Thursday, September 22, 2005

[free] Martha Stewart Kids: Clip Art- Notebook Labels

Too cute!

Make a set with just a couple of tools—a computer and an ink-jet
printer (or color copier)—plus some basic stationery supplies. Print
lots of stickers at once so children can continue to use them
throughout the school year—and share with a few lucky friends, too.
After decorating school supplies, use extra stickers on notes,
journals, or pads.

Click to download the Marc Boutavant designed stickers for free.

Martha Stewart Renounces Fur, Hosts PETA Video Exposé

“I used to wear real fur,” says Martha Stewart in her new video for PETA, “but, like many others, I had a change of heart when I learned what actually happens to the animals.”


Martha’s public turnaround on fur began this spring, when she responded from jail to a letter from PETA Vice President Dan Mathews, explaining that the fur she famously wore the day of her sentencing was fake. Martha credits her vegetarian daughter, Alexis, who costars in her new show, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, with making her aware of animal issues.

Martha’s online testimony is designed to be e-mailed to family or friends who may still wear fur, as well as to celebrities, stylists, fashion editors, and other Martha Stewart fans. “So much violence in the world seems beyond our control,” says Martha, “but this is one cruelty we can stop by being informed consumers.”
Can You Help?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

[free] Dumb Silly Fun

Ogle his sister:

(Flash-based game)

[NRDC] A Plea for the Arctic Refuge by T.A. Barron

by T. A. Barron

The world would be far poorer, Aldo Leopold famously observed, "without a blank spot on the map." Yet it wasn't long ago that U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski from Alaska stood in the Senate chamber and declared indignantly that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was no more remarkable than a blank piece of paper.

What, really, is a blank spot on the map? What is its value? These questions are difficult to answer -- especially for a money-driven, mechanized society such as ours.

A blank spot, despite its lack of attention from mapmakers, is not empty. While it is devoid of cities, villages, roads, and monuments (as well as drill rigs, trash heaps, billboards, and wrecked vehicles) -- it may be full of other attractions. Such as scenic wonder. Or silence. Or wildlife in grand abundance.

And something else, as well. A blank spot on the map often contains precious opportunities for people to explore their outer world -- and their inner selves. For a blank spot implies no limits. It is a place of endless reach -- for the sunlit horizon, as well as for the human spirit.

No place on our planet is more richly, wondrously blank than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Within its nearly twenty million acres of terrain lies the last stretch of protected coastline in Alaska, as well as the coastal plain -- the fragile tundra wetland that is America's premier birthing ground for arctic wildlife. Caribou migrate over 1,000 miles round trip every year to reach this place; migratory birds from every corner of the country seek refuge here.

This is the place that George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their supporters in the energy industry want to invade and cover with roads, drilling pads, and heavy machinery. To fill in the map. To darken one of the most pristine spots on Earth.

If they do succeed -- on the spurious claim that our nation absolutely must suck out whatever oil lurks beneath this land (even though the most inflated estimates show the Refuge providing only a tiny fraction of America's needs, and only delivering that a decade from now) -- they will, indeed, darken this spot. With the inevitable oil spills on the tundra. With the bodies of dead caribou calves. And, worst of all, with the shadows of a lost opportunity to protect a place that is truly sacred -- and wondrously blank.

. . .

Please take action in defense of the Arctic Refuge at

Thank you.

Frances Beinecke
NRDC Action Fund

Art From AppleSoft

Jed's Other Poem
(Beautiful Ground)

An unsolicited music video for the band Grandaddy and their song of the same name off of the album The Sophtware Slump.

Bush Administration Diverts Law Enforcement Resources to Fight Porn

From Dan Gilmor's blog comes this:

Washington Post: Recruits Sought for Porn Squad.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at (FBI) headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must notneed any more resources for espionage."

But hey, they have to placate the right-wing base of the party. (Of course, given the size of the pornography market, millions of Bush voters are surely among the industry's customers.)

This isn't about child porn, which is a disgusting and evil crime and deserves punishment. As the Post story notes, what bothers the attorney general and his boss is material produced with consenting adults and sold to adults.

