Cintra Wilson in:
A POWERPOINT LECTURE ON CONTEXTUAL RETARDATION AND CULTURAL NARCISSISM
One night only!
Friday, April 7, 2006
We've switched gears entirely, and now everything is bent toward a fabulous wedding, and following that, GREAT MEN OF GENIUS--both in Seattle, where I'm writing this from. The Seattle PI has this story today on the show, and I'm excited about the momentum building for it--it's going to be great fun.
Many thanks to everyone who came to the final night of THE UGLY AMERICAN at Ars Nova--if I owe you an email or a call, I apologize, as I'm a couple hundred emails in the hole, but I plan on digging out of the trench soon.
Tonight's the last night:
Come on down if you're game--here are the details.
ABC News: Woman With Perfect Memory Baffles Scientists:
James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works. But these days, he admits he's stumped.
McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago.
Give her any date, she said, and she could recall the day of the week, usually what the weather was like on that day, personal details of her life at that time, and major news events that occurred on that date.
Like any good scientist, McGaugh was initially skeptical. But not anymore.
Facebook's on the Block:
Facebook, the Web site where students around the world socialize and swap information, has put itself on the block, BusinessWeek Online has learned. The owners of the privately held company have turned down a $750 million offer and hope to fetch as much as $2 billion in a sale, senior industry executives familiar with the matter say.
Love At First Sight
It was a novelty-store and he went in just for the novelty
of it. She was in front of the counter, listening to the old
proprietor say: "I have here one of those illusion paintings,
a rare one. You either see a beautiful couple making love,
or a skull. They say this one was used by Freud himself on
his patients--if at first sight you see the couple, then you
a lover of life and love. But if you focus on the skull first,
you're closely involved with death, and there's not much hope
With that, the proprietor unwrapped the painting. They
both hesitated, looked at the picture, then at each other. They
both saw the skull. And have been together ever since.
From an email exchange between my friend and colleague Aaron Landsman and theater practitioners living in Belarus, who are experiencing the terrible breakdown in fundamental liberties firsthand.
thank you so much for your support and sorry that we didn't answer before...
It is awful... More than 500 people are arrested for the last five days in Minsk, 300 more in the regions. During the night the camp was destroyed. People are arrested. They stayed in different jails along the walls and nobody allowed them to go the toilet. We stayed there every night. Yesterday, when we were stayed for already eight hours and got absolutely freezed, we went home and in one hour I got a call that the camp is destroyed and all people are arrested.
I can not read news anymore because it is just awful. But EU and the states make just statements, but no real sanctions. I think, the sanctions will come into force only if we are killed right in the street. It is absolutely terrible.
Two our assistants to director of the "Free Theatre" are arrested.
People severely beaten up. Most of the people who are arrested in the previous three days are people who were trying to bring blankets, tents and warm clothes.
Your support really help us to continue our fight, but we are not sure for how long time we will have our strengths.
Nikolai Khalezin & Natasha Koliada
PS. as for the "Free Theatre" you can read more about us at our site www.dramaturg.org
Phagwah Festival in Richmond Hill
Microsoft Vista: Not 'People Ready' - Forbes.com:
Meanwhile, 500 tech buyers sat there in the dark, their eyes glazing over from the sheer mind-numbing pointlessness of most of this stuff. The audience laughed out loud when the Microsoft guy showed off a kludgey system that lets you fetch Outlook e-mail messages using voice commands from a cell phone.
The system has all the charm of those automated phone systems you encounter when you call customer service: Your call is very important to us. And while it is cool and futuristic to have a computer "read" your e-mail to you, uh, dude--we all have BlackBerrys anyway. In fact, many in the audience weren't even watching the voice-activated e-mail demo--they were checking mail on their BlackBerrys.
…Worst of all, I can't believe Microsoft actually held this big nonevent "event" only a few days before announcing another screw-up in Vista. If Ballmer knew he was about to announce a delay and still had this event, he's crazy. If he didn't know Vista was about to slip again, then Microsoft is in worse shape than anyone realizes.
Full ticket details here.
Logged Hours: My lunch with Frank McCourt (or, why teaching is a thankless job):
Me: Mr. McCourt, do you keep in touch with any of your former students?
FMcC: They keep in touch with me.
Lunch guests: (laughter)
Mrs. FMcC: Tell her about the Moose story, Frank!
