Monday, March 31

The doctor who first raised the alarm about a mysterious new disease has become one of the most famous casualties of the deadly respiratory illness.

Dr. Carlo Urbani, an Italian communicable-disease expert known for his tireless dedication to his patients, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work with Doctors Without Borders, died in Thailand this weekend, where he was being treated for the severe acute respiratory syndrome he was the first to diagnose.

Tuesday, March 25

War Desk |
There is something surreal about an intense gun battle in such intimate circumstances.

As one of the young gunners told me just after the fight, "It was like the best video game I have ever played."

Bibliography and style guides for writing and teaching English
Citing sources from the World Wide Web

Monday, March 24

Yahoo! News - Brody Surprises Berry With Kiss at Oscars
Brody Surprises Berry With Kiss at Oscars
2 hours, 57 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - Best-actor winner Adrien Brody created an amorous Oscar moment to remember when he grabbed presenter Halle Berry and planted a long kiss on the mouth of last year's best actress.

A stunned Berry was left openmouthed and gasping Sunday, although she appeared amused by Brody's enthusiasm after he won an Oscar for his role in "The Pianist." Looking on from the audience at the Kodak Theatre was Berry's husband, singer Eric Benet.

"Whoa, I bet they didn't tell you that was in the gift bag," Brody cracked.

Backstage, the 26-year-old Brody was asked about the smooch.

"Well, if you ever have an excuse to do something like that, that's it," he said. "I took my shot."

Did Berry kiss him back?

"Oh yeah," Brody said, grinning.

Saturday, March 22

'Sick Feeling' for a Pilot's Family
"I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here," his father, Michael, said, holding up a picture of the dead marine. "This is the only son I had, only son."

Friday, March 21

The Memory Hole > Thomas Pynchon's Unseen Writings for Boeing May Get Published

Thomas Pynchon was once a technical writer. Wheee!

Thursday, March 20

Mr. Bush's War
This war belongs to Richard Perle, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Dick Cheney and all the fellows from the Project for a New American Century. Again, if you have not yet clicked the links above, go ahead. I'll wait.

Welcome to the American Empire. Don't be surprised that your rights and privileges have changed all of a sudden. We used to be a constitutional democracy. That's pretty much done now. You're a citizen of an empire today, one that attacks sovereign nations without cause, with the backing of such international heavyweights as Spain and Eritrea. You're not a citizen. You're a customer. Take a number and get in line.

Above all, and amusingly enough, this war belongs first and foremost to George W. Bush. Mr. Bush ran a number of oil companies straight into the ground before becoming the constitutionally castrated governor of Texas. From thence to our current greatness, it seems. This has been his party since July, but few were truly interested in attending. 160 nations want nothing to do with this attack, and eleven of the fifteen United Nations Security Council vote-counters told him to go pound sand, despite a month-long bribery campaign that would have made John Gotti blush with envy.

Wednesday, March 19

In spite of these positive gains and improvements in training teachers, more still needs to be accomplished. Adams and Fuchs assert,
When you bring a computer into the classroom, things naturally change. Some changes can be anticipated; others cannot. Some changes are desirable; others are not. Of one thing we can be certain, whatever our field of work, we must be aware of the influence of technology or be beached by this sea of change. (5)
I recognize that technology brings with it inequities and injustices of its own, and I am not arguing that technology will solve these problems; nor am I arguing that a teacher's knowledge about technology will necessarily produce better literacy within the students. What I am arguing, however, is that teachers need to be trained to use technology so that they are better prepared to combat, recognize, and fend off the inequalities that will appear in computer- equipped classrooms. Teachers need the knowledge so they can have the agency to make decisions about technology and so they can be contributors to the developing of technology. In sum, we need to train teachers so that they will not just see themselves as people who are having technology shape and define them, but as people who have the power, the authority, and the agency to be developers of technology and to be, in Haas and Neuwirth's words, "shapers" of technology (326). We, as a field, cannot afford to be washed away; we cannot allow the rug to be swept out from under us while we remain content in our teaching . . . or our training.
In the section below, I will address the concerns that a computer-rich environment evokes and give recommendations regarding how we might better prepare teachers to utilize and facilitate
technology in their teaching.

