Friday, April 28, 2006

Random Signage

Copy editing

Taub is promoting one of the latest presentations of revisionist theories on the 2001 attacks by al-Qaida terrorists, a film that says, among other things, that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile fired by the military as an excuse to go to war
(link). Iin this paragraph, strike "revisionist" for moronic.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Shafer on plagarism

Jack Shafer muses on plagiarism. He is skeptical of Kaavya Viswanathan's claim that she unconsciously took phrases from another's work.
Pinching one or two phrases from another book in the course of writing a 320-page novel might be accidental. But by the time a novelist does it 29 times, the effort is transparently intentional and conscious. Unless, of course, Viswanathan composed her entire novel during Ambien-induced sleep-writing episodes.
I wonder if it's true that no one has ever really confessed to plagiarising, and not passing it off as a mistake or a misty memory of someone else's presumably better writing that somehow spilled unbidden onto your pages? Since many writers toil with no great monetary rewards, a big consolation is they have is credit for what they wrote, and plagiarism steals that - I think it's a cardinal sin of writing, but in Shafer's piece he points out a lack of consequences instead.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Put this in down into the bucket called "rants against the ether"....complaints I expect no one who can do anything about it will read, but I felt like yammering about now and then.

So I downloaded the web logs again to look for people hotlinking images. To be brief, hotlinking an image is posting it in on your website when the image is physically at another website. In this case, unless someone right clicks the image or looks at the source code, they have no idea where the image is hosted. So you have paid, with your bandwidth, for someone else's webpage to display the image. I analogized this before. The typical thief these days seems to be someone on putting a piece of art my wife posted about on My Daily Art into their Profile, preceded by Interests. So they post a picture, but can't think of a single word to say about it, or even link to YDA for more info. None of that bothers me that much, if the pages weren't so blindingly badly designed, ugly, and the equivalent of weapons of mass eyeball destruction. One person had a translucent comments box, that scrolled with semi-translucent images against a very busy background. Although I decline to link to it here, you can get the idea by spreading a collection of comic books on the floor, then falling down and scraping them over your eyes.

I don't care that much that they take our bandwidth - or I'd cull the links more than once a month - but can give them a course in basic web design that doesn't cause motion sickness? Or maybe just explain to them what hotlinking is....

Ideas in Mind-sharpening

I've been drinking Mountain Dew and eating Easter Jelly Bellies to sharpen my mind

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gonzales and his web of stupidity

So the Attorney General, having wiped up all other crime, is concerned with people "accidently" stumbling upon porn on the Internet:
The Bush administration's proposal would require commercial Web sites to place 'marks and notices' to be devised by the Federal Trade Commission on each sexually explicit page.
So the person "accidently" viewing the hundreds of porn pages on "" would get a warning graphic on every single page, perhaps with a picture of the Attorney General. Come to think of it, there's a lot of books in the library that need warnings. Perhaps special coverlet pages could be affixed to each page, warning the words underneath might mention naked people. Perhaps we can cut out the middleman and just submit everything we propose to read to the government in advance, and they'll get back to us.

I can think of a label I'd like to affix to the AG's forehead, but I think "ignorant tightass" might be too wide.

PS. The post is labelled as dangerous to youth due to a naughty word. You have been postwarned.

No more awards?

Roldo Bartimole makes note of the awards dry spell suffered by the ex-Publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
We havenít seen a single award since the Newhouses dumped him from his cushy job as Pee Dee publisher.

I mean it was a weekly adventure to wonder what Cleveland organization would curry favor with the Pee Dee by bestowing upon The Snake honors and tribute in the form of an Award. For this. For that. For anything they could imagine.

Not only that. You may not have noticed but Machaskee has been dropped from the board of the Cleveland Foundation.
Some pens are mightier than swords, and they may draw blood.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bad Apple

Imagine this quote:
"Apple Computers are doing nothing more than feeding the public's insatiable desire for information,
Ok, this isn't what he said. What the judge actually said
...(the Macintosh news sites) are doing nothing more than feeding the public's insatiable desire for information
That damned public, always wanting more information! Basically Apple wants to crush some Apple-centric news websites, because they can, or as they put it, because they're not "legitimate". If there's one company I trust to decide who's a legitimate journalist...umm...I suppose I don't.


Mickey Kaus evidently agrees with Ann Coulter on this writing of hers
And if you are a girl in Aruba or New York City, among the best ways to avoid being the victim of a horrible crime is to not get drunk in public or go off in a car with men you just met. ...
This is a novel approach to crime. If we can just remove the victims, there will be no more crimes. The best way to avoid a carjacking is to not drive down the wrong street, the best way to avoid a burglary is to not allow people you don't know to kick in your front door. This is just common sense, folks.

