Monday, January 26, 2004

Those are tattoos, and she's 18. Seriously, try to imagine for one second what your life is slated to be like with all that doodling on your face, when you're that young and you've got that far to go. Figure this girl's either an utter fucking mess or truly amazing.

Something, anyway. Not a cheerleader.

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Automobile factory for producing new Russian off-road vehicle - 7-seat Derways-3131 Cowboy land-rover has been constructed in the town of Cherkessk, the capital of Karachaevo-Cherkesiya autonomous republic of Russia.
The presentation of the new vehicle is scheduled on January 27. Cowboy is an angular vehicle 4.4 meters long, its shape reminds G-class Mercedes. The vehicle has modernized chassis from Ago off-road vehicle: longeron frame, stiff back axle on springs and autonomous front hanger bracket, transfer gear-box with reducing row. All the other vehicle parts have been designed in Russia.

I kinda like the truck, and the description's just cracking me up. Engrish, Rullish, etc. Is there nothing quite so entertaining as someone trying to translate their stuff into something as clunky as English?

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The Gibbs Aquada is not the only car/boat hybrid ever invented, but it is by far the fastest. On land, a 175-hp V-6 powers the two-seater at up to 100 mph. At sea, that same engine drives a jet that expels water out the back at high speeds to propel the boat like a jet-ski. The Aquada's retractable wheels allow the vehicle to plane across the water at a brisk 35 mph. It can be yours for a mere $250,000.

Just, really, really, really, really friggin' cool. Figured I'd throw it out there.

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former chief U.S. arms hunter David Kay has concluded Iraq had no stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, a potential embarrassment for President Bush, and Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday it was an open question if they'd be found.

A senior U.S. official said on Saturday Vice President Dick Cheney, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, believed "the jury's still out" on whether Iraq had chemical or biological weapons or missiles, as contained in official U.S. intelligence estimates.

But the official also appeared to distance the White House from the issue, saying the conclusion Iraq had banned weapons was based on intelligence judgments going back to the 1990s, and "we don't know yet" whether the assessments were accurate.

Speaking to reporters as he flew to Sunday's inauguration of Georgian President-elect Mikhail Saakashvili, Powell said: The open question is how many stocks they had, if any, and if they had any, where did they go. And if they didn't have any, then why wasn't that known beforehand?"

Kay's comments dented the credibility of the administration's case for the war, which was presented most extensively by Powell at the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003.

And Kay's rather abrupt departure wouldn't, perhaps, be so damned newsworthy if Jr. hadn't used his (Kay's) report to justify his (Jr's) invasion of Iraq during last week's State of the Union address.

Really, seriously, fer Christ's sake; how come nobody's nailed that bitch to the wall for this shit? What happened to motherfucking Democracy? What happened to motherfucking justice?

MikE! If you're here and you didn't bother to read the story up above, go back and read it, Goddammit. I post this shit up here for a reason, y'know.

All right, back to Adult Swim. Have a lovely Monday, y'all.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yow. Just when you think that God doesn't have an appreciable sense of humor. This fella's kicking around down in Oregon, which lends some weight to the thought that I might stumble across him one of these days. Cross yer fingers.

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U.S. Rep Jerry Costello has called for impeachment hearings against U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney during Congress' session that begins today.

Costello called for hearings Saturday while on the Iowa caucus campaign trail with fellow U.S. House of Representatives member and presidential candidate Dick Gephardt, according to the Drudge Report.

Costello questioned the award of billions of dollars of contracts to Cheney's former corporation Haliburton to extinguish fires and rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure after the war.

One of three things'll happen with this one:

1.) Rep. Costello will drop the subject as he tries to grapple with the sudden, anonymous campiagn fund donation he's found in his checking account.

2.) Rep. Costello will find himself under brutal personal attack and a number of things he's fairly certain he's never done will come to light, allowing him little time to pursue a personal vendetta against the Invisible Veep.

