Monday, October 28, 2002


Why, oh why, would one pay $5.99 for this? eBay item 2065238084 (Ends Nov-03-02 10:16:10 PST ) - 1975 Milk Glass Bowl - it's from an FTD floral arrangement, apparently. Which means someone paid for the flowers that came in the bowl in 1975, and the bowl just happesn to have survived that long. And now someone is trying to con eBay buyers to pay $5.99 plus shipping for that which can be gotten at a yard sale, flea market, or thrift shop for what, a buck?

See, here's the social implications of a networked life gone haywire: instead of a day at a flea market or an afternoon trolling through yard sale junk, surrounded by friends, neighbors, and strangers who like scavenging for treasures, too - hop onto eBay, interact with noary a human being, and be overcharged to boot. See, critical engagement with technology is necessary, especially if you don't want to get suckered on eBay!

- posted by laurie @ 10/28/2002 07:14:00 PM (0) comments

Sunday, October 27, 2002


I managed to skip posting yesterday – whoops! First time in quite a while, though. And, as my Friday post indicated, I needed some serious relaxation time. This was accomplished by going out with friends both Friday and Saturday nights, a rare and somewhat costly approach to decompression and de-stressing. The Friday outing was brief: I think I actually spent more time driving to and from the restaurant than I did in the restaurant. I just met up with a few friends, had a beer, did a little grad-student bonding by griping profusely about a class three of us are taking this semester, and then went home. I was exhausted enough that, had I had more than the one beer, I would have fallen over at the table.

Last night’s venture was fun, but strange, and very pricey. A group of us got together at Chino Latino, a restaurant in the Uptown area of Minneapolis that’s sooo cool, it apparently needs no name or address on the front. After wandering up and down the appropriate block, my friend and I decided that Chino Latino must be the one with “all the sparkly stuff” on the front. And it was. So, we entered – into a dimly-lit restaurant/bar filled with trendy, trashed twenty-somethings. Everyone was wearing black, or if not, the currently fashionalbe, creamy shade of tan. Lots of leater – jackets, pants, etc (I’m guilty, too – I wore my brand-new black leather jacket last night). An hour and a half lafter we arrived, we got a table. We were notified of this by a gentleman wandering around the restaurant with a chalkboard - there were bells attached, and he jingled his way through the extensive waiting area, displaying the name of the party that was next to be seated (and the table number at which the group was to sit, for some reason). The background noise levels in the seating area were slightly more tolerable than the deafening din of the waiting area (where shreaks and screams, loud discussions, and lots of attempted cell-phone conversations combined to make conversing absolutely impossible).

The food ended up being much better than the atmosphere: we got two dishes for sharing and an order of sushi rolls, which was plenty for the five of us, and more reasonably priced than I thought. After dinner, we wandered the streets of Uptown for about 20 minutes, trying to settle on a place to have “one more beer” to end the evening: opinions, of course, were divided as to how we should select a location. I voted for no cover: paying a cover for 30 minutes to an hour and one beer in a place seems excessive and unnecessary to me – and besides, the evening had already been quite pricey. Some people wanted to go home, som didn’t care about the cover. It ended up that we just went to the closest place without a cover, mostly because it was FREEZING while we were outside arguing about where to go. So, we ended up at a place called 101 blu, which wasn’t too bad.

Hmm, I just wrote a whole post about my social life – makes it seem like I might have one : ) !! Of course, I usually bum around my apartment in sweatshirt and jeans, or maybe go out for the occasional diner-style dinner with my husband. The thought of the last two nights as typicla of my social interaction is laughable! But hey, once in a while, it's fun to pretend . . .

- posted by laurie @ 10/27/2002 12:01:00 PM (0) comments

Friday, October 25, 2002


So, it’s Friday afternoon, and I have been released from the stress of this past week. The midterm is over and my review essay is, for better or worse, in my instructor’s mailbox. Now I’m just zonked, and looking forward to a nice nap!

I’m particularly wiped out because I was up half the night finishing my review essay. This, in turn, is because I decided, against better judgment, logic, and other such things to go to the They Might Be Giants vs. McSweeny’s show at the Fitzgerald Theater last night. You see, the review essay was originally due on Thursday at 3:00, and so the plan was to relax, unwind, and celebrate the completion of the paper with a good dose of McSweeny’s-style spoken word and awesome rock showmanship courtesy of the Giants. Of course, an extension until Friday noon was granted to the class, which usually would have been a boon, but to a procrastinator with tickets to see her favorite band, was a decided bane.

