Interesting findings in art, technology, culture, and the ever-astonishing strangeness of the human condition. Updated (mostly) daily.
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:: Friday, February 28, 2003 ::
Mexican Dia de los Muertos Dioramas (just a few)
A really detailed site dedicated to the early 60's Starbird Predicta custom car. Check out the Model kit page too.
U.S. Diplomat's letter of resignation. Printed in full (NYTimes):: Thursday, February 27, 2003 ::
The riddle of Baghdad's "batteries"
The Kingdom (online art exhibit)
Fred Rogers died today after a brief battle with stomach cancer.:: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 ::
The Postcard Project. Create an original postcard and mail it for inclusion.
Cells inspire spacecraft.
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of
R.F.I.D. on every product, everywhere. (NYTimes)
Saddam wants a debate with Bush. I can almost hear Bush responding with a typical 'We will not dialog with terrorists', or some other such bullshit. So go ahead, Bush- tell everyone why you want to massacre Iraq's civilians in their homes. Compare Bush's infantile rants about 'evil-doers' and the too-hypocritical 'weapons of mass destruction' with what is coming out of the other side. Which one sounds like the insane, warmongering, tyrannical dictator?:: Monday, February 24, 2003 ::
The problem with corporate radio: The day the protest music died.
Happy-go-lucky, madcap jokester Tom Ridge must have a crony in the air filter business. This week, it appears that duct tape and plastic are out, and expensive air filters are in.
Snapshots of Baghdad. Take a look at the faces of people that Bush and Cheney want to murder in the name of greed and wrongheaded right-wing power gluttony. Each photo has a b/w pdf so you can print them out and wheatpaste to help spread the message that your unelected president has vowed to ignore. Once you've reached the conclusion that these are actually human beings, it may be worth reading about what's on their minds (courtesy of Propositum) as the threat to massacre them builds.
The knee-slapping humor of terrorizing your own citizens. Somebody had better be archiving Ready.gov for future generations to howl at. This entire site reminds me of the filmstrip scene in "Iron Giant" (best animated feature since Snow White, dammit) where the kids are taught to duck-and-cover in the event of a direct nuclear strike on their school. The simple, airplane emergency diagram-like graphics are so dimwitted you can almost hear the government's web designers screaming with delight as they foist this pure hokum to the (by now) suspecting masses.
Barbie is going to get grandparents, as well as an OB/GYN named "Baby Doc" (presumably not the 70's Haitian terror-dictator) who oversees the pregnancy of B's pal Midge (with removable swollen belly).
Children's books of the early Soviet era. Courtesy of Sharpeworld.
Great. The networks are planning TWO DOZEN reality tv shows (nytimes) for the summer.
Huge Belgium Diamond Heist:: Friday, February 21, 2003 ::
The IOCCC (International Obfuscated C Code Contest) is an organization dedicated to those who try to write the most unreadable, awkward C code on earth.
Weapons inspectors are calling U.S. Tips "Garbage":: Thursday, February 20, 2003 ::
With popular support for a war in Iraq rapidly evaporating, Bush is in trouble. While everyone agrees that Saddam is a ruthless tyrant, and is more dangerous to his own people than to foreign governments, the Administration has yet to make a compelling case for how a U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation would benefits the citizens of Iraq. While tactical military plans are easy enough to guess at based on leaks and past history, it appears that the administration is keeping any post-war reconstruction plans hidden. If anyone has seen any documents outlining this strategy, please forward.
Is it really a ceiling if you only need a canned memo to break through it? The U.S. Treasury hit its borrowing limit today. There must be a footnote for this sort of thing in Bush's economic "plan".
A University of South Florida computer engineering professor and 7 others have been arrested for supporting terrorist activity (NYTimes) as part of a pro-Palestinian group today. The specific charges (50 counts) are not yet listed.
There are a growing number of phantoms out there on the streets, and they're making ATM withdrawals in your name. Actually, they're not spooks - its another type of hack, and Citi wants to gag the release of information about it, instead of doing the right thing and going public about its security and cryptographic weaknesses.:: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 ::
Dolly the cloned sheep was put down on Friday:: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 ::
The mark of a petulant dictator. Bush won't let protestors foil his plans to massacre innocents in their homes.:: Monday, February 17, 2003 ::
If war breaks out, UK students are preparing for 60's-style protest
Eastern Europe missed a good opportunity to keep quiet, according to Chirac.
