Interesting findings in art, technology, culture, and the ever-astonishing strangeness of the human condition. Updated (mostly) daily.
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:: Friday, January 31, 2003 ::
More postal service hijinx. A 60-year old guy who was set to retire today went out in a blaze of deviance by forcing a female co-worker to get naked and strut around.:: Thursday, January 30, 2003 ::
The New Continental Divide [The Atlantic] Overcrowded cities on the coasts. Dying rural communities in the interior. The way to save both may be to create a post-agrarian heartland
Finally some outstanding news from Washington, with Congress actually representing the interests of citizens. Senate Blocks Funding for Pentagon Database
The producers of Colonial House are accepting applications for you (individually, or with your family) to hunt, fish, farm, and live off the land in a hut much as colonials would have done 400 years ago. 5 months with no electricity or any of its inheritors.
Stop Bush's Rush to War. Send an email to Congress via this online form. (you can also write to reject Bush's plan to aid wealthy investors)
Edward Ardizzone: Diary of a War Artist. From GMT+9.
Kurt Vonnegut on the State of the Union
The 24-hour comic index - Scott McCloud's (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics) list of comics (all available online) started and completed in a single 24 hour marathon session. Over 200 to read. Another smaller index is at Space-Age's site.
Slip-wearing Barbie axed. Collectors pissed.
When a virus strikes, should the consumer have the right to know what happened from the affected institution?
FReepers: How the right-wing makes itself heard. The Liberal side has theirs too.
8.50 for the whole staff? Careers in web content management aren't what they used to be (from The Register, which has some pretty nice O'Reilly-Spoof tshirts.):: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 ::
The sleeping sickness parasite, which affects millions in sub-Saharan Africa, once merged with a plant, and now uses those subsumed genes to break down sugars.:: Monday, January 27, 2003 ::
The disgusting anti-consumer, pro big media interest group RIAA's web site got hacked again. This time it looks like its been shut down hard. I'm still waiting for my individual membership so they can "protect" my "rights" too.
European perspectives of the Bush's aggressor stance on Iraq.:: Friday, January 24, 2003 ::
The making of a major league baseball:: Thursday, January 23, 2003 ::
The George Costakis collection of Russian Avant-Garde Art.
Amazons of the Avant Garde
Fossils of feathered, flying, tree-dwelling dinosaur found in China.
[Tact, grace, and propriety - GWB-Style!]
Those wacky Japanese are at it again. This time, biker gangs are torturing members of rival gangs by forcing them to eat wasabi and chili peppers. If that's not bad enough, the ladies are fashioning their pubic hair in crude approximations of British soccer star David Beckham's mohawk hairdo.
Your locks won't. An AT&T security researcher found a way to create a master key (NYTimes) for a lock given access to a standard key and a number of blank, uncut keys.:: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 ::
More oil politics: Bush wants to cut taxes on fully loaded SUVs for business.
There's someone selling a perpetual motion machine - that requires "no external power source whatsoever" - on ebay. I can't believe that ebay let 5 morons bid on this thing. Definitely read the absurd second paragraph description. Thanks Metafilter.
Get Your War On - new strips
Has anyone seen the noticed the pictures being published of Donald Rumsfeld over the last couple of weeks? If he doesn't get to slaughter some poor people pretty damn quick, it looks like he's going to bust a vein in his neck.:: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 ::
And the RIAA hopes to make ISPs pay for P2P activity. Further evidence of both the industry and the RIAA's hatred and total lack of understanding of their core market.
Corrupt media conglomerates are calling the shots... In a victory for entertainment companies that are seeking to defend their works against digital copying, a federal judge ordered Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over the name of an Internet subscriber who allegedly made songs broadly available online. Here's the judge's ruling in PDF.:: Friday, January 17, 2003 ::
Sharks in the North Atlantic are in a sharp decline due to overfishing.
Look out Cap Daddy. Mr. Bling got you in check. Get you and your thugz iced out correct up in the 0-3 with new hot low prices!
More vinyl mayhem at Franks Vinyl Asylum
Gorillas Gone Wild! Caught on film!!! Gargantua Photos will take care of your gorilla fetish, buddy-boy!:: Thursday, January 16, 2003 ::
Woodcut(1) artist(2) Frans(3) Masereel(4)
The Bureau of Public Secrets
[BushCo: an unelected presidency of, by, and for the very rich] When Bush crows about how much an "average" U.S. family will get back as a result of his tax plan, take a look at this L-Curve (courtesy of Metafilter), to get a perspective on the extent that the ultrarich statistically skew the "average" with respect to income. If that's not bad enough, factor in his absurd stock dividends tax break, even further distancing the rich from the rest.