FMcC: Oh, the Moose story.
Lunch guests: Yeah! Moose story! Yeah! (incomprehensible mumbling)
FMcC: Alright, alright. So I was walking along the street one day, and I ran into one of my old students, who came up to me. He said, "Hey, Mr. McCourt! Remember me? I was one of your students!" and I said, "Yeah, Moose Klein, I remember you." So he says, "Yeah! I was in your class at Stuy!" and I said, "Yes, Moose, I know."
"I was in your creative writing class!"
"YES, Moose, I know."
"I was in your creative writing class for a year and a half!"
"Moose! I know!"
"Yeah, I was in your class for a year and a half, and because of that I'm a poet. And now I'm starving, so FUCK YOU!"
Lila's Halo of Disfigurement
Originally uploaded by chauss513.
The Stranger | Seattle | Arts | In Arts News | In Art News:
Becky was the first artist I ever wrote about. She was the brilliant, nonconforming valedictorian of our drab suburban high school, and when we went to the same college, I reviewed her beguiling photographic portraits for the campus newspaper. That was 11 years ago. Last week, I stayed with her in New York, where I went to navigate the sea of contemporary art at the Whitney Biennial and the Armory Show. Becky stayed home. She is an unhappy, financially struggling, full-time mother of two, contemplating whether she should simply lower her expectations. She is no longer an artist, and art is no longer in tune with her life.
Bruce Bethke | Freelance Writer:
So the Deal with the Devil works like this: in exchange for your writer's soul, you get offered the chance to do a book that is almost guaranteed to be a huge, best-selling, commercial success. Confronted with this, most writers think "Okay, I'll do just one. Then, once I've got a best-seller on my resumé and the fans know who I am, I'll go back to doing "real" books."
Of course, as in all deals with the devil, there's at least one hidden catch, and the most important one is this: if the book is a huge, commercial, best-selling success, it gets credited to the media franchise that spawned it, whereas if the book tanks, it gets blamed on the writer. The other major catch is that there turns out to be little or no cross-over in readership. People who buy media tie-in books very rarely pay attention to books set outside of their favorite movie or TV universe. For example, Mike Stackpole tells me that fans send him email messages all the time gushing, "I've read ALL your books!" when what they really mean is that they've read all his STAR WARS books, and have absolutely no clue that he's written anything else and no interest in anything else in any case.
Internet Archive: Details: Experiments in the Revival of Organisms:
This disturbing film records the successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs), as conducted by Dr. S.S. Bryukhonenko at the Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy, Voronezh, U.S.S.R. Director: D.I. Yashin. Camera: E.V. Kashina. Narrator: Professor Walter B. Cannon. Introduced by Professor J.B.S. Haldane.
The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites:
Ugliness has never looked better. I have spent the last few days examining a surprising trend in web design that has made ugly websites look absolutely irresistible. No, its not the bolded, 18 point Times New Roman font shouting at me as I access the page that has me excited, nor is it the harsh colors that have actually managed to make my eyes hurt and distort my vision. In fact, its not even that logo which is so pixelated from being processed, resized, saved, and edited so many times that it appears to be blurred to protect the identity of the company who owns the website that has me singing the praises of ugly websites. What is it?
That's right – ugly websites are surprisingly effective in making money. As a person who puts business before technology, a profitable website is a website is an unbelievably attractive website to me.
Wild Life in First Hill
The landing between floors looks out onto a veranda. "This veranda, that's where they used to put the bears. About 1910, a logger came to the front door and had a baby bear in each hand. They were newborns. He gave them to my great-grandmother. Pretty soon they were just galloping around the house. That veranda was their playpen.
"Family members would take them for a walk around the neighborhood. They were black bears. They got to be big in about 10 months. They were very friendly. Never threatened anybody, but they didn't know their own strength. They were so glad to see anybody who came to the front door, they'd just throw themselves on people like a dog.
"So my grandfather took them to Woodland Park. Later, my mother would take me to the park and point them out and say, 'There, dear. There's our bear.'
Yahoo! TV News & Gossip -:
"South Park" has declared war on Scientology. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the animated satire, are digging in against the celebrity-endorsed religion after a controversial episode mocking outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise was yanked abruptly from the schedule Wednesday with an Internet report saying it was covert warfare by Cruise that led to its departure.
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the "South Park" creators said in a statement Friday in Daily Variety. "Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies... You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!"
