Excerpts from the Club Libby Lu FAQ

What is a V.I.P.?
A V.I.P. is a Very Important Princess, and she's a super fabulous member of Club Libby Lu!

Why should I join the Club?
A rewards program card that gets you lots of freebies!
An official membership card key chain, good for V.I.P. only deals and events!
10% off all purchases made the day you join!
10% off all purchases every Tuesday!
Free gift on Wednesday if you're in a Girl Troop!
We'll mail you our V.I.P. newsletter!
We'll email you special offers and invitations to club events!
Access to our V.I.P. members only website!

How do I join the Club?
So you wanna join! Cool! It’s real easy and it’s totally FREE!!! But you must go to an actual store to join! Sorry! You can’t join online! We want to see you at the Club! Once you’re there, use the club computer located inside the store. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s FREE! By joining you get all sorts of cool stuff. You'll receive your V.I.P. membership card key chain at the Club when you first join.

Help! I lost my V.I.P Club Membership Card?
So you can't find your Club membership card and you want a new one?! No problem, next time you visit the Club just ask any Club Counselor to get you a new V.I.P. Club Membership Card.

How do I schedule a makeover party?
To ensure proper pampering, you must call the club nearest you to make an appointment for a makeover party. Sorry, you cannot make appointments through the internet. The Price of Fame is $20-30 per girl.

How can I be a model for Club Libby Lu?
Sorry Girlfriend! We currently do not accept applications for modeling.

I want to work at a local Club Libby Lu?
It's easy girlfriend! Just go to the Club nearest you and pick up an application! The minimum age that we hire for our Club Counselor positions at the Club is 16 years old. To inquire about job opportunities within our Chicago based Wish Factory, please send your resume to: careers@clublibbylu.com

Does Club Libby Lu offer gift-wrapping?
Our super fabulous purse bag comes with every purchase, and makes really cool gift wrapping.

How can I open my own Club Libby Lu?
As of May 6th, 2003, we are now a wholly owned subsidiary of Saks Department Store Group. We are unable to offer any franchise opportunities.


A Series of Unfortunate Events

"The purpose of architecture is to create an atmosphere in which man can live, work, and enjoy." - Minoru Yamasaki

I share my birthday with architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose grandest and most noted structures have been destroyed: The Pruitt-Igoe Public Houseing Project in St. Louis was demolished in 1972, the same year I was born. The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were destroyed by hijacked airplanes in 2001, the year I started the DystopiaBox weblog.


DystopiaBox Response to Robert McHenry

First, go read The Faith-Based Encyclopedia by former Encylopædia Britannica editor-in-chief Robert McHenry. Then read the following, which was first posted to the discussion page for his Wikipedia entry:

McHenry's article certainly is provacative. Among the things I think he fails to understand is that people using the internet for research expect to have to think critically about the veracity and objectivity of the information they find. If you are looking for authority, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is vastly preferred to the Wikipedia. What Wikipedia shows us is that people are looking for qualities besides authority in their information -- qualities such as accessibility, usefulness, and currency. For these qualities, Wikipedia is unexcelled.

Second there is the question of what information matters. The Britannica must weigh the desire to preserve information with the need to control expansion of its volumes. The Wikipedia does not suffer from rampant expansion. McHenry uses the example of the entry on Alexander Hamilton to make his point. What if we were to compare the entries on American Idol, or Banksy, or even Robert McHenry himself? The Britannica is useless, but the Wikipedia preserves such ephemera.

Finally, it must be noted that the lack of authority in Wikipedia is not directly linked to its accuracy. When one cites the Wikipedia, even reproducing an error of fact, the reader is alerted to the non-authoritative status of that fact, just as McHenry says. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Facts are always involved in conflict, as the incalculable revisions to the Britannica itself demonstrate. An error that slips past their esteemed editors will likely BECOME truth saving a monumental effort of revision. The beauty of the Wikipedia is that conflict is transparent and accessible. This is the social construction of truth. Authority is an expedient end-around to settle dispute, but it is not the only means, and it does no guarantee of social value.


Some Poll Results in Jefferson County, Alabama

Nothing scandalous here, just messing around with the figures. I used numbers downloaded from the Jefferson County (Alabama) FTP site and I have to say I'm not really sure HOW to use these, as there are two (or more) listings for each polling place. I only used one from each and ended up with about half the total votes counted in the county. Nevertheless, in many cases the number of ballots cast exceeded the number of registered voters recorded at each precinct. Not sure what that means. I'll update this if or when I learn anything. Anyway, without further ado, here's my breakdown of voting behavior by the type of building used as the polling place.:

Absentee - 6650 ballots, 61.7% Bush and 37.4% Kerry.
Churches - 57,840 ballots (79.5% turnout), 66.5% Bush and 32.6% Kerry
City Halls - 10,382 ballots (77.3%); 74.0% Bush, 25.1% Kerry
Comm/Rec Centers - 44,295 ballots (73.6%); 46.2% Bush, 53.0% Kerry
Fire Stations - 12,324 ballots (79.5%); 50.0% Bush, 49.0% Kerry
Libraries - 6,278 ballots (89.0%); 45.3% Bush, 53.4% Kerry
Military - 1,624 ballots (73.3%); 40.1% Bush, 59.2% Kerry
Schools - 30,403 ballots (70.5%); 42.6% Bush, 56.8% Kerry
Other - 7,156 ballots (71.2%); 48.4% Bush, 51.0% Kerry


Blue in a Red America

Dan Kennedy in the Boston Phoenix:

The problem with Finder’s criticism, though, is that it’s so pre-11/2, so — well, reality-based. I’m not sure that any external issues mattered in Bush’s election Tuesday night. That’s because we have entered a new era, one described in chilling detail several weeks ago by Ron Suskind in the New York Times Magazine. Suskind described a chewing-out he once received from a "senior adviser to Bush" after he’d written something for Esquire that the White House didn’t like. Suskind wrote: "The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.’"

Now, Suskind’s piece wasn’t so much about empire as it was about Bush’s embrace of messianic Christianity, a sort of created reality that informs much of his decision-making, one that leads him to separate the world into simplistic categories of good and evil and to believe, always, that he is on the side of good, and of God. It’s a nice thought — but if you’re George W. Bush, how do you know whether you’re really on God’s side? Trouble is, he acts as though his religion leads him to believe he’s always right. And there’s little doubt that his most ardent supporters feel the same way. Consider the war in Iraq, which was — or least should have been — the overarching issue in this campaign. It is as clear as any politically charged fact can be that Bush exaggerated, relied on dubious intelligence, and lied in order to come up with a pretext for the war — that is, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and had provided a base of operations for Al Qaeda. None of this, as we have known for many months, was even remotely true. More than 1100 American soldiers, and perhaps as many as 100,000 Iraqi civilians, have paid for this tragic folly with their lives, and there is no hope that we can be extricated from the Iraq quagmire anytime soon. Yet even though this may prove to be an even more grotesque foreign-policy blunder than Vietnam, Bush’s most enthusiastic followers seem not to care. Polls show that a majority of Bush supporters actually believe that we have found WMD in Iraq, and that Saddam even had some nebulous involvement in 9/11. Thus we have Bush creating his own reality — a faith-based war for which tens of thousands of human beings have paid in actual blood. And those of us in the reality-based community are left to look on in horror.

After what happened on Tuesday, I’m reluctant to cite exit polls, but cite them I must, since I have no other, uh, reality-based standard on which to rely. So: according to exit polls conducted by NBC News, 21 percent of voters on Tuesday said "moral values" were the most important issue to them. (Why aren’t they ever asked if "hate and the opportunity to discriminate" were what brought them to the polls?) Believe it or not, that was higher than the percentage of voters who cited either the economy or terrorism as the most important issue. Of those who identified "moral values" as their key issue, 78 percent said they had voted for Bush. Fully one in five voters was a self-described evangelical Christian.

