Saturday, November 26, 2005


PAT MORITA: 1932-2005 / S.F. comic became 'Karate Kid' mentor

Pat Morita, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the unflappable and eternally wise sensei in 'The Karate Kid' and was perhaps the most prominent Asian American comic actor working in films and TV, has died. He was 73.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Islands battle rising seas for survival - Yahoo! News

Papua New Guinea's Carteret islanders are destined to become some of the world's first climate change refugees. Their islands are becoming uninhabitable, and may disappear below the waves.


Googling For Gold

With a market cap in orbit and more cash than a small nation, Google's heft is altering the tech industry's behavior. But when does its long-awaited shopping spree begin?


A lifelong Republican's long winter

"I don't think people, myself included, were clear on how good (Bill) Clinton was with the money,'' he said. 'Why wouldn't the Republicans keep going with that? Instead we got tax cuts and the war in Iraq. Who's going to pay for all that? It's just irresponsible. I never thought (Bush) was the brightest guy in the world, but to go from a $300 billion surplus to a $500 billion deficit, or whatever it is, that's just stupid."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Univ. of Kansas Takes Up Creation Debate

A course being offered next semester by the university religious studies department is titled 'Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies.'

Monday, November 21, 2005


Asia Times Online :: How the Bush administration got spooked

It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know - that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long.


George's Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2005 - 'Earth' has one heckuva warm-up act

Comedy and the fight against global warming will perform a rare duet in TBS' Earth to America! (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET/PT), a two-hour, all-star show designed to entertain and raise awareness of environmental issues.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Dvorak Uncensored - Pullout debate takes nasty turn

"I have a question. How do you 'win' a war when there is nobody who can surrender? They've already caught Saddam. People are just killing each other randomly. What's to win? Who surrenders? This war isn't a quagmire. It's a conundrum."

Friday, November 18, 2005


Sons Use Web Cam to Save Mom Across Globe

Karin Jordal, a 69-year-old Norwegian artist living in Pinon Hills, Calif., collapsed in her living room Thursday. The woman, who is diabetic, lay motionless on a couch when her son Tore, who was in the Philippines, saw her through her Web cam.


George W. Bush Gives Me Hope / The astonishing collapse of the Bumbling One surely means healthy change is imminent, right?

"George W. Bush gives me hope. He gives hope because his narrow and myopic political ideology is right this minute being proved wildly unsound across the board, and his vicious leadership circle is revealing its true bloodstained colors and his party is crumbling at the center due to some of the worst policy decisions you will see in your lifetime."

I'd really like to, but I don't share the author's optimism. I think BushCo's complete lack of any ethical baseline, coupled with the President's ignorance and complete lack of personal integrity, leave the door open to further devastation - as long as there are citizens vile and/or naive enough to support him.
- Frank | 11/16/2005 | Internet pioneer sounds alarm on threats to broadband

Cerf warned Congress in written testimony, "My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it." - Ant warfare: Science fights fire with flies

The weapon: a tiny fly that lays an egg in the fire ant. The larva feeds off nutrients in the ant's head. About two weeks later, the ant's head pops off, the newborn fly takes wing, and the cycle starts anew.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Playing music can be good for your brain / Stanford study finds it helps the understanding of language

The study, made public Wednesday, is the first to show that musical experience can help the brain improve its ability to distinguish between rapidly changing sounds that are key to understanding and using language.


Google Walks Past $400

When last month's third-quarter earnings blowout prompted some analysts to predict the stock would top $400, skeptics were quick to emerge. After all, Google shares already looked gaudy, fetching $303 apiece heading into the company's Oct. 20 financial report.

- Frank - A cautionary picture of water supplies as Earth warms

Mountain snows and alpine glaciers represent key reservoirs of fresh water for some 1.6 billion people worldwide. In 50 years, however, a warming planet is likely to disrupt many of these sources, leaving millions of people scrambling for additional supplies - 'This Is Your Life' host Edwards dies

This Is Your Life also was born on radio and then migrated to television, running on NBC-TV from 1952 to 1961. It featured guests, many of them celebrities, who were lured in on a ruse, then surprised by Edwards announcing, This is your life! Relatives and old friends then would be brought on to reminisce about the guest.

Among the people he caught unaware were Marilyn Monroe, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bob Hope, Andy Griffith, Buster Keaton, Barbara Eden, Bette Davis, Shirley Jones, Jayne Mansfield and Carol Channing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Papers: DuPont Hid Teflon-Risk Studies

DuPont Co. hid studies showing the risks of a Teflon-related chemical used to line candy wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and hundreds of other food containers, according to internal company documents and a former employee.


Neil Young News : "When God Made Me" Lyrics

'I feel like our religion and our faith have been hijacked.

What is bothering me the most is the misappropriation of religion and faith, the misuse of God and the house of worship. It's one faith with different people trying to express it in different ways. It's all about being the little guy in the big world.'