Boing Boing: Marvel Comics: stealing our language:
Marvel Comics is continuing in its bid to steal the word "super-hero" from the public domain and put it in a lock-box to which it will control the key. Marvel and DC comics jointly filed a trademark on the word "super-hero." They use this mark to legally harass indie comic companies that make competing comic books.
A trademark's enforceability hinges on whether the public is likely to associate a word or mark with a given company -- in other words, when you hear the word "super-hero," if you think "Marvel and DC," then Marvel will be able to go on censoring and eliminating its competition.
One way of accomplishing this dirty bit of mind-control is by adding a ™ symbol after the word "Super-Hero." That TM lets the world know that you claim ownership over the word it accompanies. If you can get other people to do it, too, eventually you may in fact get the world to believe that the word is your property -- and then, it becomes your property.
An Actress Upstaging Her Talent and Ibsen - New York Times:
This quixotic idea arose after a recent visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where I witnessed Cate Blanchett and the Sydney Theater Company merrily desecrate Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" before an audience that didn't seem to notice (or care) that a classic play was being publicly kneecapped.
On the strength of Ms. Blanchett's film-derived fame, the monthlong run of the production is entirely sold out. Forlorn-looking youngsters are lining up for returns at every performance. The audience buzzes with anticipation before the lights go down and rises to its feet with delight when the famous gunshot brings Hedda's torment to an end. They are obviously happy to play their ordained role in this event, which is less a serious interpretation of a classic text than a public encounter with a real live movie star.
Avid theatergoers who have not managed to obtain a ticket shouldn't lose any sleep. What they're missing is Ibsen transformed into a three-ring circus, with Ms. Blanchett presiding in the center ring, giving a performance that would be merely silly and self-indulgent if it were not also scandalous.
Nostalgic, kickass rock video of the day:
Blondie - Picture This (Live 1978)
Explaining the faux Irish pub revolution:
Ireland, as much of the world knows it, was invented in 1991. That year, the Irish Pub Company formed with a mission to populate the world with authentic Irish bars. Whether you are in Kazkhstan or the Canary Islands, you can now hear the lilt of an Irish brogue over the sound of the Pogues as you wait for your Guinness to settle. A Gaelic road sign may hang above the wooden bar and a fiddle may be lying in a corner. As you gaze around, you might think of the Irish—O, that friendly, hard-drinking, sweater-wearing people!—and smile. Your smile has been carefully calculated.
IPCo's designers claim to have "developed ways of re-creating Irish pubs which would be successful, culturally and commercially, anywhere in the world." To wit, they offer five basic styles: The "Country Cottage," with its timber beams and stone floors, is supposed to resemble a rural house that gradually became a commercial establishment. The "Gaelic" design features rough-hewn doors and murals based on Irish folklore. You might, instead, choose the "Traditional Pub Shop," which includes a fake store (like an apothecary), or the "Brewery" style, which includes empty casks and other brewery detritus, or "Victorian Dublin," an upscale stained-glass joint. IPCo will assemble your chosen pub in Ireland. Then they'll bring the whole thing to your space and set it up. All you have to do is some basic prep, and voilà! Ireland arrives in Dubai. (IPCo has built several pubs and a mock village there.)
Schneier on Security: Basketball Prank:
Victoria was a hoax UCLA co-ed, created by Cal's Rally Committee. For the previous week, "she" had been chatting with Gabe Pruitt, USC's starting guard, over AOL Instant Messenger. It got serious. Pruitt and several of his teammates made plans to go to Westwood after the game so that they could party with Victoria and her friends.
On Saturday, at the game, when Pruitt was introduced in the starting lineup, the chants began: "Victoria, Victoria." One of the fans held up a sign with her phone number.
The look on Pruitt's face when he turned to the bench after the first Victoria chant was priceless. The expression was unlike anything ever seen in collegiate or pro sports. Never did a chant by the opposing crowd have such an impact on a visiting player. Pruitt was in total shock. (This is the only picture I could find.)
The chant "Victoria" lasted all night. To add to his embarrassment, transcripts of their IM conversations were handed out to the bench before the game: "You look like you have a very fit body." "Now I want to c u so bad."