You know its a Monday when you're snowed in under 2 feet and you've just been threatened with total nuclear annihilation! All bow to our new North Korean masters!:: Sunday, February 16, 2003 ::
Thoughts on the Anti-War/Anti-Bush Demonstrations in NYC on Saturday. I went this morning with 2 friends. I wanted to go to lend a voice in what I think is an important issue, as well as to see what the tenor of the event would be. The police had the entire east side of midtown Manhattan locked down tight. It was really similar to a New Years Eve situation, where they keep most of the crowd moving in a circle around the periphery. At every blockaded intersection, people would ask the police how much further they had to walk to get further east. Police would recite back that they 'didn't know' and told everyone to keep moving. People were walking north on Lexington in the 60's in hopes of cutting east on 70th when the demonstration was on 49th an 1st. Police were posted in the lobbies of every condo/hotel so people wouldnt cut through in attempts to get east toward the demonstration. We eventually got through barricades (3) by cutting through the hair salon side-door of Bloomingdales, and two hotel courtyards to eventually get over to 1st ave. At 1st, the police had everyone corralled into blocks. They'd let a fixed number through the gates at long intervals to continue down toward the speaker systems that were broadcasting the speakers. Their goal was clearly to prevent anything resembling a large-scale demonstration. They'd only let a set number of people through every block (we were south toward the U.N.) Very few people seemed to be getting mad at the cops, even while begging to get to their cars/homes.:: Friday, February 14, 2003 ::
Convert your WiFi laptop into a theremin! (not permanently... it'll still be a laptop and all...)
Artists of the Brucke: Themes in German Expressionist Prints:: Thursday, February 13, 2003 ::
Cartography of Excess
US Senator Robert Byrd Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003 Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
The latest threats turn out to be a hoax. The Bush administration is still leaving the threat level at "orange", because a reduction to "lemon" doesn't pack the persuasive punch that a heightened false alarm does.
McDonalds gets sued over a tough bagel.
A really disturbing internal memo outlining how Clear Channel is going to use a possible war as a ratings-grab.
Privacy International has launched a contest to find the world's most stupid security measures.:: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ::
John Lennon Interview (.mov)
Greenspan's Kiss of Death
Representative John P. Murtha (D, PA) on the Pentagon: "They've got some crazy people over there".
The absolutely huge Leonard Cohen Files website.:: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 ::
Now here's a piece of current event news that's a bit easier to swallow: The curse of the missing Dracula statue
Bin Laden coughs up some more vague, threatening rhetoric, and the Republican war machine wastes no time in spinning a flimsly bridge between rogue terrorists and Iraq. Predictable. They should worry more about the obvious link between an illegitimate, dictatorial presidency and a collapsed economy.:: Monday, February 10, 2003 ::
NYC Cops harsh Dell Dude's whole scene. Without the endo, he's just another Eddie Haskell.
Kudos to a few brave nations in Europe for standing up to the warlords for a sensible solution. Email the these governments to thank them for their valuable leadership and their courageous efforts to ensure peace. [France] [Russia] [Germany]
It pays to be a corporate criminal in the U.S. Especially if you're the Recording Industry. The same bunch of loveable characters that call their customers thieves, and pays legislators to subvert the intentions of copyright laws is showing a 235% ROI for illegal price-fixing, all while earning several years interest as an added bonus.
The Vatican is stepping up diplomatic efforts to avoid war. (NYTimes).
Madonna to criticize Bush & the Warmongers in new American Life video.
Life imitates GTA3: Nut Cases take it to the street.
New 'Get Your War On' posted today.