3.) Rep. Costello will be found either dead or unconscious in the backseat of a Town Car with an underage hooker (preferably male) somewhere in the Georgetown area. A camera crew (employed, most likely, by News Corp or an affiliate) will stumble across them in whatever parking lot they're inhabiting for the moment. Least likely, but it should shut up the rest of those yappy cloud-brained Dems, no?

Who wants to bet?

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Ah...Jr. starts chattering and sarcasm descends upon the technolitterati. Here's a couple of good ones:

The Onion:

And an excerpt from Corporate Motherfucker:

...So, to make the messages more clearer, we are here presenting a guide explaining President Bush's policies to the pubic-at-large.

"Defense of Marriage": Marriage is a beautiful thing between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, many womens are having their babies out of wedlock, and the babies are being adopted by QUEERS. To defend the marriages and keep the babys away from the gays, our President is proposing encouraging them to get married to the fathers of their babies. (Just one of the fathers, though.) They should stay married even if the father beats her and is drunk all the time and gives her AIDS, since children need a father. Also, one of the faith-based programs can help them find Jesus, and Jesus can stop the drinking. Not the AIDS, though, since AIDS is a GAY DISEASE and Jesus HATES GAYS.

"Faith-based": The purpose of the government is not to help the poor stupid peoples who don't have jobs. The purpose of the government is to help the ECONOMY. So, the people should go to the churches for help! Jesus loves you, but the government's job is to kill terrorist Iraqis and get their oil!

And so on and so forth. All in good fun, when a grinning monkey lies to the nation, swallows his own bullshit whole and calls out for an end to free thought, any lifestyle that falls outside the boundaries of "traditional" and warns Congress that there isn't enough money to chase "terrorists" AND run the US as though its citizens deserved a fair share of their tax money, so be prepared to start cutting all the nonessential shit, like Medicare, Welfare, Education ('cause with the No Child Left Behind program, you don't have to fuck around and figure out new ways of teaching; now there's a test, so as long as the kids pass that they're smart and don't have to be taught anything else, like history and art and anything that isn't reading & 'rithmatic, 'cause that's all you need for the "new, hi-tech jobs of the future) and anything else that doesn't put a gun in the hand of a cop or dollars in the bank account of a church.

Seriously, I need a big fat rifle, a scope the size of an oatmeal canister and at least two bullets, just in case my hand shakes on the first shot.

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Monday, January 19, 2004

INVADER ZIM is coming to DVD. I'm so fucking happy I could just plotz. Check here for the details. And if you dunno why I'm so damned happy, reserve a copy now. Seriously, a cartoon from the creator of JTHM doesn't belong on friggin' Nickleodeon, right?

What were you thinking, Jhonen?

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This used to be a VW bus. Just one of those things that you find if you troll through FARK on a daily basis.

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Wal-Mart, believed to be the world's largest retailer, is under fire for reportedly locking in overnight workers at many of its stores, sometimes to the detriment of their own safety.

The New York Times reported yesterday a number of cases in which employees were allegedly prevented from leaving a store when they were injured, unwell or, as in one case in Florida, when a hurricane struck the area.

Michael Rodriguez, who works at a Wal-Mart store in Texas and waited an hour for colleagues to free him from beneath fallen machinery as they searched for a key, said: "It isn't right. You could have been bleeding to death and they'll have you locked in."

Wal-Mart officials said a lock-in policy operated in some stores and had done for up to 15 years. But they said the stores were either in high crime areas or at risk of "shrinkage", a euphemism for theft by employees.

Nonetheless the latest charges can only tarnish Wal-Mart's image and strengthen its reputation as a company that combines sophisticated 21st-century retailing techniques with 19th-century-style treatment of its employees

The Times had a better article on this one, but the link'll expire in a couple days, so here's this one. Endless stories of employees vomiting, bleeding, listening to hurricanes crashing down overhead and trapped behind fire doors (which were occasionally chained shut) with strict orders to NEVER open them unless there was actually a, y'know, fire. Bleeding, vomiting, crushed bones need not apply. And even smaller deals, like having employees clock out at 1 a.m. to prevent them from getting overtime, but keeping them locked in until six or seven until a manager with a key shows up.

