January 04, 2005

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Rev. Donald Sensing, SundaySermons: Tsunamis and the presence of God

I am struck by how this 2,500-year-old prophecy fits to what is happening in the countries stricken by the earthquake and tsunami. I don't think Isaiah had in mind the disaster and the international relief efforts being mounted. I do think the word of God is often multivalent and speaks to many more aspects of the human experience than its narrow, original context. Listen again to this part:

    "Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you ... the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you."

Edomeabove_1Critical Section - Home

Here are some pictures from the Tropical Island dome; a converted zeppelin hanger which is now a beach resort in Eastern Germany. This building is three football fields long, and taller than the Statue of Liberty.

VDARE.com: 01/02/05 - Tom Wolfe—Clear Eye For The Different Human

With the 1979 publication of The Right Stuff, a brilliant non-fiction account of the men involved in the Mercury program, Tom Wolfe completed a titanic decade and a half in which he revolutionized American journalism.

He then set off to become the greatest satirical-realist novelist in the English language since his idol, Evelyn Waugh. With his third novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, he has attained that goal.

It’s the story of a brilliant hillbilly virgin's first half year at Dupont U. (primarily Duke U., where Wolfe's daughter Alexandra graduated in 2002) and the three seniors she attracts—Hoyt, the George W. Bush-like alcoholic frat boy; Adam, the nice but dorky intellectual; and JoJo, the only white starter on the NCAA champion basketball team.

The Diplomad: More UNreality . . . But the Dutch Get It

Well, dear friends, we're now into the tenth day of the tsunami crisis and in this battered corner of Asia, the UN is nowhere to be seen -- unless you count at meetings, in five-star hotels, and holding press conferences.

Aussies and Yanks continue to carry the overwhelming bulk of the burden, but some other fine folks also have jumped in: e.g., the New Zealanders have provided C-130 lift and an excellent and much-needed potable water distribution system; the Singaporeans have provided great helo support; the Indians have a hospital ship taking position off Sumatra. Spain and Netherlands have sent aircraft with supplies.

The UN continues to send its best product, bureaucrats. Just today the city's Embassies got a letter from the local UN representative requesting a meeting for "Ms. Margareeta Wahlstrom, United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance in Tsunami-afected countries." Wow! Put that on a business card! And she must be really, really special because she has the word "coordinator" twice in her title!

VDH's Private Papers

China's navy is readying deployment of ballistic missile submarines. Although I do not believe they are out to destroy Western civilization, as are the Islamic fascists, I do expect them to rise and challenge US power, at least in Asia. Our strategy with China has been to pursue trade and business in order to export democracy and hope the population tastes some perestroika and glasnost. Do you think this is working? Will it be another twenty years before the hard-line government softens?

Hanson: A billion people with $500 billion in reserves will find military power commensurate with their economic and regional power. You are astute in describing current US policy, that a volatile China will liberalize under the weight of consumerism and economic freedom before turning imperial and using the lucre against its neighbors. The jury is out. What is not out--is the need to reassure Japan that we are behind it no matter what. If Taiwan, Japan and the Koreas go nuclear, then the China Sea will be the most dangerous place in the world. A final note: someone in China isn't very bright; someone allowed on its immediate or nearby borders the following: nuclear India, nuclear Russia, nuclear Pakistan, nuclear American bases, nuclear North Korea, and if it is not careful far more to come. So I don't see the Chinese running rough-shod all over the Pacific, like the old Japanese. But no doubt, in the immediate area and in certain resource rich areas of the globe, the US is going to have to be wary of a new Chinese military presence.


An Eye for the World: American Museum of Photography

Shotaro Shimomura XXI (1883-1944) was Chairman of The Daimaru Inc., a department store chain that traces its roots to a single store opened in Kyoto in 1717. Mr. Shimomura was named President of the company in 1907 and toured Europe and the United States the following year to study the management of department stores. He took these photographs on a subsequent trip around the world in 1934 and 1935, prior to establishing a subsidiary trading company.

January 4, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CES 2005: Form, Function and Stylin': "Tech movers and shakers descending on Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show will find that when it comes to hot new gadgets, it's all about the accessories. -washingtonpost.com"
On Washington Post: Technology

Lockheed, Northrop Face Defense Cuts: "Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. would bear the brunt of proposed cuts in U.S. weapons purchases totaling $30 billion over the next six years, according to the summary from a Pentagon budget document made available to Reuters Monday. -Reuters"
On Washington Post: Technology

Samsung develops 21-inch OLED prototype: "South Korea's Samsung Electronics has developed a prototype OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display that it says is the largest yet made by any manufacturer."
On InfoWorld: Top News

U.S. online holiday spending rose 25 percent, study finds: "Tempted by lower prices and a wide selection of goods, U.S. shoppers clamored to the Web this holiday season, spending $23.2 billion, or 25 percent more than in the previous year, according to a survey released this week."
On InfoWorld: Top News

Blog reading explodes in America: "About 32 million people in the US read a blog in 2004 but less than half of Americans know what a blog is, says a survey."
On BBC: Technology

No End in Sight to Supply of Cheap TV's: "Industry experts say that the financial trouble of one of the biggest Chinese makers of television sets will not affect the market much."
On New York Times: Technology

Do Nanotech Products Live Up to the Hype?
On NanoApex News

Myths Run Wild in Blog Tsunami Debate: "As people gathered online to discuss the horror of the South Asian tsunami on sites known as Web logs, some bloggers said it had to be the government's fault."
On New York Times: Technology

January 4, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's...... THE ARTS!

Figuring out Dennis Quaid: "It says a lot about actor Dennis Quaid that he should currently be starring in two movies that are poles apart -- a big action-adventure set in the desert and a light-hearted domestic drama in which he plays a salesman shunted aside by the latest bright young lad."
On CNN: Entertainment

U2 video to premiere Orange Bowl: "NEW YORK — The video of the hit song All Because of You by Irish rock band U2 will be shown in public for the first time during halftime of Tuesday ni..."
On USA Today: Entertainment

George Harrison added to Oxford biography: "LONDON — Beatles guitarist George Harrison, actor Nigel Hawthorne and Harry Secombe, one of the stars of The Goon Show, have been added to the Oxford ..."
On USA Today: Entertainment

Court still shielding Jackson evidence: "LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Less than a month before Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial is scheduled to begin, the court continued a pattern of shiel..."
On USA Today: Entertainment

Record US box office high in 2004: "Ticket sales at the US box office reached a record high in 2004, despite a fall in the number of moviegoers."
On BBC: Film

Uncensored debut for Potemkin: "A newly reconstructed version of 1925 Soviet film Battleship Potemkin will be shown at the Berlin Film Festival."
On BBC: Film

NIGHT & DAY: "Johnny Carson, who turns 80 this year, doesn't venture out much anymore from his Malibu estate."
On NY Post: Entertainment

HOWARD SLAPPED WITH $IRIUS AD TAB: "HOWARD Stern has been kicked off four radio stations and — he claims — slapped with a $200,000 advertising bill for all the plugs he gave Sirius Satellite Radio last year."
On NY Post: Entertainment

THE STARR REPORT: "NBC's Brian Williams and CBS' Dan Rather report all this week from southeast Asia on last week's devastat ing tsunami — Williams for the "NBC Nightly News" and Rather for both the "CBS Evening News" and tomor row's "60 Minutes Wednes day.""
On NY Post: Entertainment

January 4, 2005 in Entertainments, Trivial and Other | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Blather and Spew from the Columnists

O Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood: "NEW YORK The question that haunted me upon my arrival in America in 1985 was a highly unusual one. Despite the practical challenges of adjustment, it was perfectly impractical: How are one people so p...
[in International Herald Tribune]
On The US News: US Editorials

Europe and America: A tale of two systems: ". Populations in the United States and Europe are both aging, but Europe is aging faster. In addition, European public pensions are more generous and retirees are more reliant on them. To sustain thes...
[in International Herald Tribune]
On The US News: US Editorials

Stunning lack of accountability in use of Tasers: "Stun guns -- known generally as Tasers, the brand name of the biggest manufacturer -- have been linked to more than 70 deaths by police officers in the United States and Canada in the last four year...
[in San Francisco Chronicle]
On The US News: US Editorials

Deciphering the bombast of Osama bin Laden: "It is hardly news that Osama bin Laden does not share the Enlightenment value placed on a citizen's right to vote for a representative government. Nonetheless, the latest audiotape from the Al Qaeda l...
[in International Herald Tribune]
On The US News: US Editorials

William Pfaff: Soft-power victories: "Europe’s soft power continues to chip away at America’s armor."
On IHT: Editorials

Looking ahead: We must do better in ’05: "Was 2004 really that horrible a year, or does it only seem that way?"
On The Telegraph: Opinion

Orwell's nomineefor AG - Gonzales: "Richard Cohen: Somewhere in the U.S. government is the person who came up with the idea of fusing the wail of an infant with the incessant meow from a cat food commercial so as to torment detainees at Guantanamo."
On New York Daily News: Ideas & Opinions

Tyranny's great temptation: "While the elections to be held this month will be a definitive moment in Iraq's history, the worsening situation has led some to speculate whether the war has been worth the cost. And while reasonable people may differ on this question, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry crossed a line yesterday."
On The Washington Times: Opinion/Editorial

'Not so darn fast': "Not ready to give blessing to same-sex marriage"
On The Washington Times: Opinion/Editorial

America: Just another imperial power?: "Leisure & Arts"
On OpinionJournal

A Pall Over the Mall: "WERE THE NATIONAL Park Service free to do as it wishes, it's quite possible that memorials on the Mall would be encased in bulletproof, blast-proof, thermoplastic synthetic resin designed to ensure that the public and the nation's landmarks would never meet. What other conclusion can be drawn? In a sad parody of the paranoia that has encased Capitol Hill in bollards, jersey barriers and checkpoints, the Park Service now wants to permanently close a parking lot at the Jefferson Memorial and erect more anti-vehicle barriers east of the Lincoln Memorial. This latest proposal comes on top of an earlier Park Service decision to erect a 34-inch high wall on the northern, southern and western sides of the Lincoln Memorial. Having successfully closed the parking lot at the Washington Monument, Park Service officials are now apparently emboldened to place even more of the nation's best known democratic symbols off-limits to local residents and visitors to the nation's capital. That is, if the public and their representatives in Congress let them."
On Washington Post: Opinion

Live Free and Die: "We love the myth of the wild horse, but the reality is a grim picture of overpopulation."
On New York Times: Opinion

Rude awakening to missile-defense dream: "Russia's recent test-fire of an advanced mobile ICBM renders national missile defense a fantasy."
On Christian Science Monitor: Commentary

January 4, 2005 in OpEd | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bombs, Billions, Business As Usual

Baghdad governor assassinated: "Gunmen assassinate the governor of Baghdad as at least 10 people die in a blast in the Iraqi capital."
On BBC: World

Israeli shell kills seven in Gaza: "Seven Palestinians are killed by Israeli army fire in Gaza, sparking furious words from leader Mahmoud Abbas."
On BBC: World

US intensifies its role in relief: "Its aid is proving crucial - and may lift America's image."
On Christian Science Monitor: All Stories

Wild Weather Continues: "Forecasters predict new round of storms with snow, rain as California copes with heavy precipitation"
On Foxnews: U.S. & World

U.S. May Add Advisers to Aid Iraq's Military: "The top commander in Iraq is reviewing a proposal to add hundreds of U.S. military advisers to work directly with Iraqi units."
On New York Times: International News

GOP Abandons Ethics Changes: "House Republican leaders last night abandoned a proposal to loosen rules governing members' ethical conduct, as they yielded to pressure from rank-and-file lawmakers concerned that the party was sending the wrong message."
On Washington Post: Top News

More Women Opting Against Birth Control, Study Finds: "At a time when the medical community has been heartened by a decline in risky sexual behavior by teenagers, a different problem has crept up: More adult women are forgoing birth control, a trend that has experts puzzled -- and alarmed about a potential rise in unintended pregnancies."
On Washington Post: Top News

Congress expects $100 billion war request (USATODAY.com): "USATODAY.com - Congress expects the White House to request as much as $100 billion this year for war and related costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional officials say. It would be the third and largest Iraq-related budget request from the White House yet."
On Yahoo! News: Highest Rated

January 4, 2005 in Global | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 03, 2005

Let a Million Videos Bloom Online

The grassroots movement to post "vlogs" makes amazing viewing, and the growing audience may give them an increasing impact

Following in the footsteps of text blogs, video blogs are starting to take off on the Internet. This new form of grassroots digital media is being shepherded along by groups of film makers and video buffs who started pooling publishing tips and linking to each other in earnest this year.

January 3, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker" - Review

157912322801_sclzzzzzzz_The book weighs almost ten pounds and boasts 68,647 brilliant cartoons from men and women I've admired for years.

OK, the book actually only boasts 2004 cartoons, but the accompanying 2 CDs carry every cartoon The New Yorker had published up its release.

Let's talk about the book. Like I said, sure it's big and heavy, but it's hard to explain just how imposing the whole vibe of the book is. I mean, there it is, right on the cover. THE COMPLETE CARTOONS OF THE NEW YORKER. It's like the cartoon library of congress on my bookshelf.

I can't seem to get past the feel that it's a weird sort of reference book, to be placed next to dictionaries, atlases and the like at my local public library. But it's also a history text. No matter what "it" was, you can probably see what was going on and how we felt about "it" for the last 80 or so years. And then again it's just this great big cartoon collection to be browsed and shown to my incredibly patient wife who's trying to read her magazine thank you very much.

January 3, 2005 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 02, 2005


Elders' Sea Knowledge Spares Some Thais: "Knowledge of the ocean and its currents passed down from generation to generation of a group of Thai fishermen known as the Morgan sea gypsies saved an entire village from the Asian tsunami, a newspaper said Saturday. " On AP Science

Thousands of Seals at Home in New England: "It's a sight New Englanders aren't entirely used to seeing: thousands of seals swimming through the Long Island Sound or hauling out to Maine, where they like to have their pups. " On AP Science

Summary Box: Busting Up a Comet: "BIG BLOW UP: NASA scientists later this month will send the spacecraft Deep Impact (named after the 1998 movie about a comet headed for Earth) to blast a crater into Comet Tempel 1. " On AP Science

The Future of Calamity: "In seven hours last week, great ocean waves exacted a terrible price in wealth and human lives. Future catastrophes may be far grimmer." On New York Times: Science

God vs. Darwin: "Centre Daily Times,---... Voltaire was"a French atheist" and"a disbeliever in revealed theology" and changed ... percent of the vote here -- and its cultural values are Christian, with an ...::" On theology News

What is Social Medicine?: "Monthly Review,---... In the late nineteenth century the striking advances made in pathology and microbiology made social factors seem less germane in the etiology of disease. ...::" On Microbiology News