Reading About Reading: Naomi Wolf, YA Slut - Gawker:
We practically soiled our Sevens, dirtied our DVF and tarnished our town car with excitement over Naomi Wolf’s essay on the rise in popularity of young adult slut fiction, aka books in the “Gossip Girl,” “A-List” and “Clique” series. We’re not gonna front here; we’ve definitely, definitely spent some hours in the young adult section of the bookstore, sitting up against a wall with a Gossip Girl book strategically masked by a copy of the New Republic. Call it soft-core porn, call it cliterature, but there’s nothing like reading about a bulimic 16-year-old Spence girl having sex in the service elevator of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, high on her alcoholic mother’s Percocet.
Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | SXSW starts to swing:
Undoubtedly "Danny Roane" has cult-movie potential, but all the reasons that might happen are bad ones. Let's put it this way: James Van Der Beek plays himself in this film, or at least himself playing the lead character in Danny's autobiographical film, an alcoholic actor suffering from an unexplained bloody anal discharge. Not enough butt for you? Later in the film we see Dick himself passed out naked on TV actress Maura Tierney's front lawn, with a black Labrador eagerly exploring his hindquarters. Like most other reporters, I fled the Austin Convention Center's hall after the screening, and so missed the Q&A session in which Dick reportedly humped an audience member's head while mumbling vile obscenities. Maybe that'll show up on DVD, fans -- but some distributor will have to buy the film first.
Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Blood on the red carpet:
The people connected with Brokeback Mountain, including me, hoped that, having been nominated for eight Academy awards, it would get Best Picture as it had at the funny, lively Independent Spirit awards the day before. (If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit choices.) We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what was stirring contemporary culture. Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.
Wal-Mart and the Shanghai Pirates:
When executives from Warner Bros. heard Wal-Mart's DVD-to-order proposal in Bentonville, Ark., last year, one of its home entertainment executives pointed out that, with present technology, the delay for the customer might be as long as a half hour before he could pick up the DVD. "Great. Could you make it an hour?" the Wal-Mart executive shot back. From the point of view of Wal-Mart, the DVD need not make money itself, as long as it serves to draw—and keep—potential customers in its stores. The remaining issue is the amount of the licensing fee per copy that the studios will charge. The current proposal under discussion of $3 to $4 for older movies is not much below what the studios are now getting (after manufacturing costs) for the DVDs they sell to Wal-Mart. But once the studios agree to the scheme, they would be hard-pressed to resist pressure from Wal-Mart to reduce the licensing fee, since this costless stream of revenue could not be easily replaced. As one savvy Paramount executive points out, "There would be nothing to stop Wal-Mart from playing studios off against each other and drive the license fee down and down on titles until it's just pocket change." If Wal-Mart succeeds in this enterprise—and it rarely fails—it will close much of the gap with the Shanghai pirates.
Isaac Hayes Quits 'South Park' - Yahoo! News:
Isaac Hayes has quit "South Park," where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion.
Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.
"South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians."
The Village Voice: Hello. I'm Eugene.:
The first thing you have to decide is what kind of comedian you want to be. There are seven basic categories—"The Surprise!," "The Zing," "The Flip-a-Roo," "The Bam!," "The Shit NO!" "Voicies" and the "Hmmm?-HAHA."
Obviously, just like with colors, styles can be mixed to create variations. I mostly do "Hmmm?-HAHA-Flip-a-Roo-Zings." While David Cross is a "Surprise!-Voicies-Shit NO!" comedian. Demetri Martin has popularized the "Hmmm?-HAHA-Surprise." Dane Cook is known for his "Bam!" humor (sorry to those who thought he did "Flip-a-Roos.") Robin Williams is a "Surprise!-Voicies-Zing-Flip-a-Roo-Bam!" comedian, making him at times difficult to follow (i.e. some of the radio-montages in Good Morning Vietnam.) The only exceptions to this are Jon Benjamin and Jon Glaser who exclusively do "HOLY-MOLY" humor.
Puppetry of the Accidental Martyr:
Last night I went to the first performance of the new Rachel Corrie play at ConWorks. It’s not that Rachel Corrie play, not the one that was recently cancelled in New York, causing all kinds of recriminations over alleged censorship. It’s a different Rachel Corrie play, a puppet play, put on by the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater.