If Boston — along with New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles — is one of the capitals of Blue America, the NBC exit polls describe the very definition of Red America: bigoted, intolerant, fearful of the unknown, ever ready to impose its own version of morality on everyone else. Let me admit right here that I’m struggling — much of what I’ve written about Red Americans this morning strikes me as intolerant of them. As a devoted secularist with a number of religious friends, I certainly don’t want to come off as though I’m denigrating religion itself. But the essence of liberalism is that religion must exist in its own sphere, and though it needn’t be private, it has no business poking its nose under other people’s tents. If you’re opposed to abortion, then don’t have one. If you think homosexuality is a sin, then don’t have sex with someone of the same gender. Now, this all makes perfect sense to me. The trouble is, tolerance is perhaps the most vital component of a liberal value system, and it’s at the heart of what makes Blue America what it is. And Red America values neither tolerance nor liberalism. Not to sound too arrogant, but I don’t think we would have any trouble living with them — it’s they who have trouble living with us.

And now they’ve won.


And Make Sure it Counts

Around the country voting lists are being ethnically cleansed, election boards are disappearing ballots, thugs are headed to the polls to challenge legitimate voters, machines are set to fail, and your vote - unless your polling place is an upper-class neighborhood - is not guaranteed to count.

For a brief survey of the biggest boondoggles, read An Election Spoiled Rotten at TomPaine.com

Anyone facing trouble at the polls should be ready to call 1-800-OUR-VOTE to speak with a non-partisan voting rights professional who can answer questions, and help make sure your vote counts. It might not be a walk in the park tomorrow. Get ready to be heard.

John M. Bailey, Chairman for the Democratic National Committee, charged today that "under the guise of setting up an apparatus to protect the sanctity of the ballot, the Republicans are actually creating the machinery for a carefully organized campaign to intimidate voters and to frighten members of minority groups from casting their ballots [...]"

(via Operation Eagle Eye:)

The date of that press release was October 27, 1964 -- a year before President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

Whatever your beliefs about how to reduce the terrorist threat -- Whatever your position on public welfare programs -- Whatever your attitudes about civil liberties or education or insurance or everything else -- Consider this carefully: Right now the Republicans want to PREVENT anyone but "their base" from voting and the Democrats are working to make sure everyone DOES have the opportunity and motivation to vote. Working for the few against the many is not a good position to be in, but it's one that the republicans are familiar with.

The DystopiaBox encourages everyone to vote their conscience - or at least vote.


From: John Morse
Date: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:11:30 PM US/Central
To: fritz@theblade.com
Subject: Re: Challenges Filed against 931 Lucas County Voters

Fritz Wenzel, political writer
The Toledo Blade
Toldeo, Ohio
(419) 724-6134

Mr. Wenzel:

The following was sent to me by a "friend of a friend". If any of this is news to you, I might be able to track down the source.

"This is really just a message to vent and to spread the word that I truly do not believe the election in Ohio will be a fair one. Yesterday, I received a letter from the county board of elections stating that some random woman named Joelle Clink has challenged my right to vote. she filed a petition to the county saying that I am not a real person, that I do not live in Ohio and therefore my name is to be removed from the voter registration list and I will not be allowed to vote on Tuesday. If I
want to contest this, because obviously the burden of proof should be on me to prove that I exist rather than on Joelle actually proving that I don't exist before filing such a petition, I have to attend a court hearing this Saturday at 11am and testify that am eligible to vote. But it is not just me. Two other people in my department alone also got this letter. And so did 928 other individuals in Toledo. Interestingly if you look at the list of people being challenged what you see are academics and people residing in poor areas of town. Draw your own conclusions. I am furious. I can't believe that this person is able to, on no basis whatsoever, just decide that people are not eligible to vote. I registered to vote back in august following all the proper procedures. I should not be required to spend all day Saturday in court trying to get my right to vote back because some woman claims I do not exist. One of the other faculty members in the department has already contacted an attorney. If I can not vote on Tuesday you better believe that all hell will break lose."

According to your article, the list of 931 names was thought perhaps to have been collected from undeliverable mail returned to the elections board. According to the author of the above email, the list of 931 names appears to over-represent 'academics and people residing in poor areas of town.' I have no idea if this is true. Obviously if true, that would add a new dimension to the story. I question how a list generated at the elections board would make its way into the hands of what was obviously an organized effort to mass-produce the challenges which were filed, perhaps being "filtered" for voting behavior predictions along the way. Then there is the claim by the email author that she registered to vote in August. I could understand if a voter hadn't been heard from in several years, but one piece of returned mail in three months doesn't seem like a just cause. Is there anything to prevent me, a random guy in Alabama, from telling Bernadette Noe that you don't exist and perhaps thereby requiring you to attend a hearing to re-establish your voting rights? It seems more than outrageous. Perhaps it is.
One for the History Books

A minute-by-minute account by ESPN's Bill Simmons of Game 4 of the 2004 World Series as broadcast on FOX.

"6:49 -- Well, we had the lunar eclipse. I think this is a good sign. More importantly, Bonnie Tyler gets to fill out a 1090-form this year -- Fox just replayed the moon with 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' playing in the background. Plus, the Red Sox are trying to complete a World Series sweep. This is officially the weirdest night of all-time.

[...]You know what? It's not happening for the Cards. It's just not. They should just put on Finland's 1980 hockey uniforms and get it over with. At the rate they're going, they may not even get 10 minutes in the Red Sox World Series DVD



Elvis had 'The Jungle Room.' T.O. has 'The Chocolate Room.' Owens has a place in his home where he can get away and relax. That room for Owens is The Chocolate Room, located in the basement of his 6 bedroom home in suburban Atlanta.

'That's where I escape,' said Owens. 'Everything is chocolate-colored and over-sized. Not many people go in that room.'

Owens is not kidding about limiting access to the room. You need to know the combination to get trough the door. Once inside it's extremely plush, from the sofas to the carpeting. With a stereo system and a plasma screen TV, he's got all the ingredients to chill out.

'The way I've set it up I never have to go out,' said Owens. 'We can have a good time right in my house.'

Along with the Chocolate Room, Owens home includes a fully loaded pool hall and an indoor basketball gymnasium. With pool tables, pin ball games, an air hockey table and an assortment of video games, it's safe to say there's a competitive nature in his home.

'It gets pretty competitive in my house,' he said. 'Whether we're playing basketball, dominoes or shooting pool, by the end of the night the loser's going to be doing pushups.' "

Read more pap at terrellowens.com!


Bush Relatives for Kerry

"Because blood is thinner than oil."
The Words of the Balladeer - Episode 5, "High Octane"

Ya'll settle down an' hang around.

That's Bo an' Luke Duke. And from the way they're duded up they've got somethin' cookin'. And you know it ain't girls cuz it's still daylight.

That's Uncle Jesse, the Duke patriarch. And that means he's the boss.

Sometimes it's just as hard to figure out what Boss IS interested in, as it is to figure out what he's really talkin' about.

Explainin' something -- Anything -- to Rosco is never easy. But this time, the Boss seems to be gettin' through. Maybe it's his technique.

Now, for all you culturally DE-prived, "Jukin" is an event that combines music, exercise, and social intercourse on a high plane.

Uh-huh. Ya'll gettin' it now? Ol' Bo and Luke figured to get her all passed-out and out of the way for about twelve hours.

Early next morning they unveiled "Sweet Tilly," a real sweetheart with a leaded body, a hot engine and racing shocks. Jesse and Tilly were a legend. And although he hadn't made a run with her in several years, Ol' Jesse kept her tuned up and ready.

Ya'll stick around for the barbecue, ya hear?

Did you ever see a smugger man in all your born days? Ol' Boss is sittin' pretty cuz he knows the Duke family moonshine will run a motor, is a pretty fair antifreeze, and a durn good remedy for warts and catarrh.

Now right now Ol' Boss is happier than a hog knee deep in slop.

The contest rules state that you either provide a pollution-free engine or a clean fuel that runs an internal combustion engine an' Ol' Boss can hardly wait.

Listen, cuz this ain't over yet. Trouble just startin', cuz now the Dukes got to keep runnin' till they burn up the evidence in Jesse's tank - or they're gonna be sittin' in jail while the government sorts this thing out. How'd you like to be doin' that?

You ever see two hounds fightin' over the same bone? Well the Dukes are feelin' kinda like that bone.

And that's the legend of how Jesse and the boys made both legal and illegal booze and they all made a new friend. Especially Bo.