Teaching evolution at Christian college: "Crossmap Christian News--... prospect as a biology professor at Olivet Nazarene University -- teach pure creationism and deny his knowledge gained from a Ph.D in microbiology, or teach ...::" On Microbiology News

January 2, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mondo Bizarro

Tricks of The TradeOn Madville.com

Morris man was 'playing' with laserOn Madville.com

Mouse causes auto accident by climbing inside the driver's pants

Haiti Checks Want Ads, Considers Occupation: "After 200 years of lackadaisical self-employment, the nation of Haiti is considering taking up a new occupation, likely from the United states. "A full-time occupation will take away some of your day-to-day freedom, but there's a lot of benefits as well," says Mbangbar Whodoo, part-time Secretary of the Interior for Haiti. "Without good medical coverage, like you get with an occupation, it's really hard to get by when you have an accident like we just did.""
On Glossynews

Best of Bongo News 2004On Bongo News

Queen takes a tumble during lavish banquet:"IOL"
On Azerty.co.uk

Snowball Effect & More: Tonight on IFC!: "TODAY, New Year's Day, the Independent Film Channel will be airing the incredible, excellent "Snowball Effect" documentary at 6:00 PM, 9:30 PM and 12:30 AM PST. The first two showings will be followed up by Clerks. Yes, this is that must-see doc that covers Kevin's life from childhood up to Clerks. One of the finest docs we've ever had the pleasure to view. And now you can see it FREE. If you don't already own Clerks X, here's..."
On News Askew

Fire chief stops fire at school inspection: "Just call it good timing. Hollis Fire Chief Rick Towne was conducting a routine inspection of the Hollis Primary School on Friday when a fire broke out in the boiler room."
On Boston.com: Odds and Ends

Ill. residents vote for official reptile: "The Eastern tiger salamander won the vote for the title of Illinois' state amphibian, while slow and steady was a winning strategy for the painted turtle in the state reptile race."
On Boston.com: Odds and Ends

Long-Missing Cat Reunited With Owner: "SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jamison, a 7-year-old cat with long, gray fur, ventured outside his home one day in June 2003 and didn't come back. His owner gave him up for lost and adopted another cat."
On Rednova News - Oddities

No'ing the Drill: "Fired oil rig worker gains revenge on former bosses by dropping a piece of equipment in the well."
On New Urban Legends

The Little Print Cesses: "Custodian demonstrates to schoolgirls how he removes lipstick from a mirror."
On New Urban Legends

Key Mistake: "Swearing off the game for good, a golfer launches the bag containing his clubs into a water hazard . . . momentarily forgetting his car keys were in the bag."
On New Urban Legends

January 2, 2005 in Strange Days | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Inside the Shadow Internet: "The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way. Well I used
[in Slashdot]

On Big News Network.com - Breaking Internet News

Old MacDonald goes high tech: "Advancements in agriculture have eliminated a lot of back-breaking work. And soon, wireless Internet may allow even more access to computers.
[in Everett Herald]

On Big News Network.com - Breaking Internet News

BitTorrent hub ready to rumble with Hollywood: "'Help our legal team help you'"
On The Register - Internet and Law: Digital Rights/Digital Wrongs

Firm gives P2P networks adware infection: "Microsoft investigating DRM loophole"
On The Register - Internet and Law: Wild Wild Web

Internet spam: Vioxx is 'in,' Oprah is 'out': "WASHINGTON - If Internet spammers are right about who we are and what we want to buy, then we must be a cable-stealing, day-trading, bargain-hunting, stiff
[in Salt Lake Tribune]

PeopleSoft customers: Where do we go from here?: "It looks like Oracle/PeopleSoft is a done deal. But why would Larry Ellison spend $10.3 billion for overlapping technology? For me, the answer comes in two parts."
On InfoWorld: Web Services

January 2, 2005 in Online | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Israeli tanks raid northern Gaza: "Israeli tanks raid the Beit Hanoun area of northern Gaza after militants fire more rockets over the border."

On BBC: World

Suicide Bombers, Gunmen Kill 32 in Iraq: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Suicide car bombers hit a bus packed with Iraqi National Guards on Sunday, killing 26 people in the deadliest attack of its kind in four months on Iraqis cooperating with U.S. forces to secure a Jan. 30 election."

On Reuters: Top News

First Tsunami Survivor Found in Three Days: "Sumatran Fisherman Discovered Barely Alive Under His Beached Boat Is the First Tsunami Survivor Found in Three Days"

On ABC News: World

Same-Sex Couple Seeks Benefits in R.I.On Foxnews: U.S. & World

QUAKE ANGEL: 10-year-old British girl's warning that tidal wave was about to strike saves hundreds...On The Drudge Report

Survivors: No signs of life in 100-mile trek: "The bridge over the broad Raba Lhoknga River was destroyed by the tsunami waves that smashed into Aceh province, its steel-girder frame snapped in two and heaved far into the waters, the road washed away without a trace."

On The Philadelphia Inquirer

More than primates: Taking on sea turtles: "One in an occasional series. MORAKA BEACH, Equatorial Guinea - The gigantic leatherback turtle shoveled black sand backward to cover her freshly deposited eggs, then paused to catch her breath before resuming the task, fulfilling the ancient imperative to produce a new generation."

On The Philadelphia Inquirer

Tracking Down Immigrant Fugitives: "The rendezvous was in front of Shoe City. In the frosty darkness, four Homeland Security officers strapped bulletproof vests over their sweat shirts and fingered their pistols. It was 5 a.m., and the voice of their supervisor, Raymond Smith, sliced through the silence in the parking lot of Prince George's Plaza."

On Washington Post: Top News

NASA Nurtures Inventors to Produce Space Wonders of the Future: "When Tony Bennett sings about "little cable cars" that "climb halfway to the stars," he's talking about San Francisco on a clear night. But when Jerome Pearson thinks about cables, cars and stars, he means the real thing."

On Washington Post: Top News

Old woman unleashes deadly attack on husband with sauce bottles: "Mainichi Daily News, Centrist daily of Tokyo, Japan"

On World Press Review: Breaking News

Pig Emissions Part of Global Warming (AP): "AP - Pig manure in Chile will keep neon lights glowing on Tokyo's Ginza in years to come. It's a grand north-south tradeoff to slow global warming: You reduce your "greenhouse gas" emissions so I don't have to cut back on mine."

On Yahoo! News: Highest Rated

Five killed in Maoist attack in Nepal: "The rebels opened fire on a police patrol at Bankhet in Kanchanpur district in the country's southwestern tip. "

On Hindustan Times: World

January 2, 2005 in Global | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Foreign troops off Tiger rebel areas in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka: "Sri Lanka was Sunday waiting for a green light from Tamil Tiger rebels to deploy foreign military personnel to carry out tsunami relief operations in areas dominated by them, officials said."

On SpaceWar.com

Sudan military to withdraw from south within 30 months: "The Sudanese military is to complete the withdrawal of its forces from the south within 30 months of signing a peace deal ending a 21-year conflict with rebels, an independent daily reported Sunday."

On SpaceWar.com

HA Planning continues as 15th MEU (SOC) nears affected regions: "ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD (Jan. 2, 2005) -- In the wake of the recent tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean and claimed more than 100,000 lives, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Oper...

[in Marine Corps News]"

Up to 1,500 U.S. Marines to Help S.Lanka Relief Work: "COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - The United States will dispatch up to 1,500 marines and a mini aircraft carrier carrying some 20 helicopters to Sri Lanka to assist in relief and reconstruction, a senio...