When I worked at G. Fox as a kid we occasionally did this, too. All night store-cleaning binges with the doors locked, the phones killed and the security cameras running full steam ahead. But despite the potential for fines, there was never an admonishment to stay away from the fire doors if there was an emergency.

Then again, Wal-Mart's just fucking evil. We all know that by now, right?

Good. Go on with your day.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

As the world looks at Mars, an American scientist has produced the best images ever obtained from the surface of a rather different planet - Venus.

Interesting and very cool article. Apparently the Soviets landed 10 probes on Venus 'tween '75 & '81, all of which survived and sent back digital photographs. No easy feat, considering the surface of Venus runs at three or four hundred degrees Farenheit and about ninety atmospheres of pressure (meaning, for those who just went 'huh?', that atmospheric pressure runs about ninety times what you've got here on Mother Earth; more than enough, really, to squish you like a grape). But the photos kinda sucked, not real surprising given the state of Soviet electronics at that point in history (or any, really), the low pixel number of the photos and the fact that the probes were broadcasting though static-charged windstorms and across space. So this guy ran everything through a big fat processor, cleaned 'em up and spit 'em back out. Very nifty shit. you should check it out.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An internal audit warned top executives at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. three years ago that employee records at 128 stores showed extensive violations of child-labor laws and state regulations, the New York Times said on Tuesday.
An official at Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, did not immediately return calls for comment, but a spokesperson told the paper the audit was meaningless, since what looked like violations could simply reflect employees' failure to punch in and out for breaks and meals they took.

The audit -- now under court seal -- of one week's time-clock records for about 25,000 employees found 1,371 instances in which minors worked too late at night, worked during school hours or worked too many hours in a day, the paper said. It also found 60,767 apparent instances of workers not taking breaks, and 15,705 apparent instances of employees working through meal times.

The paper said there are more than 40 current lawsuits charging Wal-Mart with making employees work without pay through lunch and rest breaks.

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Guys, they're just fucking EVIL. Would you please stop shopping there? How badly do you need to save six cents on toilet paper?

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

Radioactive marbles for sale on eBay. Thinking about gettin' 'em for the Chin for a late Xmas present. Dunno if he'll want 'em around the cats, though.

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Heya kids-

Not much time today, so I'm just posting up a few interesting tidbits from the Times:

A Florida appeals court panel ruled on Friday that the state could not appoint a guardian for the fetus of a retarded rape victim, dismissing what civil-liberties groups complained was an attack by Gov. Jeb Bush against abortion rights.

...Mr. Bush, a Republican, opposes abortion, and he drew national attention by intervening last spring in the case of the woman, who is identified in court papers as J. D. S. A circuit court judge had denied requests to appoint a guardian for the fetus, made by people who feared the woman's own court-appointed guardian would arrange for an abortion.

...When you set up a guardian for a fetus, you're creating a situation with the mother and the fetus having competing legal rights," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which argued the case before the appeals panel. "There was no masking that this was a crusade to change the law, to limit the rights of women and bring to the Supreme Court something that would overturn or alter Roe v. Wade."

This one's important, really, 'cause the Bushes are pushing to place their version of "morality" on the nation with these kinda bullshit backdoor deals. And the fucked-up part is that while you and I and most of the people we know will have to adhere to such "morals", the wealthy and powerful (who already get to ignore a great deal of the law) will be even more insulated from the judicial branch (remember {although you probably never heard of it; thanks "liberal" media} that the woman who accused Jr. of rape, who could have sullied the oval office even worse than Clinton, turned up dead over the summer. No muss, no fuss, no dirty words, no indicted president, no black eye for the "moral" folk). As I just said to Buttons, in response to her query "Where do they get off?", they get off by fucking the American electorate up the ass.

There seems little doubt that the Bush administration's prime justification for invading Iraq — the fear that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction — was way off base. Nine months of fruitless searching have made that increasingly clear.