[The above are quotes from a Neil Young interview with the New York Times]

I was fortunate enough to catch Neil's recent performances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" during the first week of November. It occurred to me while listening to Neil, that throughout my life as an American, musicians and entertainers have normally provided the positive, ethical, and spiritual guidance and inspiration...
...while our ever deteriorating political and religious leaders have become nothing but negative, unethical, hateful, examples of ignorance and greed.
- Frank | 11/16/2005 | Google raises flag over Base

Google is expanding its already ambitious efforts to organize all the world's information with the launch of a service today that allows people to upload a wide array of content to a central database so others can find it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Report: Public Broadcasting Chair Broke Law

Specifically, the report said Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and ethical standards by dealing directly with one of the creators of the conservative-leaning 'Journal Editorial Report,' hosted by the editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page.


Bush: No ethics, no brain, no problem!

Link to original Story

Monday, November 14, 2005


Dvorak Uncensored ? Wrapping up warm to beat a cold is not to be sniffed at

But the latest experiment reinforces theories that existing, latent infection can be activated when parts of the body, particularly the feet and nose, get wet and cold.


Deal brings optical connections to Sun supercomputer | CNET

The server specialist will use technology from Luxtera, a 40-person start-up based in Carlsbad, Calif., to connect chips directly via optical links, the companies plan to announce Monday. The alliance will use Luxtera's silicon ring modulator, which chops up light into photons that can carry data and which can be integrated into silicon chips.


Services cut for students as high-pay jobs boom / 2,275 university employees earned more than $200,000 during the last fiscal year

Still, the boom in top salaries comes at a time when UC leaders say they have been forced to raise student fees 79 percent over four years, increase class sizes and curtail student services to cope with cuts in state funding.


Stones Deliver With A Bang

Strutting and staggering on a stage set roughly the size of a five-story downtown office building, the Stones performed in front of a 60-foot video screens, music blasting with surprising clarity for the volume. At one point, as the band launched 'Miss You,' the stage actually levitated and rolled out on rails deep into the audience. Even the band's opening acts make the Stones appear all the more Olympian -- Metallica, last seen in the area headlining their own baseball stadium gig, willingly joined the bill as the local warm-up act.


McCain: Torture Ban Needed for U.S. Image - Yahoo! News

Terrorists are 'the quintessence of evil,' he said. 'But it's not about them; it's about us. This battle we're in is about the things we stand for and believe in and practice. And that is an observance of human rights, no matter how terrible our adversaries may be.'

Sunday, November 13, 2005


BBC NEWS | World | Europe | France shows off tallest bridge

The Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains is more than 300m (984ft) high - taller even than the country's Eiffel Tower. - Marine general: Bush shortchanging vets - Nov 12, 2005

Speaking on the Veterans Day weekend, the former U.S. military commander in the Middle East said 'President Bush has consistently refused to provide enough' money for veterans' health care.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Management guru Drucker dead at 95 | CNET

His career spanned nearly 75 years, during which time he authored 39 books, from 1939's 'The End of the Economic Man' to his last book, 'The Effective Executive in Action.' That volume, co-authored with Joseph Maciariello, will be published in early 2006.

Friday, November 11, 2005


A Scientifically Proven Way to Be Happy: Money & Happiness - Yahoo! Finance

'Gratitude seems to be incompatible with some negative emotions. It's hard to feel envious or greedy or bitter when you're grateful,' says Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside.


Bush: Critics try to rewrite Iraq war history - Conflict in Iraq -

The Bush administration's main justification for the Iraq war was that it posed a threat because it had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, but none have been found.

So, our sham president, who can't even remember where he served in his National Guard days, picks Veteran's Day... whine in public about his critics attempting to rewrite his own highly fictionalized version of the Iraq war history.
Indictment, Impeachment, and appropriate sentencing, seem to be the only appropriate path.
- Frank


Gas pipe broadband? | CNET

It may sound nuts today, but a San Diego company called Nethercomm is developing a way to use ultra wideband wireless signals to transmit data at broadband speeds through natural-gas pipes. The company claims its technology will be able to offer 100 megabits per second to every home, which is more than enough to provide voice, video and high-speed Internet access.


Sony halts production of music CDs with copy-protection scheme

'This is a step they should have taken immediately,' said Mark Russinovich, chief software architect at Winternals Software who discovered the hidden copy-protection technology Oct. 31 and posted his findings on his Web log. He said Sony did not admit any wrongdoing, nor did it promise not to use similar techniques in the future.

We had better heed these warnings before purchasing any Sony recorded media.
- Frank


Dvorak Uncensored - Professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC

In fact, it’s likely that there were “pre-positioned explosives” in all three buildings at ground zero, says Steven E. Jones.