[in Reuters]"

U.S. Soldier Killed In Gunfight: "A U.S. soldier and a former Afghan militia leader were killed Sunday when American troops clashed with gunmen during a search operation in western Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials said.The troop...

[in KYW3]"

January 2, 2005 in War | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Campus life, fully exposed

By John Leo

In the fall of 2000, I promised my daughter the freshman that I wouldn't write about Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.) until she graduated. As a result, you readers learned nothing from me about the naked dorm, the transgender dorm, the queer prom, the pornography-for-credit course, the obscene sidewalk chalking, the campus club named crudely for a woman's private part, or the appearance on campus of a traveling anti-Semitic roadshow, loosely described as a pro-Palestinian conference.

January 2, 2005 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 01, 2005

It Could Have Been Worse -- Command Post

It Could Have Been Worse: " Cross-posted from AEBrain, the blog.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami could have been worse. A lot worse. That's a particularly cold-blooded thing to say about an event that's caused at least half a million casualties (injured and killed), with 70,000 confirmed dead at the moment. Nonetheless it's true. Just have a look at a graphic of the event.

Indian Ocean Tsunami
Click on graphic to show animation

As you can see from this simulation (Animation provided by Kenji Satake, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, via ITSU), the Tsunami was focussed mainly to the West, with a slightly lesser wave to the East, and relatively little North and South. especially North.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Radii

Now please look North. The "crinkly bits‚" to the right of the Indian subcontinent represent the deltas of Bangladesh. Population 141 Million. Most of whom live within 2 metres of sea level.

The Maldives only had a population of 280,000, and they were badly hit, with some parts rendered permanently uninhabitable.

Bangladesh is at almost exactly the same distance from the epicentre as the Maldives, and are equally low-lying, 2/3 of the country being river delta within a metre or two of sea level. When the first reports came in, it wasn't clear how big the seismic event was. One source said 6.8, another 8.0, another 8.5. When I saw that last figure, I immediately thought about Bangladesh. Why?

From WorldInfo :

The 1970 cyclone killed over five hundred thousand people. In the 1991 cyclones over two hundred thousand people drowned and many millions of homes were destroyed. In 1991 a tsunami wave killed one hundred and thirty-eight thousand people in Bangladesh.
That was a small one, and there was plenty of time to see it coming - much smaller than the one that hit the Maldives with no warning.

I'd been thinking about Indian Ocean Tsunamis for a day or two, due to Friday the 13th and Jay Manifold's calculations about an Indian Ocean Impact.

So when the news came that the quake was 8.9 on the Richter Scale (soon to be upgraded to 9.0), I feared the worst. But as the hours ticked by, it soon became more likely that the reason there were no reports of devastation in Bangladesh was because there was no devastation, not because there was no Bangladesh.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for parts of Aceh province in Indonesia, whole towns and villages are on maps, but from aeriel reconnaisance, no longer exist. When I first started posting about the event over at The Command Post, I feared that the death toll would be in Millions, or even tens of Millions in Bangladesh, with another fifty or a hundred thousand everywhere else combined. Not just feared, I figured that if either the waves were unfocussed and omnidirectional, or focussed North-South, then at least a Million people had just died. I could see no way around it. It would have taken an extraordinary focussing of the energy East-West to keep the toll below that. But wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, such a focussing happened.

Never in my entire life have I been so glad to be wrong. So now when I see the heartrending pictures - a man cradling the lifeless body of his infant son; a mother with terrible wounds searching desperately for her children; or even think of the gay couple Carmel and I know well (they live not far from us) who were in Phuket and are still unnacounted for - I can't help thinking how much worse it could have been, by a factor of not just 10, but 100.

My favourite Marxist, Norman Geras, discusses with sympathy those whose faith in an Omnibenevolent God has been shaken by this event. Well, there are 10 Million reasons why my agnosticism, and unbelief in a God who participates in human affairs has been shaken. There aren't 10 Million corpses, mainly children, in the Bay of Bengal today. As I write this, I still can't believe that we dodged this particular bullet. When I first posted the alert over at TCP, I had an icy pit in my stomach. Now I'm quite literally shedding a few tears of relief as I type this.

Oh yes, after a steady increase to a chance as high as 1 in 32, it looks like 2004 MN 04 won't be hitting us after all.

It could have been worse. "

On Command Post Op-Ed Page

January 1, 2005 in World View | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

World News

Pope's prayer for tsunami victims: "The Pope prays for victims of the Asian wave disaster at his annual New Year address in Rome."
On BBC: World

South Africa begins gun amnesty: "South Africa begins a nationwide amnesty for gun owners in an attempt to cut high crime levels."
On BBC: World

Bush Orders Flag Tribute to Tsunami Victims: "CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush, seeking to bolster America's humanitarian image after the Asian tsunamis, called on Saturday for flags to be flown at half-staff next week to honor victims of the disaster."
On Reuters: Top News

White Roses, Candles Bring in Solemn New Year: "PATONG BEACH, Thailand (Reuters) - People held candles and white roses on the tsunami-hit island of Phuket, tearfully embracing as they grieved, in a poignant symbol of the mood which darkened New Year celebrations across the globe."
On Reuters: Top News

Iraq Ushers in New Year with Deadly Attacks: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq ushered in the New Year on Saturday the same way it ended the last one -- with a string of assassinations and bombings by insurgents bent on wrecking a landmark Jan. 30 election."
On Reuters: Top News

Mideast Looks Forward to 2005 Elections: "Middle East Nations Such As Iraq and Egypt Will Head to the Polls in 2005"
On ABC News: World

Floods in Sri Lanka Prompt Evacuations: "After the devastation wreaked by the seas, a deluge from the skies deepened the misery for tsunami-stricken areas Saturday, triggering flash floods in Sri Lanka that sent evacuees fleeing and increasing the threat of deadly disease as survivors shivered in relief centers."
On AP World News

The end of Uganda's mystic rebel?: "A cease-fire between northern fighters and the government is expected to be signed Friday."
On Christian Science Monitor: All Stories

36 Children Injured in Sled Accident On Foxnews: U.S. & World

Saudi's 58 Marriages Anger Some On Foxnews: U.S. & World

Justice Dept. Toughens Rule on Torture: "The Justice Department has broadened its definition of torture, retreating from an earlier memo that defined torture extremely narrowly."
On New York Times: International News

Cruel and Unusual Kittycat: "A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers."
On Slate Magazine

Killings In D.C. Fewest Since '86: "The District had fewer than 200 homicides last year for the first time in nearly two decades, a steep drop from the deadly bloodshed that was fueled by drugs and gangs in the 1980s and 1990s."
On Washington Post: Top News

A boy named Tsunami (Reuters): "Reuters - Six-day-old Tsunami Roy doesn't know what all the fuss about him is, as he hungrily suckles at his mother's breast before dropping off for a contented nap."
On Yahoo! News: Highest Rated

Tsunami aid tops $2 billion: "Pledges of international financial support for countries devastated by the Indian Ocean tsanumis have reached $2 billion, according to the U.N. emergency relief coordinator."
On CNN: World

January 1, 2005 in World View | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Biz and Market Notes

Sri Lanka Brewery Now Producing Water: "Sri Lanka's top brewery normally produces 160,000 bottles of beer a day. Now the plant has turned its technical might to producing a very different beverage: potable water for the survivors of the Asian tsunami disaster. "On AP Business

Stock Mutual Funds Perform Well in 2004: "Wall Street's fourth-quarter rally gave stock mutual funds a solid performance for 2004, with small-cap equity funds and real estate funds scoring some of the biggest returns. Large-cap growth equities and technology-focused funds had the slimmest gains."On AP Business

Shops Without Chip-And-Pin Liable For Fraud: "Retailers not signed up to chip-and-PIN have become liable for fraudulent transactions as changes to the card payment system come into force."