But last week three new reports cast further doubt on the administration's reckless rush to invade Iraq. Taken together, they paint a picture far different from the one presented to Americans early last year. They depict a world in which Saddam Hussein, though undeniably eager to make Iraq a threatening world power, was far from any serious steps to do that. The reports strengthen our conviction that whatever threat Iraq posed did not require an immediate invasion without international support. And they underline the importance of finding out how far the Bush administration's obsession with the Iraqi dictator warped the American intelligence reports that did so much to convince Congress and the public that the attack was justified.

The likelihood that significant weapons of mass destruction will be found seemed to grow even more remote last week with publication of an investigative report by Barton Gellman in The Washington Post. Mr. Gellman, who perused Iraqi documents and interviewed key Iraqis and members of the American search team, found that Iraq's effort to produce terror weapons had been so thoroughly beaten down by conflict, sanctions and arms embargoes that its forbidden weapons program amounted mainly to wishful thinking.

This is not so much to prove anything, really, but just to point out that while it seemed that EVERYONE has, at this point, accepted that there isn't WMD one in Iraq, nobody is nailing Jr. to the wall for launching an invasion of a nation too beaten down and fucked-up to launch much more than token resistance.


Are we as beaten down and scared as the Iraqi people?

Dunno. Gotta run. Think about it & lemme know.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Right, right, yeah, not much to say today. Seattle is awash in slush that will probably freeze into an indestructable crust by morning. Billions of people on the bus, the slush on their shoes melting and puddling in the aisles, crashing back and forth as the bus went up and down the hills of town, little breakers, tidal movements in the back of a Sand Point-bound #74 flowing under everyone's feet, glazed eyes bundled in wet wool and slick vinyl, straight ahead or out the window or deep in a book. The guy who crowded on next to me was all of nineteen, blonde, hip, startled when I "Pardon me" 'd him to get off at my stop. Dunno why it matters.

Oh yeah, couple days ago, this bike messenger guy who rides from the U District to Seattle Center, bullshitting with a friend of his, noticed that he had a hook hand.

Figure he only uses one set of brakes.

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. John G. Rowland's (search) public support continues to erode following his admission that he lied about accepting gifts from employees and state contractors for his summer cottage in Litchfield, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Wednesday.

A majority of voters — 56 percent — told Quinnipiac pollsters that Rowland should resign. Only 44 percent who thought he should resign in a poll released Dec. 17, shortly after the governor first admitted he lied.

Forty-two percent of those polled think the legislature should try to impeach Rowland, Quinnipiac said. In a University of Connecticut poll last month, 22 percent of state residents favored immediate impeachment, while 75 percent wanted to wait for an investigation to finish.

Die, die, die, die, die, die, eat shit, suck my cock, die, die, go fuck yourself, die, die, die and I hope you sit on a tack you sweating fat fuck.


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The response to the Turkey & Gravy Jones Soda has been incredible. Thank you for your interest and patience in regards to this soda. We apologize if you were not able to get your hands on the Turkey & Gravy Jones Soda. Since this was a premium edition with limited quantities in Michigan and Washington region, we sold out pretty quickly. However, due to the huge interests from our consumers, we will be better prepared to meet everyone's need next year. All the sales from Turkey & Gravy soda will be going to Toys for Tots. If you sign up for our free Jones Soda newsletter, you will get advance notice of future premium flavors.

Almost not worth posting 'cept that they're right around the corner from work and, fuck, it's turkey & gravy soda. How could I ignore that? Plus, Jones Soda pretty much kicks ass, and I'm always looking to spread the word on things that kick ass.

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Scientists have recruited DNA to manufacture minuscule wires that could be used for nanoscale electronic devices. According to a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tiny tubes that self-assemble can be coated in metal to form highly conductive wires.