I was sent to this performance not because I’m some connoiseur of puppetry, or theater, but because I have something of a history with Rachel Corrie representations. I wrote one of the first long pieces about her death in 2003, when The Stranger sent me to the Gaza Strip to find out more about how the former Evergreen College student had become an accidental martyr in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The Liam McEneaney Experience:
I look out the window wistfully at the occupied outdoor tables, and there, with his back to me is Philip Seymour Hoffman, reading a script. His New York Film Academy t-shirt riding high, his jeans riding low. Yes, Hollywood was truly smiling upon me that day.
After a long while of that view, an outdoor table opened and I nabbed it. Now I'm sitting next to Hoffman. Adjacent to PSH's table are two young guys loudly and aggressively writing a screenplay on their Powerbooks. And I should add, they were writing about the worst screenplay I'd ever heard. A lot of talk about the need to get a shot of a ship leaving orbit, of guns and mercenaries, and the properties of a suit that's theu nderlying theme or somethign like that. One would say, "Our second act climax is when the priest fals on the scaffolding and dies." And the other guy responded, "Our third act opens when she wakes up and finds the billboard with a picture of her holding a shotgun."
Why immigration makes you sick:
In sum, whatever it is about American life that makes African-Americans and native-born Latinos sicker, on average, than your average white person—recent studies show higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension—eventually drags down new arrivals as well. Acculturation to American life signifies regression to the health mean of one's ethnic group.
Reaching for explanations, scientists have suggested that immigrants are a self-selected bunch—immigration officials play some role in selecting out the sickly—who must be especially hardy to make a difficult transition to a new land. Also, while they come from countries where infectious disease shortens lives, people from Third World countries have the advantage of belonging to cultures where people stay married longer; live in larger households with more family members; use fewer drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol; and eat less fat. These are all healthy behaviors. Over time here, however, these immigrants become more like Americans—hardworking single and divorced McDonalds eaters. In their home countries, immigrant women tend to smoke, drink, and divorce less than they do here; with sexual equality, apparently, come some bad habits. The discrimination and related stress that blacks and Hispanics contend with in the United States is also part of the mix of explanations for their deteriorating health.
How does one become a bouncer?
I can only speak from my own experience here, because there are so many different types of bars and clubs in New York, all with wildly varying standards for the hiring of their security staffs. I was hired by someone who knew me personally for well over ten years. In other words, I was "vouched for." There are many places around here, however, where one can walk in off the street and secure a position.
Bush Weaves Rug Story Into Many an Occasion:
Bush has his own touches in the Oval Office -- some Western-themed paintings and an on-loan bust of Winston Churchill courtesy of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. But it is the rug that animates the president.
"He loves his rug," said Nicolle Wallace, the White House communications director. "I've heard him describe it countless times."
Sometimes Bush describes it as a metaphor for leadership. Sometimes he relates how Russian President Vladimir Putin admired the carpet. Sometimes he seems most taken by the lighting qualities.
Dogs In Elk:
Anne V - 01:01 pm PDT - Sep 9, 1999 - Okay - I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away from meat? This is not, unfortunately, a joke.
AmyC - 01:02 pm PDT - Sep 9, 1999 - Um, can you give us a few more specifics here?
Anne V - 01:12 pm PDT - Sep 9, 1999 - They're inside of it. They crawled inside, and now I have a giant incredibly heavy piece of carcass in my yard, with 2 dogs inside of it, and they are NOT getting bored of it and coming out. One of them is snoring. I have company arriving in three hours, and my current plan is to 1. put up a tent over said carcass and 2. hang thousands of fly strips inside it. This has been going on since about 6:40 this morning.
AmyC - 01:19 pm PDT - Sep 9, 1999 - Oh. My. God. What sort of carcass is big enough to hold a couple of dogs inside? Given the situation, I'm afraid you're not going to be create enough of a diversion to get the dogs out of the carrion, unless they like greeting company as much as they like rolling around in dead stuff. Which seems unlikely. Can you turn a hose on the festivities?
Anne V - 01:31 pm PDT - Sep 9, 1999 - Elk. Elk are very big this year, because of the rain and good grazing and so forth. They aren't rolling. They are alternately napping and eating. They each have a ribcage. Other dogs are working on them from the outside. It's all way too primal in my yard right now. We tried the hose trick. At someone elses house, which is where they climbed in and began to refuse to come out. Many hours ago. I think that the hose mostly helps keep them cool and dislodges little moist snacks for them. hose failed. My new hope is that if they all continue to eat at this rate, they will be finished before the houseguests arrive. The very urban houseguests. Oh, ghod - I know it's funny. It's appalling, and funny, and completely entirely representative of life with dogs.