Tuesday, March 18

raelity bytes: blosxom: plug-in registry

I, Cringely | The Pulpit
But the trick here is not to do this by passing a law because laws can't generally be enforced over national borders. The only behavior any of us can reliably alter is our own, so WE -- not the spammers -- have to do something different. My proposed solution is a new class of e-mail application that combines many of the attributes we see on eBay, the Internet's one great commercial success. In fact, this solution could well be OFFERED by eBay, and I recently suggested it in an e-mail to Max Levchin of eBay's PayPal subsidiary.

What I am coming down to is essentially an economic argument. I think that passing laws is the wrong way to handle this problem and the right way is by making the spammers pay -- literally pay -- to reach me. I find preferable the idea that spammers pay me directly rather than have them pay the equivalent of postage that doesn't benefit me at all except by reducing the volume of spam. Of course, doing this requires a micropayment system, which made me think of PayPal, which can efficiently handle tiny transactions and already has 17 million customers.

Another factor in this choice is that writing fiction every day seems to be an essential component in my sustaining good mental health. If I get blocked from writing fiction, I rapidly become depressed, and extremely unpleasant to be around. As long as I keep writing it, though, I am fit to be around other people. So all of the incentives point in the direction of devoting all available hours to fiction writing.

Monday, March 17

raelity bytes
email - sends newly aggreagated stories to the email address of your choosing.

Be sure to set the $mail_cmd configuration variable in the plugin source to the email command Blagg should use to send email; defaults to "/usr/lib/sendmail -oi -t".

Usage requires additional command-line switches:

* -plugin=email (activates the Email plug-in)
* -email={destination email address}
* -subject={email subject line} [optional; default is "You've got Blagg!"

raelity bytes
email - sends newly aggreagated stories to the email address of your choosing.

Be sure to set the $mail_cmd configuration variable in the plugin source to the email command Blagg should use to send email; defaults to "/usr/lib/sendmail -oi -t".

Usage requires additional command-line switches:

* -plugin=email (activates the Email plug-in)
* -email={destination email address}
* -subject={email subject line} [optional; default is "You've got Blagg!"

raelity bytes
blogger - speaks to any Blogger API-enabled application.

Take a gander at Blagg w/ Blogger Blaggplug in action at .

Usage requires additional command-line switches:

* -plugin=blogger (activates the Blogger API plug-in)
* -username={your blogger username}
* -password={your blogger password}
* -blogid={your blogger blog id}
* -url={URL of the XML-RPC server at the remote end; defaults to Blogger's}
* -app_key={the app_key for a particular Blogger API URL} (optional)

KCRW Music: Morning Becomes Eclectic

Flaming lips. Capture this stream.

Yahoo! News - U.N. Orders Inspectors From Iraq
UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) ordered U.N. employees on Monday to leave Iraq (news - web sites), after the United States, Britain and Spain abandoned efforts to win U.N. backing for military action.

Sounds like we're ready to start killing people.

Poynter Online - Thursday Edition: Kidnapping Facts
Only 100 or so abductions by strangers each year fit into more serious categories -- cases in which the child is held for an extended period of time or is killed, she said. But the longer the abduction lasts, the more bleak the prospects become of finding the child alive.

Poynter Online - Thursday Edition: Kidnapping Facts
In 2001, 840,279 people (adults and children) were reported missing to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The FBI estimates that 85 to 90 percent of those (roughly 750,000 people or 2,000 per day) reported missing were children. The vast majority of these cases are resolved within hours.

Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct types of kidnapping: kidnapping by a relative of the victim or "family kidnapping" (49 percent); kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or "acquaintance kidnapping" (27 percent); and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or "stranger kidnapping" (24 percent).