Thomas LaBean of Duke University and his colleagues first assembled tiles from synthetic DNA molecules, which they used as building blocks. Under the right chemical conditions, these tiles arrange themselves into tubes that measure just 25 nanometers in diameter and up to 20 microns in length. (The new process improves on previous assembly methods, which resulted in tubes of greatly varying lengths and some leftover tiles.) The scientists then created smooth, uniform silver nanowires from the tubes through a two-step chemical reaction

Just some cool shit that goes a long to proving that yes, Virginia, we're in the future. Guy at work showed me an article about this this morning. Nifty.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Hey, I'm curious...what are you guys searching for that pops you up here? Drop a line, lemme know.

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Snow day in Jet City, so we played hooky. Y'know, I told everyone that I'd bring the Northeast to the Northwest and they all just smiled and nodded and said "Sure, Billyhank, sure. You think what you need to," and here we are with four or five rapidly melting inches on the ground and the Counterbalance, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne and half of Bellvue closed off due to heavy ice.

I stand smugly by my previous statements. Hope I didn't kill anyone.

Pretty, though. Buttons & I wandered up to the bread store next to People's Mercantile and got some kinda kickass asiago/pesto/something else tasty kinda bread and I made the girl behind the counter feel bad by telling her the plows weren't really running up Sand Point Way (and, yeah, I'm feeling pretty shitty about that, thank you) and then walked home on the Burke Gilman, which is prettier than I can tell. If you live here then you probably know the trail and up here it's miles of paved forest with road noise coming at you over the treetops but nothing around buy trees and plants and fellow bikers and joggers and strollers. It's sucha pretty city, y'all. I mean, it's too crowded, so don't move here (Richie, MikE!, D, HR, the lil sis, etc. excepted, naturally), but goddamn, occasionally, it just flattens your ass.

Great news footage of folks sledding down the Counterbalance, the coolness of Jet City indicated by cops parked at the bottom, making sure that traffic stayed clear. This is part of what I'm loving about this place, that folks would get it into their heads to sled down a major thoroughfare and that the muni controllers would back them up on it. West Coast breeziness as opposed to East Coast tension.

Really, the joint's starting to feel like home.

Okay, out. Chasing Amy is on and the joint needs cleaning. Have a nice night, kids, and I'll check in on y'all soon.

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

Just noticed that Blogger's not posting pics right at the moment. Should be temporary. Hang loose. Pyra'll take care of it.

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First pics of Mars from the Spirit rover. Nice shootin', fellas.

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Animal rights groups are boiling mad. There's a new shell game being played in some Florida restaurants, allowing guests to grab their lobsters for dinner.

A machine known as "Lobster Zone" holds numerous delicious crustaceans and is a variation on the old "skill cranes" popular in most arcades. For $2 per try, patrons can use a joystick to move a grasping claw above the desired lobster. If captured, the lobster is swung into position, dropped into a bucket and taken into the kitchen. Those lucky or skillful enough can get a lobster dinner for just a fraction of the menu price.

A group known as the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida has been protesting "Lobster Zone" because they feel it is cruel to make a game of picking a lobster for lunch."

No particular thoughts on this one. Just figured I should post it up. Seems like something that should've started in Japan.

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Foreign travelers who need visas will be photographed and fingerprinted at Orlando International Airport and 114 other airports around the nation beginning Monday, according to Local 6 News.

The program, to be up and running on Jan. 5 at all 115 airports that handle international flights, will let Customs officials instantly check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background. Their fingerprints and photographs will keep track of when foreigners enter and leave the country.

"I think people have come to understand that an increase to security is necessary," said U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger.

The program, called US-VISIT, or U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, will check an estimated 24 million foreigners each year, though some will be repeat visitors.

You should all know the drill on this one by now. This is just 1984-style stuff, the thin edge of the wedge. Tracking foreign tourists like they're on the cusp of committing some atrocity, forcing citizens to show ID to travel ("Your papers, comrade, and be quick about it!"), etc., etc. We're becoming, by leaps and bounds, an insanely paranoid nation.

More paranoid nation, perhaps. 'Cause, really, we're not right in the head.

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