Things You Could Be Happy Never Thinking About

A Brief History of Natural Sausage Casings
The USA Badminton Hall of Fame
A lengthy review of Beethoven's 4th starring Judge Reinhold
Two Sci-Fi Poems recited by William Shatner at a mid-70's appearance at Hofstra University


Pointless Exercises in Geometry

Researches at TheForce.Net have succeeded in establishing the size of the first Death Star as a sphere with a diameter of between 160 and 165 kilometers. The second Death Star is believed to have been scaled up by a factor of about five. This can all be demonstrated by applying rigorous analytical techniques to sources of varying reliability. This is information you will need the next time you have to figure out how long your squads of short range fighters have before your secret base will exposed to the full power of the enormous battle station.


Sports News

Wil Wheaton kicked the crap out of Barney the Dinosaur.

Photos (Don't miss this one)
And a first person account. (Check the comments)

The event was put on to benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They deserve your support. Don't take my word for it, read Wil's speech.


The Swiss Cheese Defense Strategy

More from Tom Tomorrow: The INS policy of fingerprinting visitors from selected middle eastern nations is another example of missing the point. Nando Times quotes an INS spokesman as saying, "The terrorists were able to exploit what they perceived as weaknesses. We can make sure that won't happen again."

Just thinking out loud here, but if you wanted to prevent what happened last year from happening again, wouldn't you put Saudi Arabia on the list? After all, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
Homeland Security Starts in Ozark

According to this article which I only discovered through Gumbo Pages, who got the link from Tom Tomorrow, Governor Siegelman has activated a tank unit from the Alabama National Guard to mobilize for an undisclosed two year homeland security mission.


Desktop-Sized Satellite Photos

A few minutes here and I'll wager your desktop will get re-wallpapered.


Undermining Homeland Security

"Kerckhoffs's principle applies beyond codes and ciphers to security systems in general: every secret creates a potential failure point. Secrecy, in other words, is a prime cause of brittleness—and therefore something likely to make a system prone to catastrophic collapse. Conversely, openness provides ductility.

[...]Indeed, as a recent National Research Council study points out, the extra security supposedly provided by biometric ID cards will raise the economic incentive to counterfeit or steal them, with potentially disastrous consequences to the victims. "Okay, somebody steals your thumbprint," Schneier says. "Because we've centralized all the functions, the thief can tap your credit, open your medical records, start your car, any number of things. Now what do you do? With a credit card, the bank can issue you a new card with a new number. But this is your thumb—you can't get a new one."

- From The Atlantic


While I've Been Away

Since I was last here there has been a trip to New Orleans, a chest cold, and a new ISP. But what I've really been doing is watching movies. All are recommended, in order from least to most enjoyable:

Arlington Road
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
The Mosquito Coast
The Green Mile
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai