Tuesday, August 23, 2005

His Contract Stipulates 1 Massively Kooky Statement Every 100 Days

Radical Christian Cleric Pat Robertson has called on the US to assassinate Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela.

With the list of Robertson's ridiculous public exploits currently at arm's length and growing, this one hardly merits any significant attention; however, since hundreds of thousands of Americans tune in to his show each week, it's important to highlight that blather that they're being regularly fed.

Source: CNN

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Et Tu, Mullah Omar?

I wonder how that whole Osama Bin Laden/Mullah Omar relationship is looking now, since it recently came to light that Mullah Omar talked to the US in 1998 about having Bin Laden assassinated.

Source: AP

Friday, August 19, 2005

Found On The Internets: Many of Them are Juvenile, Some of Them are Classic

When I lived in California, the occasional transplanted East Coaster would tell me that they missed the traditional seasons (California's seasons being Wet and Dry). Though I'd take California weather any day, I moved there from Nebraska, and I could relate with this complaint. For many, the typical four seasons mark the passage of time and help them set their internal annual clock.

For the websurfer, there are other recurrent ways by which the passage of time is noted. Blogs are archived monthly, as is the Best of Craigslist. The Onion usually comes out on Tuesday evening.

One weekly web phenomenon that I urge you to partake in is Photoshop Phridays at Something Awful. Each week, Something Awful has a theme that its various acolytes riff on to produce some subtly hilarious doctored images.

As the humorous impact of The Onion has being tempered slightly through years of steady appreciation, Something Awful's Photoshop Phridays are just about the only regular web experience that all but guarantees laugh-out-loud yuks.

Source: Something Awful

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What 3 Days of Law School Have Taught Me

I promise that this blog will not become a blow-by-blow of law school, but I feel obligated to share my Deep Legal Insights™, having sat through a total of 8 law school classes so far.

My Tale of Law School Learning
Week 1

  • DO NOT be a worker who is injured on the job in early 19th century England.
  • DO expect that your boiler, car, coach, or gun will probably explode.
  • When an idea is too unclear to express in English, use Latin. That'll clear things right up.
  • DO NOT swim across the Harlem River from Manhattan to the Bronx, then frolic in the water below some power lines owned by a railroad. Nothing good can come from this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Military Intelligence Examining Domestic Activities was Probably Illegal at the Time

News that Able Danger, a classified intelligence group had identified some future 9/11 attackers in 2000, and then was prevented from sharing this information with the FBI (NYT, registration may be required) is just heartbreaking.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Heroin + Cocaine = Speedball, but I'm Not Sure What You Call Cigarettes + Asbestos

During the summer between high school and college, I had to make a ton of money for school. I took two jobs that summer — by night I worked at the local Holiday Inn, by day I removed asbestos from a local junior high school.

Having briefly moonlighted as an asbestos-removel professional, asbestos comes to mind every so often. From time-to-time, I think of the 1950's, when asbestos was everywhere. Most disturbing to me is that Kent marketed Crocidolite Asbestos as "Micronite" in its filtered cigarettes, touting Micronite's health benefits in newspaper advertisements.

Now I Will Bore You With My Vacation Details

Speaking of European vacations, I've just returned from 2 weeks in Italy, and I'm only starting to mildly panic that my first year of law school starts in less than 48 hours.

The first part of our trip was split between Venice and Verona. The last half of the trip was spent in the Italian Dolomites.

Verona was nice, but compared with other Italian cities, I won't race to return. We saw Nabucco in Verona's Roman arena — a 30,000 seat venue in unbelievable shape for its great age.

Venice, though more a museum than a city, was a complete joy.

Venice is a Boy Scout's urban orienteering paradise. Other ancient cities may have the same number of alleys, but alleys are Venice's thoroughfares. Starting at the train station, getting anywhere in the city means negotiating cobblestone footpaths that vary in width from 6 to 60 feet.

Though the tourist-to-resident ratio in Venice is disturbingly high, I look forward to a return visit someday. That Venice was the most powerful city in the Western world for a time speaks to the myriad changes that we have taken place in the last 500 years.

The Dolomites
The Dolomites are a section of the Alps mountain range situated in far northwestern Italy, spread amongst a few provinces that are as Austrian as they are Italian.

Linguistically, the Dolomites were the most interesting place I've ever been. Though the province we were in, South Tyrol, is part of present-day Italy, it was annexed from Austria-Hungary after World War I. Thus, German is far-and-away the most dominant language in the regions. Signs are typically in Italian & German, with German being presented first.

Adding to the lovely complexity of tongues was Ladin, a language specific to the Dolomites that occasionally appeared on maps and other signage. Apparently, Ladin has only 30,000 speakers, so it was wonderful to encounter it.

The Dolomites are formed of gorgeous, broken limestone. Here's the Fanes Valley — if you squint at the larger version of the picture below, you may be able to make out Ücia Fanes, where we stayed during this leg of our trip.

Go to the Alps. Don't let your wife hang off the side of a mountain, as mine is in the picture below, but go to the Alps. You'll be glad you did.

Didn't One of Your Advisors Say Something About Introducing a Product in August? (Yes, yes he did.)

Just when you thought you were safe with President Bush on his European-Shop-Owner-length vacation, our Rancher-in-Chief has decided that now is a good time to publicly contemplate invading Iran.

Source: AP