On Ananova: Business

Russia OKs $18 bln Siberia-to-Pacific pipeline: report: "SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Russia has approved an $18 billion oil pipeline connecting Siberia with the Pacific ocean and pumping 1.6 million barrels of oil a day for export to the United States and Japan, according to a report published Saturday."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

Wall Street Watching for Market Shift: "At this time last year, money managers were betting that growth equities would outpace value, and that large company stocks would produce better returns than small caps.

On AP Business

Stocks up in '04 as Nasdaq, S&P 500 outshine Dow 30: "NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - The Nasdaq composite and the S&P 500 closed out 2004 on Friday at levels not seen since 2001, making the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 3.3 percent gain look modest in comparison."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

Economic data to drive markets next week: "NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- U.S. stock investors will enter the new year next week with a full plate of economic data to digest, culminating Friday in the release of the December jobs report."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

DIY Enthusiasts Face Shock Fines: "Millions of DIY fans could face hefty fines of up to £5,000 under a new law that has come into force."

On Ananova: Business

January 1, 2005 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

War News

Pentagon Misses Goal for Missile Defense System: "By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon failed to meet its goal of declaring a missile defense system operational in 2004 and critics said failures in testing the ambitious system show i...in Reuters]"

On The US News: U.S. Military News

US Troops in Iraq Detain 49 Suspected Insurgents: "VOA 01/01/2005 18:18 U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces have detained 49 suspected insurgents north of Baghdad, as operations continue to secure the country ahead of January's election. ...[in Baku Today]"

On The US News: U.S. Military News

Counter-Insurgency in Iraq Plagued by Fear, Doubt: "In the numbing cold before dawn, Iraqi commandos backed by US Marines stormed into a The US military sees it as taking the fight to the insurgents' hideouts.[in SierraTimes.com]"

On The US News: U.S. Military News

Punk Band Moshes In The New Year
On Military.com News Digest

N. Korea: U.S. Policy Could Spark War
On Military.com News Digest

Danger of nuclear war mounting on Korean peninsula: North Korea: "North Korea said Saturday that the risk of a nuclear war was mounting on the Korean peninsula as the United States attempts to "stifle" it by force."

On SpaceWar.com

Abbas vows to continue Arafat legacy in Gaza speech as death toll mounts: "PLO chief Mahmud Abbas pledged Friday to remain faithful to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's legacy as he commemorated his Fatah party's 40th anniversary in the Gaza Strip, hours after two Palestinian militants were killed in an Israeli air strike there."

On SpaceWar.com

US begin new offensive in Iraq's "Triangle of Death": "The US army and marines kicked off a new offensive south of Baghdad this week in a belt of towns, known as the "triangle of death' due to the area's high rate of kidnappings and executions, the military said Friday."

On SpaceWar.com

PAIN RAYS, LASER JETS, AND STUN GUN SHOCKERS: "From pain beams to stun guns to laser jets, real-life ray guns seemed to blasting their way from the world of sci-fi into the realm of reality in 2004. There were setbacks, to be sure -- missed deadlines, bloated budgets, and a sense that supposedly "non-lethal" energy weapons might not be so safe, after all. But, by the end of the year, the dream of a blaster in hand seemed a whole lot nearer than it did in 2003. LASER JET: GOOD NEWS After decades of bloated promises, busted budgets, and missed deadlines, the troubled Airborne Laser project finally got a bit of good news yesterday. The program's goal is to mount a high-energy, chemical laser onto a 747 jet, so it can shoot down incoming missiles. But whether such a laser would ever work remained very much an open question. On Thursday, some answers emerged, when Northrop engineers successfully tested the laser. ANTI-LASER CONTACT LENSES I think we all winced when we read, back in September, about the Delta pilot who was hit in the eye by a laser while flying a 737. Or about the 20 year-old Los Alamos intern who was zapped during a July experiment. Air..."

On Defense Tech

January 1, 2005 in War | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Science Today

Summary Box: Busting Up a Comet: "BIG BLOW UP: NASA scientists later this month will send the spacecraft Deep Impact (named after the 1998 movie about a comet headed for Earth) to blast a crater into Comet Tempel 1.

On AP Science

Six More Lynx Kittens Born in Colorado: "The year ended happily for state biologists with news that six more lynx kittens have been born to transplanted lynx in Colorado, bringing the total of newborns to 36 this year and 52 since a reintroduction program began in 1999."
On AP Science

Scientists Free Entangled Whale Off S.C.: "Scientists apparently freed a young whale from more than 150 feet of lobster fishing gear Friday after riding alongside the animal on a Coast Guard cutter for nearly 24 hours."
On AP Science

In the Middle of Iraq, it's Gaming, Gaming, Gaming for the American Military: "The generation brought up on video games has taken their chosen entertainment with them as they do real battle overseas."
On Technology Review: Nanotechnology & Materials

Lithuania shuts down atomic unit: "Lithuania starts shutting down a Chernobyl-style nuclear reactor, heeding EU concerns."
On BBC: Science/Nature (UK Edition)

Snow leopard project faces finish: "An imaginative way to save the highly endangered snow leopards of Central Asia looks likely soon to run out of money."
On BBC: Science/Nature (UK Edition)

The top 10 news stories of 2004: "Read the stories that were most popular with you, the readers, including enigmatic signals from space, stun guns and mystery viruses"
On New Scientist

Temptations in Disaster: "Christianity Today MagazineÔøΩ-... of society at-large. We evangelicals are so individualistic that we have a very weak theology of the body of Christ. We have so ...::"
On theology News

Commentary: The indifferent man -- part 2: "World Peace Herald,ÔøΩDCÔøΩ-... to say, unless of course the brightest lights in Protestant theology knocked at ... The ex-Christian"homo indifferens," of whom Cardinal Poupard, president of the ..."
On theology News

Tsunami begs us to make sense of the senseless: "eTaiwan News,ÔøΩTaiwanÔøΩ-... Christian theology has tackled this question - often referred to as theodicy or the justice of God in the face of evil - in various ways. ...::"
On theology News

Earth's permafrost starts to thaw: "Scientists find many regions on Earth that once had permanent frozen ground are now experiencing a thaw."
On BBC: Science/Nature (UK Edition)

Conquerors' Hopes Dashed: "Dutch researcher Florine Asselbergs has discovered the Spanish conquering of Guatemala portrayed on an indigenous painting. This sixteenth-century panel had scarcely been investigated up until now and provides a detailed overview of the battles and the landscape. It is an important find, as relatively little is known about the conquest of Guatemala."
On ScienceDaily Magazine

Daily Social, Physical Activity Improves Sleep And Cognition In The Elderly: "More than half of adults over the age of 65 have trouble sleeping, characterized by both lighter sleep and frequent awakenings during the night. A decline in cognitive function is common with advanced age, and research has shown that disturbed sleep in younger adults and in the elderly causes daytime sleepiness and negatively affects cognitive performance."
On ScienceDaily Magazine

