"Haben Sie auch Schwarze?"

Der Spiegel is reporting that during a meeting with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, our President blurted out the question "Do you have blacks, too?"

Here's a translation courtesy of GWBush.com

Washington - It was Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor, who helped her boss out of the embarassing situation. During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?"

Rice, 47, noticing how astonished the Brazilian was, saved the day by telling Bush "Mr. President, Brazil probably has more blacks than the USA. Some say it's the Country with the most blacks outside Africa." Later, the Brazilian president Cardoso said: regarding Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase".

(see also this article in the Financial Times)
Class War in the TV News - A former reporter's stories from the front.

For the TV news reporter, the quandary is this: how to produce a news product for the mass of citizens who actually watch the newscast, and buy the products advertised — while simultaneously nudging the rich and trendy with a wink and a smile, as if to say, "Don't pay any attention to that. Really, we're just like you."



See, it's a picture of a toaster constructed out of 2500 pieces of toast. Property of MAMBA (Museo de Arte Moderne Buenos Aires)


I Like Ike

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired -- signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, [and] the hopes of its children.

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower. "Chance for Peace" Address, delivered to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and broadcast live over television and radio from the Statler Hotel in Washington D.C., April 16, 1953


Information Design

Edward Tufte, champion of elegance in the presentation of information, moderates a message board covering intellectual ideas in information design. A rich resource indeed.
Slide 4 of 6

Review of Key Objectives & Critical Success Factors

* What makes nation great
- Conceived in Liberty
- Men are equal
* Shared vision
- New birth of freedom
- Gov't of/for/by the people

- from The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation by Peter Norvig


Anacreon in Heaven

"It was then that I decided that there is only one song you play when trying to establish your bona fides with a U.S. customs official..."
- Joey DeVilla's customs ordeal
Music Fest

The Birminghamster is devoting a special issue to City Stages 2002. Stay tuned for reports from the festival.


How Long Will You Live?

This website will calculate for you, based on your answers to a few questions, the exact second you are statistically likely to pass away. I've got until January 23, 2055 at 5:55:27 PM. Mark your calendars.

Now I shall tell of the city of Zenobia, which is wonderful in this fashion: though set on dry terrain it stands on high pilings, and the houses are of bamboo and zinc, with many platforms and balconies placed on stilts at various heights, crossing one another, linked by ladders and hanging sidewalks, surmounted by cone-roofed belvederes, barrels storing water, weather vanes, jutting pulleys, and fish poles, and cranes.
No one remembers what need or command or desire drove Zenobia's founders to give their city this form, and so there is no telling whether it was satisfied by the city as we see it today, which has perhaps grown through successive superimpositions from the first, now undecipherable plan. But what is certain is that if you ask an inhabitant of Zenobia to describe his vision of a happy life, it is always a city like Zenobia that he imagines, with its pilings and its suspended stairways, a Zenobia perhaps quite different, a-flutter with banners and ribbons, but always derived by combining elements of that first model.
This said, it is pointless trying to decide whether Zenobia is to be classified among happy cities or among the unhappy. It makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give form to their desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it.

- from Italo Calvino. Invisible Cities (Le cittá invisibili). translated by William Weaver. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974)


Mnemosyne presents "a machine-readable collection of fabulous animals," or Bestiary.


Pawns for Sale

If you're missing the Clue candlestick, ran out of Yahtzee score sheets, or just want to stock up on Monopoly money, then you can order replacements for a few bucks directly from Hasbro.



I got my thousandth hit today. You guys are great. Both of you.