Anyway, the show last night was absolutely wonderful. The opening act was a bit odd, a family performance act that included mom operating a slide projector, and dad and daughter providing lyrics and music to tell the story of the slide show on the screen behind them. The eight-year-old kid was pretty good on the drums, though, and some of their bits were quite amusing. The other performers were all phenomenal! I’d write more about them, too, but I’m cognitively impaired due to lack of sleep and left my program in my friend’s car (after getting Flans to sign it!!!), so I can’t remember anyone’s names!

They Might Be Giants put on a wonderful show, as usual. I truly enjoyed this show because I had really good seats – this is the closest to the stage I’d been since I saw them in 1994 at Irving Plaza in NYC – and this was better in some ways. While I started in like row 2 at Irving Plaza, that venue is all general admission with no seats, so when the moshing (to any incredulous readers out there: yes, moshing – John Henry had some slam-danceable tunes, and it was a hometown crowd) started, I got slammed all the way to the back of the hall. I wasn’t a happy camper!

Anyway, They played a few songs off of “NO!,” including “John Lee Supertaster” and “Bed,” both of which I really like. They also did “Dr. Worm” and “Actual Size” with the same awesome drum solo (“press or say . . .” to get 12 different drum styles – the 12th being Animal from the Muppet show – rock on!) that they did when I saw them in D.C. this summer. Of course, “Istanbul” with the great acoustic guitar intro and “Why Does the Sun Shine?” were amazing. Ok, the whole show was amazing. They did the “Clap your hands” intro, and played Edith Head during the McSweeny’s set. The crowd swayed in unison to "Drink," another one I love to see live.For an encore, they did “Fingertips” and “James K. Polk.” They also did a song called “Au Contraire,” which apparently was supposed to appear as a hidden track on the McSweeny’s 6 CD, but somehow or another was forgotten and left off the final CD version. Also nifty to see was the Johns and the band of Dans providing a bit of a soundtrack for David Eggars’s reading, including “Lift Us Up Where We Belong” and some “Stairway to Heaven” action. And they had the confetti cannons! And of course, when the show ended, John Flansburgh was out in the lobby signing stuff, I got my program signed, and I now have two items (the program and a T-shirt purchased at a 9:30 show in D.C. a few years ago) signed by only one John. One day, maybe, I’ll get Linnell’s autograph on something, But I won’t hold my breath.

Now that I have detailed the fantastic experience that was last night’s show, as well as described the bad situation I put myself in by attending, I think I’ll curl up for a nap. I do have more observations to share (about other things – no more TMBG talk for the moment), but they’ll have to wait until after I am refreshed and rejuvenated by a nap and, perhaps, a little vegging out.

- posted by laurie @ 10/25/2002 02:44:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, October 24, 2002


Why is it that fixing something for Netscape will inevitably result in a problem in IE?

- posted by laurie @ 10/24/2002 11:50:00 AM (0) comments


Meh. The tagboard is a cool idea, but it screwed up my page layout. I'll have to fix it, but not now!

Also, since I'm in customization mode at the moment, maybe I should just make my own template and be done with it. Yeah, that's the ticket!

- posted by laurie @ 10/24/2002 11:38:00 AM (0) comments


Well, maybe the sniper attacks are over. Two People Arrested in Sniper Investigation ( From this and a few other articles I've read, it appears that police are fairly confident the two men arrested last night are involved.

What a relief it will be if the people responsible are no longer on the loose!

- posted by laurie @ 10/24/2002 10:57:00 AM (0) comments


This / Comment & analysis story details Lawrence Lessig's stance on copyright extension, as well as the views of Thomas Hazlett and Richard Epstein. All agree that copyright extension has to stop - but the arguments are different.

This is a very interesting interchange!

- posted by laurie @ 10/24/2002 12:49:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


Heh. I finished my midterm second out of all the people in the class, even though I arrived late. How did I do? Well, I'll find out Monday or Wednesday.

On to the next project, then the next . . . I love this semester!!

- posted by laurie @ 10/23/2002 10:35:00 PM (0) comments


Off to go get hammered by my midterm. I'll be so glad when this is over - as will everyone, I'm sure, since I have been the biggest, whiniest, pain for the past week.

Cronbach's alpha - I'm coming to get you!

- posted by laurie @ 10/23/2002 10:44:00 AM (0) comments

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Crossing the Line: A Heroin Researcher Partakes and Pays the Price. This is supposedly the story of an ethnographer gone native who misued federal grant funds and did drugs with his subjects. But it also appears that he had a big ego and a temper, as well as a brilliant mind.

Thanks to Clancy at Kairosnews for the link to this piece on ethnography gone bad.

- posted by laurie @ 10/22/2002 09:05:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, October 21, 2002


One more post before snoozing: after checking out the Caffeine Soap, I clicked about the Think Geek site a bit, and found . . .

