October 15, 2005 | 11:54 PM ET

The full version of the Today show canoe video that a lot of folks are talking about is here .  I didn't see the original, but it sounds like most of the exchange with Matt and Katie is there.

October 15, 2005 | 12:49 AM ET

Perhaps I've become inured to staged political events but I'm not as bothered by the president's recent satellite chat with soldiers as many folks online and in the media.  I think it's particularly odd that TV media would question the rehearsing of questions and answers.  TV producers do pre-interviews and help coach guests on answering more succinctly all the time.  Long distance interviews like that with the few seconds of awkward delay are especially tricky.  I'm really arguing in defense of the military members.  No one wants to look bad on a global TV broadcast so I'm inclined to give them a break for trying to be prepared.

I figure the real reason this is an issue is that the last time (that I remember) that the White House tried this the nation was thrown into turmoil over the question of adequate armor.  Strange that I haven't seen clips of that in the coverage of this latest uproar.  Anyway, this is what I clicked:

I'm not entirely naive about the more sincere reason for outrage at a staged press event involving the military.  It's one thing to put together fake town hall meetings with pre-screened citizens, but the military should be kept out of political matters.  To wit:

As a 13-year veteran of the armed forces, though, I find it repulsive that veterans like myself are put in the position where we're forced to decide whether our commander-in-chief is lying or al Qaeda is--and it's actually a hard decision!

Really great Dr. Octopus costume for Halloween or even just hanging around would be cool.

Speaking of Halloween costumes, bloggers and taggers have found some inspiration here, like the head in a jar.

Flickr photos about which people have commented, " Awesome."

The Miers confirmation hearings are a month away, but bloggers aren't saving their energy.

Through all of the Miers coverage it's become conventional wisdom that conservatives are turning away from Bush.  Since blogs are good for nothing if not finding fault in the conventional wisdom, we turn to the opposing perspective from Powerline.

The Smoking Gun has greeting card correspondence between Harriet Miers and George Bush.

Did President Bush commit a crime by admitting that Harriet Miers' religion was part of what was considered in her nomination?

Ann Althouse's post on single motherhood is somewhat sparse of original material, but anchors a hearty discussion in comments.  I think the point that the Internet allows people to circumvent social constraints like shame is an interesting one.  Not that I think single mothers should be ashamed, but the larger idea finding support in like-minded people online is new for our age.

Microchip art — "[R]ip the processor from the clutches of your motherboard. Now place the chip under a high-powered microscope (you do have one, don’t you?) and prepare to be wowed by what you see."

Cox and Forkum wants to know when President Bush will put his missiles where his mouth is with regard to Syria.  I'm thinking attacking another country would not go over well in this country right now.

Michael Yon gives a look behind the scenes at being an embed in Iraq.

The Indian blogosphere continues to rally in support of bloggers targeted by the IIPM.  The latest updates include a petition.

Remember that really creepy falling lady animation from this summer?  It's been redone.  Now that there's one for President Bush, I reckon we'll be seeing a whole host of falling celebrities.  Reader Andy Glover sent in the same thing at a different link, which makes it officially viral.

A falling Bush seemed like pretty general commentary until I saw this headline.  But I think the animation came before this recent round of popularity polling.

Depeche Mode has their album streaming on their MySpace.  Note, it starts playing automatically, nearly blasted myself off the couch.

Speaking of MySpace, "chicks dig cool profiles," "popularity begets popularity," and a friends virus will make you famous.  (Geek hacks social network)

What does 2000 look like?  In the course of criticizing some administration statements leading up to the war in Iraq, this video flips through photos of dead soldiers to give a sense of how many 2000 deaths is.  The trick is that at the end of what feels like a lot of faces they reveal that they've only shown 500.  Some pokes on the calculator figures that if they showed one face per second for 2000 faces, it would take a little more than a half hour to watch.  500 was enough to get the point, thanks.

A 3-D Web site — Now THIS is cool!  It's like one of those 360 panorama photos but clickable.

Why was this Eminem video banned?  ( root)

"Studies suggest that many of the traits kids with ADHD exhibit can be expressions of deeper gifts: powerful imagination, searching insight and unusual intuition. Find out how to transform your child's problems into strengths."  This story has some kind of drug company ad or sponsorship on it, but the text looks independent of that.  It's not about giving kids drugs.

Chinese 4x4 gets zero in safety test — There's no punchline to this story but I thought the headline would make a funny Photoshop contest for a site like Worth1000.  Design the least safe SUV you can think of.

Cat and Girl Comic

"A pocket-sized book published by CTS this week addresses Catholic attitudes to extra-terrestrial life."

Speaking of religion, Pastafarians take note, science has shown that under certain conditions small diameter pasta will sheath itself in larger diameter pasta in a feat so improbable it can only be explained by a divine and intelligent hand.

Related?  4000 year old noodles found .

Still speaking of religion, what's the opposite of dhimmitude Dutch to ban burkas

One more... Why do we believe in God?

Commuter click:  Video game aesthetics

Katrina myths continue to crumble.  Remember the concerns about the city's immersion in a toxic soup?

Through this blog entry I learn that the recent Nobel Prize in economic has sparked a debate over game theory.  Unfortunately, I don't know much about game theory beyond a very general definition.  The good news is that following the trackbacks on that post goes a long way toward helping understand the issue.