I suppose we should ask Pat Robertson about this. I'm sure that he would explain that this is just more "intelligent design" at work.
- Frank


Dalai Lama needles US over democratic rights - Yahoo! News

Washington, DC, is the only capital city of any democracy in the world that denies its residents voting rights in the national legislature, he said.


Poll: Most Americans Doubt Bush's Honesty - Yahoo! News

Almost six in 10 — 57 percent — said they do not think the Bush administration has high ethical standards and the same portion says President Bush is not honest, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

A sobering thought: There are four in 10 people out there thinking that these Bush administration sleazebags ARE ethical. The idea that there are so many with such low standards among us is
not a very comforting thought.
- Frank - Behind an iconic photo, one family's tale of grief

Yet the story behind the photo is richer, more complicated and more painful than that. It is the story of one family and thousands of others, one ordeal that reflects what tens of thousands endured.

Quite a sad story! This is yet another reminder of the importance of replacing the current political twits in Washington with competent people.
- Frank

Thursday, November 10, 2005 - Some Sony CDs' piracy protection called spyware

'This is spyware, pure and simple,' says Sam Curry, vice president of security software maker Computer Associates.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Firefox marks its first year on the Net | CNET

Firefox turned one year old Wednesday, marking yet another milestone for the popular open-source browser.

Since the debut of Firefox 1.0 last November, users have downloaded 106.4 million copies of the open-source Web browser, according to the Mozilla Foundation, which coordinated the development of Firefox.

Click the Get Firefox button in the left column to download a copy of Firefox.
- Frank


Bush Borrowed More Than All Previous Presidents Combined, Group Says -- 11/04/2005

According to the Treasury Department, from 1776-2000, the first 224 years of U.S. history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions, but in the past four years alone, the Bush administration borrowed $1.05 trillion.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


FOXNews - Views - CATO - In Scandalous Times, Bush Could Learn from Clinton

The heaviest millstone around the president's political neck isn't the case against Scooter Libby or the continuing investigation into Karl Rove. Rather, it's the growing public perception that, unlike President Clinton in the 1990s, Bush is presiding over an unsuccessful, even incompetent, administration.


Dvorak Uncensored - Vatican wants to end battle with science

This should result in an interesting schism between the American Catholics and the religious right. Please read this entire article, it?s quite good.

Monday, November 07, 2005 - Tailored, ad-free TV gains ground

CBS and NBC delivered another hammer blow to the traditional TV economic model on Monday by agreeing to let some Comcast and DirecTV customers pay 99 cents to watch certain hit shows on demand and ad-free

Interesting - This seems to tie right in to the iPod Video format recently initiated by Apple Computer.
- Frank


Ship Blasted Pirates With Sonic Weapon

The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.


Unsecured Wi-Fi would be outlawed by N.Y. county | CNET

According to a new proposal being considered by a suburb of New York City, any business or home office with an open wireless connection but no separate server to fend off Internet attacks would be violating the law.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Mark's Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far


The DRM reference made me recall having purchased a CD recently that can only be played using the media player that ships on the CD itself and that limits you to at most 3 copies. I scrounged through my CD?s and found it, Sony BMG?s Get Right with the Man (the name is ironic under the circumstances) CD by the Van Zant brothers. I hadn?t noticed when I purchased the CD from that it?s protected with DRM software, but if I had looked more closely at the text on the web page I would have known:

Quite a deep techie writeup, but you might want to at least consider this BEFORE buying any DRM protected Sony products. Sheesh!
- Frank


The Secret of Happiness

The key to happiness is to appreciate what you have. Sounds simple. So why are so many people unhappy? Get the tools you need for tapping into unlimited richness, pleasure and joy.

Lots of thoughtful stuff that helped me get the negativity of the Bush Administration out of my mind for a while.
- Frank

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Don't blame the online mappers | CNET

Online mapping applications typically refresh the data under their maps every 90 days or so, according to Mitsock. So that would explain why, for example, a Yahoo map doesn't account for a major artery being reopened in my city after years of construction. That new road will cut several minutes off any drive across the city.


Bush Orders Staff to Review Ethics Rules

In a memo sent to all White House aides on Friday, the counsel's office said it will hold briefings next week on ethics, with a particular focus on the rules governing the handling of classified information. Attendance is mandatory for anyone holding any level of security clearance.

Cheney is not the only dick in the Whitehouse.
- Frank

Friday, November 04, 2005


Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Bush feels hand of God as poll ratings slump

Nearly six in 10 Americans, 58%, said they had doubts about the president's honesty, a 13% rise in 18 months. Only 32% believed Mr Bush was handling ethical issues well, a significantly worse score than Bill Clinton achieved in his last scandal-besmirched year in office. Mr Bush's overall popularity has plunged to 39%, a new low for the Washington Post/ABC survey. - Wide-Flying Moguls: Google Duo's New Jet Is a Boeing 767-200

Google Inc.'s two billionaire founders, both 32 years old, will soon be cruising the skies in a Boeing 767 wide-body airliner. They bought the used plane earlier this year, Mr. Page says.