ThinkGeek :: Customer Fortunes

Hit refresh for a new customer comment. Sample Fortune:

"My livelihood depend on the stupidity of others. Talk about job security... "

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 10:59:00 PM (0) comments


Only at a place like ThinkGeek :: Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap. I read about this, somewhere, but I didn't believe it. The copy on the site is even more unbelievable, though: really, showering with caffeine soap and absorbing the chemical through the skin? Where's the hot, steaming, bitter cup o' joe fun in that?

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 10:51:00 PM (0) comments


This recent article from || technology and culture, from the trenches notes that Google's toolbar beta features a nifty new button that allows you to "start folding" for the Folding@home distributed computing project. What a great move! As the author points out, this is a wonderful way to bring distributed computing projects to the attention of mainstream users, and also is a great way to amass more processing cycles for these cool, and often socially important, projects.

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 10:41:00 PM (0) comments


So, in recent Sniper Coverage from Google, police are asking the sniper to call them back, after recent contact was hindered by a bad connection. This case gets weirder and scarier all the time. The sniper has now shot twelve people. Unbelievable. Frightening. When is this going to end?

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 10:28:00 PM (0) comments


According to - Opteron Will Power Supercomputer. As the article discusses this is a coup for AMD. I'm an AMD fan, and so seeing AMD edge out Intel for a big project like this makes me feel pretty good. Intel and Microsoft products may work just fine - but that's just the thing: they work fine, at least most of the time. They could be working better, I'm sure. With AMD on the processor scene and Linux and Mac on the OS scene, maybe things'll get shaken up a bit.

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 10:11:00 PM (0) comments


Oh, Monday, Monday. It's midterm time, the workload is about to drive me up a wall, and it's unbearably cold for October, in my opinion. But good things are happening in the world, too: my sister got a really awesome (from my uninformed, totally non-artistic point of view) painting accepted for a gallery show. I wish I could be there to support her and see her wonderful work in person. My sister's one of the coolest individuals on the face of the earth.

I've got more statistics to study (I have decided that any further attempt at transcribing my lecture notes is futile, futile, futile) and just a wee bit of reading to do for classes tmorrow. At least I feel somewhat more secure now: I'm not as royally screwed in stat as I thought. Not a good time to go getting overconfident, though: miderm Wednesday, and even if I'm not royally screwed, I'll end up so if I stop studying now. And of course, I have a review essay due the next day - but this will all get done, and the less I stress about it, the better off I will be.

Believe me, this is a novel approach to life, advocated by Eric the Tranquil (motto in life: "shut up and deal"). He also kept me from buying coffee today, and so I got tea instead: we'll see how the high-stress, low-caffeine week does on my anxiety levels. My theory is, while I'll feel less stressed, I'll get less done and be more tired. But that's because I'm a coffee-lovin' stress junkie.

Well, whatever happens, I'm going to take the test Wednesday, turn in the review essay Thursday, and then go out and see They Might Be Giants at the Fitzgerald Theater after class. It's one of the McSweeny's shows: music, spoken word, and so on. Should be good stuff!

All right, this has been a somewhat banal post, and I have other, "less important" things to be doing, as my friend Steele says!

- posted by laurie @ 10/21/2002 09:49:00 PM (0) comments

Sunday, October 20, 2002


This article from The Technology Source discusses The Next Killer App in Education - An Interview with Michigan's Carl Berger.

So, the next killer app in education is going to be wireless, have a lot of customizeable features, and be able both to "push" and to "pull" info. I am very interested to see what this killer educational app is, and how well it is going to work across a variety of classroom types/peddagogical approaches.

- posted by laurie @ 10/20/2002 10:53:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, October 19, 2002


Oh, the funny goodness! For your listening enjoyment, may I present The Björk Song by The Brunching Shuttlecocks.

Oh, Björk, Björk,
Were you brought by the stork?
Oh were you created from butter and cork?
I love you so much that I act like a dork.
Oh, Björk, oh Björk, oh Björk

My thanks to my lil' sister for this link - it's up in her AIM profile right now. :)

- posted by laurie @ 10/19/2002 11:44:00 AM (0) comments

Thursday, October 17, 2002


:-) I'd forgotten about this. It's at the end of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, as well, which is where I first encountered it. How To Become A Hacker The "how can I learn to be a wizardly hacker?" cracks me up. But given that I KNOW there is at least one person who listed "Executive Dragonslayer" as position sought and "VP of Knighthood" or some similar thing as objective on a resume (for real: google "bad resumes" and keep looking -- you'll find it), I can easily see it happening.

