August 31, 2005 | Updating

Previous Katrina link-sets are here and here .

The most-linked lists everywhere are full of relief agencies as bloggers are rallying for a massive blogathon tomorrow to raise money to help victims of Katrina.  N.Z. Bear provides some details and a registration page for those wishing to participate.  Here at we have links from Glenn , Eric , and a general page .

I've seen a few e-mails in our letters-to-the-editor mailbox from people offering to go down there to help.  FEMA advises against "self-dispatching."

Add to yesterday's list of missing persons resources the New Orleans Craigslist Lost and Found board.

Also, (understandably slow to load)


NASA before/after photos

Chuck Simmins tracking corporate donations

With Super Dome refugees headed to the Astro Dome, Blog Houston has become an important resource.  ( The largest sleepover in Texas)

N.O. Pundit has a bulletin board for locals to find each other.

The Map Room has some really neat items.  (I'm using the general link here because there are a few entries and a lot of links.)

Bill Hennessy helping put displaced people in touch with folks who have housing to offer.

And a few from the mailbag:

This is a link to SATERN the Salvation Army amateur ham radio network.  You fill out the form and they attempt to locate the people and get back to you!

Hope this helps many who are sick with worry.  I live in NC and may not be able to physically do anything but I needed to do SOMETHING!
Prayers for all,
Carol Watt, Woodland, NC

Hey Will,
About blacks being the looters, sometimes it's all in the wording.

See here.

—Chris M

Here is an interesting perspective.

A two part series on what could happen in a Cat.5 hurricane hit New Orleans.

This was recorded in 2002.

A new story from this week from the same reporter.


And the Sun Herald (which has Mississippi regional damage reports) is starting an " I'm OK" line.


Katrina Check-in looks like a good idea.  (UPDATE:  At 1000 requests/second, the host had to pull the plug.  I guess it was a good idea.)

Michele is gathering good news.  ( More)


Bill the PunditGuy points to the blog of a Katrina refugee.

Speaking of Slidell, The Slidell Hurricane Damage Blog

La Shawn Barber asks, "Is it my imagination, or are most of the looters black? Maybe only black looters are being photographed. Hmmm..."  Some of the Metafilter folks have made a similar observation.  La Shawn has a nice Katrina round-up here.

While at Metafilter I also clicked this interesting item about a parallel in history.

What criteria would you use to determine whether New Orleans is " destroyed?"

Another local media outlet: Bayou Buzz

My Doppler is bigger than your Doppler  (The "two million" is derrived from the million watts used to power it and the fact that they're channel 2.)

Video(s) of the Day can be found in this collection of hurricane studies.

Official: Prisoners Riot, Take Hostages in New Orleans  UPDATE:  This may not be true, could not be confirmed.

If fund-raising was the number one theme of links overnight, global warming I-told-you-sos were number two:

Speaking of fingerpointing, the " what if" questions are going to be hard to avoid.

What else I clicked...

"Physicists in Germany have created a material that is harder than diamond."  Known as aggregated diamond nanorods.  But does it bling?

The Boston Marathon Night Shift — Nice story about a guy who runs the Boston marathon every year after it's over.

Passionate Internet users develop online addiction as they try to escape from reality — Of course, you have to consider the source, but this is a weird article.  "The problem of the pathological use of the Internet and the Internet-dependence appeared in Europe and in America at the end of the 1980s."

File-sharers move from BitTorrent — and the game moves to eDonkey.

Speaking of online media, y'know what's going to go a long way toward pushing Americans away from the TV to new media?  The FCC's crackdown on cable.

Speaking of cable, Rome — Did you catch this on HBO last weekend?  My biggest criticism:  too British.  Shouldn't Romans act a little more Italian?  I kept waiting for Hugh Grant to stroll through.

" Mr. Strickland is no longer with us. He passed away yesterday. Pleased send your prayers to his parents and brother. We love you and you are dearly missed."  He died serving in Iraq.  It's jarring how abruptly the blog simply stops.

Speaking of deaths in Iraq, commemorative quilters are having a hard time keeping up.

Speaking of Iraq, they're going through all kinds of constitutional machinations while America's eyes are on the Gulf.  The Arab League has some issues, but the Iraqi people seem pleased.

Venezuela to sell cut-price heating oil to U.S. poor — Provided Pat Robertson doesn't start a war with them first.

Speaking of Christian jokes, Joke is on religion as Christians laugh at themselves — "The contest was started to highlight potential problems with the Government’s new religious hatred legislation."  They're talking about this site.

Time To Go Solar?  — The tax breaks are mounting.  Think they'd let me hang a solar panel out my apartment window?

Erupting volcano cake (with video)

Rating rock stars as artists

Here's some quality speculation about the answer to a major question in Harry Potter Book 6.  This is a potential Book 7 spoiler.  You read that right?  Potentially ruinous spoiler for Book 7, the last book, the one that's not out yet.  Ok, here it is.