(Can this all be to position Gonzales as the O'Connor replacement on the Supreme Court - a tough stance on porn being an attempt to endear him to the conservatives?)

Free Admission to San Jose's Tech Museum

Microsoft celebrates its 30th anniversary by springing for free admission to one and all Saturday, September 24th at the Tech Museum of Innovation. Bill Gates isn't expected to be there, but assorted execs from Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus will.

The Tech Museum of Innovation is at 201 South Market Street. Info at (408)294-TECH or

Former Google Chef's Organic Vision

From the NYTimes

(Charlie Ayers has a bold) vision for his new
restaurant, called Calafia (based on a Mexican myth
from which the state of California draws its name). He
said his inspiration came in equal parts from Whole
Foods, McDonald's and Starbucks. He is looking for
about 8,000 square feet of space in high-priced
downtown Palo Alto, where other restaurants include
Wolfgang Puck's Spago and the Cheesecake Factory.

Ayers has worked at expensive restaurants and
middle-brow chains, cooked privately for families and
ran the prepared foods department at a Whole Foods

He has invested $100,000 of his own money for start-up
costs, and expects to raise $4 million from some
former Google employees and private equity investment

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Answer, Finally

"1095 West El Camino Real Sunnyvale"

Go Ags!

GoAgs, originally uploaded by idogcow.

Free tickets are not as good looking as the season tickets but a win is a win.

24September 2005: Aggies 20 Cardinal 17

Couple of months ago faculty and staff at Stanford were mailed vouchers for free tickets to Cardinal Athletics events including the now famous Davis/Stanford football game.

We thought we arrived nice and early for the kickoff but due to the long lines at the ticket office we ended up missing pre-game and the entire first quarter. We were in good company with the many others in their blue and gold (as were we) & finally got our General Admission tickets and entered the stadium to what looked and sounded like a 50-50 mix of Aggie and Cardinal fans.

We took our seats about 3/4th of the way up in the end zone and promptly watched more of the game on the stadium TV than 'live.' From our poor vantage point we could make out a few details of the Aggie half time show. ('JR' and a tree morphing into a fallen tree were some of the detail we could make out). Remainder of half time was taken up by fireworks and a 'salute to youth sports.' (Kids doing gymnastics, football and soccer across the field).

Sadly we had to leave by the end of the third to finish some Sunday afternoon party preparation but the cheering of the Aggie fans could be heard well outside the stadium and was quite tempting to return to our seats.

By luck we found a Davis/Sacramento AM station broadcasting the game, so as we headed down 101 we were kept on the edge of our seats as we listened through the static, worried that something crucial would happen just as we would go under an overpass.

Last minutes of the game came just as we pulled into our garage so there we sat in the dark hoping for best and then it did.

Why did I know this would happen if we left??? ;)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Who's Listening To You Type?

The Mercury News Posted on Fri, Sep. 16, 2005:


Li Zhuang, a graduate student in computer science at the University of California-Berkeley, came up with the idea of making audio recordings of keyboard strokes to see if words and phrases could be deciphered accurately.

Using a cheap microphone plugged into a laptop running generic speech recognition and spell-check software, Zhuang and her teammates were able to associate the sound of individual keys on a keyboard with specific letters and thus figure out what was being written with 96 percent accuracy.

Read more of Karl Schoenberger's report....

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Harper's: How a Faithful Nation Gets Jesus Wrong

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of theGospels.

Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the
Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture.

The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravitycauses apples to fly up.


America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior. That paradox—more important, perhaps, than the much touted ability of French women to stay thin on a diet of chocolate and cheese—illuminates thehollow at the core of our boastful, careening culture.

[mod] Push-button Phone Now Mobile

Upgrading of an old plastic push-button telphone to the cellular age...

Leaked: President Katrina Speech Talkers (9/15/05)

The talking points memo distributed to conservative pundits in anticipation of Bush's prime time speech this evening. It's like watching tomorrow's FOXNews telecast today!

*America and the Gulf Coast are recovering from one of the greatest natural disasters this country has ever faced.

*Tonight President Bush will talk about how there is some optimism that we can see as we move forward. We're going to build a better Gulf Coast, a better New Orleans and we'll work with local officials to make sure thathappens.