Understanding The Voice Mechanisms Of Sopranos: ""The analysis of aerodynamic parameters enables an understanding of the physiological bases of the voice mechanisms in classical and lyrical soprano singers". This is the conclusion of the PhD thesis undertaken by Dr. María Uzcanga whose research work was carried out in the Voice Laboratory at the Navarre University Hospital."
On ScienceDaily Magazine

New Clue To Nerve Growth May Help Regeneration Efforts: "Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered how one family of proteins repels growing nerves and keeps them properly on track during development. The finding, described in the Dec. 16 issue of Neuron, might provide a chance to overcome the proteins' later role in preventing regrowth of injured nerves, the researchers say."
On Science Daily

January 1, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 31, 2004

Oh, Baby, It's a Weird World 12/31/04

80% say No to New Year night on the town
On Madville.com

Was an electronic voting machine company rep videotaped while rigging a vote?
On Madville.com

Hindu holy man who announced that he would publicly leave his body fails to die when the date comes. Infuriated villagers try to help him out

Road closure a big hit with Canadian hockey fans: "Leave it to Canadians to cheer for ice and snow."
On KTRK: Bizarre

Briton Surfs Tsunami, Survives: "HIKKADUWA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - British surfer Martin Markwell had always dreamed of catching that perfect wave -- but when it finally came along, it was a nightmare."
On Reuters: Oddly Enough

Astronauts on candy diet after pantry raid: "IOL"
On Azerty.co.uk

Robert Blake's Rice Krispies
On Bongo News

Yoko Ono Appointed Spokesperson for New Chemical Castration Drug
On Bongo News

Bush Ancestor Went AWOL During the Crusades
On Bongo News

Celebrity underwear draws dozens to Portugal: "IOL"
On Azerty.co.uk

Hot dog vendors arrested for prostitution: "Two Long Island women who sold hot dogs and sodas from a truck were charged with prostitution for also offering sexual acts in exchange for money. One of the vendors offered to expose her breasts to an undercover officer who was buying a hot dog and the other offered him oral sex in exchange for money."
On Exploding Cigar

Fast food makes people fatter: "A new study by the University of Minnesota found that healthy young men and women gained an extra 10 pounds, on average, over 15 years if they ate fast food more than twice a week. They also doubled their rate of a prediabetes condition known as insulin resistance."
On Exploding Cigar

Evil Magazine
On Bidboy

Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich Maker
On Bidboy

BBQ owner, city divided over pig mural: "A mural of pink pigs painted on the side of a barbecue restaurant is apparently too spicy for officials in this city's historic district."
On Boston.com: Odds and Ends

Italy Judge Tosses Coin for Xmas Tug-Of-Love Child (Reuters): "Reuters - When the separated parents of a five-year old Italian boy could not agree whose house he should stay at over Christmas, a judge settled the dispute by tossing a coin, an Italian newspaper reported on Thursday."
On Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough

Wal-Mart manager allegedly ordered shooting of cat: "EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Two Wal-Mart employees who police say followed a manager's orders to shoot and kill a stray cat have been charged with federal animal cruelty."
On azcentral.com | thebuzz

December 31, 2004 in Strange Days | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

BookEnds, 12/31/04

Translator Takes the Word at Its Word: "In his translation of the first five books of the Bible, Robert Alter cultivates a scrupulous attention to the Hebrew text and its multifarious meanings."
On New York Times: Books

Girl Power Fuels Manga Boom in U.S.: "Sales of Japanese comics are exploding in the United States as comic book publishers seek to extend their reach beyond young male readers."
On New York Times: Books

In an Age of Strife, What Would Buddha Do?: "Pankaj Mishra has written an odd, uneasy account of the life of the Buddha informed by his own conflicted feelings about the religion's significance today."
On New York Times: Books

A round-up of jazz CDs: "Our pick of the best, including music by Abdullah Ibrahim"
On Economist: Books

A round-up of business books: "What was the best book about business published in the past 12 months?"
On Economist: Books

The origins of plastic surgery: "Sir Archibald McIndoe, the Royal Air Force and the Guinea Pig Club"
On Economist: Books

Two new books about Leonardo da Vinci: "The Renaissance master's “strange career”"
On Economist: Books

The papacy: "For God's sake"
On Economist: Books

How Bush Really Won: "Driving north from Tampa on Florida's Route 75 on November 1, as the battle over who would hold political power in America was reaching a climax but the struggle over what that battle meant had yet to begin, I put down the top of my rented green convertible, turned the talk radio voices up to blaring, and commenced reading the roadside."
On New York Review of Books

Red-Hot MoMA: "The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has changed radically over the years since it was founded in 1929 and moved into its own building on 53rd Street in 1939. What is most striking in the new building that has just opened is the change of scale. For it is, indeed, a new building. The original one on the same site by Edward Durell Stone underwent two successive expansions, in 1964 by Philip Johnson and 1984 by Cesar Pelli. Having purchased the adjacent Dorset Hotel, the board decided that this time the museum should not be just expanded, but largely gutted and rethought. The result is a grand and elegant creation that incorporates the old façades on 53rd Street but completely transforms the interiors and the garden façades on 54th Street."
On New York Review of Books

The Truth About Terrorism: "If you live, as I do, in an American city designated as a likely target by the Department of Homeland Security, the sheer proliferation of security apparatus in the streets assures you that there is a war on. Yet the nature and conduct of that war, and the character—and very existence—of our enemy, remain infuriatingly obscure: not because there's any shortage of information, or apparent information, but because so much of it has turned out to be creative guesswork or empty propaganda."
On New York Review of Books

On Thinning Ice: "Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

"It's difficult to overstate the perilousness of the situation. Climate change, instead of occurring slowly over millennia, will soon outpace the ability of many species to adapt and evolve, and not just in the Arctic. An article a year ago in Nature estimated that between 15 and 37 per cent of terrestrial species - that is, more than a million discrete forms of life - will be extinct by 2050. In any case, climate change is already disrupting the lives of millions of human beings. According to James Morris, the executive director of the World Food Programme, the number of people suffering food crises as a result of natural disasters has tripled in the last thirty years. Such effects are usually attributed to a combination of overpopulation, widespread deforestation and degrading soils, but weather events brought about by climate change can provoke and exacerbate humanitarian crises.""
On London Review of Books

Rutrutrutrutrutrutrutrut: "I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

"Behind all these things - status, virginity, animality, muscles - is the controlling Wolfe obsession: homomania. He is, as he says of one of his characters, 'crazed on the subject of manliness'. Wherever he looks, he sees the struggle for dominance, the tournament, men butting like stags. It's not just that all human endeavour comes down to this: there is really nothing else, whether on the basketball field or in the classroom or at a family picnic. Women are either willing notches on the bedpost, or else aping the male thing in a confused way. We are all of us forever acting out our machismo, like rappers or wrestlers before the fight, narcissistically preoccupied with an almost abstract display of prowess. Even weedy Adam, in the gym, glances at this own muscles in the mirror: 'He was enjoying that temporary high the male feels when his muscles, no matter what size they may be, are gorged with blood. He feels . . . more of a man.' This is it: the endless struggle for tumescence.""
On London Review of Books

December 31, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TechTrack, 12/31/04

You, Too, Can Be a Podcaster: "Fans of the burgeoning technology, which lets users broadcast and download audio content feeds to MP3 players, say it represents audio broadcasting's future. But podcasting still has a long way to go. By Daniel Terdiman."
On Wired News

How Did Animals Escape Tsunami?: "No wild animals were found dead along the Sri Lankan coastline, adding credence to the belief that beasts have a sixth sense that warns them of impending disasters."
On Wired News