Online games are written by humans — Using timing to beat the computer.

Looks like the Camp Casey summer drama is over

Plastic:  The perfect album — A perfect album is one on which every song is good, no filler.


"bomb" as art in 1996

When I read about the suitcase bomb as "art", I remembered the above incident which happened in Seattle in 1996.  Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose, eh?  And poor Mr. Hackett, I'm sure he thought he was being oh-so-original.

August 30, 2005 | Updating

Many of the links mentioned yesterday continue to update with good information.  Rather than making that entry too long to read, I'll start the entries of the next few days with new Katrina links I've clicked.  I appreciate any you feel are worth pointing out that I may have missed.


From The Advocate:

Our friends at have a great forum to find friends and family in the New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish areas. Go to their Web site at and scroll to the bottom of the page. You can view and post messages by area there.

Also here for neighborhood updates.

WWLTV has Mississippi county message boards here and here.


This " before" picture has an "after" pairing in the video of the helicopter tour from WLBT. (12:00 mark)

SciGuy continues to be a good source of updates.

Bobbysan stuck it out through the storm but may have to leave anyway since there may be no electricity for two months.

Gulfsails posts photos from the River Ridge area of New Orleans and again highlights the number of people seeking information about specific districts beyond the few being covered in the media.

The effort to stay in place described by The Interdictor sounds positively survivalist.  He's got a live video stream going and some photos.


Big Jim in Biloxi decided to ride out the storm.  Find the updates in the comments of the most recent post.  Perhaps most significant is the one that mentions an effort under way to create a wiki or some collective site to help aggregate information.  Like the mail I posted from Wally yesterday, a lot of people are writing in about specific neighborhoods, and to my knowledge there is not yet a central damage database.  The cable folks just ran a feed of a helicopter neighborhood tour by WLBT.  Hopefully reports like that can be collected into a bigger picture.

Meanwhile, just a few hours ago the folks at The Times-Picayune had to evacuate because of rising waters.  So even if there was a database, the situation appears to be changing so much that it's not clear how long the information would stay relevant.

This blogger is trying to find info on his mother-in-law who rode out the storm at a nursing home.  (Via one of Poliblogger's Katrina updates)  (I won't say out loud what photos of missing persons reminds me of.)

Related: Now Public starting a missing persons board.

Speaking of helping to spread information, Amateur Radio Nets Active as Katrina Comes Ashore

I think I missed the Eyes on Katrina blog in yesterday's round-up.

Louisiana Web cams - There are a remarkable number of Web cams in that part of the Gulf Coast, but clicking through yesterday, pretty much everything was down, without power.  Having the links in one spot is a good way of checking up occasionally to see what's restored.

Speaking of images, here's the amazing " from space" shot you knew was coming.

Criticism of the media's treatment of the storm has prompted several coverage-of-the-coverage blog posts.  It seems like everyone has at least one "those bastards in the media" headline.  I pointed to a couple yesterday, but the coinage of " hurricane porn" will probably be around for a while.

Speaking of the media embarrassing itself, today's Video of the Day has to be this CNN weatherman loses his cool while covering Hurricane Katrina...  ( Alternate)  I can't say I've never shouted "let him talk" at the screen while watching cable news, so I don't judge him too harshly.

Not to be outdone, and probably related to the public distaste for hurricane porn, Fox News had it's own " live TV moment."  (Note F-bomb dropped.)

What else I clicked:

Glenn rounds up links on " homesourcing."  What strikes me as interesting about this trend is that the peak oil folks like to talk about the death of the exurbs because expensive gas will spell the demise of long commutes.  The general assumption is that people will move to the cities.  Clearly telecommuting would also be part of the equation.

What's the deal with tipping?

" This page comprises a list of 736 "essentialist explanations" of the form "Language X is essentially language Y under conditions Z"."

"The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft captured several stunning images of Earth during a gravity assist swingby of its home planet on Aug. 2, 2005."  Video of what it's like to look out the window as you drive past Earth.

Commuter Click:  Reinventing Radio: On Phonetags...

Patterns to assemble paper fish

Blogspot: More Spam Than Anything Else — As wonderful as Google's free blogware is, it's abuse is becoming a burden to Google and the Web itself.

World's first photo

"Efforts to conceal the identities of musicians auditioning for spots in symphony orchestras significantly boost the chances of women to succeed."  I wonder what this means in terms of how the audience hears an orchestra.

Index of Saturday Morning cartoon themes

"When FBI supervisors in Miami met with new interim U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta last month, they wondered what the top enforcement priority for Acosta and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would be."  With an intro like that, you know you're being set up for a fall.

Moral strength versus material strength

The zombie flash mob trend appears to be catching on.  You'll recall another we linked to back in July.

How long will I live?

Could you pass 8th grade math?

'Miracle mouse' can grow back lost limbs

You can use the f-word in class (but only five times)

Domestic robot to debut in Japan ( obvious)

HOWTO extract video from Yahooligans

Why The Elite Blogs Are The Elites?