Hobby Lobby Store Music:

"The music you hear in Hobby Lobby Stores is provided through a Signature Channel, delivered by satellite to each store location. The musical selections are carefully chosen to enhance your shopping experience.

Hobby Lobby music covers a variety of styles. You may hear such artists and selections as John Tesh performing Avalon; Jim Brickman - If You Believe; Vince Gill - Amazing Grace; Steve Devick - Precious Memories; Phil Keaggy - Spend My Life With You; Zoe Girl - With All My Heart, and The Brentwood Jazz Quartet with Praise To The Lord The Almighty. Other recognized artists such as Yo -Yo Ma, Sam Levine, Kirk Whalum, Don Moen, and Christopher Parkening, help to weave a wonderful mix of Classical, Light Jazz, Contemporary, and Bluegrass styles.

Our customers have told us for years that Hobby Lobby is a favorite place to browse. We work hard to create a pleasant environment that is clean and orderly, in which beautiful products are displayed in an attractive manner. We desire to create an atmosphere that is not only beautiful but relaxing to the senses. What better way to lift your spirits than with music, creating the perfect Audio Ambience."
Get Smart!

The Smart car, ubiquitous in Europe's narrow streets and crazy-quilt parking lots, is finally headed to the U.S. - Incrementally and starting with some sort of mini-SUV.

Here's the article from Wired.

"...conventional wisdom in the States dismissed the diminutive city car as the Speedo of the automotive world - fashionable abroad but way too small."


The Sim-Pol Life


Amanda made Sims of Bush, Kerry, Edwards, Hussein & Osama for amusement - but soon, things took a turn for the sickening...

Visit with Sim Bush & Sim Kerry! (But don't say I didn't warn you.)


Who am I? Why am I here?

I'm not a politician -- everybody knows that. So don't expect me to use the language of the Washington insider. Thirty-seven years in the Navy, and only one of them up there in Washington. And now I'm an academic.

The centerpiece of my life was the Vietnam War. I was there the day it started. I led the first bombing raid against North Vietnam. I was there the day it ended, and I was there for everything in between. Ten years in Vietnam, aerial combat, and torture. I know things about the Vietnam War better than anybody in the world. I know some things about the Vietnam War better than anybody in the world.

And I know how governments, how American governments can be -- can be courageous, and how they can be callow. And that's important. That's one thing I'm an insider on.

I was the leader of the underground of the American pilots who were shot down in prison in North Vietnam. You should know that the American character displayed in those dungeons by those fine men was a thing of beauty.

I look back on those years as the beginning of wisdom, learning everything a man can learn about the vulnerabilities and the strengths that are ours as Americans.

Why am I here tonight? I am here because I have in my brain and in my heart what it takes to lead America through tough times.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale's opening statement in the October 13, 1992 Vice-Presidential Debate


What a Country!

"At noon Monday, Yakov Kasman's phone rang in Birmingham, Ala. Calmer was on the line, asking if the 37-year-old Russian could play the Rachmaninoff concerto in Portland that night. Kasman, who won the silver medal in the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, was just about to begin a day of teaching at the University of Alabama. He'd never been to Portland, had never met Kalmar and had never played a concerto without a rehearsal. And this was Rach 3. He hadn't played a note of it since March.

One seat remained on a plane to Portland. It left in 90 minutes."

Read the whole inspiring story from the Portland Oregonian


to the Honorable Artur Davis, United States House of Representatives

Re: H.R.10, "The 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act of 2004"

I am very concerned about the example the United States is setting with regard to human rights and global justice. It is one thing to decry abuses and beat one's chest about freedom and democracy. It is apparently quite another thing to stand up for justice when it doesn't appear to serve our direct short term strategic interests. The bill that is before the house that would allow the US to "outsource" interrogation to countries with less restrictions on methodology is shameful. I encourage you not only to vote against any bill that undermines human rights, but to speak loudly on behalf of the people in the Seventh District who would help bear the guilt and shame if such abuses are allowed to perservere. - John Morse

"When the Republicans 9/11 bill is considered in the House, I intend to offer an amendment to strike the torture outsourcing provisions from the Republican bill and replace it with restrictions restoring international law as provided in my bill. It is absolutely disgraceful that the Republican Leadership has decided to load up the 9/11 Commission bill with legislative provisions that would legitimize torture, particularly when the Commission itself called for the U.S to move in exactly the opposite direction." - Rep. Ed Markey (Massachusetts)


Definitely NOT Flip-Flopping

American Weapons Inspector in Iraq Charles Duelfer: "Saddam did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, but left signs that he had idle programs he someday hoped to revive."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan: "The fact that he had the intent and capability to build weapons of mass destruction, and that he was trying to undermine the sanctions that were in place is very disturbing, and I think the report will continue to show that he was a gathering threat that needed to be taken seriously, that it was a matter of time before he was going to begin pursuing those weapons of mass destruction. There are clearly ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaida, There are clearly some disturbing similarities that existed as well.[...] Both were sworn enemies of the free world, including the United States; both celebrated the Sept. 11 attacks on America. We know there were senior-level contacts between the regime and al-Qaida — the 9/11 commission documented that.

9/11 Commission Report: "While there were 'friendly contacts' between Iraq and al-Qaida and a common hatred of the United States, none of these contacts ever developed into a collaborative relationship.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (Monday AM): "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two [Saddam Hussein and Al-Quaida]."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (Monday PM): "Regrettably [I] was misunderstood. [I have said] since September 2002 that there were ties between Osama bin Laden's terror group and Iraq.

- All from this
Yahoo! News story


What happened last week?

gas price chart
Master Debating

Connie Rice (the NPR commentator, not Condi Rice, the National Security Flip-Flopper) lists the Top 10 Secrets They Don't Want You to Know About the Debates. Someday historians might refer to the "Democratic Era" in the United States as the period between 1797 and 1986.


Duct-Tape Merit Badge

badge This site is leading the effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to recognize the proposed "Duct Tape Merit Badge," which has so far been twice-rejected by the National Council.


Me and Ruben

According to Ruben Studdard's concert agreement rider, the big crooner favors Potrone [sic] tequila for his dressing room. I myself favor the smooth taste of Patrón, and I like to think that it's something Ruben and I have in common. (On the other hand, I don't like to think about his four bars of black soap and six clean black bath size towels at all.)


Warning to Babies Everywhere

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan -- Seaman Robert Howard sat on his tiny baby to shut him up, playing Pokémon on his Game Boy as the infant suffocated and died beneath him, Howard testified on Monday.

In the base's main courtroom, Howard, a 21-year-old hospital corpsman who'd been assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, pleaded guilty to the March 9 murder of his 28-day-old son, Logan. Howard also pleaded guilty to assault and aggravated assault for attacks on the baby days before the killing, including one in which he strangled Logan until he lost consciousness and another in which he suffocated the infant with his hand until he saw the color drain from the infant's face.

Howard also admitted to sitting on the infant's chest on a previous occasion, saying he was practicing wrestling moves he'd seen on television. He seemed to be enjoying the moves," Howard said. "He didn't seem to be hurt."

"Please tell me why it is you decided to sit on him," military Judge John Maksym said to Howard.

“He was making some noise. He was a little fussy," Howard said. “I wanted complete concentration for the game."

- in Stars & Stripes, via Waxy.org: Links


A Poison Tree
by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
Factory Worker Fired over Kerry/Edwards Bumper Sticker

Bankruptcy Attorney and Insulation Factory Owner Phil Gaddis inserted political flyers in his employees paychecks last week to remind them that they all owed their jobs to the Bush tax cut. Later he fired employee Lynne Gobbell for displaying a Kerry / Edwards bumper sticker in the rear window of her Chevy Lumina in the parking lot.

You can read the full story at the Decatur Daily.

contributor "Snarky" provides the following information about the legality of this firing:

"Alabama law retains the general rule that an "at-will" employment contract may be terminated at any time by either party, with or without cause or justification. Hinrichs v. Tranquilaire Hospital, 352 So. 2d 1130 (Ala. 1977). Thus, employment may be terminated for "a good reason, a wrong reason, or no reason." Id. at 1131 (emphasis in original). Our supreme court has declined to create "public policy" exceptions to this general rule." Cunningham v. Dabbs, 703 So. 2d 979 (1997, Ala)



86,800 English words ranked by usage. Not sure how trustworthy.