*This will be a massive funding effort at every level of government. We shouldn't just look at government - we're seeing private charities, and theAmerican people's enormous compassion.

*There were breakdowns of communication and planning at all levels of government - federal, state and local levels. It is very critical we learnwhy those breakdowns took place in the first place.

Many parts of this will be chalked up to the fact it was one of the worst storms our country has ever faced. But there were things in a post-9/11 world that our government at all levels should be doing better and President Bush more than anybody else wants to find out why it took placeand how it took place to make sure it doesn't happen again.


Read the rest.

Desperate? Look to the Tarot For Answers

A fun new book and deck of cards as well as a nice Flash-based web page.

See what the future holds for you or ABC's Desperate Housewives.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Letter to All Who Voted for George W. Bush from Michael Moore

To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:

On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?

How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose mainqualification was that he ran horse shows?

That's right. Horse shows.

I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the
fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

read the rest

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cheney Bonds With the Locals

While making an appearance in the hurricane ravaged Gulfport,
Mississippi area a resident walked by and said loud enough to get on
the CNN micrpohone:

"Get Fucked Mr. Cheney...Go Fuck yourself Mr. Cheney."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005



Snip from Reuters:

"We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," a [FEMA] spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to a Reuters inquiry. The Bush administration also has prevented the news media from photographing flag-draped caskets of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, which has sparked criticism that the government is trying to block images that put the war ina bad light.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gilligan's Island" Actor Bob Denver Dies at Age 70

"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Denver, the actor who played goofy island castaway Gilligan in the 1960s television show "Gilligan's Island," has died of complications from cancer treatments, a spokesman forthe actor said on Tuesday.

Denver, 70, died on Friday at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, his agent Mike Eisenstadt said.

Denver first gained stardom on another TV sitcom of the late 1950s and early 1960s, "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," in which he played beatnik Maynard G.Krebs.

Eisenstadt did not provide details of Denver's death other than to say that he had been in the hospital for cancer treatment. The actor's family did not want to disclose specifics about the type of cancer,Eisenstadt said.

Denver is survived by his wife Dreama, who was at his side when he died, and his four children."

Anne Rice Editorial in the NY Times

WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?

Do they take away with them an awareness that it has always been not
only a great white metropolis but also a great black city, a city where
African-Americans have come together again and again to form the
strongest African-American culture in the land?

The first literary magazine ever published in Louisiana was the work of black men, French-speaking poets and writers who brought together their work in three issues of a little book called L'Album Littéraire. That was in the 1840's, and by that time the city had a prosperous class of free black artisans, sculptors, businessmen, property owners, skilled
laborers in all fields. Thousands of slaves lived on their own in the city, too, making a living at various jobs, and sending home a few dollars to their owners in the country at the end of the month.

This is not to diminish the horror of the slave market in the middle of the famous St. Louis Hotel, or the injustice of the slave labor on plantations from one end of the state to the other. It is merely to say that it was never all "have or have not" in this strange and beautifulcity.

Later in the 19th century, as the Irish immigrants poured in by the thousands, filling the holds of ships that had emptied their cargoes of cotton in Liverpool, and as the German and Italian immigrants soon followed, a vital and complex culture emerged. Huge churches went up to serve the great faith of the city's European-born Catholics; convents and schools and orphanages were built for the newly arrived and the struggling; the city expanded in all directions with new neighborhoods of large, graceful houses, or areas of more humble cottages, even the smallest of which, with their floor-length shutters and deep-pitched roofs, possessed an undeniable Caribbean charm.

Through this all, black culture never declined in Louisiana. In fact, New Orleans became home to blacks in a way, perhaps, that few other American cities have ever been. Dillard University and Xavier University became two of the most outstanding black colleges in America; and once the battles of desegregation had been won, black New Orleanians entered all levels of life, building a visible middle class that is absent in far too many Western and Northern American cities tothis day.

The influence of blacks on the music of the city and the nation is too immense and too well known to be described. It was black musicians coming down to New Orleans for work who nicknamed the city "the Big Easy" because it was a place where they could always find a job. But it's not fair to the nature of New Orleans to think of jazz and theblues as the poor man's music, or the music of the oppressed.