This girl does the butterfly knife wielding we all pretend we know how to do.

New season of Red v. Blue starts today.

Some Flickr users are planning a bit of activism to send Flickr the message that they don't like how Yahoo is rubbing off on them.

Coffee does the body good

August 29, 2005 | Updating   (Regular Clicked continuing below.)

The amount of coverage of Hurricane Katrina is completely overwhelming.  On this site alone there's enough constantly updating material to take you all day to get through.  But in the sprit of What I Clicked, this is what else is out there.  I'll continue to update this list but also scroll down to the round-up list where folks are bloggers are engaged in gathering and organizing links.

Local media

In the path


Tag sites

Round ups

Saw it coming



August 30, 2005 | 12:20 PM ET

Before delving into the new day's Katrina links, here's what else I clicked.

To keep my headline writing limber, this one would have been:

Keep your comments to yourself
Plus...  I've heard of camera flashes but...

Blogger sued over comments left on Blog ( this one).  The question of a blogger's responsibility for the statements made by others in the comments section has come up before in an ethical context, but as far as I know, this is a first as a legal matter.  But hey, isn't anything anyone writes covered under "free speech?"  Scoble points out, not so much.

Speaking of The Blog Herald, The demise of the geek bloggers — This is a really interesting look at the changing nature of the blogosphere since the late '90s.  It's a long post, but good stuff.

Speaking of geek bloggers, contrary to the thesis above, this blog entry points to an essay that makes the point that Web geeks have created a new layer of society unto themselves.  There are the geeks who write the Web, the rest of us who just click stuff, and then a whole other bunch of people who somehow manage to make it through every day without staring for hours on end at a little glowing screen (weirdoes).  That's over simplifying, of course, but I think this topic is both interesting and important.

Speaking of geek bloggers, since they're all linking to this comic, if you get it, you may be one (a geek blogger, not a comic).

Come from the Korean creativity — They put little faces on things, but it's well done.

Super Mario TV?

Peak oil discussion group — I couldn't get onto this site all day.  I'm guessing their discussion of the Katrina-driven oil price jump drew some heavy traffic.

Mtv saw heavy linkage for the variety of online offerings in connection with their music awards.

Recording industry versus the people — Keeps the light of day shining on major label efforts to intimidate regular people about music downloading.

Geek Overcomes Social Anxiety By Turning Life into RPG — This is pretty clearly a parody, but I don't see why it has to be.

Become a Photoshop expert

The Beauty of Deceit — An essay on co-evolution.  I surprised myself by reading to the end of it without realizing it.

Flickr Sudoku

Why Non-profits Should Blog

Speaking of reasons to have a blog, how about if you're misquoted in the New York Times and want to rebut the reporter?

GM will launch self-driving car in 2008

Is my blog burning? #18  (This loads funky for me.  I have to scroll way down to find the text.)

Last week, the New York City blog community chuckled at the cell phone camera justice one woman waged against a subway flasher.  Her photo of the guy made it all the way to the Daily News.  Today I clicked yet another cam-snapped flasher.  The photo makes him look like the Crypt Keeper, but the lesson is clear:  flashers, find a new hobby.

Mailbag!  Mailbag!

have you any information on the loungevue condos @ 212 w. beach blvd in long beach? it is right next to the taco bell
I pray everyone is safe.
Thanks Wally

Dear Wally,
I don't have any idea, but I'll put your letter up here and if someone reads it and knows the answer I'll pass it on to you.
Good luck,

Hi Will,
I love your blog.  I find out a lot of good stuff through you.
Please pass the word about Blog Day 2005 which is this Wednesday, August 31.
Feel free to put in a plug for my blog, Doggiewoggie – All About Dogs too!
Pat Doyle

Dear Pat,
I mentioned Blog Day a little while ago but the site was crashed so I had to link to something else.  Thanks for the reminder.

Hey Will,
Love your site!  I found this amusing even though I'm not a cat owner.

Dear Michelle,
I think we've seen that one before here, but I'll see your stuff-on-cat and raise you Cats in Sinks!

August 29, 2005 | 8:42 PM ET

Purely postal

I let the mail get away from me a little last week.  Sorry I don't have time to write responses to these, but I didn't want to let them slip away.

Speaking of Televisions to buy, check out this display that has two different images on the same screen. A person sitting on the left side can view a completely different show from the person sitting on the right.

OK, the space elevator is actually quite simple.

We have 'geosynchronous' satellites in orbit all over the place. The GPS system is built with geosynchronous units, or satellites that are fixed in place above the earth.

So, the space elevator theory is just like taking a platform and putting it in a geosynchronous orbit and lowering a rope. Now, the rope must be pretty amazing to put up with the exposure up there... but, basically, you are just placing a rope in between two stationary objects. Much like the rope hanging from the treehouse, but much longer.

So, the concept of building a really tall tower to space is really way off.
It's much more simple than that.