Some examples:
majority 1027, minority 2840
felixstowe 24087, crease 24088
spectrum 5037, plectrum 62433
massage 9631, message 1473
mercury 6519, venus 10849, earth 1051, mars 9840
dystopia (no ranking), box 1148, blog (unranked)
employed 2003, hoped 2004, conclusion 2005
mob 9177, mafia 13314, cajun 39555
color 27077, colour 867
yank 36030, yankee 26484, doodle 41928
conquistador 86800


Dick Cheney

"On Capitol Hill, he combined a moderate demeanor with a radical agenda. People who find Cheney's extremism as vice president surprising have not looked at his congressional voting record. In 1986, he was one of only twenty-one members of the House to oppose the Safe Drinking Water Act. He fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste and backed tax breaks for energy corporations. He repeatedly voted against funding for the Veterans Administration. He opposed extending the Civil Rights Act. He opposed the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in South Africa. He even voted for cop-killer bullets."

Read the article at rollingstone.com

(Also interesting, "The Constitution forbids a state's electors from voting for candidates for president and vice president who are both "an inhabitant of the same state as themselves." Yet by voting for Bush and Cheney, electors in Texas did precisely that."
Science Catches up to Jurassic Park 2

"LONDON (Reuters) - Dinosaurs may not all have been the terrifying creatures portrayed in blockbuster films but could have had a more caring, loving nature. A fossil found in China of a Psittacosaurus, a small dinosaur that lived about 110 million years ago, shows it may have been a doting parent, scientists said on Wednesday. "This is a nice, straightforward example of parental care in dinosaurs," said David Varricchio of Montana State University in Bozeman. [...] Although there is evidence that crocodiles and birds were caring parents, there is little proof that dinosaurs, their two closest living relatives, were affectionate to their offspring. [...] "The close association of the adult and juvenile skeletons is consistent with a biological relationship and post-hatching parental care," the researchers said in a report in the science journal Nature."


"Terrifying creatures portrayed in blockbuster films"? What, like Jurassic Park? The entire plot (such as it was) of the sequel hinged on Julianne Moore's research into dinosaur family groups and the confirmation of her theories when the T. Rex's behave protectively toward their offspring.


The Vice President is THREATENING YOUR LIFE!

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

(Read the report or the official transcript.

Don't forget. If you return the sentiment you will be locked up and your premises searched and your belongings confiscated.
Presidential Mystery of the Day

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) offered an unexpected reason on Monday for cracking down on frivolous medical lawsuits: 'Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.'

The Republican president, long known for verbal and grammatical lapses, included the anecdote about obstetrician gynecologists in his stump speech attacking Democratic presidential rival Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites), a former trial lawyer.

At a rally of cheering supporters in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Bush made his usual pitch for limiting 'frivolous lawsuits' that he said drive up the cost of health care and run doctors out of business.

But then he added, 'We've got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.'

Unfazed, Bush went on to deride his rivals as 'pro-trial lawyer,' and concluded, 'I think you've got to make a choice. My opponent made his choice, and he put him on the ticket. I made my choice. I'm for medical liability reform now.' "

Yahoo! news

Normally the White House Press Secretary is pretty good about providing accurate transcripts. This speech, if Reuters is to be believed, must be an exception.


Slavery Alive and Well in Los Angeles

James Jackson, vice president of legal affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment was found guilty of enslaving his Filipino housekeeper. Asked to comment, Jackson said only "Filesharing is bad, m'kay?"

"Last week a jury awarded Ruiz, 60, back wages and punitive damages, finding James and Elizabeth Jackson liable for involuntary servitude, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, negligence and fraud. Elizabeth Jackson also was held liable for assault and battery.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Ruiz claimed the Jacksons took her passport away and paid her $300 for a year's work at their Culver City condominium.

Ruiz said she often worked 18 hours a day and was forced to do strange household chores such as heating chicken nuggets and cutting up bananas or pears for the couple's two dogs while she was fed leftovers and slept in a dog bed.

Ruiz also alleged that Elizabeth Jackson repeatedly slapped her and pulled her hair."

(Here's the rest of theThe CNN report)



A List of Remarkable Prehistoric Mammals, by Kokogiac Media.


Poll Numbers

For those interested, RealClear Politics publishes the results of state by state and national polls. Here are the numbers from Alabama, where President Bush enjoys a commanding lead, with anywhere from 52 to 58% of voters. Senator Kerry's numbers, however, have been growing from a low of 29% in a mid-May Mobile Register poll to 42% in the latest poll by Rasmussen conducted in August.


Relief Shading

This website is intended to give cartographers, map enthusiasts, and students in-depth information about shaded relief.

Shaded relief is a method for representing topography on maps in a natural, aesthetic, and intuitive manner. On this website you will find rules and guidelines for the design and production of shaded relief, an overview of its history, examples produced by professional relief artists, technical tips and much more.


Captain Compost!

Thanks, Pat! (via Bama Environmental News)
Jimmy Montgomery (66, US Army, retired) on the execution of his mother's murderer yesterday at age 74

"I'd just as soon see the electric chair or the firing squad; it looked like he went kind of peaceful, just dozed off. I would have just loved to see him suffering a little more.'" - quoted by Manuel Roig-Franzia of the Washington Post

"I read in the paper this guy is sick. He's taking a dozen medicines, he's just barely living. If he's that sick, I'd be wanting to get out of this world,[...] I don't have any sympathy for him[...]If he dies tonight, he'll get exactly what he deserves, and I hope he feels some of the pain and misery he has put me and my family through for the past 30 years." - quoted by NBC-13 News / The Associated Press

"I didn't expect him to go as easy as he did today without saying something." - quoted by the Associated Press

"I personally was glad to see this part of our lives end today, and maybe we can get on down the road with some of the things we've been trying to do.[...]I'd just as soon see the electric chair still in use or maybe the firing squad. It seems like he just dozed off.[...]It's tough, I'm sure, sitting there seeing your daddy die, but it was tough - us getting the word that our mother's head had been blown off. - quoted by AL.com

"This guy was my mother's judge, jury and executioner in a matter of seconds.[...]I still dislike him just as much today as I did years ago. I was glad to see him go.[...]I didn't expect him to go as easy as he did today without saying something. He looked like he was quite comfortable on that gurney.[...]This is almost a joke. They tried him, retried him, and tried him again. They wore him out they tried him so much. There's not any doubt in my mind that the guy's guilty. I think our judicial system worries more about the guy that committed the crime than the people he victimized." - quoted by the Birmingham Post-Herald


A Couch of Sod

ReadyMade Magazine shows you how to build a couch covered in sod.

step 8


Drink your Doughnuts

Krispy-Kreme is offering a new line of frozen blended beverages, one of which contains "the signature flavor of our Original Glazed doughnut captured in a creamy frozen blend". Here's the press release.


Hawkeyes Miffed at New Southern Miss Emblem

According to this U-Wire story, the Universities of Iowa and Southern Mississippi are locking talons in a trademark fight over Southern Miss' new eagle logo, which they say is too similar to their own silhouette, trademarked since 1979. The issue is one of brand dilution, as Iowa fans will inevitably wander into the U of I bookstore and inadvertantly buy an armload of USM sweatshirts and mousepads, thereby sending royalties to Hattiesburg that belong, by gum, in Iowa City. Or, to cite another example, Hawkeye fans might happen to catch a Thursday night C-USA football matchup on ESPN2 and accidently start cheering for the Golden Eagles so loudly that they don't have anything left for the REAL game on Saturday.



DesignBoom profiles the latest trends in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle designs for designer waters. Personally, I really dig the Ty Nant bottles designed by Ross Lovegrove.

Ty Nant


For the tech savvy

DVD Rewinder

Too many DVDs, and CDs and not enough time to rewind? Are your DVDs running a bit too slow? The DVD rewinder is the perfect solution! This rewinder has the exclusive Centriptal Velocity Spindle providing the world?s fastest DVD rewind! The DVD Rewinder is a great gift for the technical savvy, the couch potato, teens with too much time on their hands, and the gadget buff! The DVD Rewinder has a great black and fluorescent green color scheme with high tech styling! The DVD Rewinder will spin discs backwards and plays a ?rewind? sound. .... Rewind all types of disc media DVDs, CDs, and Console Games. .... A truly unique product with a truly unique design!

