Tuesday, September 30, 2003

More Than a Healthy Glow?

Is our President getting too much sun?

Taking a Stand on Football-related Violence

What amuses me most about public officials who reference their own moral character is that they display confidence precisely when most of feel cramped by moral ambiguity. Such is the case with Deputy Randy Christian, who has the courage to stand up and say, "I know we take football serious in the South, but that's crossing the line," when referring to an Alabama man who attempted to murder his son in a fit of rage after an Alabama defeat.

Way to be brave, Christian, and stand up for what you believe in ...er, I mean to stand up for what's right.

Friday, September 26, 2003

George Plimpton

What I'll miss most about George Plimpton is the way he lived as a public intellectual capable of addressing the interests of the common man. Foucault never wrote about football, and Satre didn't extol the virtues of cartoons, but George Plimpton made Joe Public feel like football, boxing, and baseball were appropriate outlets for one's attention. That such an intelligent and dignified person could humble himself enough to host Disney's Mouseterpiece Theater is evidence enough that he knew a thing or two about connecting with people of all types.

To view his curriculum vitae is to see a man talented at the art of living and capable of maintaining wide-eyed interest in topics from literature to humor to his beloved New York City.

In a day where Renaissance Men & Women seem in short supply, we need more George Plimptons, not fewer.

In a time where the rift between the Intellectual Left and The Working Man is growing (and undermining the support of the Democratic Party), we need more George Plimptons, not fewer.

In an age where everyone seems a little less understanding and tolerant, we need more George Plimptons, not fewer.

His was a life well-lived. He will be missed.

Wonder Leaf

Beam me up, Scotty. Get a load of the design of Nokia's new 7600 phone/mp3 player/digital camera. It'll be like talking to a big metal leaf.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Most Domestic Telemarketers Work in the Midwest

I'm curious why a Federal court in Oklahoma would be the venue for the Do not call case.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

VentureWire Trashes Late VC

Poor Mark Saul. You're a young, successful venture capitalist ...but then you die tragically.

...then VentureWire includes the following in your obituary:

    
Mark Saul of Foundation Capital Found Dead
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Mark Saul, a 42-year-old partner at Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm Foundation Capital, was found dead on September 10 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, Calif.

Sgt. James Stoney of the Redwood City police department said employees of the hotel found the body and notified the police. Sgt. Stoney said Mr. Saul was found on the bathroom floor of his room with a glass smoking device and a white, powdery substance. (emphasis mine)


Newsworthy tidbit or mean-spirited inclusion?

Would it change your opinion to know that VentureWire is a borderline spammer? (SpamNet frequently dumps VentureWire's newsletters into my Deleted Items folder)

Is this blurb inappropriate for a wire service that covers corporate finance, but appropriate in a mainstream newspaper?

What to Do in Budapest

They Must Not Have Tivo in Hungary
I guess everybody's got to be some kind of est. Looks like the Hungarians are officially the horniest.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Dwindling Ice Caps, Dwindling Case for Denial

Does the pressure ever get to global warming nay-sayers? How much must the global average temperature increase before we get serious about curbing our CFC and C02 emissions?

Update: Here's a great discussion of these findings on Slashdot.
Another Update: President Bush striving to remain part of the problem for yet another issue of global import.

James Sanborn

I just discovered Artist/Sculptor James Sanborn through a Slashdot article discussing how a Cyrillic code in one of his works had been cracked. Some beautiful sculpture.

His most famous work is Kryptos, outside CIA headquarters.

Start a Blog (It's Cheaper)

When perennial candidates enter races for office, does they always think they have a shot at winning? Does someone devote months of energy just to make a statement? [I guess "statement" implies that there's a chance someone is listening. But with a democratic field already crowded with near-anonymous choices, I don't think the national attention span will take much note of candidates like Mosley-Braun.]

Friday, September 19, 2003

Talk Like a Pirate, Matey

Please join me in celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Thanks, Galileo

Thank, Galileo, for your informative trek across the solar system. As one of Earth's noblest instruments approaches oblivion inside Jupiter, this article doesn't know whether to call Galileo a robot ship, droid, or a heap of metal, plutonium and gadgets.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Shizzolator Breaks!

Ah-ha! I have broken Tha Shizzolator! Enter "www.asksnoop.com" into this beautiful device. Instead of viewing a slice of the web from Snoop's perspective, you'll be viewing a big, fat stack of nothing.

Can Snoop not stand his own scrutiny??

Criminal Consumption

Why should a vehicle that looks like this get only 13 mpg? Oh, that's right, oil is endless and cars aren't undermining environmental and geopolitical stability.

A Point of Clarification and a Question

First, Tampa has no right to refer to itself as the Bay Area. The Bay Area is in California. Tampa is forever Tampa or Tampa Bay.
Second, are bands named Hell on Earth allowed to champion social causes?

Stock Bulletin Boards: Outlet for Crazy People with Keyboards

I'm a shareholder in Peet's Coffee & Tea for three reasons:
A. I'm a coffee addict (just being honest)
B. Peet's is a customer of mine (just being honest)
C. With Starbucks approaching domestic ubiquity, Peet's seems like the regional (nearly national) company best positioned to grab the Anti-Starbucks Market, the Up Market looking for more coffee choices, and the Socially Progressive Market.