I always thought that Bat-gizmo that shot a grapple up onto a building and then pulled Batman up was one of the more unrealistic things about Batman. Well, according to New Scientist, I may be wrong.

As I mentioned on my blog, I'm not sure how much I'd trust the grapple or harpoon, but still, it does sound fun. A 3-story building would take about 9 seconds to ascend! (3 meters per story, 1 sec. per meter). You could make an amusement park ride out of it!
—Rob of UnSpace

Hi Will,
Love you site, thought you might like this.

Hi Will.  I love Clicked.  I like to use it as a filter so I can skip all the crap and just go right to all the good stuff out there.  So thanks for that! That being said, I would like to share a link with you and my fellow readers.  I heard about this guy on NPR and I am totally digging the idea of living in a 70 square foot house. (Plus it's the only kind I can afford.)

What’s even scarier about the bomb as art is this link where they say the artist “hurt” himself while making “something.”

Is this really someone we want holding the cell phone that can discharge this “art”?
—Amanda Burzynski

Okay. I was goofing off over lunch. Whatever.

However, this got me to laugh.

This article caught my attention and why some people need to get a shock treatment to make them realize the truth.

Speaking of truth, you might want to see this for sound bites that people remember.

This should be played over and over for lawyers, politicians and some media people in order to make them face reality.

Here is some information on the record of high altitude jumps.  Whether the one on your post on the 25th was manned or not, this might be interesting.
Thanks for all the hard work.
—Darren Mullenix

Your link to Engadget 1985 was amazing. I was born 20 years ago in '85 and had no idea what also came out the same year. I remember back in kindergarten we had a lab of about a dozen Apple 2's that were used to play math games. Thanks for showing me the things from 5 years earlier that I've never seen.

August 26, 2005 | 8:42 PM ET

Why are people linking to a bunch of German guys in their underwear?  Tracing the links through Technorati and a brief stop at Boing Boing brought me to this critique of the Dove "real women" ad.  Though I suppose I realized it on some level, I had pretty much bought into the idea that these were real women in the campaign.  The essay points out that clear skin, thick lustrous hair, bright smiles and good muscle tone is still not "real women."  The essay points out that the whole curves craze seems like it's supposed to be code for something.  Is it about fat acceptance?  Is it a racial cue?  (Note, the link in the essay about the defaced posters contains some vulgarity (text) that made me not link to it when it was going around last month.)

Speaking of bodies, did you know Carrot Top was a beefcake?  Safe for work, but not really safe for lunch.  Kinda gross.

My Son Has Been Injured — I am always struck by the power of these personal accounts of the war.  The more detailed description from this soldier's mother is here.

Speaking of Iraq in the first person, a quick e-mail:

The biggest blog story today; Pulitzer-level stuff.
-- Michael B. Openshaw

Dear Michael,
I link to Michael Yon regularly here and I'll gladly do it again.  Note to readers, there are some graphic (bloody) photos associated with this piece.

I know we looked at a few links on the Iraqi constitution this week, but this blog entry has also been influential in the online argument over just how much power Islam has been given in the new government.

The flying spaghetti monster phenomenon grows with a new logo and a parody song (that has been stuck in my head all day).

Speaking of the evolution debate, a promising aspect of this story is the increased criticism of the media's use of false dichotomy.  Evolution and Intelligent Design are not "opposites."  When I worked as a TV guest booker (for a different cable network), the first question from producers in response to any story pitch was, "What's the other side?"  But just because the TV folks like the split screen and we have two political parties who like to keep the country divided in an effort to consolidate their power doesn't mean the "two sides" paradigm is actually appropriate in all (or even most) cases.

Teaching Turing — I few of the big tag sites featured this simple tutorial.  If you've never heard of a Turing Machine, read the Wikipedia definition first so you know what you're learning.  What you get for your trouble is a better understanding of the underpinnings of computer programming.  (And by the way, doesn't it remind you of that Cow Run game?)

How PayPal identity theft phishing works.  (Flash video starts automatically when the page loads.  Volume check.)

A Pencil blog

Mars dust devils

The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

Google's Stock Sale Mystery Is Simply Solved: There Are Buyers — Everyone's been in a tizzy trying to guess what Google is wanting to buy with the $4 billion in stock they're unloading.  The answer may be that they just want to sell the stock while it's high.

For those of you who are just getting around to watching the Tivo-ed Six Feet Under from last Sunday, the obits for the main characters are on the HBO site.

Octopus pulp — For folks who are still considering a nice back tattoo in the wake of the shark-eating-octopus video a couple weeks ago.

Is urban cycling bad for your heart?  This writer clearly enjoyed the irony of there being some harm in doing something healthy, but the real lead of the story is farther down:  "[T]he situation for car drivers is even worse."

"If you want to know what London was like in 1905, come to Washington in 2005."

Your social life will never be the same, thanks to a digital service called Dodgeball — A good description of the service.  I'm not sure I know enough people to make good use of it, but I can see how it would be a good idea to coordinate a large group of friends without a lot of "I don't know, where do you want to go?"