Friday, March 14

William Gibson While I'm on the topic of mediated personae, something that came up during that CBC taping, last night (for me, anyway) was the idea that blogging (or even posting to fora) represents the democratization of the mediated persona. Literally anyone can have one, now, or several. I am an exception to this, because I have mine via the printed word, the oldest mass medium on the planet, and this website is maintained by a publishing company that belongs to an even larger corporation owned in turn by shapeshifting reptiles from Beta Reticuli, but the rest of you, today, are free to mass-mediate your own personae. Which was formerly, hugely, not the case. Choose a handle, post: you're mediating a persona.

Thursday, March 13

Googlism :
mark crane is trying to get a phd in composition and rhetoric at the university of louisville
mark crane is an assurance and advisory business services partner in the west michigan practice and has been with ernst & young
mark crane is an aquatic toxicologist expert in many ecotoxicological techniques
mark crane is working on a phd
mark crane is our troop leader
mark crane is available to assist with your technology procurement needs
mark crane is maintaining the pages under the direction of dr
mark crane is most probably right
mark crane is a partner in the chicago office of segal mccambridge singer & mahoney
mark crane is a senior editor at medical economics magazine
mark crane is doing a lot with them

Covering the Chaos (Randy Bass)

Heath Row's Media Diet
Bubble Money
Bubble Money
Sterling: Let's talk about the business side. That’s Topic No. 2: Where's the bubble money? Where's the economic activity? Where's the business model? So much glass was put in the ground and so much human energy was expended for something that doesn’t have a business model. The death of portals is a problem. The death of ISP's is a problem. If something like Canopy takes off, there go the ISP's. Its interesting to me that the biggest thing going right now is Google. Google isn't a portal. It's all about getting right into the database. Get me right into the database.

Who is this poor guy from Red Herring? I saw him on CNN this morning. He says, "I was googling it. I was bloggering it." I was blog dancing him. He says, "Yeah, the enthusiasts usually start it and then someone like me comes in to finance it." I was, like, "Where's your magazine dude?" How many times do these guys need to be punished? How much money do they need to lose? When will they learn that the Internet is a product of the sciences and the military. Those aren't profit-motive ventures.

CNN doesn't have any money to send anyone to Baghdad this time around. Fox lost heaps of money, enough money to build entire cities from the ground up. There's no money. There's no money in Blogger. There's no money in the corporate media. Money has to come from somewhere. Unless information wants to be worthless. Unless we just want to be worse informed from machines that work worse and worse. That’s the trend I'm looking at, and it's bugging me.

Wednesday, March 12

Elizabeth smart has been found alive, in the company of some drifter street prophet who calls himself "Emmanuel." Completely unbelievable. I wonder if she's brainwashed. They found her in Sandy, my hometown. Thank heavens for the random pullover policy. Oddly, I was pulled over for no reason a few days ago in Orem, and I sorta look like the guy. Hmmm...

"Orchid Fever" by Susan Orlean
John Laroche is a tall guy, skinny as a stick, pale-eyed, slouch-shouldered, and sharply handsome, in spite of the fact that he is missing all his front teeth. He has the posture of al dente spaghetti and the nervous intensity of someone who plays a lot of video games. He is thirty-four years old, and works for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, setting up a plant nursery on the tribal reservation near Miami. The Seminole nicknames for Laroche are Crazy White Man and Troublemaker. My introduction to Laroche took place last summer, in the new Collier County Courthouse, in Naples, Florida. The occasion was a hearing following Laroche's arrest for illegally taking endangered wild orchids, which he is passionate about, from the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, which is a place he adores. Laroche did not dress for the occasion. He was wearing wraparound Mylar sunglasses, a cotton-blend shirt printed with some sort of scenic design, and trousers that bagged around his rear. At the hearing, he was called forward and asked to state his name and address and to describe his experience in working with plants. Laroche sauntered to the center of the courtroom. He jutted out his chin. He spoke in a rasping, draggy voice. He stuck his thumbs in his belt loops and said, "I've been a professional horticulturist for approximately twelve years. I've owned a plant nursery of my own. . . . I have extensive experience with orchids, and the asexual micropropagation of orchids under aseptic cultures." Then he grinned and said to the court, "I'm probably the smartest person I know."