Real life Simpsons re-enactment for Sky One in the UK...here.
L.A. South Central Farm Receives 3-Day Eviction Notice:
FTW told you the dramatic and compelling story of what 350 families have done over a 13-year period with a 14 acre plot of land in a depressed inner city. They are feeding themselves with organically grown and healthy produce that requires zero fossil-fuel inputs and requires virtually no transportation expense. This is being done on soil that was once paved, covered, depleted and ignored. More than anything else, this is the one area of effort most essential for America’s (and the world’s) major cities to pursue as Peak Oil takes its first deadly bites.
Two days ago the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unceremoniously posted an eviction notice on the farm’s gate calling for the farm to be vacated by March 6th (next Monday). That would leave current crops in the ground to be plowed under by a developer’s bulldozers. The intended replacement for the farm is a warehouse intended to serve (primarily) Wal-Mart.
An author turns to God / Mary Karr: Best-selling writer used to scorn religion, but in 1996, she converted to Catholicism to stop drinking. It worked.:
Karr's faith, though, allows plenty of room for disagreement with the church. She accepts the tag "cafeteria Catholic" for picking and choosing which precepts she follows. "Isn't everyone, though, really?" Karr says. "In the same way I don't agree with everything my country does, I still think of myself as an American."
J. Francis Lehman: That 'harmless' and 'neccessary' Patriot Act:
What got him so upset might seem trivial to some people who have learned to accept small infringements on their freedom as just part of the way things are in this age of terror-fed paranoia. It's that "everything changed after 9/11" thing.
He was referring to the recent decision by him and his wife to be responsible, to do the kind of thing that just about anyone would say makes good, solid financial sense.
They paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.
And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable.
And all they did was pay down their debt. They didn't call a suspected terrorist on their cell phone. They didn't try to sneak a machine gun through customs.
They just paid a hefty chunk of their credit card balance. And they learned how frighteningly wide the net of suspicion has been cast.
Boing Boing: House introduces mandatory radio-crippling law:
Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) has introduced a bill to cripple all digital radios. The Audio Broadcast Flag Licensing Act of 2006 (H.R. 4861) requires all digital radio makers to build their devices so that they only permit "customary uses" of broadcasts. That means that no one ever gets to invent any new radio tech ever again unless the RIAA approves of it. Finally, it requires radio device makers to cripple their products to prohibit "unauthorized copying" -- which is a lot more broad than "illegal copying." As we've heard, the RIAA's position is that no copying is implicitly authorized -- they don't even think you should be allowed to rip your CDs.
Overheard in New York: The Voice of the City - Guy Ritchie, Drunk?:
Girl #1: He told me not to worry about his girlfriend. He was like, "You know you're gonna like it!"
Girl #2: Oh my god, that's so your type! Like, borderline rapist!
--Bungalow 8, West 27th Street
View the whole .pdf here.
Toys 'R' Us wins suit against Amazon.com - U.S. Business - MSNBC.com:
In her opinion, McVeigh took a rather dim view of the trial testimony of some Amazon executives, including that of the company’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, saying she had “no doubt his knowledge and understanding (of the Toys "R" Us agreement) went much deeper than revealed.”
When pushed on the witness stand, “certain information ‘just came back to him’” she said in the ruling, while another of Bezos’ explanations was referred to as “rather childlike.”
McVeigh also rejected Amazon’s efforts to defend itself by asking her to throw out e-mail evidence that may have included hearsay. She said she found it “incomprehensible … that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce finds Internet communications to lack reliability.”
And she repeatedly complained about the ambiguous use of language in memorandums, contract agreements and discussions, concluding that “the language as drafted whether intentional or inartful gave Amazon the words to play the game their way.”
Who's Reading Your Cell's Text Messages?:
Have you ever hit "Send" on a text message on your mobile phone before addressing it? Ever wondered where all those lost SMS text messages go? If so, you might want to speak with Stan Bubrouski, whose cell phone has been channeling wayward text messages from across the country for years.
Bubrouski, a computer science major at Northeastern University in Boston, is the proud owner of 'Null@vtext.com,' an account on the popular Verizon text messaging service that allows Internet users to send e-mail and IM messages directly to his cell phone as SMS text messages.