2005: The year ahead: "2004 closed with a veritable blizzard of mergers and a downpour of desktop search offerings -- events and products that may well dominate IT managers‚ thoughts well into the new year."
On InfoWorld: Top News

VeriSign: Online shopping up 24 percent this year: "U.S. holiday shoppers continue to turn to the Internet when searching for presents for family and friends, according to data released Thursday by VeriSign."
On InfoWorld: Top News

Oracle takes control of PeopleSoft: "Oracle has taken over control of PeopleSoft by buying 75 percent of the PeopleSoft's outstanding shares from its stockholders, Oracle announced Wednesday."
On InfoWorld: Top News

Netherlands issues first fines to spammers: "Dutch authorities have issued their first fines for spam originating in the country."
On InfoWorld: Top News

Anti-Santy worm on the prowl: "Do-gooder worm attempts to fix holes exploited by the earlier Santy infection--but could end up a pain."
On CNET News.com

Year in Review: Cell phones explode: "Global cellular markets boomed. U.S. data services went through the roof. And handsets literally blew up."
On CNET News.com

XXX, on a small screen near you: "Are commuters ready to rub elbows with porn-wielding cell phone customers?"
On CNET News.com

Apple fans fill up on rumors of bargain Mac: "Apple fans have a little more fodder for the rumor mill after a new posting on ThinkSecret.com. The Apple rumor site claims that Steve Jobs & Co. are planning to announce a sub-$500 G4-based iMac at the Macworld Expo in January. [Missing Links]"
On CNET News.com

Customer Service: The Hunt for a Human: "In the Internet age, making telephone contact with a human for customer service is a daunting task. Some companies no longer disclose phone numbers. But some consumers have found ways around the blockade."
On New York Times: Technology

Hobbyists Fill Out the Weather Map: "Thousands of armchair sky watchers are pairing computers and consumer-grade meteorological equipment to share their observations of local conditions online."
On New York Times: Technology

Good Luck and Bubblewrap.com: "Collard greens and black-eyed peas, a New Year’s tradition, on a chef’s site; Virtual-Bubblewrap.com lets you punch holes with your mouse; KnowItAllVideo.com, where amateur instructional videos are posted and rated."
On New York Times: Technology

America Online Reports Drop in Spam: "America Online said that spammers were starting to give up - at least when it came to sending junk to its subscribers."
On New York Times: Technology

It's time to send the bill to Bill: "Deadline to claim share of Microsoft settlement is Jan. 8"
On SFGate: Technology

Searching public thinks alike: "Most-sought-after names overlap in sites' top 10 lists"
On SFGate: Technology

New way to make you pay: "- David Lazarus"
On SFGate: Technology

Intel starts sampling 600-series chip, AMD moves ahead on dual-core Opteron: "Intel has begun sampling of its 600-Series processors whici will support EM64T, EBD and SpeedStep:Intel has sampled one of its 600-series CPUs to some of its clients in Taiwan and has also given more details of technology support for its 945/955 chipsets for the dual-core Smithfield CP..."
On AnandTech: News

Gates pledges $3 million in aid; Amazon.com raises another $3.5 million: "In effort to help the millions of people displaced due to the massive tsunami which struck the region around the Indian Ocean, Bill Gates has donated three million dollars in aid. Amazon has donated another $3.5 million:Microsoft's company offices in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and..."
On AnandTech: News

The year according to eBay: "If you look at America 2004 through the lens of eBay, maybe it really is about the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich."
On USA Today: Tech

Space station snack attack uncovered: "WASHINGTON ¬ó The two residents of the International Space Station ran short of food and had to cut back their meals this month thanks in part to unlikely food thieves: the previous station crew." On USA Today: Tech

Snowed-in code blamed for Comair's Xmas flight collapse: "Old box grounds travelers Aging server software has been blamed for Comair's holiday collapse that left thousands of travelers stranded." On The Register

Tesco claims 500,000 mobile sign-ups: "Milestone Tesco has signed up 500,000 subscribers for its UK mobile phone service, just 14 months after setting up in business." On The Register

Time Warner may pick up Sprint cell calls: "Deal would make Time Warner Cable the only major cable company to offer cell phone service."
On ZDNet Tech News

Satellite radio sees subscriber growth: "Competing satellite radio companies Sirius and XM say they bested their year-end subscriber goals."
On ZDNet Tech News

Build Your Own Motorcycle Computer: "Build your very own "Motorcycle Mod" by following ExtremeTech's Master Modder and his unprecedented pursuit of constructing the first ever motorcycle computer. In this installment, Russ begins work on the main frame, works on the headlights, and paints the wheels."
On Extremetech

The Top Tech Stories of 2004: "From IBM selling its PC unit to users going gaga over Google, here's what made headlines this year."
On PCWorld.com: Latest News Stories

Blogs take on the mainstream: "Blogs have shifted the balance of information online, argue experts, and they are here to stay."
On BBC: Technology

Virgin soars to new frontier: "SpaceShipOne pioneer Burt Rutan gives a glimpse of what paying passengers can expect when they travel into space."
On BBC: Technology

December 31, 2004 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wraparound, 12/31/2004

U.S. Pledges $350 Million in Tsunami Aid-Official: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will provide $350 million in aid for victims of southern Asia's devastating tsunami, a government official said on Friday."
On Reuters: Top News

Devastating Asian Tsunami Darkens World's New Year: "BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - Aircraft, naval vessels and trucks struggled Friday to deliver aid around stricken southern Asia as the death toll exceeded 124,000 from a tsunami which darkened the world's New Year."
On Reuters: Top News

Musharraf solidifies powerful post: "The decision by Pakistan's president to stay on as military chief has angered leading politicians of the religious right."
On Christian Science Monitor: All Stories

The end of Uganda's mystic rebel?: "A cease-fire between northern fighters and the government is expected to be signed Friday."
On Christian Science Monitor: All Stories

Iraq Militant Roundup: "GIs take in 49 suspects; insurgents threaten potential voters with death
• Security Teams Train
On Foxnews: U.S. & World

£20m in 24 hours: "Shocked by the devastation caused by the tsunami, Britons responded yesterday with unprecedented generosity to the appeal for donations"
On Independent: World

Desmond Tutu on God, Bush and the Tsunamis: "Desmond Tutu discusses the tsunami tragedy, God, Iraq and the re-election of George W. Bush"
On Newsweek: World News

The End of My World as I Knew It: "A New Year's reflection on my life after heroin."
On Slate Magazine

College Football Art: A Slide Show: "The master painters of the gridiron and the fans who love them."

On Slate Magazine

Agony in Aceh: "A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers."
On Slate Magazine

What Was Lost: "South Asia is inundated, leaving behind scenes of unimaginable destruction as the survivors look for missing kin and relief workers try to head off a humanitarian catastrophe"
On TIME's Top Stories

An Easier, but Less Deadly, Recipe for Terror: "If you can get past the guards and fences, the ingredients for a chemical attack are available off the shelf at a crumbling military base called Shchuchye in south-central Russia. There, stacked like dusty wine bottles on wooden racks, is a collection of 1.9 million artillery shells filled with nerve agents such as VX, an oily yellow liquid so deadly that a single drop on the skin can kill."
On Washington Post: Top News

Mother's dilemma: Which son to save!: "Tsunami that hit Phuket forced Jillian Searle of Australia to make a choice no mother should ever have to make. "
On Hindustan Times: World

U.S. Aid Generous and Stingy: "It depends on how the numbers are crunched -- total dollars or a slice of the overall economy."