What I find especially ironic about Fox News reading the address of a terrorist only to be wrong about it is that recently there was a fuss about Sean Hannity having to change his home phone number because an indie band used it in a song.  So you'd think they'd be sensitive to that kind of thing.

How to Save the Web from Splogonoma — A promising headline, but no easy answers here.

Speaking of people working together online, Commuter Click: Online Communities: Design, Theory, and Practice

How to Buy a Flat-Screen TV — I once shared a car ride with Gary Krakow (his box is on the bottom left) our tech reviewer and he explained to me the finer points of how TVs are all different from each other and which ones are better.  By the end of the ride my brain was mush and I decided to only watch campfire shadows flicker on cave walls from that point on.  It's amazing how much leg work is required to purchase something to sit in front of.

I watched a video last night that someone had made of their own video game playing.  That seems to be a popular thing to do, but I'm still not sure how to appreciate it.  The video credited a DJ with the soundtrack and when I Googled him I ended up at Mix Street.

Video of the Day: Office moth

August 25, 2005 | 2:17 PM ET

Christopher Allbritton is a freelance blogging journalist in Iraq.  He writes today about tensions within the country.  It's amazing how these practicalities contrast with the big ideals usually associated with what's going on there.

Speaking of the big ideals, The Anchoress wonders why the global freedom movement seems to have lost some of the wind in its sails.

Speaking of freedom, remember the Pakistani woman who was gang raped?  Gateway Pundit relays the news that two women won in recent elections in that village.

Speaking of the rights of women, Billmon assembles some contrasting news highlights regarding Safia al-Souhail, the Iraqi woman who sat next to Laura Bush during the State of the Union address.  Apparently she's not pleased with the role of Islam in the new Iraqi constitution.

Speaking of helping women stand up, the P-Mate will do just that.  (Remarkably Safe For Work except the "when to use" page.)

One more on Iraq... Iraq Versus Vietnam: A Comparison of Public Opinion — "Americans have become negative about the war in Iraq more quickly than they did for the Vietnam War."

The Utah rave raid story continues with the formation of the Music Versus Guns site by the rave's organizers.  The media page includes some night vision helicopter footage that's pretty cool.

Laser guided wrist rocket (slingshot).  Note:  Automatically plays the Peanuts theme music for some reason.

I'm guessing this link has been elevated by fans of Cindy Sheehan, though I don't expect that particular song to be very impactful.  Still, I'd never seen SoundClick before.  It's a free radio station of signed and unsigned bands.  I'm listening to the rock channel right now.  It's a mixed bag quality-wise, but I really like the idea.

Video of the Day:  What is it like to fall from the edge of space?  Here's the Digg thread on it, which says it's a man jumping, but looking at the host site, I don't think those are manned flights.

The new iArm — I like that it's a "body upgrade," as though you'd cut off a perfectly good arm so that you could upgrade to a better one.

China won't have the problem of gamers playing themselves to death .  I suppose this is their response to gaming fanaticism in the news recently.

Jane Galt has further thoughts on the shortcomings of the jury system in dealing with technically complicated cases.

A short story writer assesses whether the new Amazon Shorts program is worth it to authors.  This is a little long, but a worthy read if writing is how you make (or want to make) money.

" I Dare Google & Yahoo To Report On Relevancy"

It's hard to imagine that something with as devoted an online following as Joss Whedon's Serenity would need an online viral marketing campaign, but this video is apparently just that and has sparked the launch of the Session 416 site which has gathered other pieces of the viral puzzle here.  I mention this because I hate running into bits and pieces of a viral campaign and not knowing what's going on (which is actually probably the point of viral marketing), so in case you're doing the same, there it is.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the PubSub link ranks work for this blog.  Sometimes I look at a fast riser and can't figure out why.  Other times I can guess.  Is the increase in popularity of the Iowa Chicks Knitting blog because of the call for help on a new preemie charity project?

The bad idea behind our failed health-care system.  ("By Malcolm Gladwell" oh, in that case, I'd better click it.)

How to Appear Smart About Wine — Basically, use a cheat sheet.

Asians and North Americans see differently — Cultural differences translate to differences in eye movement.

Google talk has been out a day and folks are already finding alternative uses.  In this case, you can broadcast audio from your computer to another person.

Speaking of audio over Google Talk, a lot of people seem to think that the voice feature is the real news of this new product launch.  The expectations seem to be that Google will turn this into an Internet phone service.  I clicked this review to learn that they have a little ways to go yet.

Trackback is (still) dead.  As this blogger through his links, and the commenters point out, the utility of trackbacks given their vulnerability to spam has been debated for a while and yet it persists.

10 real PC games you can download for free  That sounds like a spam tag line but this includes explanations of why they're free — usually because they're early versions of now popular non-free games.

Speaking of free games, this slot car racing game made me go to bed late last night.