Buy 1 for $29.00, Buy 3-5 for $22.99 each


Mercy seasons Justice

"The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
’Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy."

William Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice. Act IV, Scene 1
NY Times Compares Electronic Voting Machines to Slot Machines. Finds Gross Discrepancy in Oversight.

New York Times Editorial
Sunday 13 June 2004
(link - registration required)

"If election officials want to convince voters that electronic voting can be trusted, they should be willing to make it at least as secure as slot machines. To appreciate how poor the oversight on voting systems is, it's useful to look at the way Nevada systematically ensures that electronic gambling machines in Las Vegas operate honestly and accurately. Electronic voting, by comparison, is rife with lax procedures, security risks and conflicts of interest.

On a trip last week to the Nevada Gaming Control Board laboratory, in a state office building off the Las Vegas Strip, we found testing and enforcement mechanisms that go far beyond what is required for electronic voting. Among the ways gamblers are more protected than voters:

1. The state has access to all gambling software. The Gaming Control Board has copies on file of every piece of gambling device software currently being used, and an archive going back years. It is illegal for casinos to use software not on file. Electronic voting machine makers, by contrast, say their software is a trade secret, and have resisted sharing it with the states that buy their machines.

2. The software on gambling machines is constantly being spot-checked. Board inspectors show up unannounced at casinos with devices that let them compare the computer chip in a slot machine to the one on file. If there is a discrepancy, the machine is shut down, and investigated. This sort of spot-checking is not required for electronic voting. A surreptitious software change on a voting machine would be far less likely to be detected.

3. There are meticulous, constantly updated standards for gambling machines. When we arrived at the Gaming Control Board lab, a man was firing a stun gun at a slot machine. The machine must work when subjected to a 20,000-volt shock, one of an array of rules intended to cover anything that can possibly go wrong. Nevada adopted new standards in May 2003, but to keep pace with fast-changing technology, it is adding new ones this month.

Voting machine standards are out of date and inadequate. Machines are still tested with standards from 2002 that have gaping security holes. Nevertheless, election officials have rushed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy them.

4. Manufacturers are intensively scrutinized before they are licensed to sell gambling software or hardware. A company that wants to make slot machines must submit to a background check of six months or more, similar to the kind done on casino operators. It must register its employees with the Gaming Control Board, which investigates their backgrounds and criminal records.

When it comes to voting machine manufacturers, all a company needs to do to enter the field is persuade an election official to buy its equipment. There is no way for voters to know that the software on their machines was not written by programmers with fraud convictions, or close ties to political parties or candidates.

5. The lab that certifies gambling equipment has an arms-length relationship with the manufacturers it polices, and is open to inquiries from the public. The Nevada Gaming Control Board lab is a state agency, whose employees are paid by the taxpayers. The fees the lab takes in go to the state's general fund. It invites members of the public who have questions about its work to call or e-mail.

The federal labs that certify voting equipment are profit-making companies. They are chosen and paid by voting machine companies, a glaring conflict of interest. The voters and their elected representatives have no way of knowing how the testing is done, or that the manufacturers are not applying undue pressure to have flawed equipment approved. Wyle Laboratories, one of the largest testers of voting machines, does not answer questions about its voting machine work.

6. When there is a dispute about a machine, a gambler has a right to an immediate investigation. When a gambler believes a slot machine has cheated him, the casino is required to contact the Gaming Control Board, which has investigators on call around the clock. Investigators can open up machines to inspect their internal workings, and their records of recent gambling outcomes. If voters believe a voting machine has manipulated their votes, in most cases their only recourse is to call a board of elections number, which may well be busy, to lodge a complaint that may or may not be investigated.

Election officials say their electronic voting systems are the very best. But the truth is, gamblers are getting the best technology, and voters are being given systems that are cheap and untrustworthy by comparison. There are many questions yet to be resolved about electronic voting, but one thing is clear: a vote for president should be at least as secure as a 25-cent bet in Las Vegas.

(Thanks, Denise)


Self-Proclaimed Messiah Given Crown in Washington DC

Rev. & Mrs. Sun Myung Moon were crowned during a ceremony held March 23 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. (much more)


Guerilla Donor Sought

Someone is donating portraits of Bush and Clinton to major New York art museums. Without going to the trouble of discussing the donations with museum administrators, he just hangs them on the wall. The labels provoke additional concerns:

15" x 9"
Acrylic, legal tender and the artist's semen.


Bent Rail Foundation

If you're into independent punk or freight train graffiti, you'll want to meet the Bent Rail Foundation. Videos and CD's for sale. Credibility a-plenty.


Architecture Diploma for Sale

This guy was on the road to success, until he went to college on student loans. Unable to pay them back on rookie-architect wages he's now up to his neck in bad credit and wants to get rid of his diploma -- "a monument to my stupidity, naivete, and the fact that I was sold on the idea that I needed a college education, regardless of the price."

The opening bid of $14,000 would cover his obligation to Rensselaer Polytechnic. The Buy it Now price of $72,000 would cover that and his loans from the State of New York.


More Applications

Maybe you don't have what it takes to be stranded on a desert island with a millionaire and his wife. You could always apply to join the Israeli secret service.

The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, otherwise known as 'Mossad' has been appointed by the State of Israel to collect information, analyze intelligence and perform special covert operations beyond its borders.

"Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" Proverbs XI/14.

Hot off the Fax Machine

According to an unsolicitied fax I received today, you'd be a fool not to invest in 3DIcon Corp. (formerly First Keating Corp.), headed by Martin Keating -- Yes, THAT Martin Keating, co-producer of "The Buddy Holly Story", author of "The Final Jihad" and brother of former Oklahoma Governor and critic of the Catholic Church Frank Keating.

"3DIcon is standing where Sony was 20 yrs ago with the VCR...Apple with the PC and Microsoft with it's [sic] Windows operating software 20yrs ago!"

"The largest full-color, 360-degree hologram that we know of has been on display and working 24/7 for years...the Aurora Borealis!"

"The new holographic communications industry, fueled by astonishing technologies, promises to be bigger and vastly more significant than the Industrial Revolution and today's internet combined!"

The friggin' INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION is about to be TRUMPED, folks. You've got to get in on this now! Did I mention the low entry price and their research and development partnership with the University of Oklahoma! The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. The INTERNET! NOTHING COMPARED TO THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!


Just sit right down and you'll hear a tale.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour, a three hour tour………
The weather started getting rough,
the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
the Minnow would be lost; the Minnow would be lost.
The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
with Gilligan, the Skipper too,
the Millionaire, and his Wife,
the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann,
here on Gilligan's Isle.

So this is the tale of our castaways,
they're here for a long, long time.
They'll have to make the best of things,
it's an uphill climb.
The first mate and his skipper too,
will do their very best,
to make the others comfortable,
in the tropic island nest.
No phones, no lights, no motor cars,
not a single luxury.
Like Robinson Crusoe,
it's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my friend,
you're sure to get a smile.
From seven stranded Castaways,
Here on Gilligan's Isle.

Think you've got what it takes? Download an application to join the cast[aways] of the reality-TV version of Gilligan's Island, coming soon to a boob-tube near you.


Our Summer with Michael

Doug Segrest reminisces about covering the 1994 Birmingham Barons with Michael Jordan playing right field.


As long as you don't know what exactly it is your spraying on your tomatoes, you can still call them "organic"

The Organic Consumers Association wishes to make you aware of the new Bush administration rules on "organic" labelling which pretty much open up agribusiness to shovel whatever they want down your throat and call it good for you. (link)

UPDATE: Some of the proposed changes have been tossed out. For example, there was a proposed change to allow a farmer to sell his or her produce as organic as long as "reasonable effort" to determine the actual composition of pesticides used didn't turn up anything known to be really harmful. Which I guess would encourage people to sell "mystery pesticides," that one was rescinded. The USDA is now instructed to also listen to the recommendations of the "National Organic Standards Board" instead of just Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland. (story)


The Definitive O'Reilly Interview of All Time (link)

via BoingBoing we learn that Bill O'Reilly is preventing NPR from re-licensing the rights to his interview last October with Terry Gross on 'Fresh Air.' I haven't listened to it yet (Real and WinMedia only), but reviews in the comments at Lawrence Lessig's blog range from (papraphrased) 'He held his own against obvious bias' to 'She didn't even CHALLENGE his lies!'