That Darn Angry Left

Yes, abstinence works, but our liberal controlled schools supported by our activist liberal judges aren't allowed to teach abstinence! They teach elementary kids how to put condoms on cucumbers and how to have abortions...

- commenting on this thread at Forgive my ignorance, but is there a public school in the US where a judge has banned teaching abstinence? Is there an elementary school of any kind that teaches kids how to have abortions? Granted, if the laws in South Dakota take hold, everyone may have to learn to provide their own abortions, and we all know how well that turned out last time.

But my point is to wonder if people are now just making stuff up of whole cloth to show how bad the other side is? This goes for the folks dreaming that Bush is some kind of proto-dictator too. The simple term for these types shouldn't be "angry left" or "angry right", but to save time, just plain "stupid".

This is why I'm getting cremated

A couple who died more than 125 years ago are now buried under a layer of asphalt after a businessman constructed a parking lot on his property.
I can't imagine a worse fate that having teenagers hang out over my grave, drinking overpriced soda and skateboarding - badly - for all eternity. (link).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Worst sentence I've read this week

"I came in for eye drops and discovered something eye opening".

Ugh. Everytime someone writes something like this, a kitten gives up reading. (link to source).

Newsbot needs a tweak

Yahoo! News has an Obituary section, listing a nobit and usually a picture. Imagine my surprise seeing Katie Couric there:

Their Obit pages (which they may update, hence the screenshot) and the story on Couric

Peering over the garden fence

Spring is nearly here...which is good because the elections are still far away...I'm not from looking forward to the elections where Republicans will try to convince me even though they've been building bigger government, it's just to get a better view to skink it, and Democrats try to convince me the reason I should vote for them is that other guys are so darned awful that I have no choice.

As everyone knows, spring here in Lakewood is signaled by birds, skateboarders hanging out in parking lots (so glad we built that skate park, huh), and the return of Jed and Betty. My parents seem to come most every spring to help M_ and myself with our notably ungreen thumbs. One of the things we want to do is put up a fence - which sadly, is mostly to block out the sight if not the idea of a neighbour. So I turn to my internet neighbours on my blogroll for what they've been up to...

Speaking of home work, Brian Bento at n-grams and ingrams was working on fixing his expensive Apple laptop:
Not wanting to go back to the Apple store, I took matters into my own hands. Pulling out my trusty library card, I slid it into the CD drive and nudged it up against the CD.
. Read the full story here, which could go into the "computer companies want you to pay top dollar, but don't really care if it's junk" file, if I could find a file folder tab that wide.

Lynn at A Sweet, Familiar Dissonance laments that some folks think the word "cryptoterrestrial" is too long. To me, it doesn't convey enough information. First glance makes me think it represents a creature that's been encrypted, but maybe this just means I spend too much time around computers.

"Do you have any whisky?" and
"This place is far too dirty. You
must clean it

if I am to stay the night."

Read the rest by Adam Harvey, poeting at Organic Mechanic

I like the Escher reflecting ball drawing (which I'm not linking because they all seem to be selling posters), but not so much the modern equivalent photographed by Tim at Brewed Fresh Daily. Although he says it defines the west side of Cleveland.

Jeff Hess, blogging at Have Coffee, Will Write is amused at the cheap bitchiness of a newspaper that takes away the gratis copies in the office for employees, and tries to get them to pay a quarter (because that will them in the black for sure!)
Do suppose Alexander (The Barely Competent) is going to post security cameras on the boxes? Hire guards? Clap his hands together in glee as senior reporters who Donít have to put up with the chicken shit! walk out?
My rule of capitalism is thus: if the cheap bitches (I use it in a sense to attacks fools of all genders) running your company start cheaping out on items that cost almost nothing, that's the first warning sign.

Jill Zimon, oft accused of Writing like she Talks has some handy info on some local judges running for election here. It always surprises me that despite being nearly free, how many local candidates do not bother creating up to date websites (let alone blogs as useful as Jill's).

Apparently the weather isn't so great down south, according to Michael Schaub, who's blogging at Bookslut
I live in Austin. It was over 100 degrees yesterday and will be again today. The utilities have timed the rolling blackouts to ensure that no traffic light I encounter, at any time of the day, will actually be working. Basically, being outside here is like hugging a very fat man for a long time, and also the fat man is on fire.
(link). Crichton should be worried.