Commuter Click: Can Extreme Poverty Be Eliminated? — That was the idea behind Live 8, right?  But those were rock stars.

Another piece from the new Scientific American that's seeing a lot of link action is this one about humanity standing at a fork in the road.  I've had my fill of "we're on the brink of destroying ourselves" stories this week though.

Guy turns himself into cat.  I wonder how a face like that will age.  (On his site he has whiskers too.)

The new Tangled Bank round-up of science bloggers is up.

Speaking of science bloggers, NYTimes writer Kenneth Chang responds to his critics about his coverage of Intelligent Design.  (Found via this blog post.)

Web nostalgia has been popular this week.  This copy of Engadget from 1985 has been spreading around, and last night I clicked this coverage of the release of Windows 95.

Quick mail item:

re: 8/19 post regarding trekkie/pedophile connection, see interesting follow-ups:

A Fan

Dear Fan,
Thanks very much for these links.  Having received some angry mail for so much as linking to that Huffington Post entry, I'm pleased to be able to set the matter straight.  For good measure I'll point out these further links here and here.

August 24, 2005 | 11:32 AM ET

Taking the blogosphere by storm is the new Google Instant Messenger .  Find it here.  Last night everyone was busy getting a jump on the official launch and posting screen grabs and reviews and rumors.

Until I get some people to actually talk to on it for a while, my early impressions are that, like other things Google, it's clean and simple.  Even though the whole world is probably downloading it right now, it took me about two seconds to install.

To be honest, while I understand that this is big news, I'm more interested in their new translation services (Yes, Babelfish looking).  And they're doing what should have been done so long ago, getting people to help write the translation programs.

(I'm probably overstepping by saying "should have been done."  I'm aware that there are active linguabloggers and also an active translator community.)

Speaking of translators, regular text to binary.

Speaking of different languages, Blog Day is coming.  UPDATE:  That link is a little laggy, probably because of an increase in traffic as the day approaches.  Thankfully I was able to find this explanation.

The Utah rave story we looked at yesterday is making more noise than I would have thought.  This Wikinews story does a good job of summarizing things so far.  Most folks seem to have abandoned the idea that the raid was somehow part of concerns about anti-Bush protests, which leaves the question of "why" still floating out there.  Regarding the police heavy-handedness issues, take note:  In case you haven't realized already by watching "Cops" or witnessing protest arrests, the police don't play.  They don't "half-way" and they don't negotiate.  While I totally agree that machine gun strapped soldiers seems excessive to chase a bunch of kids out of a field, from a cop's perspective (so I've been told by cop friends), the number of things that can go wrong and ruin your life forever are so many that no amount of risk is worth it.  We'll see how the legalities of this case play out, but as a matter of practicality, be careful with police.

Related mail:

Hey Will,
About that Rave in Utah... There is video.
- Jim

Dear, Jim,
Thanks!  Every other video link I clicked was trickle-slow.  The apparent bewilderment and general lack of malice by the ravers is what makes this particularly outrageous I think.

In the collection of anticipations about the John Roberts Supreme Court hearings, add " race problem" to the list.

Robert Mayer explains why the Islamic elements of the Iraqi constitution are being blown out of proportion.

Speaking of the Iraqi constitution, Fred Kaplan explains why their process is not well compared to ours.

Patrick Ruffini is conducting a straw poll for Republican candidates in 2008.  Looks like Giulliani has strong support in these early goings.

Best Practices for Driving Traffic with Blog Carnivals

Interview corner:

In case you didn't already think Pat Robertson was a jerk, did you see his Age-Defying Shake?  If you think Pat Robertson can leg press a ton... arg!

Blackfive has a brief history of Casey Sheehan and the circumstances of his death.

The Pentagon's silent robot birds — Doesn't sound in the least bit scary.

The Oil Price Mirage — This is a pretty detailed report with a lot of charts.

Striking CBC workers have launched a blog.

A Lenticular Cloud Over Hawai'i

Video corner:

Outback Chainless Mountain Bike — Looks like it uses a shaft drive instead of a chain.

How to make your own terrarium — Not just "dirt in a bowl."

Starlets in chadors.

Just enough piracy — "[A]fter much analysis Microsoft had realized that some piracy is not only inevitable, but could actually be economically optimal. The reason is counterintuitive, but intriguing."  "Counterintuitive but intriguing" may be my favorite phrase.

Seeing faces in things

How to give your neighborhood free wifi — I absolutely love this idea.  I can't see how a corporate ISP would be too pleased with it though, but it's also not hard to imagine how to attach a money-making model to this.

Related:  Gary has a write-up on a new wifi antenna today.

The greatest adventure of all time — It's a publicly written choose-your-own-adventure story.  Don't like the options?  Add your own and then write that story line.