Fake journalism, real consequences - TELEVISION -

It’s always the first question people ask when they see someone being more or less made fun of on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”: Didn’t they know it’s a joke?


Week in review: Redmond guns for Google | CNET

Kicking off what he called the 'live era' of software, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that the company plans to launch new Internet-based complements to its core products. Microsoft is working on two products, 'Windows Live' and 'Office Live,' that create opportunities for the company to sell online subscriptions and advertising. Both are targeted at smaller businesses and at consumers.

More of the usual garbage from Microsoft. The last original (albeit useless) idea from Microsoft was when they used the backslash (\) instead of the forward slash (/) in path names, after plagiarizing CP/M to come up with the inferior MS-DOS. About Digital Research
- Frank


Why Do You Have So Much Junk? / Oh yes you do. And there are TV shows to prove it. Question is, what are you gonna do about it?

The cure is simple, so graceful that it will make you feel lighter and healthier and good the minute you start, and of course you can start right now and you don't even need any drugs or wine or nudity, though those always, always help

Yes, I do know that even this blog is cluttered.
- Frank


Faith and Fraud

A factitious picture of the world built up by the Bush Administration over its five years in power is now going to pieces before our eyes. Great jagged spikes of reality, like the crags of the iceberg that ripped open the staterooms of the Titanic, are tearing into it on all sides. The disrespected world of facts, an exacting master, is putting down this governmental insurrection against its ineluctable laws.


House approves healthcare overhaul - The Boston Globe

BOSTON - The Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved last night a sweeping healthcare bill that promises to cover nearly all the state's 500,000 uninsured residents within three years.


Homeland Security at Last - Bush reinstates wage laws after Katrina

Last week, a caucus of pro-labor Republicans protesting the president's action sat down with White House chief of staff Andrew Card to air their complaints. Afterward, the White House promised to restore the act on Nov. 8.


Madonna steals the show | This is London

Madonna proved she was still the reigning Queen of Pop tonight with a storming performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


House Vote Counters Eminent Domain Measure

The bill, passed 376-38, would withhold federal money from state and local governments that use powers of eminent domain to force businesses and homeowners to give up their property for commercial uses.


Mayor: Sever Thumbs of Graffiti Artists

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has suggested that those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

I guess this would limit hitch-hiking as well.
- Frank - Breaking tradition, Carter rips Bush's policies

Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that 'fundamentalism' under George W. Bush has resulted in a 'dramatic and profound and unprecedented change' in American policy that threatens the United States at home and abroad. - Cyber crooks break into online accounts with ease

Many consumers and small-business owners naively believe online transactions are safe if they use a firewall, keep anti-virus software updated and follow security tips posted on banking websites.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Conductor Skitch Henderson Dies at Age 87 - Yahoo! News

Skitch Henderson, the Grammy-winning conductor who lent his musical expertise to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby before founding the New York Pops and becoming the first 'Tonight Show' bandleader, died Tuesday. He was 87.


Man Kills Buck With Bare Hands in Bedroom - Yahoo! News

The engagement lasted an exhausting 40 minutes, but Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.


Dvorak Uncensored - Chimps want to have cake and eat it, too

Chimpanzees are humankind’s closest cousins, and researchers love looking at them for clues to our behavior.

With apologies to the chimps for the insulting photos.

- Frank

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - Airlines try to make Internet work for them

The first ticket was sold via the Internet almost 10 years ago, in December 1995, by Alaska Airlines. Mark Guerette, that carrier's unofficial 'webmaster' back then, says it was 'pure excitement' when a family of four from Washington's Olympic peninsula bought the first airline tickets online.


Methodist Church court defrocks lesbian minister - The Boston Globe

The nine-member Judicial Council also voided a declaration by Methodists in the Pacific Northwest that there was a ''difference of opinion among faithful Christians regarding sexual orientation and practice.' The court said the declaration was a ''historical statement without prescriptive force' and had no bearing on church laws.

So this Judicial Council has deemed Methodists both anti-Christian and anti-thinking.
- Frank


Dvorak Uncensored - Decide: Virginity or Death

A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates who want to use the shots aggressively to prevent thousands of malignancies and social conservatives who say immunizing teen-agers could encourage sexual activity.


Critique of intelligence on Vietnam kept secret - Americas - International Herald Tribune

The U.S. National Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that NSA officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence during the Tonkin Gulf episode that helped precipitate the Vietnam War, according to two people familiar with the historian's work.

An interesting article for those thinking that despite being corrupt, unethical, and incompetent, that there might have at least been some originality in the Bush Administration.
- Frank

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