Meryl Yourish has a new hero - he's Danny Gillerman, Israeli ambassador to the UN:
Danny Gillerman deviated from his speech, and turned to the Palestinian representative, saying that there was one word missing from his speech - Hamas. You didnít use that word even once, Gillerman told Mansour, adding: Come, Iíll spell it out for you how they say Hamas H-A-M-A-S.
Embarrassment is the least of Mansour's (and the UN's) problems on this. (Link).

Marybeth, long accused of having Random Thoughts, has discovered another type of terrorist - kind of - when cat meets rose.

Avedon Carol has a post linking to various blogs on The Sideshow here, including this quote from Glenn Greenwald
Every country opposed to our interests is Nazi Germany. From this it follows that every warmonger is the glorious reincarnation of the brave and resolute Winston Churchill.
I think it's reasonable to ask that you not call a democratically elected leader Hitler - as those on the right mock some on the far left do - but it's equally reasonable to not paint him as Churchill either. Just in case you forgot, it's the same war they're both pulling overblown rhetoric from...

Over at Alphecca Jeff Soyer looks at gun bias in the media. Oddly, he also found some sword bias in Tacoma, Washington:
It's pointed out that "sword crime" is rather rare and in fact, isn't a problem. If it isn't a problem, why pass a law?
The only law about swords in my book is "in the end, there can be only one"!

Last week, Foodgoat did his first podcast reviewing beer. I saw Foodgoat and Ladygoat at a blogger meeting once, but never got to speak to who I consider the stars of the Ohio food-blogosphere, which I am reluctant to shorten to "flogosphere" for obvious reasons.

Meanwhile, oboist Patricia Mitchell won't let us see her in pajamas and also notes
Unless you can't live if you don't do music full time, you may as well face reality and get a job that pays a living wage.
I once tried to do it full-time myself, but when I looked forward to free samples day at the grocery store so you can eat something, I sadly hung up the trombone.

John Ettorre Works with Words and says
How, you ask, could we have ignored such a seminal figure in American culture? Alas, we have no good excuse. So we thought we'd make up for that lapse today.

Finally for spring, Martha at Your Daily Art has flowers, with things I didn't know about the Arts and Crafts movement..." The followers of the movement sought-out the hand-made production methods of the past, as a reaction to the industrial age." We could probably use another movement like this.

Ask not for whom the net tolls

Bill Callahan has been covering the net neutrality issue and pending legislation that would allow the Telco's to introduce all kinds of suckage to the Internet. He points out the media seems

silent and so are our elected officials.

If you hate tech debates and your eyes glaze over when someone starts talking about how much better Linux is than windows, don't fret- it's not that kind of issue. Basically the owners of the actual hardware that the Internet transmits across want to set up highwaymen - err, tolls - on the info highway. If only some sites have decent bandwidth, you can kiss the cash you spent to get broadband in your house goodbye, it just became worthless. I'd advise checking out Bill's site (above) and writing to your rep if you don't want to start paying extra money for...hmmmm...I guess for extra profits for AT&T and company.

Slow news day at the CBC

Headline: CBC News: 60 per cent of Albertans want more respect: poll.

Update: No respect? Well at least they have lots of bunnies.

Sticky roads

Glue was spilled on a Cleveland area street last night. A certain well-known coyote was unavailable for comment, claiming he was still recuperating from an anvil accident last month.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Red and Blue Blogging with different goals?

Georgia10 at Daily Kos writes
It seem to me that the entire liberal blogosphere phenomenon loses something in its Republican translation. Where Dean, Edwards, Feingold and others use the internet as a means of citizen empowerment, Frist and others use it as a means of retaining power themselves.
I'm not sure if this is true...I wonder if someone has surveyed whether "liberal" blogs versus "conservative" blogs allow comments more often? I wonder if better citizen empowerment would come not by supporting candidate X of Party A or B but by taking some of the power of that party away. If the election itself and it's votes determine our choices, I don't see what parties add other than to reduce choices before the masses get a say. Back to the writer's point, I don't think political stripes determine a blog's effectiveness, but writing and ideas do...just with some blogs, I think they are not expecting anyone of the other party (or those of us without a party) to be reading them.

Helpful Newspaper

How helpful is the Cleveland Plain Dealer?

They carry an AP story listed on the PeeDee Website:
Two registered sex offenders, Joseph L. Gray, 57, of Milo, and William Elliott, 24, of Corinth, were fatally shot in their homes Sunday morning, prompting the state to take down the Maine Sex Offender Registry Web site.