Anyway, upgraded to ad-free blog. Yay! Server space: yay! Image hosting: yay!

It's been a day of splurges: I also went shopping for warm clothes. It snowed on Wednesday, and it'll be down below freezing tomorrow night (and the night after, too).

All rightie: to bed, so I will be fresh in the AM for CogSci.

- posted by laurie @ 10/17/2002 11:52:00 PM (0) comments


Another quiz. It's mostly true, I think. At least, it's what I try for.

What Is Your True Aura Colour?

brought to you by Quizilla

- posted by laurie @ 10/17/2002 10:13:00 PM (0) comments


Tomorrow is my father's birthday. As usual, I was struggling to come up with something to get him, and running late. Always running late, with everything. Ugh.

Anyway, Levenger solved my problems. I love Levenger, but this is the first time I have actually ordered from them (all my Levenger goodies have been presents). Levenger turned up a "Make Note of it" pen for dad - a stylish pen that allows you to record reminders, as well, for those times when you don't have paper handy. This is good because 1) Dad likes gadgets that do unusual or nifty things; and 2) his hands, both his palms and the backs of this hands, are always covered with scribblings because he can't find paper and has to write something down. Maybe this will help? Oh, and since he's going to become an entrepeneur, and he'll have to travel a lot, I got a travel alarm clock, too. Always handy things, travel clocks.

Of course, after I finished getting things for dad, I had to get a few items for myself: I splurged because I've been being very, very good lately. I got myself the ever-cool annotation station, a leather bookweight with post-it notes and page flags attached. Also got a cool drylighter pen and some drylighter refills. I love drylighters, but I'm kind of sad that Levenger appears not to have the pencils themselves anymore, just a refillable stylus, though this does mean I can put pencil leads, colored pencil leads, or the drylighter leads in. But I liked the pencils, with their nifty little sharpener. *sniff*

Still on a seeeerious budget, but I think the next splurge will be on the blog - maybe a pyRad, maybe an upgrade to blogger pro? Hmmmm, we'll have to see . . .

Dad will get his presents on Tuesday. Four days after his birthday. Whoops! I will have to make sure to call tomorrow!

- posted by laurie @ 10/17/2002 11:54:00 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, October 16, 2002


Yawn! Have been still feeling run down as I get over this monster of a bug that seems to be sweeping across the U of MN - or at least through the Department of Rhetoric.

Lil' more work, then a good night's sleep. Better posts later.

- posted by laurie @ 10/16/2002 11:34:00 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


Interesting graphics on search trends fromGoogle Press Center: Zeitgeist, taken from The Mixture, which I, in turn, got to through a pyRad. What I'm really interested in is the graphic below. Know why? Because I, apparently, unless I'm misinterpreting, am one of the 2% of "Other" OS users. Guess Windows ME is THAT popular. I've got to suck it up, go to the campus computer store, and upgrade to XP! This just put it all in perspective!

- posted by laurie @ 10/15/2002 10:24:00 AM (0) comments


One more thing, then I am going to bed. I was looking for templates for my comments, and came across :: c.O.g.N.I.t.a.E ::, the blog of one of the template creators (not the one I decided on, unfortunately). Anyway, she has a link to a quiz - what kind of tofu are you? I'm, as you can see below, "cute and full of surprises" :) What a nice thought to send someone off to bed!

What kind of Tofu are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

- posted by laurie @ 10/15/2002 01:38:00 AM (0) comments


So, in between fits of writing (research prospectus due tomorrow), I got my template fixed up (easy - had the text of the old one saved, so it was all cut & paste), and then added the commenting feature. Nifty free commenting provided by Enetation - annotations for your site. Going to go write a little bit more on the prospecuts, then I'm for bed. It's late already!

- posted by laurie @ 10/15/2002 12:52:00 AM (0) comments

Monday, October 14, 2002


OK, I just re-selected my template and republished. Seems to have fixed the 503 error, as well as the arcives problem. So, now I just have to recreate all of my template personalizations . . . ick. Well, so it goes. I'm going to add commenting, too, hopefully. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

- posted by laurie @ 10/14/2002 11:50:00 PM (0) comments


I wrote in an earlier post about my reactions to the shooting in Washington. Well, that was on October 3, and at that point, five people had been killed. Now, 12 days later, the Washington Post reports on a Woman Shot Dead At Store In Fairfax. While this article (and other, similar articles ) don't conclusively link this death to the others (yet), it seems likely that this tenth shooting would be the eighth victim of a D.C. suburbs sniper.

