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1 November, 2004

Campaigning For Re-Election

On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, this article sums up the absurdity known as campaigning: Lie and You Thrive. It's all about sound bites, spin, deception, and marketing -- all wrapped up in a thick layer of patriotism.

Perhaps never before has a president sought a second term by endlessly hyping the catastrophic failures of his first four years in office. On both 9/11 and Iraq, the Bush campaign team long ago decided that truth is a luxury American voters can no longer afford.

Will Bush be permitted to lie his way to four more years of power over Americans? It is almost inconceivable that the average American would trust a used car dealer who had engaged in the type of stunts that Bush has pulled to deceive us on both 9/11 and Iraq.

And yet, because Americans are continually reminded of their patriotic duty to think well of their rulers, Bush has a good chance to exploit people's trust to further shackle them.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Dog Thoughts

Find out what a dog thinks when its owner dresses it in a stupid costume: This is what they are thinking!

"If you think I won't eat you when
you die, you're dead wrong."

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Cancel The Election

Cancel the Presidential election. Kerry wins, according to Snopes: Winning Traditions.

The outcome of Washington Redskins home football games has correctly predicted the winner of every U.S. presidential election since 1936.

On 31 October 2004, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Redskins in Washington, 28-14, which - if the established pattern holds true - predicts that Democratic challenger John Kerry will unseat incumbent President George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election.

See, football is good for something.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

1 Year Performance

Please watch this for one year: 1 Year Performance.

1 year performance video takes Sam Hsieh's One Year Performance 1978-1979 (aka Cage Piece) and updates it in a number of ways.

First, we've taken the act of living in a cell and transformed it into images of ourselves living in a cell. These video clips are edited dynamically at runtime so that every viewer sees a slightly different cut. The clips are organized according to the clock: if you access the piece in the morning, you see us doing morning things; if you access late at night, you see us sleeping.

Second, we've transferred the onus of a 1 year commitment to the work from the artist to the viewer. The piece will be realized fully only when a viewer runs it for one year.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

J.J. And Leon

Last night we watched a great music DVD: J.J. Cale In Session at the Paradise Studio. It was recorded 25 years ago, and also features Leon Russell. It's 80 minutes of superb picking and singing.

Here's the official J.J. Cale Web site.

I checked out Leon Russell's Web site, and I was surprised to see his touring schedule. He's always on the road. You'd think that a 62-year old would be tired of it by now.

If you're not familiar with Leon Russell, you can download 12 MP3s.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Happy Birthday Curtis

A usually reliable source tells me that today Curtis begins his second half-century on earth. Happy birthday, Curtis!

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Long Fingernails

Yes, some people like this stuff: Sexy Long Nails.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Windows Backup

From Ed Bott: The amazing hidden backup program.

If you're running Windows XP Home Edition, you won't find Backup Utility on the Start menu or even in Add Or Remove Programs. It is included, though; you just need to know where to look. To install Backup Utility, you need your Windows XP Home Edition CD. Use Windows Explorer to open the ValueaddMsftNtbackup folder, and then double-click Ntbackup.msi.

Mission accomplished.

Update: The Windows XP Backup program is installed by default with Windows XP Pro. Based on user surveys, Microsoft decided (incorrectly, in my opinion) that anyone using Windows XP Home Edition wouldn't be interested in the Backup program. That's why you have to manually install it.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Triple-Neck Guitars

At the Music Thing blog: Ten Triple-Neck Guitars.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Presidential Election Contest

Here's a new contest: Predict the winner of the U.S. Presidential election.

Enter a comment and state the winner (either Bush or Kerry), along with the number of electoral votes received. Remember, 538 electoral votes are at stake, and 270 are required to be elected.

Whoever comes closest to the actual results gets an autographed copy of Excel VBA Programming For Dummies. In the event of a tie, the earliest guess wins.

Rules: One entry per reader. You must have a U.S. mailing address in order to qualify for the prize (the cost of shipping overseas exceeds the value of the book).

Posted on 1 November, 2004


Here's an interesting Web site devoted to a single number: Mag's 37 Factoids Page.

Why 37?

It may be that 37 gets used a lot because it somehow "feels random". I imagine psychologists pondering theories and performing experiments on destitute grad students, to figure out why people might choose this number over a less random-sounding number like 36.

But I think it's more fun to figure that 37 must be some sort of mystical number, and that all the "coincidental" occurrences of 37 in the world aren't really coincidences...

He also has an extensive collection of images that feature 37.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

A Big Book

Jason Kottke found a big book: Bhutan, the world's largest book.

Turning the pages involved a short walk. If you'd like to own this baby, it's available for only $10,000 on Amazon.

How big is it?

According to Guinness World Records, at over five by seven feet (and 133 pounds), this staggeringly beautiful photographic book is the largest published book in the world--about one of the world's smallest countries.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Attention iPod Owners

Cory Doctorow has a warning for Apple iPod owners: Apple to iPod owners: "Eat s**t and die"

Apple just devoted some expensive engineering hours to updating iTunes to version 4.7, with the "improvement" of breaking iPod Download. That's right -- Apple's spending money seeing to it that features are removed from your iPod. Thanks a whole lot, Apple.

And there's an update here: More on Apple's breaking of the iPod.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

The Shack Up Inn

If you're in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the Shack Up Inn is the place to be. Rates range from $50 - $75 per night.

You can read more about it in this Wired article: Shack Up a Cotton-Pickin' Minute.

Mississippi's oldest B&B -- and that's bed and beer, y'all. "We don't fool around with any fixing of breakfasts," said Bill Talbot, part owner of the inn.

Talbot, with four friends, transported two sharecroppers' cabins to the Hopson plantation in 1998 with the "vague idea of attracting writers and musicians seeking inspiration and a place to work, and restoring a little bit of Southern history while we were at it."

But in the seven years it's been open for business, the Shack Up Inn has been successful beyond its owners' weirdest dreams, despite the fact that the owners don't advertise, the inn isn't listed in the Clarksdale phone book, and there isn't even a sign for the inn anywhere in town or on the road that leads to Hopson plantation.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Panoramas Of The World

Check out Greg Downing's Omni-directional Panoramas of the World. The full-screen versions are amazing.

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Lynne Cheney's Book

Did you know that Dick Cheney's wife is a published author? Well she is. Here's a list of her books at Amazon.

One of them is a novel called Sisters. You can read some excerpts at whitehouse.org: Mrs. Cheney's Literary Masterpiece.

This book is out of print, but you can place a bid on an autographed copy at eBay.

(via Memepool)

Posted on 1 November, 2004

Folding A Shirt Revisited

Some of you may remember that spiffy shirt-folding technique that I linked to back in May. More on the subject from ReadyMade: Four Laundry Experts Judge a Neat New Trick.

But I recently discovered a riveting how-to-fold-a-shirt video from Japan that's been blogging about for months. Using a simple method, anyone can pinch and flip a tee into a perfect rectangle in less than three seconds (see below). I quickly became obsessed, showing off my new skill at parties. Would this suit my holiday gift-folding needs? Was this method a welcome revolution or common heresy? I decided to submit it to the scrutiny of those more adroit than I.

Posted on 1 November, 2004