Surgical tools are left in 1500 patients every year.:: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 ::
Who the hell are these people who read Pop-up ads then buy from the companies that sponsor them?! Whoever you are, you're screwing it up for the rest of us, according to the disturbing report that they actually work.
["Painted Cake Pie in the Sky" politics] One positive note in the disastrous showdown between the U.S. and North Korea is the bonus surplus of North Korenglishisms that have been flooding our shores. It really breaks the monotony of having to rely on our own English-speaking president to conjure malapropisms and fictional additions to the canon of Beaurocratese.:: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 ::
Gobbles, a hacker group, claims that The RIAA hired them to create a virus system which infects mp3s.:: Monday, January 13, 2003 ::
Lemme get this straight... The U.S. wants weapons inspectors in Iraq. The inspectors are there, doing their jobs. They say that inspections may take up to a year. But yet the U.S. is ammassing huge numbers of troops around Iraq's borders, apparently threatening a bloody massacre... I suppose they're going to just wait around for a year to hear the results of the U.S-sanctioned weapon's inspection program, right? This sounds like another BushCo disaster. In the interest of full disclosure, he should probably just tell the world that he's going to slaughter that country's citizens regardless of what the weapons inspectors find.
[Build a better mousetrap, and summons-carrying messengers of the courts will beat a path to your door] It looks like KaZaA is going to get slapped with a lawsuit by Big Media. KaZaA and others have created a revolutionary new communications network which could be applied in thousands of different scenarios. The only problem is that they've slighted a wealthy dinosaur of an industry who has made their fortune by price-fixing their product and thereby defrauding consumers, so they'll likely get bullied out of existence. Record companies have utterly failed to change with the times and meet the challenge of new technologies and means of distribution, choosing instead to insist that you pay for music that you already own again and again. Your individual rights will probably also be a victim of this lawsuit. Interested in your rights as an artist? Feel free to send a letter to the RIAA and request an individual membership, since they ostensibly are guarding the 'rights' of 'artists'. At this time, an overwhelming majority of artists producing written, recorded, or visual content are individuals who are not represented by a major recording label, so it only makes sense that in the spirit of 'artists' rights', the RIAA must be devoting a majority of their time to the individual artists concerns, right? Wrong. The RIAA doesnt accept individual artists. They don't care about you or your rights. They care about huge media corporations who want to interpret, or worse, ignore, the Bill of Rights to their financial benefit. You'll have to form a corporation to join. You even have to send your membership requests via snail-mail (What else? These people positively hate technology) on corporate letterhead. Once you do, your dues will run $10,000/year. Exersize your freedom of speech while you still have it: laugh in Hillary Rosen's face every time she uses the word 'rights'.:: Sunday, January 12, 2003 ::
"The Bush administration position basically condemns people to death by H.I.V./AIDS," said Adrienne Germain, president of the International Women's Health Coalition. "And we're talking about tens of millions of people." While they're not planning the slaughter of innocent people via Bush's war machine, Republicans are apparently enraged by Americans daring to use condoms. This disturbing story from the NYTimes explains the radical right's bizarre and misinformed war on condom use.
Late 70's/Early 80's horror-punk band the Misfits spawned more than a legion of suburban kids with devillocks. Their vinyl pressing catalog is among the most insanely collectable in the history of recorded music, with intense debate invested to even defining their Danzig-era discography, let alone collecting it.
Onlinecomics.net is a directory of online comic series organized by subject.:: Saturday, January 11, 2003 ::
In an act of true political heroism Gov. George Ryan of Illinios cleared that state's death row due to the penalty's arbitrary and capricious process.
Kudos to Senior White House Press Corps member Helen Thomas, for bravely confronting the Bush administration on why it is the president's bloodlust is going to drag us into an unnecessary war.:: Friday, January 10, 2003 ::
Ebay yanked a family's auction to sell itself. The Dad is a television writer, and thus the premise really isnt that funny, reading more like a milquetoast attention-getting scheme than some of the other freak auctions we've seen.
North Korea removes itself from the nuclear arms treaty warning of a "Third World War". They do say however that they're willing to talk to Washington. Great. That should help.:: Thursday, January 09, 2003 ::
In addition to seeing some of artist John Bull's fantastic traditional Japanese woodblock prints, his website features a walkthrough of each of the painstaking steps he takes to produce a single print.:: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 ::
Time Magazine Online is running a survey entitled "Biggest Threat to World Peace: Which country really poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?" Results are amusing.:: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 ::
There's some good news as well: DVD Jon Johansen was cleared of DVD Piracy charges stemming from his development of DeCSS, which the then 15-year old used to watch DVD's on his Linux computer.