In Progress

Blogger has updated its site and is allowing a lot more options for me. Expect inconsistency. There should be a way to comment on posts now, so if you have any comments, and the system is working, feel free to add them.


Birmingham Nights

Birmingham Nights - by Petronius

I went to this party, but I don't remember any of these people. And it didn't really change my life. Interesting to read about from another perspective, though.


Terror Alert

Current terror alert level:
Terror Alert Level


The end is near

Greg Maddux has two runs in today's game against the Cardinals. He also stole second base. But then Cards pitcher Marquis went and got on base and stole second right back from him.


The March of Dimes

Last November, Representative Mark Souder of Indiana introduced a bill, H.R. 3633, "To provide for dime coins to bear the likeness of President Ronald Reagan, the Freedom President, in honor of his work in restoring American greatness and bringing freedom to captive nations around the world."

Perhaps this is not the place to go into detail on America's greatness and contributions to freedom during the 1980's. The strength of this site is much more the "silly list" approach. So in that spirit, I bring you the "DystopiaBox List of Portraits on US Money:"

Amount : Honoree : Political Affiliation : Nickname(s)

Cent : Abraham Lincoln : Republican : The Great Emancipator
Nickel : Thomas Jefferson : Democratic Republican : Sage of Monticello
Dime : Franklin Roosevelt : Democrat : FDR
Quarter : George Washington : Federalist : Father of his Country
Half Dollar : John Kennedy : Democrat : Jack
Dollar : Sacagawea : Shoshone : Squaw
Dollar : George Washington : Federalist : American Fabius
Two Dollars : Thomas Jefferson : Democratic Republican : Long Tom
Five Dollars : Abraham Lincoln : Republican : Railsplitter
Ten Dollars : Alexander Hamilton : Federalist : Mr. Secretary
Twenty Dollars: Andrew Jackson : Democrat : Old Hickory
Fifty Dollars : Ulysses Grant : Old Three Stars
Hundred Dollars : Benjamin Franklin : Quaker (Federalist) : Poor Richard
Five Hundred Dollars : William McKinley : Republican : Prosperity's Advance Agent
One Thousand Dollars : Grover Cleveland : Democrat : Man of Destiny
Five Thousand Dollars : James Madison : Democratic Republican : Father of the Constitution
Ten Thousand Dollars : Salmon Chase : Free-Soil : Attorney General for Runaway Slaves
Hundred Thousand Dollars : Woodrow Wilson : Democrat : The Scholar in Politics


Google files for an IPO


"Don't be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served- as shareholders and in all other ways - by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company."


Dear Ndugu,

My name is Warren R. Schmidt, and I'm your new foster father. I live in Omaha, Nebraska. My older brother Harry lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with his wife Estelle. Harry lost a leg two years ago to diabetes. I am 66 years old and recently retired as Assistant Vice President and Actuary at Woodmen of the World Insurance Company. And god damn it if they didn't replace me with some kid who; all right, so maybe he's got a little theory under his belt and can plug a few numbers into a computer but I could tell right off he doesn't know a damn thing about geniune real world risk assessment or managing a department for that matter, the cocky bastard! Anyway 66 must sound pretty old to a young fellow like yourself. The truth is, it sounds pretty old to me, too. Because when I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles around my eyes and the sagging skin on my neck and the hair in my ears and the veins on my ankles, I can't believe it's really me. When I was a kid, I used to think that maybe I was special, that somehow destiny would tap me to be a great man -- Not like Henry Ford or Walt Disney, or somebody like that -- but somebody, you know, semi-important. I got a degree in business and statistics and was planning to start my own business someday. Build it up into a big corporation, watch it go public, you know, maybe make the Fortune 500. I was gonna be one of those guys you read about. But somehow it just didn't work out that way. You gotta remember, I had a top-notch job at Woodmen and a family to support. I couldn't exactly put their security at risk. Helen, that's my wife, she wouldn't have allowed it.
But what about my family, you might ask. What about my wife and daughter? Don't they give me all the pride and satisfaction I could ever want? Helen and I have been married 42 years. Lately, every night, I find myself asking the same question. "Who is this old woman who lives in my house? Why is it that every little thing she does irritates me?" Like the way she gets the keys out of her purse long before we reach the car. And how she throws our money away on her ridiculous little collections. And tossing out perfectly good food just because the expiration date has passed. And her obsession, her obsession with trying new restaurants. And the way she cuts me off when I try to speak. And I hate the way she sits and the way she smells. For years now, she has insisted that I sit when I urinate. My promise to lift the seat and wipe the rim and put the seat back down wasn't good enough for her! No!
But then there's Jeannie. She's our only. I'll bet she'd like you. She gets a big kick out of different languages and cultures and so forth. She used to get by pretty good in German. She'll always be my little girl. She lives out in Denver so we don't get to see her much anymore. Oh sure, we stay in touch by phone every couple of weeks and she comes out for the holidays sometimes but not as often as we'd like. She has a position of some responsibility out there with a high-tech computer outfit so it's very hard for her to break away. Recently, she got engaged, so I suppose we'll be seeing even less of her now. The fellow's name is Randall Hertzel. He's got a sales job of some sort. Maybe Jeannie's a little past her prime but I still think she could have done a heck of a lot better. I mean, this guy's just not up to snuff, if you ask me, not for my little girl.
I'll close now and get this in the mail. Here I am rambling on and on and you probably want to hurry on down and cash that check and get yourself something to eat. So, take it easy and best of luck with all your endeavors.

Yours very truly,

Warren Schmidt


The Drafting Pencil Museum

This online museum includes galleries, histories, technical essays, and an exhaustive database of leadholders.


The Page 23, 5th Sentence Meme

Grab the nearest book at hand. Find the fifth sentence on page 23 and quote it on your blog or journal along with these instructions.

Here are the books equally near at hand at my desk at work:
"Connectors, Dossert ........................ 108" (Mayer Electrical Supply, Master Reference Catalog of Electrical Apparatus and Supplies, No. 80, 1979)
"Governor Sundquist received not one but two standing ovations from a crowd assembled to hear this news last year" (EnviroLink Handbook Southeast, Volume 2, 2003)
"arc doubleau: An arch, usually very massive, carried across a wide space, to support a groined vault or to stiffen a barrel vault." (Cyril M. Harris, ed. Dictionary of Architecture and Construction, 1975)
"affect: 2. to impress the mind or move the feelings of. (Random House Dictionary of the English Language, College Edition, 1968)
Hobbit Holes

"The immediate future looks 'greener' than it ever has for earth sheltered curvilinear architecture."


Come and Get It!

Your once in a lifetime opportunity to own an entire country music wax museum including wax figures of your favorite stars, authentic wardrobe items, props, instruments, sets, photographs, autographs, and much much more! (Thanks, David)

creepy Ernest Tubbs
A People's History of the Florida Panthers

"Respect to the organization! Submitted below for the edification and amusement of the Party, a brief history of the National Hockey League team the Florida Panthers as seen from a revolutionary perspective."


Zero Gravity Toilet


1. The toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, system A and/or system B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment. When operating system A, depress lever and a plastic dalkron eliminator will be dispensed through the slot immediately underneath. When you have fastened the adhesive lip, attach connection marked by the large "X" outlet hose. Twist the silver coloured ring one inch below the connection point until you feel it lock.

2. The toilet is now ready for use. The Sonovac cleanser is activated by the small switch on the lip. When securing, twist the ring back to its initial-condition, so that the two orange lines meet. Disconnect. Place the dalkron eliminator in the vacuum receptacle to the rear. Activate by pressing the blue button.

3. The controls for system B are located on the opposite wall. The red release switch places the uroliminator into position; it can be adjusted manually up o down by pressing the blue manual release button. The opening is self adjusting. To secure after use, press the green button which simultaneously activates the evaporator and returns the uroliminator to its storage position.