Acacia laughably claims IP ownership of Internet Streaming Media. They appear to be using their position to attempt to strongarm broadcasters into a licensing agreement. (via Chilling Effects)
A record executive and his son make a formal case for freely downloading music. The gist: 50 million Americans can't be wrong.:: Sunday, February 09, 2003 ::
Disney Illustrator and Designer Marc Davis's Haunted Mansion family portraits. I'm looking for some hi-res scans/repros of these... Anybody? The story behind the mainsion. Also, for any amateur cryptographers/linguistic puzzle solvers out there, there's a code painted into one of the Mansion's portraits (the cropped right one in this merged wallpaper) that has yet to be cracked. Let me know if you get it.:: Saturday, February 08, 2003 ::
[Gees up; Hoes Down] "These ten musical gems came to me by way of Greg Warner in Phoenix. A few years back Greg's friend Nigel Morgan found an unmarked cassette-tape on the street in Ypsilanti, Michigan which contained a string of minute-long booty-rap anthems. Apparently some thugged-out white kids with a drum machine had put together a demo tape." From Found Magazine (article) (official site):: Friday, February 07, 2003 ::
[... and dear Lord, deliver us from crazies] A gate-crashing fundamentalist showed up at a National Prayer Breakfast (cuckoo!) yesterday, effortlessly breeched Bush's security (give 'em a break - we we're only on "Code Yellow" then), and handed Dubya an 8-page typed "letter from God" (cuckoo!). The non-denominational Christian minister (who else?) explains that he just goes whereever God wants him to go. You've gotta admire the spunky insanity of these cats. Rest assured, if he didn't look like such a corporate, white, gladhanding Republican , he'd have been pounded into jelly for looking in the
[Stealing from the rich, giving to the rich] Hell hath no fury like a millionaire bilked by a Big Four tax advisor (nytimes). Interesting because this is one of those rare lawsuits where you get to hate both sides equally: On the scamee side, Mimsy and Chad are missing tee-time at the club over the ruckus caused when their 'sure-thing' tax-shelter fell apart. The "we-shouldn't-have-to-pay-taxes-we're-fucking-rich" argument will likely get trotted out by team A. In the other corner, defense will present a corporate client who charged potential customers $1,000,000 - just to hear a sales pitch. If you're anything like me, you're hoping for maximum destruction among all parties involved... kind of like watching a death match between rats and roaches. They should sell popcorn at this squab. The Prada's gonna fly. My prediction is that the lawyers are going to win this one. Big.
[Left foot... Orange!] The at-least-mildly-retarded Bush Administration spun their Twister thingy today seeking a new color and raised the terror alert level from yellow to orange, whatever the hell that means. John Ashcroft, a fundamentalist Christian right-wing civil-liberties hating fascist lunatic who was trounced by a corpse in popular elections, who believes that dancing is satanic, and is scared shitless of a female breast, is apparently trying to tell us that we should be wary of some unnamed, undefined terroristic force (ostensibly other than himself) at some unspecified geographic location, probably somewhere on Earth. Its a good thing that Ashcroft doesn't think that colors are satanic, or this would be reallly confusing. Soooo, does orange mean I'm not supposed to leave the basement? Or does it mean no talking with people with accents today unless I have a loaded gun pointed at them? I keep getting this shit mixed up! How did these buffoons claim power again? God help us.
Lost memorandum to Walt Disney, from the board of the Walt Disney Corporation (from McSweeneys)
The other Monty Python Terry: I'm losing patience with my neighbours, Mr Bush
Snapshots of the real America in 2003: Young, Jobless, Hopeless.
Where did Guernica go? In a gallingly evil move that would have made Darth Vader blush, henchmen at the U.N. have censored Picasso's famous mural decrying the evils of war. Maybe they've already cashed Bush's check?
Of the 40 spam emails I got this morning, one caught my eye because the toy ad made the outlandish claim that the product actually adhered to the tenets of Newtonian physics. Certainly, I'm not to believe that this product comes within acceptible parameters of not violating a single one of Newton's laws! Most other toys I buy online fall directly up to the ceiling and stay there, flaunting their unwillingness to be constrained by such arbitrary whimsy. It goes on to say it satisfies 'more' standards but I'm not sure what they are (hygiene?, punctuality?).:: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 ::
Interview with Terry Gilliam
In a timely announcement, Sir Paul is planning on re-releasing a stripped-down Let It Be, with Phil Spector's arrangements removed.
[Can U Taste the Waste?] Pizza Hut's ad firm hired Ween to write a jingle/song for a disgusting load of crap that apparently passes for pizza in some parts of the midwest called 'The insider'. The ad campaign, entitled 'Where'd the cheese go?' (not joking) touted the fact that the vile chain's cheese-like substance is cleverly stashed inside the faux-pizza. Get it?! Ween's songs, among them "Where the motherfuckin cheese be at?" were roundly rejected, the ad firm fired, and the debris of the debacle is on Ween's phenomenal website for us to listen to. Maybe if they launched a pizza called the 'Baby Bitch', or just licensed 'Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)' things might have gone better between Team Brown and the corporation.
Cisco sees HUGE UPTURN ... of noses! Ha! Gotcha!
Ahh, the irrepressible charms of a devil-may-care billionairess!
A flash of purple lightning striking the shuttle was captured by an amateur photographer as it flew over California. The photo will not be released until NASA is finished investigating it.
Kevin Mitnick talks.