I haven't written about this again, not becuase I haven't been following the news, or because I don't care, but because this is very difficult for me to deal with. I'm worried about my family and friends in the D.C. area. I know from talking to some of them that everyone is very tense, very scared. The whole situation is horrible, terrifying. Eight senseless deaths; ten people shot down while doing regular, everyday activites. I am hoping all of this will end, and that D.C. area residents will be able to go about their business without fearing to set foot outside, soon. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. I hope all are well and safe in our nation's capital tonight.

- posted by laurie @ 10/14/2002 10:33:00 PM (0) comments


Just joined up with Blog Sisters, a cool, woman-only blog for blogging women! Pretty nifty space. Well, from someone who blogged anywhere from once a month to once every six moths, I've turned into quite the blogger! Tons of people out there who blog more than me, but in the past few weeks, I have blogged fairly regularly here at the Memex, joined Blog Sisters, and started actually submitting stores to Kairosnews. *whew* - I suppose I might regret this, but for now, it's fun. Very good way for me to encourage myself to write regularly, and to keep up with the news, as well.

All right, I'm runnin' late as usual. Gotta shower, eat, and hit the road! Class in an hour :-(

- posted by laurie @ 10/14/2002 10:23:00 AM (0) comments

Sunday, October 13, 2002


OK, one more thing, and then I'm really off to bed: I know why my archive files are not working: I have no archive template. Crap. I'll figure this out later.

- posted by laurie @ 10/13/2002 11:42:00 PM (0) comments


F**K! New blog problemI just discovered: my archives aren't being archived on my site. Grrr. Changing my archiving settings, republishing my archive files, all seems to do nothing. Great. And I keep getting the 503 error: template file not found. Time to migrate? Maybe pay for blog space/software? Hmmm . . .

Well, I'm now frustrated, and I'm still sick, so I'm going to bed. 'Night!

- posted by laurie @ 10/13/2002 11:36:00 PM (0) comments


National Geographic has a nice litte article on Tattoos—From Taboo to Mainstream on thier site. It's great to see a reputable source such as National Geographic paying positive lip service to tatoos and body art. The info from the researchers seems pretty positive, too: people from all walks of life are getting tattoos, and one source estimated 60% of those getting tattoos are women. As a woman with ink, that's something I like to see. It's not that I think everyone should have a tattoo: far from it, actually. I think tattoos are a huge committment, and that people need to be really sure they want to have them for the rest of their lives before getting a tattoo. I, however, have multiple tattoos, and love them all. Parents aren't thrilled, but that's another story entirely.

- posted by laurie @ 10/13/2002 11:23:00 PM (0) comments


Well, it appears that my first blog, rhizomorph, is dead. I'm not sure if it was removed from blogger's servers due to lack of activity (I haven't posted there since March, I think), or if the templates thing on blogger had something to do with its disappearance. I can still log on and still get a listing of my previous posts, but have no template file, and can't republish anything. Such is life. The last post I wrote indicated that rhizomorph should die, anyway, which appears to be just what it has done!

- posted by laurie @ 10/13/2002 10:12:00 PM (0) comments

Saturday, October 12, 2002


From - Courts reconsidering posting records online - Oct. 12, 2002. Yikes! Here's a difficult situation: public records are being made available online. This makes public records more accessible: instead of being locked away in a filing cabinet in a dusty basement, records areeasily accessible through the web. Theoretically, a good idea, right? THis is public information, information to which average citizens have a right. Except that these records have facilitated identity theft, and jurors and others are afraid that public records online may allow people to track them down and harass them (or worse).

This AP article suggests that a new approach to public records is needed: public records should be available online or in print, but what is considered public may need to change. There is a fine line to walk here between protecting public access and protecting individual privacy.

- posted by laurie @ 10/12/2002 04:15:00 PM (0) comments


I hate being sick. And for the last three days, that activity, "being sick," is all that I have been able to do, more or less. Wednesday was a very late night in a long string of recent late nights. I was working on a group project – an annotated bibliography on distance education – with two friends. We worked from 9 until 1, doing the final edit, trying to ensure consistency of voice, correctness of citations, and general coherence. As we left the multimedia lab shortly after 1 to walk to our respective cars, I was already beginning to feel ill. Of course, while we had been in the windowless lab working, it had begun to pour, and so all three of us, bone-tired as we were, set off to slog through the rain to our vehicles.

Thursday I woke up unable to swallow and with a fantastic headache, the kind that keeps you from seeing straight and makes it impossible to do anything – read, watch tv, etc. So I stayed home and slept all day, and woke up Friday feeling . . . yep. Worse. But I had class at 10:10, and was responsible for the class (I'd arranged speakers for the day), so I got up and went to the cognitive science proseminar, and then to my stats in communication course, then to the stat lab afterward. Lab ended at three, and I was really dragging by the time I surfaced from the basement of the communications building and was blinded by the brilliant, unsympathetic sun. The sun didn't care that I felt like crap and had a light-sensitive headache, but my mommy did.