4. You may leave the lavatory if the green exit light is on over the door. If the red light is illuminated, one of the lavatory facilities is not properly secured. Press the "Stewardess" call button to the right of the door. She will secure all facilities from her control panel outside. When green exit light goes on you may open the door and leave. Please close door behind you.

5. To use the Sonoshower, first undress and place all your clothes in the clothes rack. Put on the velcro slippers located in the cabinet immediately below. Enter the shower. On the control panel to your upper right upon entering you will see a "Shower seal" button. Press to activate. A green light will then be illuminated immediately below. On the intensity knob select the desired setting. Now depress the Sonovac activation lever. Bathe normally.

6. The Sonova will automatically go off after three minutes unless you activate the "Manual off" over-ride switch by flipping it up. When you are ready to leave, press the blue "Shower seal" release button. The door will open and you may leave. Please remove the velcro slippers and place them in their container.

7. If the red light above this panel is on, the toilet is in use. When the green light is illuminated you may enter. however, you must carefully follow all instructions when using the facilities during coasting (Zero G) flight. Inside there are three facilities: (1) the Sonowasher, (2) the Sonoshower, (3) the toilet. All three are designed to be used under weightless conditions. Please observe the sequence of operations for each individual facility.

8. Two modes for Sonowashing your face and hands are available, the "moist-towel" mode and the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaner mode. You may select either mode by moving the appropriate lever to the "Activate" position.

If you choose the "moist-towel" mode, depress the indicated yellow button and withdraw item. When you have finished, discard the towel in the vacuum dispenser, holding the indicated lever in an "active" position until the green light goes on showing that the rollers have passed the towel completely into the dispenser. If you desire an additional towel, press the yellow button and repeat the cycle.

9. If you prefer the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaning mode, press the indicated blue button. When the twin panels open, pull forward by rings A and B. For cleaning the hands, use in this position. Set the timer to positions 10, 20, 30 or 40 indicative of the number of seconds required. The knob to the left, just below the blue light, has three settings, low, medium or high. For normal use, the medium setting is suggested.

10. After these settings have been made, you can activate the device by switching to the "ON" position the clearly marked red switch. If, during the washing operation, you wish to change the settings, place the "manual off" override switch in the "OFF" position. You may now make the change and repeat the cycle.

- from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), directed by Stanley Kubrick


Grave Error:

[Carnegie Mellon Sudent Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Alex] Meseguer has fired cartoonist Bob Rost, who drew [a] strip in which a goat uses a racial slur to brag to a mouse that he had hit a black person on a bike. Meseguer said he and Managing Editor Jim Puls, who signed off on that page, are considering resigning. All are white.

The April Fool's Day edition of The Tartan also includes graphic depictions of female genitalia, as well as poems about raping a teacher and mutilating a woman with an ice skate.

Meseguer explained to the crowd yesterday that the racial slur had been allowed into print accidentally because fatigue had impaired the editors' judgment. He promised he was taking measures to prevent anything similar from happening again.

But the demands of the campus community, black students said, go beyond an apology or even Meseguer's resignation. They want to reform the stigma and ignorance on campus that once prompted a student to ask Tommy Taylor, an African-American senior majoring in electrical and computer engineering and public policy, whether he could properly pronounce the word "ask."

[...]To review the accuracy, relevancy and effect on the campus of future editions of The Tartan, Meseguer and the administration plan a content review board that includes Dean of Student Affairs Michael Murphy, journalism professor Thomas O'Boyle, Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair and Gloria Hill, director of the Carnegie Mellon Action Project, a support service for African-American, Native American and Hispanic students.

The Tartan also will appoint an ethics manager to oversee general operating procedures and to act as an ombudsman, or representative to the community, Meseguer said."

I find it hard to comment on this story.The cartoon doesn't sound very funny to me, though I'll never see it. It seems to me there are some misplaced priorities and hypersensitivities inflating to distortion a case of run-of-the-mill poor judgment. The proposed "content review board" and "ethics manager" sound like an absurdly heavy-handed reactionary intervention. And is nobody upset about the teacher-raping and mutilating-women-with-ice-skates poems? It's just the n-word?


Dear Sir,

Really my message will come to you as a surprise. This is the reason why i first of all, tender my apology and excuse for this un-expected mail I am forwarding to you.

I am Cico Onyeoyi, the only son of late Rtd.Major General(Eng.)Jame Onyeoyi of the blessed memory. My late father was the Executive Chaiman of CROSSMARINE REFINERY AND PETROCHEMICAL Plc., situated in MENDE REGION SIERRA LEONE.

I am writing you from Abidjan Rep of Cote d'Ivoire where I have been hiding after my late father was poisoned in one of their business trip abroad. While my father was in the hospital due to his ill health, he called me and revealed me that he left an important amount of sixteen million eight hundred thousand united dallors
(16,800,000.00) in abroad financial institutions in the overseas, which he adviced me to look for a reliable person who will help me secure incase he dies. He fronted my name Cico Onyeoyi as the next of kin/benefitiary of these deposits.

He later died and four months later, I was visited and treetened by some members of The Board of Director of CROSSMARINE REFINERY AND PETROCHEMICAL Plc. (some of them are my late father's friends/our family members) to tender all documents relating to my late father's business abroad for inspection. I took and hide all these documents including those that issued to my
late father by these financial institutions abroad where this money that runs into millions of united state dollars has been, pending withdrawal.

I am about to cross the boundry between our country and Liberia when I(Cico) was arrested on october 2000 and since then have been detained in a
police station where I under went all sort of purnishement due to the fact that I refused to tender any of these documents they requested from me. It was
by the miracle of the Almighty God that I resently escape from the detaintion when some villagers attacked the police station and oppened the gate for every detainees to escape, while demonstrating their anger, for the death of one of their industrious son who recently died in detaintion two days after his

I quickly arranged with a ship Captain to on how to evacuate me to Abidjan where I am presently hiding. This is how I came to this country (Ivory Coast).

Please, could you be able to help me in the following ways:

1-To pay me a visit here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire so that we will have a face to face and discuss over this issue.
2-To help me clear the money from one of these financial institutions abroad.
3-To help me invest in any lucrative business venture in your country and to be the general overseer of any venture we may invest in, while we countinue to further our education respectively.
4-To help me secure admission into the school where I will continue my studies. Your compensation for this noble assistance will be negotiated upon your acceptance and arival here to help me.
5-To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my
education and to secure a resident permit in your country.Moreover, sir i am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful God transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas Furthermore, you indicate your option towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within fourteen (14) days you signify interest to assist me. Anticipating to hear from you soon.

I will be waiting for your response and must let you know that my life is not safe here due to the present political crises in Cote d'Ivoire, and also I will like to informe you that my late father's enemies are after me because of this fund (even our family friends/members). Therefore, I will like you to handle this transaction with absolute and utmust confidentiality and maturity as all my future hope and educational arrengement relies on this money.

May the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you while while I looks forward towards your positive response.

yours sincerely,

Cico Onyeoyi.


Skulls Unlimited International Inc.

Skulls Unlimited is the World's Leading Supplier of Osteological Specimens! Hey Kids! Do you have a question about skulls, bones, or the animals they come from? Ask the Skull Master! Also, you can buy the now-classic Skulls Unlimited original T-Shirt! It portrays 37 original skull drawings from their catalag, or the new Skeleton T-Shirt with original illustrations from George Cuviers 1836 "Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossils". It comes complete with a labeled key card. To contact them by phone, call 1-800-659-SKULL! Or visit them in Oklahoma City, where the associated The World of Nature Museum of Osteology is projected to be complete and open to the public in late 2005! See you there!


Matt Madden Impresses Roxanne Kowalski

1. Obvious: Excuse me. Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?
2. Meteorological: Everybody take cover. She's going to blow!
3. Fashionable: You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore something larger, ...like Wyoming.
4. Personal: Well, here we are, just the three of us.
5. Punctual: All right, Delbmin, your nose was on time but you were 15 minutes late.
6. Envious: Ooh, I wish I were you. Gosh, to be able to smell your own ear.
7. Naughty: Uh, pardon me, sir. Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't mind putting that thing away.
8. Philosophical: You know, it's not the size of a nose that's important, it's what's in it that matters.
9. Humorous: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Sneeze and it's goodbye Seattle!
10. Commercial: Hi. I'm Earl Scheib, and I can paint that nose for $39.95
11. Polite: Would you mind not bobbing your head? The orchestra keeps changing tempo.
12. Melodic: [singing] He's got the whole world in his nose.
13. Sympathetic: Oh, what happened? Did your parents lose a bet with God?
14. Complementary: You must love the little birdies to give them this to perch on.
15. Scientific: Say, does that thing there influence the tides?
16. Obscure: I'd hate to see the grindstone.
17. Inquiry: When you stop to smell the flowers, are they afraid?
18. French: Ze pigs have refused to find any more truffles until you leave!
19. Pornographic: Finally! A man who can satisfy two women at once.
20. Religious: The Lord giveth -- and he just kept on giving didn't he?
21. Disgusting: Say, who mows your nose hair?
22. Paranoid: Keep that guy away from my cocaine!
23. Aromatic: It must wonderful to wake up in the morning and smell the coffee ...in Brazil.
24. Appreciative: Oooo, how original. Most people just have their teeth capped.
25. Dirty: Your name wouldn't be... Dick?"

For the comic-strip version pore through Matt's Exercises in Style. (via waxy.org)
The Conference USA Men's Basketball All-Name Team
as decided by DystopiaBox

UNC-Charlotte 49'ers: Butter Johnson, Demon Brown
Cincinnati Bearcats: Field Williams, Asrangue Soulymane
Depaul Blue Demons: Chris Exilus, Quemont Greer
East Carolina Pirates: Moussa Badiane, Erroyl Bing, Garth Grindley
Houston Cougars: Grega Nachbar, MoShood Martins
Louisville Cardinals: Nouha Diakite, Prileu Davis
Marquette Golden Eagles: Jared Sichting, Rev. Bob Wild (President)
Memphis Tigers: Simplice Njoya, Almamy Thiero, Modibo Diarra
Saint Louis Billikens: Anthony Drejaj, Izik Ohanon
South Florida Bulls: Terrence Leather, Konumba Diarra
Southern Miss Golden Eagles: Dante Stiggers, Jarekus Singleton
TCU Horned Frogs: Nucleus Smith, Chudi Chinweze, Femi Ibikunle
Tulane Green Wave: Vytautus Tatarunas
UAB Blazers: Donell & Ronell Taylor


Brave satire: From The Passion of the Christ Blooper Reel at The Morning News

"Christ, shackled to a stone, is being scourged by Roman soldiers. Blood runs down his gory back. His pain is palpable.
Jesus: [writhes in pain, hands shaking]
[Cell phone rings.]
Jesus: [hands shake furiously]
[Cell phone rings. Caviezel looks up, sheepish.]
Roman soldier: Jim? That you?
Jesus: Yeah.
[Cell phone rings.]
Soldier: Want me to get it?
Jesus: Yeah.
[Roman soldier gingerly reaches into Caviezel's blood-soaked loincloth, pulls out phone and opens it, then holds the phone to Caviezel's ear.]
Off Camera: [laughter]
Jesus: Hey, Mom."



Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire
Afrique de l'ouest

Cher ami,

Permettez-moi de vous informer de mon désir de l'entrée dans le rapport d'affaires avec vous. J'ai obtenu votre nom et contact de la chambre du commerce et l'industrie de la Cote D'Ivoire.J'ai prié et choisir votre nom entre d'autres noms du a sa nature d'estimation et aux recommandations données à moi comme personne honorable et digne de confiance que je peux faire des affaires avec. Et,par la recommandation, je ne dois pas hésiter à me confier à vous pour ces affaires simples et sincères.

Je suis KEVIN DORMAN le seul fils du défunt M. et MME DORMAN que mon père était un négociant très riche de cacao à abidjan, la capitale économique de la Côte d'Ivoire, mon père a été empoisonné à la mort par ses associés d'affaires dans une de leurs promenades en voyage d'affaires. Ma mère est morte quand j'étais tout bébé et depuis lors, mon père m'a pris si spécial. Avant la mort de mon père, en janvier 2002, dans un hôpital privé ici à abidjan, il m'a secrètement appelé sur son chevet et m'a dit qu'il a la somme de huit millions, cinq cents mille dollars Americain (US$8,500,000)etant dans une boîte de tronc en métal et deposer à une société de valeurs immobilières dans une maison financière principale ici à abidjan, qu'il a employé a mon nom en tant que son seul fils comme l'heritier en déposant la boîte.

Il m'a également expliqué que c'était en raison de sa richessequ'il a été empoisonné par ses associés d'affaires. Que je devrais chercher un associé étranger dans n'importe quel pays de mon choix où je transférerai cet argent pour le but d'investissement tel que la gestion des biens immobiliers ou la gestion d'hôtel.
Monsieur, je cherche honorablement votre aide des manières suivantes

1) pour fournir un compte bancaire dans lequel on transférerait cet argent.
2) pour servir de gardien de ces fonds puisque j'ai seulement 24ans
3) pour faire l'arrangement pour que je vienne dans votre pays pour continuer mon éducation et pour obtenir mes papiers de résidentes dans votre pays. D'ailleurs monsieur, je suis disposé à vous offrir 15% de toute la somme en compensation pour votre effort/imput après le transfert réussi de ces fonds en votre compte nommé outre-mer et 5% pour les autres depenses.

En outre, vous indiquez vos options pour m'aider et je crois que cette transaction serait conclue dans quatorze (14) jours si vous acceptez m'aider.

j'attends urgemment votre reponse
Merci que Dieu vous bénisse



Conan O'Brien trucks off to Ontario and brings us to the
Blame Canada


The Origins of the Command Key in a Swedish Campground

Folklore.org has the full story on this, as well as many other charming tidbits from the birthplace of the Macintosh.


Custom Reels for your View-Master

View-Master Sales Customer Service
636 Girard Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052

reel blank

Minimum order: 1000 copies of a seven-pair reel.
Lead Time: 12 weeks from receipt of order with slides, instructions, model releases, permissions, etc..
Stereo Realist camera available for 30 day loan with $1000 deposit, credited toward order upon return of camera.
Bulk viewers are available in cartons of 72.
Fisher-Price reserves the right to reject offensive material.



Heghlu'meH QaQ DaHjaj

In May 2001, after four years of deliberation, the Unicode technical committee eventually rejected Michael Everson's proposal to encode the Klingon alphabet into the UNICODE standard. This decision frustrates the work of the scholars at the Klingon Language Institute, who are, among other things, actively restoring Shakespeare's plays back into the original Klingon.


What Happens When You Consult Power Plant CEO's on Energy Policy

"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."
-George W. Bush, Sept. 23, 2002 speech in Trenton, NJ

(Hope that Mars rover finds oil...)


Setting Priorities

Recent Spending Proposals from the Bush Administration
1. One Billion Dollars to fund a moon colony and to send a man to mars while discontinuing the shuttle program and pulling out of the international space station.
2. One and a half Billion dollars to train low-income couples in the development of interpersonal skills meant to encourage "healthy marriages"

Space Plan

Marriage Plan


Q: What's the Most Famous Dish to Originate in Tijuana?

A: The Caesar Salad, of course! Named for restauranteur Caesar Cardini who invented it in 1924 to great epicurean acclaim. Get the whole story at www.caesar-salad.com!


Tackling the Big Questions

Jonathan Corum Estimates the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

A nice visual explanation of the difference between "widescreen" and "standard" DVD formats.
Into the Alabama Forest and Out Upon Her Waters

Intrepid explorer Todd Barber writes a lengthy account of his trek in search of 32.000 degrees north latitude, 86.000 degrees west longitude.

Here's Acme Mapper's overview of that location, which is on pine-timber property owned by Plum Creek southeast of Montgomery.

Meanwhile, Captain Peter, Volodymyr Kokorev, and Volodymyr Sydorenko present a detailed essay about offshore oil exploration on the occassion of their visit to 30.000 degrees north latitude, 88.000 degrees west longitude, which is south of Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Behold the Spinning Gray Desert

QuickTime VR Panorama of NASA Spirit's Landing Site on Mars