10 Steps to a Hugely Successful Web 2.0 Company — #10:  "No one sucks."

Ten Things Congress Could Demand from Bush on Iraq

Why can't you buy heroin at Boots? — (Boots is a British pharmacy.)  The basic idea: "The people who do want to be junkies are junkies. Were hard drugs decriminalized, it's dubious that consumption would appreciably rise."  I'm not sure I agree that junkies want to be junkies, but it's interesting food for thought.

Klingon Fairy Tales

A lot of folks are scoffing at the idea of " suitcase bomb as art."

Commuter Click: The Washington Monthly College Guide — A deliberate alternative to the U.S. News and World Report list.

The Jury System and the Vioxx Verdict — "This incident thus raises serious questions as to the competence of lay jurors to resolve technical issues." 

August 23, 2005 | 11:32 AM ET

Do what you will with my rights, just don't mess with my car.  Similar to polls we've seen in the U.S., the British are also willing to give up some civil liberties in the name of getting rid of terrorists.  This one is funny because it includes a line about how many more people are killed by cars than terrorism and yet no one wants to lose their vehicular liberties.

Speaking of vehicular liberties, I think if I got stuck behind someone following these fuel saving tips I'd go insane.  (I do subscribe to the "never rush" philosophy of driving, however, so I like the point about how going faster doesn't get you there much faster.)

Speaking of trying to save gas, China is facing a gas crisis — though it's not exactly the same crisis we've been hearing about with regard to global oil supply.

And speaking of the world running out of oil, Steven Levitt at the Freakonomics site is calling the peak oil storyline a bit of Henny Penny-ism.  I'll save what I have to say for the already rich comments section, but since he predicts "tons of copycat journalism" I'll point out that my chat with Matthew Simmons predates the NYTimes article by more than two weeks.  And my colleague John Schoen was discussing the matter two months before that, and my colleagues at Newsweek were at it over a year ago .

One more... West Coast states unite on car regulations

Speaking of panic causing stories, "The next U.S. recession will start in earnest on October 17. (If it hasn't already.)"  This makes all about bankruptcy and credit card debt.  At least it's a closed-ended prediction.  See you on the 18th.

Michael Crowley guesting at Talking Points Memo is representative of many (like Glenn yesterday ) when he talks about disunity in the Democratic Party.  David Sirota too, at greater length and with more links.

Speaking of fractures in the party, Professor Bainbridge sparks discussion with his criticism of President Bush from a conservative perspective.  (Skip ahead to the follow-up if you don't care about his thoughts on the war.)

Both of the above make reference to this poll.

Map your genealogy - This is provided you actually know where your ancestors lived, but still the sample with the Bush family is pretty neat.

The new Harry Potter trailer is out.  That Triwizard Tournament actually looks cooler than it did in my head when I read the book.

P.S. For all the trailers I click, I'd never actually seen the main Apple trailers index before.

If you've been running into Overheard in New York a lot lately, it's probably because of this piece in Slate about its cumulative genius.  I'll offer one of my own from this past weekend:

Disembodied voice from another aisle overheard in the Pearl Paint art supply store on Canal Street this weekend:  "Wow, if I were an artist I'd go crazy in this place."

Folks are talking up a new legal music sharing service called Playlouder.  The idea is that you use Playlouder as your ISP and you're allowed to buy and trade music with them legally and they pay the music companies.  The eyebrow raising part is that once you buy it you're legally allowed to trade it, which I imagine means there is some free song action going on somewhere in the system.

Yesterday was National Punctuation Day.  I'd like to point out the apostrophe page for those who keep writing to our corrections folder to complain about the lack of a letter "s" at the end of plural possessives.

Haveil Havalim (The Jewish/Israeli blog carnival)  This would have been handy on Thursday for the Gaza round-up.

Speaking of Gaza, "John Bolton has slammed the UN over the funds sent to Palestinians for anti-Israel propaganda."

Anatomy of a New York Times article — I don't know much about Mark Cuban or his issues, but I did find it interesting to see his e-mail exchange with this writer and then read the final article based on that exchange.

Though I try not to indulge mindless partisanship, there is a running joke going on that took me a while to figure out, so in case anyone else is wondering why there are a bunch of "liberals rule" posts seeing heavy link action in the blogosphere, it has to do with " Blog Like a Conservative Day."  It works a little like a chain letter, only with linking, hence a lot of link activity about nothing in particular.

The Butterfly livingroom flyer — At that price, I'll fold my own.

Ribbons, Sheets and the Nanofuture —  The World Changing blog says, "This is likely the biggest technological breakthrough of the year, arguably even of the decade."

Speaking of the nanofuture, I simply cannot get my head around the physics of an elevator to space.  I understand the guy's vision, but the forces acting on a tower to space are beyond my comprehension.

'NY Times' Editor Rips Book Review in Own Paper, demands to know who's in charge and calls for their immediate dismissal.  (Just kidding.)

I've been getting a ridiculous quantity of spam calls from the number 706 286 6015.  On a frustrated whim I Googled it and found I was not alone.

A rave in Utah was raided by police, scattering outrage (prominent cursing) across the Web at the tactics used.  More from Metafilter.  (The official version, in case you're curious, is totally different.)