At my mom's insistence (she's over 1,000 miles away, and I am 26 years old, but she still wins in cases such as this one), I spent all of Friday afternoon sitting in the Boynton Health Clinic. I waited, saw the N.P., went for my bloodwork (white blood cell count and a mono test – everyone always thinks I have mono, and yet I have never gotten it) and had my quick strep culture processed (this was nifty – the last time I had a throat culture, it took a whole 24 hours to process). Then I waited some more, until the results arrived from the lab. The N.P. gave me the good news: I didn't have anything they could fix. But she still seemed concerned, and told me to wait to see the doctor. After another tedious round of waiting, I was moved to a nicer exam room (guess you can tell who ranks, right?) and shortly thereafter, a doctor entered. The process began all over again: "What are you here for today? Do you have allergies? Does your ear feel clogged, or is it more of a sharp pain?" All of the questions I'd answered for the N.P. End result: what I have is viral, nothing to do but wait it out. If it's not gone in two or three days, if I begin to run a fever, or if I show other signs of strep, I'm to come back.

Of course, this morning my throat (and the entire left side of my face, actually) was even more swollen. I am running a fever: 99.1 three hours ago; 99.8 about 30 minutes ago. I can't swallow, I can't eat anything, and tonsils on the left side are so swollen that they are actually making it difficult to breathe. The headache's back, too. I've got a million things to do (mostly studying, but I have a research prospectus due on Tuesday and am behind as all get-out in my editorial work) and have no time for this being sick nonsense.

And I really want to eat something other than soup. I have, of course, but the end results are too painful. And there's my whiny post for the day. :-(

- posted by laurie @ 10/12/2002 03:39:00 PM (0) comments


From Formaer Iranian presdient says U.S. leads world ''into a big danger''

The former Iranian president discusses the perceived hegemony of recent U.S. moves, and blames U.S. aggressiveness on internal prolems that Washington is trying to resolve at the expense of the Middle East. He also says that the Iraq situation is a difficult one: other middle-eastern countries don't want Iraq to have weapons, either, but that actions through any other body than the UN (such as, oh, say, a unilateral action by the U.S.) would be "to strike a match on a barrel of gunpowder."

- posted by laurie @ 10/12/2002 02:55:00 PM (0) comments


Arrgh! My post just disappeared!

Anyway, what I was trying to share: Lost in Translation, a site that lets you translate a chunk of text back and forth between different languages and English, showing the results each step of the way. A multilingual game of telephone. Pretty amusing! I pasted in the following text: "The Internet has never been the utopian space that some people claim it was (or, in some cases, claim it currently is). The Internet was first used for military purposes, and spread to the unversities where scientific and technological research that supported the development of the Internet was taking place. At its inception, the Internet was not even remotely concieved of as a utopian space. In the beginning, it wasn't really even a public space, though there are those who would disagree on this point. What is meant by the previous statment is simply that access to the early Internet was limited by access to computer techology, knowledge of the existence of the Internet, and enough knowledge of how the previous two elements worked together to manage to get yourself online."

The text was then translated into French, back to English, to German, back to English, then to Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and back to English at each intermediary step. The end results:

"The Internet never was visionary of the zone that the objection of a certain age he (or, you determine the cases, condition inside that you are at the moment). Estêve of the Internet used the hour for him before the military objects and of the propagation you (atomizaton) with unversities this, in those the scientist and the technological search, that the development of the Internets supported, happens. With the relative beginning that the Internet was not distant concieved in date one to equal utopista of the zone. In the beginning a general zone was not really uniform, occurs exactly, that he would be in the contradiction in this point. What meaning of statment, that one precedes, is simple soon that the entrance to the Internet through the entrance to techology the calculation, that was limited knowledge of the existence of the Internets and the knowledge in the direction, where both elements which they precede the totality of the works you, the end to consider itself sufficient, in the line to stop above."

Then, for more kicks and giggles, submit the newly-rendered, tortured text for another go-round with the tranlsation machine. The second go-round produced the following higly incomprehensible and very philosophical-sounding text:

"The Internet never was when lightrather the zone, this one he objection of the strong box that ages (or, definitive the cases, be internal, that he is present you). Est__ve of the Internets regulated the hour for him before military articles and of the propagation you (atomizaton) with unversities this, where technological the inner scientist and searchs, that the development of the supported Internets introduces. With the relative beginning that the Internet was not distant, concieved in the date, the end to register to the utopista the zone. In the beginning a general zone was not, introduces exactly, this really constantly, that is in the contradiction in this point. Which meant of statment, the one that will precede, whatever the entrance with the Internet of the entrance with techology the calculation simply soon, that it was the limited knowledge of the existence of the Internets and knowledge in the direction, where both elements, of that one they precedes the whole number of the work, the end to consider the sufficient, inner extremity in the advanced side that arrests the line. "

I will never complain about tortured syntax again!

