So if you really want to ruin the rest of your weekend...

...you can go read this on the New Yorker web site...

The New Yorker: Fact:
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”
...or if you'd rather ruin next weekend (never can tell, it might be raining anyway) you can wait for the print edition, which will be dated 4/17.

If you'd rather not ruin either just hang around, Dubya will do it for you by and by.

Hey out there in Washington, what's going on?

“Pork” funds teapot museum, arctic games - Yahoo! News:
At a press conference featuring real pigs, Citizens Against
Government Waste highlighted projects it said were especially
egregious: $1 million for water-free urinals, $500,000 for a
North Carolina teapot museum and $100,000 for a boxing club in

Others included $550,000 for the Museum of Glass in
Washington state, $250,000 for the National Cattle Congress in
Iowa and $500,000 for the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska.
Museum of Glass? That's not a typo is it?

What if they weren't kidding after all?

All those teachers, I mean. The ones who kept claiming if you got caught passing notes in class it'd go on your permanent record. I always thought that permanent record thing was sort of like the Easter Bunny, or Iowa. But what if they weren't kidding? Damn. I'm screwed.

Telegraph | News | Airline passengers face lie detector tests:
The machine asks four questions. The first is for full identity, while the second, unnerving in its Soviet-style abruptness, demands: “Have you ever lied to the authorities?” It then asks if the passenger is carrying weapons or narcotics.

I mean it, too.

Wired News: Geek Graffiti Takes on New York:
Anti-graffiti paint is simply the most recent weapon in the battle against the artists, but “if the cat ramps up, so does the mouse,” said Fi5e.
If I ever win the lottery (yeah I know I have to buy a ticket first so that pretty much rules it out, but still...) the first thing I'll do is set up some kind of scholarship fund to send some kids from Gfld, MA, to New York for graffiti lessons. I mean it, too. We've got nothing but whitebread graffiti around here and even that's not very good (albeit it makes the villagers nutso nonetheless). On a bad day I have to go down by the tracks and hope a slow train comes though.

That LED stuff sounds excellently cool.

Woohoo! A movie here.

No fair!

Principal smears fence with grease in an attempt to prevent student walk-out. Kids get their hands dirty! And clothes! Parents complain. No fair!

Artesia principal greases fence to keep students on campus:
Sieu said the district believes that the principal acted within his scope of authority, but the board is re-evaluating the use of grease.

Religion in multitasking mode.

From pulpit to iPod - The Boston Globe:
Ministers, pastors, and cantors nationwide are seizing increasingly upon the latest technology -- iTunes, iPods, MP3 players, and blogs -- to spread the gospel, making church more accessible to members who may miss a Sunday or two. The trend, for some, is also the latest attempt to rejuvenate a dwindling flock while giving their church a worldwide reach online.
I wish my preacher Grandfather could have seen this: I bet he'd like it. He was a pretty somber guy in a lot of ways but he had a twinkle in his eye and a little soft spot for technology. Especially his Studebaker - the only make of car he would ever have anything to do with.

I remember once when I was a little guy his telling me about a drive in his brand new one - that forty-something streamlined model that looked like it was going both ways at once.

“Why,” he said, “I went out on the highway and I drove past a field of corn and then a field of tomatoes and a field of barley, and then a little pond with some ducks in it. And then a patch of potatoes and a field of peas and a field of carrots. And I was going so fast it all just looked like vegetable soup.”

Yeah, he'd like this iPod thing. “Godcasting,” it's called.


An Orwellian moment at DOD.

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Friday Orwellianism blogging:

WIIIAI catches it. Click the link.

Noble thoughts concerning typography.

Reading a discussion thread on a site called Typophile (investigating the provenance of a famous declaration by Fredric Goudy: “Anyone who would letterspace Blackletter would steal sheep”) I encountered this quote from the American typographer Beatrice Warde.
“People who love ideas must have a love of words, and that means, given a chance, they take a vivid interest in the clothes which words wear.”
Which I like.

Whew. Looks like I'm not too late after all.

Cocky carriers dismiss Apple as 'niche' | The Register :
“The killer application for some time on phones will be voice,” Casey said
Imagine my relief. I'd hate to have missed a whole killer app.


The rock. With the telephone. There.

I tried to post another phone message but it didn't work. Must have been Blogger's fault. Couldn't be mine. Whatever. The Rock had moved. Maybe it wokked. Ya think? So here's the picture. I took it with the telephone. Now then, is everybody happy?


Sadism, would be my guess.

Long before Novocain, the ancient craft of drilling - The Boston Globe:
But Dr. Richard Glenner, a Chicago dentist and author of dental history books, said the drilling could have been decorative or to release ''evil spirits“ rather than fighting tooth decay, he said, adding: ''Why did they do it? No one will ever know.”
I mean, did you ever see the Marathon Man? That was nothing, I tell you. Nothing. I used to go to a dentist in the Village that had some kind of antique drill set I think he maybe used to pump with his foot, I don't know. But I remember the smell of the smoke it made. He wore one of those green eye shades and didn't believe in the foofoo stuff, like Novocain. But he was cheap.

Anyway, it turns out, this kind of thing has been going on for 7,500 years or more. In Pakistan. So maybe we ought to just let them keep Osama and work on his cavities. The last guys they worked on have carbon-dated skulls. Ouch.
''Definitely it had to be painful for the patient,“ Macchiarelli said.


Fighting the New England boiled-beef blahs.