Something else was going on in New Orleans. The living was good there. The clock ticked more slowly; people laughed more easily; peoplekissed; people loved; there was joy.

Which is why so many New Orleanians, black and white, never went north. They didn't want to leave a place where they felt at home in neighborhoods that dated back centuries; they didn't want to leave families whose rounds of weddings, births and funerals had become the
fabric of their lives. They didn't want to leave a city where tolerance had always been able to outweigh prejudice, where patience had always been able to outweigh rage. They didn't want to leave a place that was theirs.

And so New Orleans prospered, slowly, unevenly, but surely - home to
Protestants and Catholics, including the Irish parading through the old
neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day as they hand out cabbages and
potatoes and onions to the eager crowds; including the Italians, with
their lavish St. Joseph's altars spread out with cakes and cookies in
homes and restaurants and churches every March; including the uptown
traditionalists who seek to preserve the peace and beauty of the Garden
District; including the Germans with their clubs and traditions;
including the black population playing an ever increasing role in the
city's civic affairs.

Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done
what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what
"modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It
has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do
either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to
mind the end of Pompeii.

I share this history for a reason - and to answer questions that have
arisen these last few days. Almost as soon as the cameras began panning
over the rooftops, and the helicopters began chopping free those
trapped in their attics, a chorus of voices rose. "Why didn't they
leave?" people asked both on and off camera. "Why did they stay there
when they knew a storm was coming?" One reporter even asked me, "Why do
people live in such a place?"

Then as conditions became unbearable, the looters took to the streets.
Windows were smashed, jewelry snatched, stores broken open, water and
food and televisions carried out by fierce and uninhibited crowds.

Now the voices grew even louder. How could these thieves loot and
pillage in a time of such crisis? How could people shoot one another?
Because the faces of those drowning and the faces of those looting were
largely black faces, race came into the picture. What kind of people
are these, the people of New Orleans, who stay in a city about to be
flooded, and then turn on one another?

Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they
couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the
vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black
and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what
they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses
they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the
nearest Ramada Inn.

What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help
others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off
rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying
to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried
desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome,
while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.

And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New
Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone
will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.

And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov.
Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many
times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a
city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no
one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.

I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in
the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am.
Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love,
about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of
New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their

They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will
stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where
their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built
by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back
200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a
sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us.
You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You
want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and
our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny
minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and
turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most
exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part
of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.

He Learned Compassion at His Mother's Knee

Accompanying her husband, former President George H.W.Bush, on a tour
of hurricane relief centers in Houston, Barbara Bush said today,
referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated,
"This is working very well for them."

The former First Lady's remarks were aired this evening on National
Public Radio's Marketplace" program.

She was part of a group in Houston today at the Astrodome that included
her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her
son, the current president, to head fundraising efforts for the
recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama were also present.

In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the
Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I’ve talked to says
we're going to move to Houston."

Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all
want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were
underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is
working very well for them."

Published: September 05, 2005 7:25 PM ET updated 8:00 PM

Kate Bush Returns After 12 Years

Singer Kate Bush will release her first album in 12 years in November - a double album entitled Aerial. The album will be released in the UK on 7 November and in the US one day later.

It will follow a single, 'King of the Mountain', released on 24 October, with both the single and album produced by Bush herself.

The 47-year-old performer's last album, The Red Shoes, reached number two in the UK album chart in 1993.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stupid Hindsight

Dateline August 1st:

JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief

"There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America."
- Bill Clinton

Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of lives. Together, we're trying to raise $1 million and prove that the liberal blogosphere can and help our fellow citizens in need.

There is also the American Red Cross if you want to donate directly.
BBC: Apes 'extinct in a generation'

Some of the great apes - chimps, gorillas, and orangutans - could be extinct in the wild within a human generation, a new assessment concludes.

Human settlement, logging, mining and disease mean that orangutans in parts of Indonesia may lose half of their habitat within five years.

There are now more than 20,000 humans on the planet for every chimpanzee.

Read the whole thing and then go feel very sad.
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