Putting aside who these people were, one might agree that for purposes of having a functioning Justice system, they shouldn't be targeted and murdered. But let's say you're just wacky enough to want to go out and murder folks. But alas, you don't have a gun. Lucky for you, elsewhere on the PeeDee website, which for some reason I'm not linking to here, they list everyone who has ever applied for a concealed weapon permit in area counties. The editors feel it's vital to list everyone owning a gun, just in case you need that information. Otherwise, you'd have to randomly break into houses, hoping each one had a gun. Brilliant.

In another story in the PeeDee, they take aim at gun shows. Among other badness occuring there:
The white-supremacist book describes the fictional overthrow of minority-backed U.S. government. It helped influence Timothy McVeigh to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.
I have no comment on the racist crap in the book mentioned, other than to wonder if the best way to strike against bad books is to close gun shows. I think it will just lead to guns at bookstores.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Smell any good movies lately?

So they're adding smells to the film The New World (the Colin Farrell pic from last year)
A floral scent accompanies a love scene, while a mix of peppermint and rosemary is emitted during a tear-jerking scene. Joy is a citrus mix of orange and grapefruit, while anger is enhanced by a herb-like concoction with a hint of eucalyptus and tea tree.
Having seen the picture, I can see they are leaving out a key odor - smelling salts.

Prayer study

Rueben Bolling examines prayer.

My personal favourite piece of this is the "planting a 380 million year 'old' fossil".

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Eric Umansky: Hard Working Rumsfeld

Eric Umansky (on his blog) writes
Who could question Rummy work habits? After all, the man works from a standing desk.
I'm glad to hear that the Secretary of Defense is working long hours during a war. I'd be much happier to hear the war was going better, or we were planning better. To think of it another way - would you judge a symphony by how long the composer took writing it, or whether it was a wretched piece of junk you wouldn't force a statuary to listen to?

Friday, April 07, 2006


Andrew Sullivan blogs about Scientology, and "silent birth"
According to Scientologist, Anne Archer, 'shouting things like 'push, push'; can sometimes have an adverse effect later in life.'
Let me go one further, and state that perhaps if the scientologists parents stayed silent for the first 18 years or so of the baby's life, things would be much less adverse.

Bad descriptions in the news

"Instead of an Asian or Irish Tiger, Mexico has become a poodle-like Chihuahua..." - Lawrence Kudlow (link).

Poodle-like? It's now bred for swimming? It's got a custom haircut for dog shows?

Overheard at the office

Can I put you on hold a minute? I have to go to the bathroom and get my food.

This just in

The Rolling Stones are sell-outs. I'm as shocked as anyone.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog notes a Cleveland PeeDee editorial railing against some business owners in the flats, holding out for better prices in anticipation of the large-ish development project set to redevelop an area near the river. A telling line is this: "The only thing that has changed is that there's a guy with deep pockets who wants to do something in the Flats - and wants to do it without his current neighbors."

Will the project one day end up as a "land of stale beer, fake IDs and public urination."? Whoops, sorry, that's the current place! Why is tax money of any kind being spent to help start businesses that could not make a profit on their own? It's too bad there's no casino here yet, we could lay bets if in five to ten years, the PeeDee will be bitching about the "stale" development needing another moneybags to come help us out.

Ask me no questions

Jill Zimon makes note of Russians trying to use a "lie detection" device at airports. Watch out for some genius at the DHS here to pick up on this psedoscience. Why don't they have tarot card readings at airports too? "I see the five of shoe-bombers".

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Useless Dialogs

Imagine a dialog more useless than one that tells you how many bytes you've downloaded, without telling you how many there are in total. I couldn't either.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

RedState on DeLay

What to do when when one of your leaders resign in disgrace? Blame peer pressure:
But at the same time, DeLay's weaknesses grew larger as he spent more time in Washington. Where he started by using the enemies' tools against them, he began to take part in the excesses of his Democrat predecessors.
Hopefully he left before he started smoking or drinking like those bad Democrats down at the pool hall.

Update: 4:07 PM - I may have found a job that DeLay could get elected to...

Monday, April 03, 2006

That darned Internet

What to do when some teenagers decide to leave Super-Mario-like boxes on city streets? Blame the internet: "The girls said they found an Internet site that included step-by-step instructions for creating replicas of blocks featured in the game." Personally, I would blame Pat Catan's for encouraging the idea of crafts. I shudder to think of the danger though. I could not have resisted the boxes in case they contained gold coins or perhaps a much needed power-up (Starbucks power ups run me four bucks a pop).

Of course by court order I cannot post instructions that led to my own ill-advised attempt to recreate Donkey Kong using 45 gallon drums, scaffolding, and a gorilla costume.