News, commentary and fun things from the Internet and around the world.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Dubya Fun

Thanks to Jennifer at Forty.Something for finding this gem... a site where you can be the speechwriter for George W. Bush. I spent a lot of time here, and so did my whole family!

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

[Quick entry because I just can't keep quiet...]

Castle Megastore [photo copyright Castle Megastores]
Adult Superstore Controversy Continues
The new Castle Boutique Megastore currently under construction in Phoenix is under attack from every angle. What isn't clear from the articles against this construction is that these are retail stores, not adult services facilities.

Update: 2 October

Now, the issue has gone to the Board of Adjustment, and the neighbors are threatening to recall their local city councilman, Dave Seibert, because he hasn't been able to stop the project. Meanwhile, the owners of the Castle Superstore chain thanks the media for all of the free press and increased business this controversy has created. Talk about silver linings...

Sunday, September 22, 2002

[Still recouperating from my surgery, but starting to realize how much I miss the world news...]

Professor Larry Lessig [photo copyright Los Angeles Times]
And While We Are At It, Let's Challenge Copyrights!
A fascinating story about Larry Lessig, a Stanford University law professor, whose challenge to the 1998 copyright law, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, is about to reach the US Supreme Court as the case Eldred v. Ashcroft. Interestingly, the article mentions how Disney uses literary classics as the basis for its own classics, but wants to lock up the copyrights so no one can use their works in the same way that they have used the works of others, and the Act (which they used campaign contributions to promote) is interestingly timed to prevent Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain for an additional 20 years! Eric Eldred is quite an interesting character himself, someone who believed he was making a contribution for the common good.

I'm Not The Only One Not Amused... the abbreviated written language that appears throughout the IM world. Things like "R U OK?" drive me up the wall. OK, I'll admit that I've been known to use LOL (for laughing out loud) and I've made my fair share of smiley/winky/frowny faces. But I draw the line there. Putting this together with the recent study that found that the kids today are more dexterious with their thumbs than my generation, and you get a group of people who can thumb their own noses but can't type. Hurry up voice recognition is all I can say!

Loving Thoughtful Blog Entries Like This One
Having been offline for weeks and missing my several hours of daily reading, it is a real treat to find that my cyber pal Mal is still cranking out entries that hit my heart and mind. I was raised in a similar way, not taught to pay attention to race or creed. I just realized a year or so ago that one of my best friends from high school was Latino -- it never occured to me then. Here is a bit of what Mal observered that really touched me:
What I didn't fathom was that ... [s]he was talking about Mal and Mormons and fat girls and celibate bisexuals and all of the other labels that keep me from speaking. From feeling worthy to speak my truths. All of those things that keep me from stripping down and standing, arms wide, in the sun. From knowing myself and being known. From the dark corners where the questions live.
I've missed a lot!

Who Said That The Free Internet Is Dead?
I've been watching this story for some time with great interest. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has plans to make all of its courseware available for free online. You can't get a degree for free, but you can learn if you have the initiative to spend the time to read and learn. I think this is a fabulous idea. After working through the details about tools and copyrights and file formats, the information is scheduled to start becoming available on 30 September 2002. Personally, I'm planning to be there!

Thursday, September 19, 2002

photo copyright US Marine Corps
Marines Training For Urban Battles
I'm recouperating from my surgery at my parent's home in Dayton, Ohio and I discover that the Marines have beat me here. Seems they have taken over parts of the town to prepare for a possible urban battle in Bagdad (yep, the capital of Iraq). The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune, N.C. is involved. They previously spent three months in Afghanistan.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Please see my post at Desert Mermaid for an update.