently post all my pictures online via my dotMac account, which is an enjoyable experience, from the stellar iPhoto experience, three clicks and you’ve got a pretty gallery.

    Recently, I’ve been thinking about doing something with a better integration with the weblog. All I can do with a dotMac gallery is link to it, and I cannot link directly to any one picture. Also, the code, while robust, is terribly heavy… and I cannot edit the layout or code.

    With Flickr, you can integrate RSS/Atom feeds and other direct links to your blog. However, everything is Flash based for display, which is great for cool transitions, and may be slightly lighter code. Good and bad, too. But has a community aspect… Also, Flickr has an upload utility for Mac OS X, and someone has made an open-source plug-in for iPhoto 4

    I think ultimately, I will have to build my own gallery. I’m trying to find something that can integrate with Textpattern, something I’ve installed on my own domain, which I’m trying to build up some personal, online stuff. I think I’ve figured out the theory of TXP, which is a little complex, but that means power in the long run. Plus the code download is tiny. Tiny is beautiful.

    And speaking of beautiful, I certainly hope my attempt will look half, half as good as this gallery. Phenomenal.

    Posted in: Photography · Recent Events

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  32. Texas School bans opposite sex day

    jake on 2004.11.17 at 07:46 pm

    A school in Spurger, Texas switched one of the days of spirit week because a dim witted parent complained and got The Liberty Legal Institute to back her. So much for liberty.

    Here we have a common gross generalization that gay individuals dress like the opposite sex being used to push the fight against the "homosexual agenda." What the hell is the "homosexual agenda?" As far as I can tell it's, "Hey! We want equal rights!"

    According to the tradition, boys and girls reverse social roles for one day during homecoming week. It lets the older girls invite boys on dates, open doors and pay for sodas. It also calls for guys to dress like girls -- and girls like guys.

    That doesn't sound anything like acting gay, it sounds more like gender reversal. Oh wait, that's what it is... This is pretty much like powder puff football games where the football team cheers from the sidelines and the cheerleaders play football. It's all in good fun.

    And the wonderful thing it was replaced with was "Camo-day," where you look like you hsould be carrying a gun. "I'm sorry sir, you can't wear that skirt, but here, put on these symbols of war."

    I'd go to school in pink camo if I lived there.

    From: MeFi

    Update: Retuers has an article about this with some details about the actual day. It also included a quote from the mom who started the whole thing.

    "It might be fun today to dress up like a little girl -- kids think it's cute and things like that. And you start playing around with it and, like drugs, you do a little here and there (and) eventually it gets you," Davies told reporters.

    Apparently Delana Davies thinks that by dressing up and acting like the opposite sex for fun will lead to the students doing it all the time, like a drug. I think Davies is on drugs. That is the most ludicrous thing I have heard in recent memory. Kinda one of those Lewis Black things.

    At least some of the kids are as rebelious as me.

    Despite the change from TWIRP Day, Hunt said some of the students stuck to the old tradition and wore clothes of the opposite sex.

    "I understand from the superintendent that some of the boys dressed in pink shorts anyway," he said.

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  33. Jake's first robbery

    jake on 2004.10.07 at 04:30 pm

    The story

    Well I received my first criminal act last night. Just like Brian's it was not too terrible. It could have been a lot worse.

    I came home from work a little after 5:00 and noticed my back door was unlocked. The outer door was still locked so I assumed I just forgot to lock it when I left. I entered and went about my daily routine. Opened up Peanut Butter and went out front to get the mail.

    A few minutes later I went into the bathroom to put something away. As I was leaving the latrine I noticed glass all on the floor under the kitchen window.

    Now I started to panic, what's going on, why is the window smashed through? I start to think, wait, PB was there, and my TV and stuff. What's going on?

    Looking around the apartment there doesn't seem to be anything missing. Computers, check. TV, DVD player, PS2, hey wait, where the heck is my GameCube?!? It's gone!

    So are almost all my games, including the PS2 ones. Well that's pretty f*cked up. How come they just took the GameCube? I looked around again, still nothing else seemed to be missing. That's bizarre.

    I called the cops and relayed the info to them. I called my parents (my mom works for my insurance agency so it was a double whammy.) Thank God I have insurance. And I called my band mates, as I was supposed to go to rehearsal.

    The aftermath

    So now I have a report and if the thieves try to pawn it I know the GameCube's serial number, etc. What a pain in the ass though.

    I also notice they took all the money out of my change jar. I'm not sure how much, but last time I emptied it I got almost $50 after the machine at the grocery store took it's "commission" (yes I'm too lazy to roll it myself.) And they took all my collected coins, nothing significant, just nostalgic things I got from relatives or my own personal travels. They missed the only coin I'm confident is worth anything.