Thursday, March 6

O'Reilly Network: Cory Doctorow's Bitchun' World: P2P Gone Wild [Feb. 27, 2003]
Koman: There's a scene in the book, where they ask the Imagineers, "How long to build?" And the guy says, "Five years." And they say, "No, without reviews, and approvals, and sign-offs." And the answer is eight weeks. You've had this experience of pulling together some entrepreneurial programmers but being completely stymied in being able to release your code ...

Tuesday, March 4

Digital FM Transmitter CC-FMT
Finding the right way to connect your radio, MP3 player, or even a computer, to a stereo system can be time consuming and frustrating. This Digital FM Transmitter lets you send a signal from any audio source to any radio easily, and without wires. Use it to send a satellite radio signal, MP3 audio, and more, to nearby radios around your home or workplace, even in your car.

The FM Transmitter is simple to use. Just plug the Transmitter into the headphone jack or line out of any audio device and set the frequency of choice (88-108 MHz). You

Nemesis Follows Hubris, DIY or Not
What was really going on was hubris, and that deathly fear of damage to public image. Was there some reason that the Columbia went to an orbit from which it couldn't reach the ISS as easily as it could de-orbit, its only real hope (and still not a good one) of a rescue? Would an ISS rendezvous orbit have been ... cowardly? Underconfident?

Columbia was too heavy to reach that orbit.

Nemesis Follows Hubris, DIY or Not
Now factor in that it might take four times longer in a space suit. The Columbia didn't have six weeks -- supplies would've run out long before. Then figure in that far more than a single tile was damaged on the Columbia. Multiply by the number of tiles, and they don't finish until mid-summer, long after their climbers' knapsacks are empty.

Do we know conclusively it was a tile problem?

The Press Gaggle
MR. FLEISCHER: Tonight, the President is going to discuss this. I think you will hear the President tonight talk about the threat of Saddam Hussein and how he poses a danger to the American --

Q. In 12 years he hasn't done anything.

MR. FLEISCHER: We will temporarily suspend the Q&A portion of today's briefing to bring you this advocacy minute. (Laughter.)

Wired News: Net Hacker Tool du Jour: Google
"We've done a lot of work at universities and teaching hospitals, and it's the hardest environment to impose security, because they tend to have an open information-sharing model," Langston said. "It makes it very difficult to impose restrictions on data: In a teaching environment, that's how people learn and extend their knowledge.

Sunday, March 2

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL I remember a time years ago when I was as convinced that Dick Cheney was obscenely wrong about something I am now. Subsequent events raised the possibility that he might not have been so wrong after all.

[IP] a pirce very worth reading till the end SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL byJo
Veteran Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory accompanied me on one of my futile visits to his office, where she spent better than an hour listening to us argue about ³circular errors probable² and ³MIRV decoys² and the other niceties of nuclear nightmare. When we were leaving, she, who had seen a lot of politicians in her long day, turned to me and said, ³I think your guy Cheney is the most dangerous person I¹ve ever seen up here.² At that point, I agreed with her.

[IP] a pirce very worth reading till the end SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL byJo
Here is the problem I think Dick Cheney is trying to address at the moment: How does one assure global stability in a world where there is only one strong power? This is a question that his opposition, myself included, has not asked out loud. It¹s not an easy question to answer, but neither is it a question to ignore. Historically, there have only been two methods by which nations have prevented the catastrophic conflict which seems to be their deepest habit.

Teemings - Extras - The Horror of Blimps
On this occasion I awoke to the sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE GLOOM, AND IT COULD FLY!!!

Somewhere in the control room of my mind a fat little dwarf in a security outfit was paging through a Penthouse while smoking a cigar with his feet up on the table, watching the security monitors of my brain with his peripheral vision. Suddenly he saw the LARGE SILENT SINSITER MENACING FLOATING PRESENCE coming at me, and he pulled every panic switch and hit every alarm that my body has. A full decade's allotment of adrenaline was dumped into my bloodstream all at once. My metabolism went from "restful sleep mode" to HOLY SHIT! FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE OR DIE!!!! mode" in a nanosecond. My heart went from twenty something beats per minute to about 240 even faster.

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