Is computer programming getting too easy? Check out the Esoteric Programming Languages index, and find dozens of ways to make even the most simple tasks extremely challenging. A language with no conditional structure? Why not?! Try Oroogu or Bullfrog. Beating your head against the wall with that quine? This page has it all for the coding masochist. Besides the bonus of a guarantee that Microsoft would never touch any of these babies with a bargepole, you'll have the ultimate techno-elitist cache of having learned how to write Turing-complete code with particle automatons.
Smallpox researchers are seeking help from a few million people to find a cure via SETI-like grid computing.:: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 ::
40% of Gulf War vets are on disability. Yo, Memory Hole.
Objects of Desire: A photographic series by Jackie Alpers
You know the commercial for Gundam (pointy Japanese robots) models? ("Level 5: 26 Hours.") The master index has 'em all, with builder submitted pics too. Who knew there were almost 800 of these things? Want to make a billion dollars? If you can figure out how to automate these guys through small servo motors and minaturized gyros for balance, they'd be the trainset of the the decade.
Nick Simon's Silver-Age Marvel Comics Cover Index: over 1500 covers from the 50s/60s/early 70s.
Fantastic Golden-Age EC Comic cover scans: Weird Fantasy, Weird Science Fantasy, Weird Science, Incredible Science Fiction.
Something might just come along and whack you upside the head, and that something may be Planet X - a "monster planet". At least that's what this distinguised panel thinks.
[Bowling] In the mideastern coastal states of the U.S. there's a sport called duckpin bowling that gained popularity during the first half of the 20th century. Bowlers use a small 5" ball, and pins that have been cut down to match the size of the ball. There are now only a small handfull of alleys that remain open. There's also the very difficult game of candlepin bowling (2, 3) that is played (only?) in New England and eastern Canada that was invented because scoring a perfect 300 in tenpin was thought to be "too easy".:: Monday, February 03, 2003 ::
You must hear the Mary Kay Cosmetic inspirational songs, sung by Mary Kay consultants, naturally. Hot damn this is good stuff. Clap along as they butcher hackneyed showtunes accompanied by roller rink organ before your very ears. I knew there was a reason for this internet thing and this comes pretty close to being it. A thousand thanks, April Winchell.
Astroturf = Fake Grassroots. Get it?!
[Republican Power Grab, Take 74] Comcast is doing its corrupt, irresponsible corporate part to stomp out free speech. They denied ads from an anti-war group during our bloodthirsty president's State of the Union soundbite collection, which ironically had nothing to do with the state of our union, and everything to do with the administration's illogical bloodlust in trying to start a second war when they havn't yet finished the first. I suppose the ultimate Republican ideal would be to achieve a never-ending state of "war" where no limits would hamper executive supremacy and every problem could be blamed on impoverished, desperate foreigners. In Europe, they called this fascism, but this is America, so it can't be the same thing, right? Freedom and flag-waving would be reduced to a jingoistic theat and used to enlist or bully support toward every policy reeking of special interest benefit and closet agendas no matter how economically irresponsible, morally bankrupt, or contraindicitive it was to the nation's founding principles - at least until people realized that the flag didnt mean anything anymore because it represented the selfish goals of members and corporate sponsors of a corrupt political machine rather than ordinary citizens.
[Guitarded] Ah-HA! Finally some photographic proof of the Fender "Hamburglar" legend. I always thought it was on a Foto-Flame Stratocaster guitar, though. This one's on a natural finish J-Bass. The site also has plenty of other fine examples of creativity gone terribly awry. Check the Skeletar, the 9-string monstrosity that only Jam-Band wonk would touch, the aptly titled "Grrr" (don't confuse it with the not-aptly-titled "Grrrrr!!" ), and ... um... the... uh "Wangcaster". And Rock-Paper-Scissors!!! Hell, just read the whole Bunnybass site.
Bob Gruen pictures of the Sex Pistols, The Clash.
Economists worry that this one might turn out to be a bona-fide Depression.
Insight into "Disturbing" Michael Jackson.
[Bush vs. Workers] The party of the rich wants you to work more hours with no overtime pay, and its not just fascist, right-wing, pro big-business rhetoric. They're passing laws to guarantee it.
Mother Jones Interview with John Perry Barlow about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, citizen rights, and fighting the Ashcroft civil liberties stomp online.
NASA has set up a public FTP server to collect and store data relating to the shuttle disaster.:: Saturday, February 01, 2003 ::
Radar images of the shuttle debris trail. Not surprisingly, shuttle debris auctoins abound on ebay. Ah, capitalism.