    So it really wasn't something like they cleaned me out and now I have to worry about losing work, and re-buying things like crazy. But it's still unsettling to know a couple of losers broke into my living space and made off with stuff. Even if I don't get to play video games as much as I used to. Now I don't even have the memory cards with all the saved data on them. I get to start from scratch on everything.

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  34. What the f....

    jake on 2004.09.16 at 05:45 pm

    I have two things to talk about here that have pissed me off recently.

    You mean it's all the way over there?...

    I have been suffering from a lovely sinus infection and today I forgot my meds. So I drove home (about six miles) around lunch time. On the way back I witnessed a Hummer pull out of a parking lot with a bunch of stores. Drive about twenty feet. And turn right, into a group of office buildings about one hundred yards from the main road.

    Thank you Sir for being so lazy you couldn't walk across the street and instead had to drive your monstrosity of a vehicle and damaging the environment that little bit more that it needed.

    Spam that makes me sick.

    At work one of my crappy daily tasks is to sift through the general email account for the company. It naturally was displayed prominently on the corporate site (before I came along and changed it) and enjoys hundreds of spam messages a day.

    In reading one of these messages I found what appears to be not only a virus laden message but also a phishing scam. Only it's not asking me to go to some random bank web site and enter my account info. No it's asking me to donate money directly to a man in Latvia who's wife was killed and daughter injured in the terrorist takeover in Beslan, Russia. It's one of those messages with embedded things (besides the virus) and tones of junk text to get past spam filters, it's definitely spam.

    Dear Brothers and Sisters.
    My wife Karina was lost in result terror at school of city of Beslan, and 11-years daughter Alina, now to be in the Central Krasnodar hospital, in very heavy condition.

    At her a gunshot wound and strong burns. The daughter constantly calls mum. I do not know that to me to do. I would not want to live. I live only one dream: to see the daughter healthy, happy that she went and it was pleased lifes.

    I live and worked two years in Latvia on earnings and dreamed to return back. As long I was in distances from a house as I regret that have left them and consequently could not save them, I never shall forgive to myself. You see with it it is impossible to live! I am simply compelled to ask about the help of everyone who may help ours grief. As soon as Alina it becomes better we for ever we shall leave from here where all reminds a pain of loss. I shall be glad to any answer and any help. I am sorry for my bad English.

    What followed was allegedly bank information for where you should send your money.

    I got that less than a week after the incident. Who could stoop to such a level and use the victims of a terrible incident as sympathy to try to illegally get money. It just boggles my mind.

    Posted in: Rant · Recent Events

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  35. Freak accident, cousin hit by boat

    jake on 2004.08.30 at 03:12 pm

    I just got a call from my mom with an update to her cousin's condition. (my second cousin? I never remember how that stuff works) Some background, on Saturday evening around 6:30 my cousin was swimming in Rogers Lake in Old Lyme, CT and was struck by a power boat. He was pulled out and Lifestarred to Hartford Hospital. The problem was not being struck by the boat, it was being unconscious under water for over five minutes.

    After family members resisting the doctor's idea to pull the plug yesterday morning he opened his eyes yesterday and responded to simple commands like, "move your hand." So while he's not totally ok, hopefully it'll just be a matter of rehabilitation and he'll pull through.

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  36. Governor Schwarzenegger makes odd reference to old SNL characters

    jake on 2004.07.20 at 05:59 pm

    I'm surprised at the reaction to Arnold's statements. Some are saying it's sexist and homophobic. While I agree it's a stupid comment, and can be viewed as sexist because it implies that women are weaker, why is it homophobic? Regardless of whether he is or not, I don't recall the skits on SNL to highlight anything against being gay. They were simply pointing out the types on insecurities that some "beef cakes" have with themselves. The need to lift weights constantly to try and be better than their peers.

    Instead of trying to look deep into the statement we should take it as it is. A remark made about a bunch of "wussy" competitors, by a guy who likes to throw quotes from pop-culture into his speeches. Even if it is stupid and irresponsible.

    Boing Boing

    And being the geek that I am this reminds me of how when I was in Latin I in High School and these skits were being run (at least around that time) my best friend started jokingly calling people, "Puella Vir."

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  37. Happy Birthday Donald

    jake on 2004.06.11 at 02:16 am

    Donald Duck hits 70 in style From: Boing Boing

    Posted in: Recent Events

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  38. Where have I been?

    jake on 2004.06.10 at 07:26 pm

    I figure I’ll try and post some actual things tonight after work, but since I’ve been dormant lately here’s some wacky things from Reuters.

