Preference Personnelle
Thursday, July 31
“The guy’s a goner. The only question is whether he’ll be arrested in cuffs or taken dead. He deserves to die.... You’d need some DNA. There’s a good way to do it. Take a machete, and whack off his head, and you’ll get a bucketful of DNA, so you can see it and test it. It beats lugging the whole body back!”--Cofer Black, State Department counter-terrorism coordinator.

A pretty good article about the search for Osama Bin Laden, from the New Yorker.

Saturday, July 26
More pretentious: Tazo or Honest Tea? Or is it too close to call?

Here's a mefi thread about Mel Gibson, Catholic reactionary. And a NYT magazine article, and a New Republic article, and an ABC News one. And some quotations from a Playboy magazine interview. And, what the hell, many, many more links.
Friday, July 18
You know who you fuckin' wit? Rock Raiders (Is that how Grandmaster Roc Raida got his name, from the Legos? I sure hope so). Ray-traced Lego ones. And here are Star Wars Lego fighters--filling in the holes Lucas left in the alphabet. As much as I dislike SW, I love these. Someday, I will be a Lego maniac again.

I've been half-looking for apartments in Little Rock--a pre-emptive strike, if you will. But I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford any of these. It's too bad, too, because not only do I like these Block 2 lofts, so does the Sierra Club. Dig the tour, and this bad review.

And I don't know how I managed to see Sesame Seventies without linking to it. Happily rectified. Chris and the Alphabeats, 'Me Left Me Cookie at the Disco,' oh, snap!
Here's a random-URL generator. It's not really random, and relies on Google--it's like using one, two or three dictionary words and the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button. So it's also good for finding googlewhacks, for what that's worth. Here's another random-URL generator. It adds .com to a random dictionary word. Perhaps you'd prefer random numbers, or, from the same people, a random bitmap. Hit 'reload' enough times and you'll get a treasure map. Where did I read that discussion about a library of every possible videotape?
Thursday, July 17
Here's some Undergrads (short-lived MTV animated show, now rerun late at night on Comedy Central, that I'm really fond of) fan fiction. Wild. It's a Google cache link, as the page seems to be down. Go figure. Duckman, by the way, which CC runs after Undergrads, is amazingly goddamn bad. They ought to ditch that shit for The PJs.

And, the usual Mefi bonanza: Here's an article about the most literate cities in the US. Minneapolis? I think we're gonna make it after all. Street Librarian Chris Dodge likes that result. And 'The Day the Clown Cried', that heroically-awful Jerry Lewis Holocaust movie. And, lastly, the latest winners in the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest.

Saturday, July 12
What, if anything, can you determine about someone from the music they listen to? Sam Gosling, a psychology professor at UT-Austin, has been working on this question. Here's the mefi post. Here's his study. Or, less scholarly, an article from Less scholarly yet, an article from Australian newspaper The Age. Perhaps you'd like to take Gosling's survey yourself. Here it is. And if you're for some reason curious about my results, here they are.

Among other things, people like me are often open to new experiences, less assertive than the average person, creative, intellectual, physically active, friendly, introverted, extroverted, conventional, unconventional, artistic, relaxed and romantic. We tend to enjoy indie films, 'major motion pictures,' classic films, cult films, foreign films, drama, romance, suspense, action, sci-fi, comedy, 'gangster/mobster movies,' documentaries and porn. With results like that, it'd be hard to not get it at least somewhat right.

By the way, here's a list (incomplete) of the cds I own. Conclude what you will.

Tuesday, July 8
"Ms. Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. They are inhabitants of urban jungles, not of the real wild. They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had."

Via Metafilter, an NYT op-ed about adults and Harry Potter, from novelist A.S. Byatt. Also from Mefi, a WSJ article about Bob Dylan, Love and Theft and Confessions of a Yakuza. And here's an article about sampling that I like.

Apparently, tech terms are confusing for people. Here's a Slashdot thread (confusing?), and a BBC News article (not confusing). What a pointless story--here's the gist. Specialized jargon is confusing to the general public. That's it. Here's something that would have made this article a million times better--a few links to helpful resources, like Google's Glossary, CNET's Glossary and ZDNet's Webopedia. There are a million others, of course.

In unrelated information, here's Duke's Ad*Access, a searchable collection of U.S. print advertising from 1911-1945. Here's one of my favorites. Along the same lines, here's Duke's collection of ads from 1850-1920, a food packaging archive, and ads for Philip Morris (more cig ads from, Absolut and American presidential candidates.

Wednesday, July 2
Via my pal Ashley, an MSNBC article about Merriam-Webster's updated Collegiate Dictionary. And via my lj pal humanx, a NY Observer article about the word 'dude.' And via Metafilter, a page about an MIT student's attempt to go from Florida to Cuba via outrigger canoe. And Bush's inciteful language. What a prick. (Here's the mefi discussion, and a few relevant articles folks cited--Shrub and emotional language, Shrub and cowboy language, Shrub getting a break on 'exaggerations.'.) Ooh, and, hyped by the Cuba guy, 'Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Give Up Militarism.' I want a copy.

Incidentally, the version of 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' on 'Bootleg Series Vol. 5' is really freaking good.

Tuesday, July 1
"Due to the existing regulatory environment, we cannot ensure that all of your private communications and other personal information will never be disclosed in ways not otherwise described in this Privacy Policy."--Ebay Privacy Policy

I think I've posted here about Ebay and privacy before, but here's some more: an article from The Nation, and a Slashdot thread discussing said article.

Vaguely related, here's an article from the Detroit Free Press (word to my former coworker Terry Shropshire, though he's in Atlanta now) about police abusing their confidential-database privileges. And, perhaps more closely-related, an MSNBC article about Ebay plasma tv scams. A quote from a Slashdot post I'm especially fond of:

"If you want payment protection, use some kind of service that offers it! Like... I dunno... credit cards. I don't mean credit cards through a third service, like Western Union or someone. I mean... buy from companies that accept VISA. Oh, it's more expensive? Guess why."

In an example of much-vaunted 'synergy,' here's a Washington Post article about 'web firms choosing profit over privacy,' and the requisite /. thread. Great closing quote in the Post article:

"Some companies, like psycho ex-boyfriends, tend to see relationships where they don't exist,"--Chris Murray, legislative counsel, Consumers Union.

A lagniappe of cultural kitsch and B-movie claptrap

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