...but this is beside the point. The point is that, as a shareholder, I occasionally check out the Yahoo! message board for Peets.

Oh my God.

Like so many stock message boards on Yahoo, this forum seems to exist for one reason: To provide a platform for the rarely-sensical views of rambling, offensive people. In Peet's case, the role of resident lunatic is played by wakemnshakem1. Wakem's foil is played by the rather obsessive OZ___________.

Together, these two forces of nature create real-life black comedy of the kind you rarely see. Wakemnshakem1 is clearly not playing with a full deck (at least when he's behind the comfortable cloak of online anonymity), and OZ___________ has the need and the time to dignify wakem's posts with responses. If I were a more dedicated blogger, I'd cut and paste some examples here, but you'll just have to go to the board to experience the beauty of their ongoing conversations.

Archfriends

...and so the veiled battle between Saudi Arabia and the United States takes a turn for the worse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Price of Leadership

Superb Manager = $140 million in compensation? At some point, business people started focusing only on the managing and forgot about the actual doing. What would the NYSE look like under poor management? Would it ultimately cost the exchange more than $140 million? I doubt it.

During the bubble, E*Trade ran a telling billboard advertisement: If your boss could pay you less, he would. Without a view into otherwise sealed corporate books, no worker has an idea if he or she is getting a fair shake. Alas, my utopian hope for this working world is that our pay will continually become more in line with the value we create for our companies, not in line with the non-economic expectations we have about a hazy appropriateness.

What I Did During My Summer Vacation

College freshman creates fusion reactor while all his friends were busy using Kazaa.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Credit Card Prank

Although humor + personal finances = A Dangerous Concoction (usually), the Credit Card Prank is hilarious.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Sad Demise of Women's Soccer

At least when I first visited this page, I saw a banner ad touting the Top 99 Most Desirable Women next to an article noting the sad demise of professional women's soccer.

More than a little apropos? Just as top-flight male sport is supported by an odd menagerie (Jocks, Die-hard Zealots, Civic Endorsers, Corporate Perkers), top flight women's athletics are boosted by a strange syndicate of Social Liberals, Female Athletes, Gentler Men, Lecherous Men, and Lesbians. All my stereotyping aside, it's sad to see a professional league disappear. In these days of estrangement, professional sports provide positive enforcement of the geographic partisanship that makes us ...well, us. San Jose will be a little less San Jose without its CyberRays.

Sounds Like Someone Had a Bad Experience

C'mon. Arnold's a nice guy, he just has a real beef with gay prostitution.

Why Space?

In a day where US citizens don't bat an eye when asked to pay $90 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, it frustrates me that Americans perpetually question the advancement of space sciences. Space.com provides 10 compelling reasons why we need to continue space exploration (manned or otherwise).

Freeatures

Blogger just made a bunch of features available for free. Fantastic. Now if they'd just make premium features (like traffic monitoring and commenting) available for free, I'd know if anyone came to look at this page!

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Friday, September 12, 2003

Counterfeiter Holds Bush in High Regard

Think future Americans will think Bush worthy of a bill of his own? Hell, we put President Grant on the $50 bill...

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Global Rich List

According to the Global Rich List, I'm the 46,777,565 richest person in the world.

Is It Plagarism to Copy Yourself?

At least for this article, Lars Anderson only plagarizes himself.

You've Got to Say it in a Menacing Way

I guess I'm never surprised when violence intrudes into the world of rap. I'm always surprised when a grown man is referred to as Fiddy.

Freedom

Since last 9/11, I've thought a lot about freedom. Our freedom was identified as the thing which the terrorists (which I believe Bush pronounces "terse," by the way) would destroy. Iraqi freedom was the false mantle Bush would occasionally roll out as a humanitarian reason for the recent war. Though life in the country lingers somewhere near Coppola's wildest war dreams, it appears that some kind of freedom has found Iraq. Now they discover that sometimes freedom is just being a freak without getting locked up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

My Dad's Middle Name is A. Yep, just A.

Guilty or not, you've got to feel bad for Kobe Bryant.
Don't feel bad because privacy does not exist for the famous, or because well-covered scrapes with the law are tried in the media.
Feel bad for him because his middle name is Bean.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Weird Science

Ok. Embryonic tissue creating entirely new little rat organs in rats? That's officially strange.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Rumsie and Britney Stand United

Rumsfeld and Britney are uniting to form a no-Bush-criticism front. Darn those troublemakers with their lefty idears!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Google Calculator

Dude. Google has a built in calculator. That's awesome.
Fun to play with and easy to break.
The speed of light*10^299 has an answer, but
the speed of light*10^300 does not.

You Can Take the Girl Out of Louisiana

If there's one thing that The Greatest Living Artist stands for, it's giving a good show.
If there are two things that The Greatest Living Artist stands for, it's giving a good show and not questioning authority.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Speaking Without Saying

Arnold just has nothing to say. Really. Read the article and let me know one thing of substance that he says.

Breaking the Male Monopoly on Random Violence

Some people must wake up in the morning and say, "Hey. I'm part of the problem."

Monday, September 01, 2003

Happy Labor Day

Labor day always puts me in a reflective mood, a day-long meditation on the place of American workers and American work in a world of people trying to make a living.

So, here's to the thousands of people working on Labor Day, those people who probably most need a day of paid leave.