Black beans and really chopped up carrots in veggie stock, nice big chunks of chicken, a smallish handful of raisins and lots of Tobasco. Works pretty well. Sometimes I use a little orange juice instead of the raisins. That works too. So now I'm thinking, what would a little brown sugar do? Instead of the raisins, I mean. Or the orange juice. Too late now, for tonight. But maybe next time. I ought to write that down.

Oh wait.

Obviously he didn't think.

Ventura teacher's hand severed when paperweight explodes:
Colla found the 40 mm round while hunting years ago, Huston said. He used it as a paperweight and “obviously he didn't think the round was live,” Huston said.

Deutsche denken an alles,

Ananova - Banned from laughing in woods :
German laugh expert Susanne Maier, who founded the German Laughter Academy which aims to teach serious minded Germans to lighten up, said: “Mr Bahrenfeld has been doing what we advise our students to do and that is to find a place they like to have a good old giggle.

“I did not have computer with that 14-year old girl”

News Stories - Tampa Bay's 10 News - WTSP:
Brian J. Doyle, DOB 4/7/50, the Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., was arrested this evening at his residence in Silver Springs, Maryland, on 23 Polk County charges related to the use of a computer to seduce a child and transmitting harmful materials to a minor.
Turns out she was a cop. Well, a girl too, but mostly a cop. Cop is the main part. Sorry about that, Dude.

At least he's got the right job title. Now it's a public affair.

I can just hear the chuckles.

Textbook: Donkeys Better Than Housewives - Yahoo! News:
“In fact, the donkey is a shade better,” continues the text meant for 14-year-olds, “for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master.”

“The comparison was made in good humor,” state education official A.R. Khan was quoted as saying.


Evening by Lake Cindy.

Well not really a lake, more like a puddle. But Puddle Cindy wouldn't...no. Definitely, it wouldn't. Forget I said that. Anyway Cindy doesn't live there any more. Used to, doesn't now. Just the lake.

The New Englanders have been missing their mud. Usually this time of year there's plenty of it. But this year no; not enough snow. New Englanders become uncomfortable when the weather's better than they think they deserve, talk of disasters in the making. No mud? Brush fires. That was yesterday. But now - look. Blessed mud. Not much, maybe, but nonetheless mud. And Lake Cindy. Drought has been postponed until the weekend. A narrow escape. For now.

And speaking of bizarre.

(Wait. That was somewhere else. Oh well....)

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It:
Last week the lower house of the Alabama legislature voted to pardon Rosa Parks and other civil rights activists who were arrested for civil disobedience (they or their survivors will have to individually request those pardons).
I can never remember if you spell it “hutzpah” or “chutzpah.” But I guess it's all more or less the same.

Miss it?

At two minutes three seconds after 1:00 tomorrow morning the time will be exactly 01:02:03 04/05/06.

And you'll sleep right through it, won't you. Confess.

It won't happen again for 1,000 years. But something similar will happen every year through 2012. I might catch up with it myself around 04:05:06 07/08/09.

(Thanks, Dolores.)

Which would make them what, Jesus stars?

Pastors Mike Foster and Craig Gross, founders of XXXchurch.com, say the [Jesus Loves Porn Stars] brand name would further their work. They regularly pass out thousands of copies of the New Testament at conferences, trying to persuade participants to switch from porn to Jesus, The Los Angeles Times reports.
American Bible Society refuses to print bibles bearing the slogan, however, citing "propriety."


Uppen Atom, Blogger

Blogger is having trouble with its Atom of some sort, seems like. Which is the problem. No blogging tools are logging in right now - not Ecto, not the Firefox plugs, not nothing. Which, you would be absolutely correct in thinking, is really no big deal.

A "chasm" in Washington

Hey, you got a chasm you don't need no fence.

WASHINGTON -- The congressional fight over the status of 11 million undocumented immigrants flared into even greater uncertainty yesterday, with a leading Democrat saying there is a ''chasm" between the House and Senate, and Republicans clashing over whether to embrace President Bush's approach on the issue.

Not to mention if the chasm doesn't work we'll call out the IRS.

The committee's bill would enable undocumented immigrants to try to earn legal status after meeting several requirements, including payment of back taxes.

I don't suppose the Geneva Convention applies to that either.


What could they have been thinking?

This is a BLAST. (Thanks Noah.) Chevy and the Apprentice set up a tool to create commercials for SUVs. They want you to create ads for their crappy products.

Yeah it's true. Chevy somehow gets 
the bright idea of setting up a web site where admirers of their Tahoe SUV can create enthusiastic commercials (with prizes yet!). Culturejammers descend. Woohoo!

A little good light on a gloomy, rainy day.

YA YAME public service.

What would you do without us? Commit the most grievous social sins, most likely.

Do not confuse New York (upper-case) Blondes with New York (lower-case) blondes, a more ubiquitous breed that is too busy going to work, shopping for groceries, getting the dishwasher repaired and watching "Grey's Anatomy" to worry about whether their caramel streaks have become brassy or their dark roots will show up in photographs on NewYorkSocialDiary.com, a blog that chronicles the society set.

Shaking things up.

A very cool page from the US Geological Service:

To better understand the distribution of shaking and damage that accompanied the great 1906 earthquake, seismologists have constructed new computer models to recreate the ground motions. The simulations show how ground moved on the two sides of the San Andreas fault and how seismic waves radiated away from the fault to produce the shaking. The earthquake, which began 2 miles offshore from the City of San Francisco, ultimately grew to cause shaking and damage along more than 300 miles of the San Andreas Fault.