There's no detaching a Republican politician from his greed-motivated politics. Apparently, there's no limits to his galling transparency, either. The faux-president's new economic stimulus plan (NYTimes) is a thinly-veiled scheme intended to benefit only the wealthy corporate criminals he rubs shoulders with. How many uninsured, out-of-work people do you know who are going to benefit from a stock dividend tax break? They might as well throw in a 10% cash-back incentive for yacht purchases and country club memberships while they're at it.
"There ought to be limits to freedom" (-gwb) redux: "Governments can lead by example in cyberspace security" This laughable quote is only the beginning. No surprise here: Bush tramples civil liberties once again by drastically eliminating ALL of the proposals explicitly dedicated to "Privacy and Civil Liberties" in the 'National Strategy to Secure:: Monday, January 06, 2003 ::
The American Dialect Society
Fat Playoffs: Fat Cities vs. Fit Cities. Philly is 4th fattest to Houston's #1.
A guy apparently broke the record for smashing concrete with his groin.
Two huge studies confirm that global warming is shifting biological systems northward.
[You're being watched from above] A giant ring of stars is circling the Milky Way
Microsoft is talking up "Smart Panels", an interactive display that you can take up to 100 feet from the computer that provides its visual content. Good idea, but really expensive, and critics say, cheaper laptops can do much more.
["Come all ye..." or "Come all you..."?] A great directory of Sea Shantys and Sailor Songs:: Saturday, January 04, 2003 ::
Xhoba is an African plant that curbs appetite and restores energy. It'll be fat-city for the first company to get it in pill form.
Art Spiegelman splits from the New Yorker citing the magazine's insane timidity.
Ticketstubs.org features scans of tickets and personal stories of the events that accompany them.
Before Peter Jackson got the Lord of the Rings script, he was in discussions with Universal Studios to write and direct a remake of King Kong for summer of '98 release. Universal pulled out when they learned that a Godzilla remake was being planned for the same year and thought that two giant monsters would be one too many. Take a look at the script he wrote for the King Kong remake that never was.:: Friday, January 03, 2003 ::
Riding in one of those little electric carts at the supermarket.
I'm not sure which is more strange about this story - the fact that the White House's security is so lax that illegal immigrants can walk up and get jobs onsite, or the fact that once you get the job, you're apparently entitled to get pictures with the president, vice president and their wives.
Selma Hayak claims she's being descriminated against in Hollywood because she's Mexican.... Riiiiiight.....
Pea-brained fascist dictator George W. Bush quietly killed off a Labor Department program that tracks mass employee layoffs by corporations. So much for the corrupt administration's "commitment" to how the economy affects anyone but the very rich.:: Thursday, January 02, 2003 ::
[More is more] Steel Battalion for XBox requires the most large and complicated game controller ever built. Over 40 buttons, levers, knobs, sliders. Looks like fun.
Great video of 'Magic Sand' courtesy of Bifurcated Rivets.
PuNx n07 D3aD! MaximumRockNRoll magazine finally has the beginnings of what might become a good website. From such a populist buncha punks, you'd think they would have had something up sooner. Check out their online radio station where its 1985 every day!
Joe Meek: England's mad-scientist recording producer [TelstarWeb] [The Joe Meek Appreciation Society] [BBC] [Jello Biafra has an opinion] [From the compressor company that bears his name] [Joe Meek Lives On!]
Otis Fodder: For the entire year of 2003 (January 1st to December 31st) this page will feature one mp3 file (every day) to download. The content will be focused on musical pieces, but will also include spoken word. Listeners of the incredibly strange and outsider realm take note, for this is the majority of material that will be made available. Obscure and out-of-print recordings will be the primary focus, although once in a while there may be a change.
I just read this 2003 New Years prediction from Creem warhorse Lester bangs on OReilly.net, no less. His predictions are nothing spectacular, but I highly doubt he drifted into a party on New Years Eve with people sitting around listening to the MC5, then wandered across the hall to another party where they were playing Astral Weeks. Please, Lester. If that even *is* your real name.:: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 ::
You don't have to go all the way to Mississippi to get a dose of imbicilic Trent Lott-ish redneckism. In Virginia they OFFENDED by a statue of Lincoln.
Bush sees Iraq and North Korea differently. Whew... I thought he was going to cite that their people are a 'both poor, but a different shade of brown'.
Corporate Swindle: Merry Christmas: You're Fired. Verizon uses stockholder interests as an excuse to treat employees like animals, while "Company officials said the total compensation in 2001 for Mr. Seidenberg, Verizon's chief executive, was $13.4 million, and for Mr. Babbio, $24 million."
Corporate Criminal Hijinx. Tyco's ex-chief Dennis Kozlowski urged tough sentence for embezzler Lets see if this piece of garbage can take what he dishes out.