    • Human Time Capsule – A Japanese man was found dead, in what seems to be a squatters apartment, after 20 years. I just wanna know if, besides the “pajama-clad skeleton,” someone documented the findings. No one had been in there for 20 years, it’d be interesting.
    • Players’ Wives Give Team Lucky Strip – Some significant others of the Russian soccer team posed naked to perk up the team for Euro 2004™.
    • Update: No Sex Before Games, Please, Says Germany Doctor – Poor Germans, while the Russians will be “getting a boost” from their wives and girlfriends, they have to go cold turkey.

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  39. Man claims he told FBI about 9/11

    jake on 2004.06.04 at 12:18 pm

    A man is claiming that he was involved in the 9/11 plot.

    A congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks confirmed that in April 2000 an unnamed "walk-in" source told FBI agents in Newark, New Jersey, that he "was to meet five or six persons," some of them pilots, who would take over a plane and fly to Afghanistan, or blow up the plane, NBC said.

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  40. 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

    brian on 2004.05.25 at 01:39 pm

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2004.

    Included on the list is the State of Vermont, under siege again by the Wal-Mart Corporation.

    Also, Nine Mile Canyon, called "the world's longest art gallery" for its 10,000 Native American rock-art images, is threatened by the Bush Administration's plans for extensive oil and gas exploration. Nine Mile Canyon is located in a remote part of east central Utah. The canyon is said to contain the highest concentration of monochromatic prehistoric rock art in North America. Nine Mile Canyon is also an area with many diverse historic sites from the days of pioneer settlement, such as stagecoach stops, ranch buildings and settler’s cabins.

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  41. Gay donation banning

    jake on 2004.05.24 at 01:45 am

    Tom makes a good point in reference to banning of sperm donations. He brings up the ban on blood donations too. I find it very discriminatory. The ban started in 1985 during the HIV scare. Considering that little thing I like to call knowledge this ban should have been lifted years ago. It's kinda like using the "sanctity of marriage" when discussing stopping homosexuals from marrying while the divorce rate is so high. Argh... I have to go to bed before I break something.

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  42. T Riders to be stopped for ID?

    brian on 2004.05.23 at 01:19 am

    Don't Tread On Me - The Gadsen FlagAccording to this Globe article and numerous TV news reports, the MBTA apparently plans to start asking passengers for ID, and inquiring about their travel plans. Sounds like the East Germans asking for your papers, eh?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for rail safety and realize the state of world, and its anger against the our brilliant American leadership. But damn, if America has to give up the whole "Don't Tread On Me" platform we were founded on, what have we left to secure?

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  43. Friday tabs, including Optima, Naked Rollercoaster riding, SBC strike

    jake on 2004.05.21 at 06:51 pm

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  44. Brian's First Mugging

    brian on 2004.05.11 at 02:22 am

    Basically it went down like so. I was walking around the Lechmere Canal, about half way from the mall to the train. I saw two black teens, probably no older than 15 loitering in the darkest section of the wide brick walkway. The walk way isn't terribly dark, honestly. I wasn't too far behind some other woman, but there was apparently no one behind me.

    They started towards my walking trajectory. One faster than the other, as to get on either side of my path. My instincts at that point sounded the alarm. That's not right. My liberal side kicked in "Don't stop walking because they're black. They're dressed cleanly, although very urban, that doesn't mean they're going to do anything. Lots of people mindlessly walk into people's path."

    At this point they were on either side of me.

    "Yo. Give me your wallet"

    "Hey now, come on. Stop it." I say as I try to push by.

    "No, man, wallet, give it up." He restates. It feels more like they're just going to try to bully me. I don't see any weapons. Maybe I can just walk through them.

    "Knock it off." At this point I'm paraphrasing everything, cause I don't remember the words, just the motions and images.

    "Give it up, man. I'm serious." At this point, I see the glimmering blade of a buck-style pocket knife, about three inches in length being held into my gut with light pressure. "Give me your wallet."

    "Alright, alright. There's no need for any of this. Can I just give you the cash, keep my license and stuff?" I attempt to reason with teenage assailants with a knife.

    "Yeah, yeah." Go figure.

    I whip out the cash and hand it over.

    "What else you got in there?" Referencing my bag. Shit, I think.

    "Nothing, I don't have anything else." I try to say as exasperated and pathetic as possible.

    One guy reaches in and see my phone, pulls it from the bag.

    "Oh, come on." I say. "Give that back, what do you want that for."

    "He's going to call the cops if we give it back." One says to the other.

    "Why bother?" I reason. "They'll never catch you anyway. I'm not going to call them. No point."

    "OK, give it to him." The fat one with the knife, the ring leader, says. Skinny one gives it back. Go figure.

