Go stroice cunna ifrinn do chuid fo-éadaigh!

An tInneall Mallachta? - The Irish Curse Engine. Choose your words and click on the "Mallacht" button to generate the Irish translation and a phonetic guide.

(BTW, that's "May the Hounds of Hell tear your underwear!")
Steering the Invisible Hand

Faith in the futures market as a predictive tool reached a ridiculous parody of itself recently as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit (the business information arm of the Economist Group, publisher of The Economist and Net Exchange (which "has a ten year history of applying innovative market technologies to processes not traditionally handled with markets.") to create the PAM, the Policy Analysis Market. Here you can anonymously register as a trader, place bets on the likelihood that Yasser Arafat will be assassinated in March, or that North Korea will launch a nuclear attack, or even that the rebuilt WTC will be attacked within a particular time frame. The idea is that the opportunity to profit anonymously will ferret out clues as to which targets and tactics could be expected to materialize. (In other words, the trading system presumes rampant "insider trading," profitting those with guilty knowledge). This would be a more sophisticated and focussed repackaging of the investigation of futures trading on airlines before September 11, 2001. The global dead pool.

It reeks of a cultist view of market forces. A macabre twisting of Adam Smith. A "root of all evil" approach to national security. A profoundly cynical and deeply flawed appropriation of policy analysis by the most organized of racketeers, the exchanges.

Update: After Daschle pointed out on the House floor that the system provided an incentive to commit acts of terror, the Pentagon agreed to "disestablish" the program. Viva disestablishmentarianism!

Second Update: The American Auction Market (AAM), a new futures market, inspired by PAM is set to open in October, giving academics the chance to bet on the probability that another high level State Department staffer will resign this month in disgust, or that another powerful CIA asset overseas will become public enemy number one.


The Large One, and Small History of Parly 2...

(translation courtesy of Google Language Tools)


An art of living single in the world
IL was once two young ladies who had close to Versailles the field of their farm father and who did not want to sell it. Several companies had made them fabulous proposals. It seemed to them improper that one day these good grounds rented hitherto with nursery gardeners can leave the family and belong to foreigners. One day, the representative of one of these companies says to them that the new city that it intended to build would have its church. A church of 1000 places...

In 1964, while agreeing to yield to the promoter Robert de Balkany, a farm and its dependences located on the communes of Chesnay and Rocquencourt, the Poupinet young ladies allowed the birth of Parly 2. A suspensive clause with this sale contract stipulated the construction of a catholic church on this site. Also was born the church Our-Lady from Resurrection.

The two communes of Chesnay and Rocquencourt which until there were inhabited as a majority by market-gardeners and nursery gardeners, became to the hands promoters and architects...

In June 1964, was thus created the Real Civil Company of Construction Chesnay-Trianon which becomes later the Real Limited company of Construction Chesnay-Trianon (often called SAIC Chesnay Trianon, or more simply SAIC).

Under the impulse of Robert de Balkany, property developer and of Claude Balik, architect, 36 residences left ground in the 10 years space out of 98 hectares acquired by the Company. The residence the Dumb woman was the first delivered in 1968, the last was the Louvre residence in 1978.

The new city thus made up was at the origin to receive the name of Paris 2, but the capital was opposed to this denomination. One thus invented the name of Parly 2.

The architect wanted to found his new design of town planning there, dispersing the buildings in the medium of many parks and integral of tennis and swimming pools for the use of the residents.

To crown the unit, a shopping centre, designed according to innovative ideas' of Jean-Louis Solal opened his doors in October 1969. It will be the first of Europe, joining together all the trade, including cinemas and restaurants.

The construction schedule of Parly 2 being completed at the end of the year 1978, the account closure of construction with the promoter took place in December 1981 WITHOUT LAWSUIT, when the whole of the shares of company SAIC Chesnay Trianon was sold.

The real whole of Parly 2 was an originality in its design. It is it still in its structure and its organization, we do all so that there remains a marvellous framework of life.

If you have anecdotes on the large one or the small history of Parly 2 let it know us , of a clic of mouse will make some to you profit the others.
Spy Network

Enter the address and get a diagrammatic plan and a photograph of the facade. (Works only for addresses in Lille, Paris, Rennes, Strasbourg, Nantes, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille & Nice)

Les Photos de Villes



The Bastille Day Briefing:

"THE PRESIDENT: Well, the speech that I gave was cleared by the CIA. And, look, the thing that's important to realize is that we're constantly gathering data. Subsequent to the speech, the CIA had some doubts. But when I gave the -- when they talked about the speech and when they looked at the speech, it was cleared. Otherwise, I wouldn't have put it in the speech. I'm not interested in talking about intelligence unless it's cleared by the CIA. And as Director Tenet said, it was cleared by the CIA.

The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful."

DYSTOPIA BOX: Um. The CIA had doubts from the beginning. Their mistake was to succomb to pressure from your administration to approve the use of known-to-be-very doubtful information. Choosing to ignore the overwhelming mass of information was a political decision, not an intelligence analysis. Also, the weapons inspectors were, indeed, in Iraq. All over Iraq. In caravans of suburbans paying surprise visits to suspected sites and finding a great deal of cooperation and a conspicuous absence of weapons programs. If by "America" you mean "Bechtel", and by "Peaceful" you mean "violent," then we can agree on your summation.
Things We Do In the Name of Freedom (Continued)

This London Times Story is a parade of horrors being perpetrated by U.S. Forces in Baghdad. Try, just try, to imagine if a foreign power tried any of this with us...
Irresistable Urban Images

Check out the Seamless City Project.


What Color is Your Salmon?

Farm-raised Salmon aren't salmon colored unless they're fed shrimp and krill like wild salmon (unlikely) or given artificial colors in their feed, such as Astaxanthin, a carotenoid marketed by Hoffman-LaRoche. Market research indicates that consumers associate darker pink colors with "better quality and better taste." (That's market research, not taste testing. Subjects were asked to LOOK at some fillets and state their preferences.)

In order to assist farmers in regulating the amount of pigment fed to their salmon, Hoffman-LaRoche sells the "SalmoFan" which can be held up to fresh salmon flesh to determine its coloration along a progression of values and then correlate how much Astaxanthin is needed to get the fish to the right color.

For photographs and discussion of the "SalmoFan," exuberently declared a "future classic of design" by no less an authority than Edward Tufte, see The Ask E.T. Forum at edwardtufte.com

Update: Mr. Tufte reports recently that carotenoids are also used extensively in zoos to keep the flamingos pink.


It's Unlawful to Boycott Israel - or even to comply with someone else's boycott.

Suppose you, as a freethinking American, have some deep dislike for the policies of the Israeli government - be it their institutionalized racism or the human rights violations that go with any war on domestic terrorism. Perhaps you would like to express yourself by boycotting Israeli products, so you go into the K-Mart take some of your purchases to the customer service desk and ask if any of them were made in Israel. Well, you just violated the law. And if K-Mart fails to report the incident, they could be penalized up to $50,000 and lose their export privileges. And you thought we had freedom of speech in this country...

For more information, read the U. S. Bureau of Industry and Security's Website - including examples of language that those filthy Arabs might try to sneak into a contract, which, if you sign, will bring the Feds down on your ass. Be warned!