- posted by laurie @ 10/12/2002 02:35:00 PM (0) comments

Friday, October 11, 2002


The NY Times reports thatA New Look at Old Data May Discredit a Theory on Race. Basically, two anthropologists say that Franz Boas misinterpreted his data, and that he gave more credit to environmental factors than his data may have warranted. Why? Well, anthropologists speculate that Boas was so wrapped up in discrediting contemporary theories and on debunking scientific racism.

- posted by laurie @ 10/11/2002 06:52:00 AM (0) comments


On the IP and copyright front: Hollywood cracks down campus pirates. The RIAA, the MPAA, and the other usual suspects are up to it again: letters sent to 2,000 + universities charging that students are using school resources to pirate music, video, and other copyrighted media. All of this, of course, in the wake of the Eldrid v. Ashcroft arguments this week - hot week for IP issues!

- posted by laurie @ 10/11/2002 06:27:00 AM (0) comments


Woo-hoo! The Independent Online reports in their Medical secion that Grans would do it ... if only gramps could. Older women still want to have sex, but often find their partners are not as able as they might like.

- posted by laurie @ 10/11/2002 06:20:00 AM (0) comments

Thursday, October 10, 2002


News from the NY Times is not looking up, IMHO. U.S. Has a Plan to Occupy Iraq, Officials Report

This is reported just underneath the news alert that, at 1:08 Eastern, the Senate passed the Iraq Resolution, and an article covering the earlier House decision.

- posted by laurie @ 10/10/2002 10:30:00 PM (0) comments

Saturday, October 05, 2002


I said no more blogging about blogging, but this is different - recent Syllabus Article: Blogs: A Disruptive Technology Coming of Age? talks about blogging in education. Thanks again to the Kairosnews community for finding things more me to read and link to :)

- posted by laurie @ 10/05/2002 10:46:00 AM (0) comments


The perspective on the current state of affairs from Defense officials: Earliest strike on Iraq likely to begin January; Powell, Blix agree more pressure is needed on Iraq Lot of the same sources cited, slightly different perspective.

- posted by laurie @ 10/05/2002 10:20:00 AM (0) comments


It just gets better and better. Now Russia Recasts Bog in Caucasus as War on Terror: "Using the rationale and sometimes the rhetoric of the Bush administration's antiterrorism campaign, commanders here said this week that the Chechen war is financed, armed and increasingly fought by Islamic militants from abroad. . . .

Since Sept. 11 last year, however, the Russians have used the foreigners' presence to recast the war in what appears in part to be an effort to win American and international support for a campaign criticized by human rights groups as brutal and indiscriminate.

On the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, in words that directly echoed President Bush's warnings to the Taliban last year and Saddam Hussein now, Mr. Putin threatened to launch pre-emptive strikes in Georgian territory unless President Eduard A. Shevardnadze did more to crack down on Chechen rebels."

. . . and now, internationally, in the name of a war on terror, pre-emptive use of force is legitimized, campaigns once criticized for human rights violations are now nearly beyond reproach, and so on. That's not so good, in my opinion.

- posted by laurie @ 10/05/2002 09:37:00 AM (0) comments


Oh crap. Iraq War May Be Unavoidable if Inspections Fail, Bush Says -- this seems to get scarier and scarier. How, honestly, did we get from September 11 to attacking Iraq?

Perhaps all of this can still be averted. One can always hope. Optomism and a belief in peace may seem naive, but just think what the world would be like if no one was hopeful, if no one advocated peace.

- posted by laurie @ 10/05/2002 09:23:00 AM (0) comments


From :: P2P apps: built to steal? Lively debate with a variety of viewpoints expressed. The million-dollar question: how could one make a p2p program like Kazaa legit (my word choice)? Some suggestions, including inferior/slower downloads offered in connection with the ability to purchase the hard copy. Others say there's no way, p2p apps are basically used by a bunch of people wanting to steal, and there
s exactly nada that can be done about it. Third camp, in which I place myself: what people do with the app is not the fault of the designer. Photocopiers: legal. VCRs: legal. Tape decks: legal. P2p?

Now, look: the internet enables the disemination of information in a way entirely different than that which came beore it. This is an old, old argument. Browsers copy web pages - violation? Deep linking - legal or not? Quoting in emails. Cutting and pasting. and so on and so on ad infinitum (um, there's probably an upper limit, but . . . ) IF p2p apps are 'bad,' and one thinks they're illegal, hell, wouldn't many of the above (context-dependent, o'course) fall into the same category?

- posted by laurie @ 10/05/2002 09:13:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, October 04, 2002


How connected does one have to be to count as connected? At what point do we need to start worrying about being called luddites? And why, why, why is the VCR the standard by which every technical competence is judged?Drivers, TiVos and Other Conundrums of the Digital Age discusses the increasingly increasing pace of technological advancement, and how consumers are being left behind.

I don't agree. I don't have a TV that does anything other than help to play DVDs or tapes. No channels, no basic cable, no digital cable, no sattelite. And no TiVo. I've got some gizmos and gadgets, but certainly not everything out there on the market. I don't need to get every new gadget. I have enough toys to make me happy (and the rest I can read about online, right?). And I think the idea of buying an underpowered, overpriced HDTV instead of a lower-priced but soon-to-be-obselete analog in the name of patriotrism and progress is a lot of what's wrong with this society today. Determinism. It's there, so we'll use it. Just because the technology is available does not mean that it should be, and as consumers, we have at least a little bit of choice.

Oh, yeah, and I'm an English geek in my mid (I guess) 20's. And I know what a driver is, and that my computer has an ethernet card (actually, we're on network card #2). Now, when my computer spazzed and dumped all of its drivers, wouldn't recognize a keyboard or a mouse, and seemingly permanently set its resolution at 640x480, well, help was required. But a lot of being a smart computer (or other electronics) owner is based on two things: 1) RTFM - whether it's print or online documentation, time, effort, and skill went into the creation of that computer documentation so use it! and 2) don't be afriad of your things. After all, they're just that: things. Unless the things belong to an employer, were HIDEOUSLY expensive, or are required for medical purposes, chances are that, should you be able to break (permanently and irrevocably) the things, you could live without and life will go on. But I don't think it's that easy to break computers, etc. Most people these days don't believe that a certain series of keystrokes will explode a computer, but many people - even some of those ultra-hip young'ins alluded to in this article - are more afriad of computers than seems necessary.

My 2 cents for the day.

- posted by laurie @ 10/04/2002 11:22:00 PM (0) comments


Error 503 messages got you down? Well, they're getting to me. Not only is it extremely difficult to get anything published on blogger at the moment, but once posts do get published it is much more difficult to catch the goofy ( 'loinked' instead of 'linked,' 'sacry' instead of 'scary') typos I make repeatedly. I suppose I'll have to get better at proofreading before publishing or learn to type, one of the two.

- posted by laurie @ 10/04/2002 08:33:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, October 03, 2002


An intersting discussion of free speech on Kuro5hin: || technology and culture, from the trenches "Was it wrong for Bonior and McDermott to question the President, and say that Bush may be willing to 'mislead the American people' about whether war with Iraq is necessary? Or does freedom of speech make it OK, regardless of location or situation?"

The discussion/debate in the comments section is more interesting than the articles linked to. Hmmm, is free speech dependent upon location? Or is this specific case more of a problem of judgement (i.e. Bonior and McDermott exercised it poorly, in the opinions of some, while in Iraq)?

- posted by laurie @ 10/03/2002 12:08:00 PM (0) comments


Scary monsters. This article, Five Killed in Montgomery County Shootings (, describes seemingly random acts of violence that have taken place in a one-mile radius in Montgomery County, MD. Five deaths since last night, and it seems that police have't got a whole lot to go on. The really frightening thing about these incidents: they are taking place in an area with which I am very familiar. I've been to most of the locations described in the article.

School shootings, September 11, and events like this really point out that life continues uninterrupted by chance and luck only. That sounds kind of fatalistic, but really, we take so very much for granted. This kind of thing could happen to anyone, anywhere, any time.

I wish this world were a more compassionate, empathetic place. While it might not stop all events like this one, it certainly couldn't hurt at all. I'm trying to express something along the lines of a compassionate/empathetic "carpe diem" but can't find the words for it. See, the problem with the "we could die at any moment - so we have got to live life to the fullest, live in the moment, and enjoy the now" attitude that some feel as a result of things like these shootings is that they can lead to thoughtless and self-absorbed actions (even if people don't mean them that way). I don't have a problem with living for the now, but I think that the now includes not just oneself, one's family and close friends, but the people in our region, state, nation, and so on. Carpe diem doesn't mean relinquishing social responsibility.

- posted by laurie @ 10/03/2002 11:13:00 AM (0) comments