Meanwhile, check out the downloads at that drum and bass site.  It's a good way to familiarize yourself with that style.

Speaking of DJ downloads, the Beastie Boys are offering their vocal tracks for mixing. I think these make great a capella listens.  They should do a whole CD like this.  Also probably good beat box practice.

Speaking of mix downloads, the link text I clicked to the Daily Wav suggested using the clips to jazz up a podcast.  Interesting idea.

French countryside hit by a massive invasion of bull frogs.  This was the only photo I could find.  C'mon guys, if there's a frog invasion I want to be seeing some Magnolia-type action.

Cool commercial of the day: Talk Talk

Slashfood is looking for food bloggers.

As if lawyers didn't have enough of an image problem, " Did Lawyers Hinder Bin Laden Capture?"  Includes such quotes as, "The U.S. intelligence community is palsied by lawyers." and "The lawyers are the bane of the intelligence community..."

Speaking of hunting bin Laden, " Document reveals U.S., Taliban discussed bin Laden assassination."  It's uncommon for a wikinews version of a story to spread, but this is certainly a good way to follow developing stories like Able Danger.

The Iraqi blogger at Iraq the Model is liveblogging the drafting of the Iraqi constitution.

Stereogum has the song from this weekend's (best TV series finale I can recall) Six Feet Under.  So I'm not the only one who goes hunting down HBO show music.

Blinkx — a podcast search engine.

We hate technology — Interesting to see them announce their intentions to get noticed on  That's where I found them.

Retouching supermodels — We've seen similar, though smaller, versions of this idea.  I think every kid should be made to look at these photos and understand that many of the body images they see in the media are not actual human forms.

Climate change skeptics bet $10,000 on cooler world

Speaking of making bets, I wish I'd seen Boing Boing's spaghetti monster coverage on Friday, which now includes a million dollar challenge.

Speaking of Boing Boing, they're helping encourage a database poisoning — which sounds scarier than it is.  The idea is to protest all those annoying "free registration required" sites with the hope being that if the information that comes from the registration is useless, they'll get rid of that idea.

A la 'Matrix,' vocations recruitment poster shows priest as hero

Use Flickr to make your own magazine cover.

It seems like just a couple weeks ago we were reading about Technorati being an invaluable public service.  Now Jason Kottke is expressing some dissatisfaction with their product.  (By the way, I also like Ice Rocket and used them the other day to see if more people complain about Dells or Toshibas.)

Costas Refuses to Host Show on Holloway — You mean TV people have a choice?

Video of the Day:  Spin - Can this heavensent DJ save the day?

Mailbag!  Mailbag!

I love Clicked and have linked to it many times in my own blog.  It's definitely the blog I most look forward to reading each day.

I saw this link and couldn't help but be reminded of a similar uproar locally.  The Joplin Globe tells the story here.  There was a big flap about what exact words were said, but to me it's more about the general disrespect and lack of compassion shown by this particular state senator.

Dear Andy,
Thanks for the kind words.  It's funny you bring that article up because I thought about it all weekend.  I saw the new Bill Murray on Saturday and the people who sat behind be brought their own food in crinkly wrappers and someone two rows ahead actually had their phone ring and they answered it (!) and I suddenly found myself thinking again about expectations of quiet-as-my-living-room.

Meanwhile, it's hysterical how worked up that state senator is over someone using the F-word in his general direction.

Will, you are making this English professor despair on the first day of classes (about four months early). That's not a Beowulfish Harry Potter poem, it's a Waste Landish Harry Potter poem. Didn't anybody in my profession ever force you to read T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land?
Rob Milde

Dear Mr. Milde,
I will familiarize myself with "The Waste Land" at my earliest opportunity.
I will familiarize myself with "The Waste Land" at my earliest opportunity.
I will familiarize myself with "The Waste Land" at my earliest opportunity.
I will familiarize myself with "The Waste Land" at my earliest opportunity.
I will familiarize myself with "The Waste Land" at my earliest opportunity.
I will familiarize myself...

Hey Will:
The immersive viewing system is not a hoax.  The Adler planetarium in Chicago has a couple and I suspect other museums do as well.
Keep up the good work.
Bob K.

Dear Bob,
Thanks!  Yes, I imagine a planetarium would be a good place for something like that.  I think a cluttered office cube full of half-read Commuter Click articles would be a good place for one too.

"Did you know 747's could land like this."

I *believe* it's quite old and was taken at Taiwan's Kai Tak airport.  (The landing, I have been told by a pilot, was not untypical.)  Kai Tak is no longer used.  There's a quite good 1-hour or 2-hour program that pops up on our viewing schedule (might be PBS, might be TVOntario) periodically about the construction of the new airport and about the move from the old airport to the new one.

Dear John,
I'm not sure I want to hear that landing half sideways is not untypical.  I wonder if those cross winds were part of the reason why they moved the airport.


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