    "What else you got?"


    "OK, don't be calling the cops now."

    I get out of there promptly. Honestly surprised. Not so bad for being "violated." Is this the feeling of violation? Why did they do this? They didn't look like typical thieves. They were dressed cleanly. They probably wore those clothes to school. They weren't thorough, and almost polite. I must have been lucky with a couple of rookies. Their whole life of crime ahead of them. They were probably a little scared, too. But as the street would teach, they hid it well. You never show weakness.

    I walk quickly to the train, and get on with little delay. I didn't call the cops, rather back to the store so they could alert mall security. I wasn't concerned too much with the police, as I was with preventing this from happening again that night to someone else. Security could do that. Their presence alone deters. People, attention deters. But, the cops would likely not catch them, unless they were really stupid and hung around there.

    When I got home, there was a message from the store that the police responded to their call instead of Mall Security. The cops usually have a presence in the mall. They want me to call them directly a file a report, because despite my description has passed along by the store, they can't file a report with anything less than a first hand description. I haven't called yet. I'm debating as to whether its even worth it.

    Mugging seems like such a nice word. Armed robbery with a deadly weapon is pretty fearsome. It turns out that this is one of the most common offenses in this area of Cambridge, in fact the biggest other than vandalism. But the analysis doesn't make me feel any better, because I and some many others have to walk that path twice daily.

    What an odd last month: get an awesome new job, treat yourself to a cool new bike for commuting. Have a great time in California training for two weeks, come back, next day find out my Grandfather has unexpectedly passed away. Work my first few days at the fun new job until driving 600+ miles in two days for the services. Hurt your back in at the service carrying stuff. Come back to work, can't ride the new bike thanks to the back injury, enjoy another few days of work, and then get mugged on the way to the backup transportation. Whenever you get a high point, there's life looking to knock you back down.

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  45. Prison writing class stopped; compositions ordered to be destroyed

    jake on 2004.04.21 at 02:48 pm

    This is just crazy, and it happened in "my backyard." Well, at least in my state. Inmates taking a writing class at the York Correctional Facility in East Lyme had their hard work thrown out after one of the class won PEN American Center prize.

    "It flies in the face of the First Amendment," Lamb said.

    Department of Correction Commissioner Theresa Lantz halted the writing program March 29 after learning that inmate Barbara Parsons Lane had won a $25,000 PEN American Center prize for her work on the 2003 book "Couldn't Keep It To Myself: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters."

    From Boing Boing

    Update: A follow up post from Boing Boing links to two NYTimes articles declaring the prize money will be given. Too bad they wanted to destroy the work, that's still unacceptible.

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  46. Libya Returning from the Fringe

    brian on 2003.12.21 at 04:11 am

    A fascinating account in the Guardian of the past two years of diplomacy between the UK, Libya and the US which led to the announcement this past week that Libya would abandon all WMD programs and allow intrusive international inspections to ensure accordance. In return the UN and the US have dropped their sanctions against the outcast country. Very interesting is how Libya's network of intelligence sources is now working to name terrorists, instead of organizing terrorist strikes themselves.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  47. Current Events Spam

    brian on 2003.12.14 at 03:06 pm

    Found in the junk-inbox just now:

    "Sender: News Service, Subject: Saddam Captured.. Get it first with Dish, Sent 11:34:47 AM EST"

    The body of the email was mainly images (purposely blocked by's anti-spam utilities, thanks) but the text at the bottom was actually just a news blurb, no selling nor porn. I'm not curious enough to load the pics, and give away my existence. Instead, I'll bounce it back to them, as I do about a hundred times a day, spamming the spammers.

    Posted in: Recent Events · Web

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  48. Snow, snow, snow

    brian on 2003.12.08 at 03:26 am

    If you're in the US, then you likely heard about the mammoth snow drop this weekend.

    If you're curious how it hit my abode, check out the web gallery I have put together on how my neighborhood fared under enormous snowfall.

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  49. Awesome Blackout Links

    brian on 2003.08.16 at 01:10 am

    Cam Barrett has an awesome piece up on the blackout, linking to fellow NYC blogger's stories and pictures of the Great Blackout of 2003. For the record, even though Massachusetts was shown all the maps as being effected, only a very few, Western Mass. areas were affected. New England has its own grid that interfaces with the one that went down, but ours protected itself a little better from the domino effect than others, apparently. The Boston area didn't even flinch, luckily.

    How I found out about the blackout: I was speaking with a father and son who were inquiring about a 12" PowerBook. He pulled out his RIM Blackberry Phone which has a news headline "Four States and Canada Lose Power." "Sounds like that could be terrorism, hey?" He said, almost nonchalantly.

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