On LA Times: World

The Sea: "This week, tsunamis caused by underwater earthquakes in the Indian Ocean claimed tens of thousands of lives. In this article from 1951, Rachel L. Carson considers the science of waves, and the relationship between the earth and the sea."
On The New Yorker

Raw Deal: "Pure, on Irving Place."
On The New Yorker

Pacific coast'stsunami threat : "Great earthquake cluster zone in northwestcould touch off deadly waves, say studies"
On WorldNetDaily

Report: Stewart Loses Contest in Prison (AP): "AP - Martha Stewart, who built a billion-dollar media empire based on her holiday and home decorating tips, was unable to lead her team to victory in a prison decoration contest, a magazine reported."
On Yahoo! News: Most Emailed

Girl, 5, youngest Briton known dead: "A five-year-old schoolgirl has been confirmed as the youngest Briton known to have died in the Asian tsunami disaster."
On Ananova News

Terror groups call voting un-Islamic: "New Year's Eve festivities canceled"
On The Washington Times: World

Ex-Playmate Anna Nicole's Fortune Reversed (AP): "AP - A federal appeals court Thursday threw out a judge's ruling that awarded $88.5 million to former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith from the estate of her late husband, an oil tycoon who died at age 90 just over a year after they wed."
On Yahoo! News: Most Viewed

December 31, 2004 in World View | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 21, 2004

Joke Time is Over at Slate

041220_gavelThe Washington Post Co. said today it is buying Slate in an effort to boost the newspaper company's online traffic but does not plan any editorial changes at the eight-year-old Web magazine.

In announcing a deal to buy Slate from Microsoft Corp. for an undisclosed sum, said to be in the millions of dollars, Post executives said they would keep Jacob Weisberg as editor and most of the 30-person staff. Cliff Sloan, general counsel of Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, will also become publisher of the money-losing magazine when the deal takes effect next month.

December 21, 2004 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 20, 2004


An in-depth investigation into the cause and adverse health effects of this obnoxious low frequency noise which has plagued the lives of 1000's

Over the years the media have given the Hum local names such as the Bristol Hum, the Taos Hum, the Hueytown Hum the Largs Hum, Kokomo Hum and many others.

From the 1000's of reports received it is abundantly evident that they all produce the same effects and have the same root cause. The purpose of this web site is describe the effects of the Hum, to show its cause, and to show that despite 1000's of pleas, the authorities refuse to help or even to acknowledge the existence of the problem

December 20, 2004 in Strange Days | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

First Drive-through Supercenters Planned for Late 2005

DECEMBER 20, 2004 -- LAS CRUCES, N.M. - AutoCart, LLC, based here, said it plans to roll out the world's first "drive-through supercenter" format, a 130,000-square-foot facility equipped to deliver more than 25,000 SKUs directly to consumers in their cars. The first of the supercenters, designed with 60 ordering/pickup stations, are projected to open in December 2005 in Albuquerque, N.M. and Tucson, Ariz., according to AutoCart....

Among the more than 17 classifications of products and services that AutoCart said it will offer at the proposed supercenters are grocery, pharmacy, banking, movie and game rental, bakery, office supplies, florists, photography development, dry cleaning, liquor, and lottery sales....

Store features will include interactive drop-down touchscreens at all order/pickup stations, allowing customers to place orders and communicate with retailer representatives on-site; the ability to order off-site by phone, fax, PC, laptop, or PDA; and the delivery of orders in a shuttle/lift, which will open up next to the car so that shoppers can take out their bags and drive away in a matter of minutes.

December 20, 2004 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Love of Libraries.

Libraries are not places of dry scholarship but living sensuality. In Love Story Ali McGraw and Ryan O,Neal get together with the library as backdrop; in Dr Zhivago, Uri and Lara find one another in a library. I have a friend, now a well-known journalist, who became overcome by lust in the British Library and was discovered by a librarian making love behind the stacks in the empty quarter of Humanities with a woman he had met in the tearoom. The librarian was apparently most understanding, and said it happened quite a lot.

Libraries are not just for reading in, but for sociable thinking, exploring, exchanging ideas and falling in love. They were never silent. Technology will not change that, for even in the starchiest heyday of Victorian self-improvement, libraries were intended to be meeting places of the mind, recreational as well as educational. The Openshaw branch of the Manchester public library was built complete with a billiard room.

Just as bookshops have become trendy, offering brain food and cappuccinos, so libraries, under financial and cultural pressure, will have to evolve by more actively welcoming people in to wander and explore. Finding a book online should be the beginning, not the end, of the process of discovery, a peeling back of the first layer: the word library, after all, comes from liber, the inner bark of a tree.

December 20, 2004 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Flash iPod a Done Deal for Big Bucks

Financial analysts predict Apple would sell millions of flash iPods in short order. Bear Stearns analyst Andy Neff predicted earlier this month that Apple will sell 6 million units in the current fiscal year and 13.5 million the following year, but at US$160, a lower average price than Apple gets for its iPods (which retail from US$249 for the iPod mini to US$599 for the 60GB iPod Photo).

Looking ahead to next year, Neff forecasts Apple may be able to grab 30 percent of the 34 million players that market researcher IDC estimates will sell next year.

December 20, 2004 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)



Shhh Card

Heidi of Coudal Partners came up with this snappy little solution to dealing with obnoxious cell phone users. The .pdf includes several different versions of a card that you can print, cut out and hand to cell yellers. Brought to you by SHHH! The Society for HandHeld Hushing.

Posted in: Mobility"

(Via Cool Hunting.)

December 20, 2004 in Online | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In Praise of Costco

Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools: "Costco has become my personal shopper. I do some research, then I buy what they sell. Like all discount chains they have professionals working full time looking for deals/quality. But what I like about Costco is their niche -- which is my niche. They consistently find a bargain in the "highest common denominator" bracket. What they seem to aim for, and what I am happy with, is the highest quality common quality. Not the very best, not the cheapest, and not mediocre either, but a good brand-name bargain in the high middle. They consistently deliver a great price on a very popular and competent item. It's neither optimization (the top model with the most features), nor is it minimization (cheapest per feature) nor plain thriftiness. Rather Costco aims for some sort of consumer satisficing, to use Herb Simon's term: a high quality that is just good enough, but at a low-end price."

December 20, 2004 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 19, 2004

Iran: Woman to Be Buried Up to Chest and Stoned to Death In The Next Five Days

Link: Amnesty International.

An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co-defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.

According to reports, Hajieh Esmailvand was sentenced to five years imprisonment, to be followed by execution by stoning, for adultery with an unnamed man who at the time was a 17 year old minor. Although the exact date of her arrest and trial are not known, it is reported that she has been imprisoned in the town of Jolfa, in the north west of Iran, since January 2000.

The Iranian Penal Code is very specific about the manner of execution and types of stones which should be used. Article 102 states that men will be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts for the purpose of execution by stoning. Article 104 states, with reference to the penalty for adultery, that the stones used should “not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes, nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones”.

All death sentences in Iran must be upheld by the Supreme Court before they can be carried out. In November 2004, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against Hajieh Esmailvand but changed the lower court's verdict from ‘death by hanging’ to ‘death by stoning’. Reports suggest that the Supreme Court has ordered that the remainder of Hajieh’s five year prison sentence be annulled so that the stoning sentence can be carried out before 21 December.

December 19, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)