10 things you shouldn't buy new

When I told my wife about relying on " elimination communication" instead of diapers she laughed in my face.

What does it mean to be a " shameless hitist?"  Long Tail blog argues for the flattening of the world.

Nano-screens, an eighth of an inch thick, are coming.

Not impressed?  How about this: " Cheap, paper-thin TV screens that can be used in newspapers and magazines have been unveiled by German electronics giant Siemens."

Paper-thin is still too thick?  How about this:  Video of the Day:  Microsoft gaming innovation video #1 — Some time ago I saw a tech demo in which the speaker insisted that the monitor would eventually be obsolete.  Since then I've seen a light projected keyboard and special interactive hologram glasses, and now this.

You may have seen the stories about some folks getting advanced notice of the terror threat in New York City last week.   This guy received one of those e-mail tips.  He doesn't buy the "rich people were warned" angle, however.

"A rooster-sized dinosaur with a long, slender snout and wing-like limbs is forcing a rethink on bird evolution."

Speaking of bird evolution, did you see today's stories about birds with two sets of wings ?

"The tips and tricks recommended and endorsed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency for bringing down a government or political system."

Using the numbers from Lost to find the location of the island.

A few from the mailbag..

Thanks for the link to my blog post on Hobbits. You may want to check out the update--a human with a hobbit-like brain. (Pictures included.)

Will replies:  Hi Carl, thanks for the pointer.  I know a guy with hobbit like feet.  I'll spare you the pictures.

Concerning the GAO Clicked entry from 10/02/05:

GAO: Bush Team Broke Law With 'Covert Propaganda' — I'm not sure what it means that the government broke the law...why is new legislation necessary?

It appears there may be some justice served up, check out the following via TPM and the AP.

Will checks it out:  Thanks Donald, that actually didn't take very long at all.  I wonder what the national attention capacity is for prosecutors investigating government officials.  How will news producers fit in the missing woman coverage?

Chemical weapons in Yemen

Will replies:  Thanks Jane.  It has always struck me as odd that more attention isn't paid to Yemen given the bombing of the Cole.  I didn't realize they had elections there.  It'll be interesting to see how that goes next year.

October 13, 2005 | 7:28 PM ET

Catching up on mail...

Minor comment Will, but when I read your e-mail and response section, I often have a hard time reading where one ends and another starts.  Since you do this for a living, I suppose you probably would think the same thing except of course you don't spend much time reading them, because you wrote them.

Anyway what about a bold, Dear Will or something to that effect? Or perhaps something like Alterman does .

Keep up the great work, and I hope you had a good time in the mountains.

Randall Kopchak
St. Louis, Missouri

Will replies:  Hi Randall, I totally agree with you.  In fact, I also have a problem with how all the little items in a regular entry are formatted to run together.  My options are somewhat limited, however.  The reason Eric gets those nice neat "Name:" and "Hometown:" labels is that his mail comes through the mailbag form on the page.  I don't like the mailbag form because it allows a lot of anonymous junk mail.  I prefer my correspondents be real people with real e-mail addresses.  I'll play with some different ideas to see if I can't get it to be a little more clear.

I forwarded your video of the day to a friend who's into rock climbing and told him I wouldn't respect him until he could do that.  His response was, “…that’s why that dude is dead.”

I can say that I wasn’t surprised.  I googled him and he was into some dangerous stuff.

Anyway, keep up the great work!

Will replies:  Woah!  I didn't know he was dead.  It's ironic that I also viewed a rollerblade video yesterday in which the skater suffers a horrible crash and wacks his head and I decided against linking to it because it was too morbid.  I went with the rock climber instead and still ended up linking to the great beyond.  From what I gather, though, he didn't die climbing, he was doing some kind of rope jump.

Hello Will,
I'm not sure if you take submissions or not, and I feel a little "dirty" going the whole self promotion route, but I wanted to tip you off to a new video my team whipped together about the Contract with America - 10 Years Later.  It was linked on Crooks and Liars yesterday, but we spruced it up a bit and gave it a bit of a polish.

Given the state of the Republican party these days, I thought it was a good time to go and look at the promises made when they swept to power back in 1995.

Thanks for all the hard work you do. The team at MSNBC is a godsend for smaller blogs like ours.
Cranky Liberal

Will replies:  Hi Cranky, I've seen mention of the "progressive contract with America" elsewhere, so the idea must be spreading.  The thing I don't understand about it is that it sort of sounds like progressives are offering to make good on broken conservative promises, but surely that's not right because the two groups have different values.  Who is the target audience?

P.S.  I don't judge self promoters harshly.  I think that's a legitimate tactic.  I'm not a fan of outright spam, and I may not get around to publishing it, but there's no harm or offense in letting people know what you're doing.  Like this letter, for example:

Hello Everyone,
I want to draw your attention to the 8th edition of the "I and the Bird" a bi-weekly carnival of bird writing.  It's hot off the press, just published tonight.  Here's a link.

We've collected 23 wonderful posts for your reading pleasure.  Stories include observations of Australian Red Caps, a close encounter with a European Orange-headed Thrush, ravens at the Arctic Circle and several accounts of North American species - common and less so.

Thanks to all current and past participants for their submissions. Post a link to I and the Bird on your blog to help spread the word.  More readers and carnival participants will result in more great birding and nature blogs to visit.

Thanks also to Mike at 10000 Birds.  He's the founder of I and the Bird and has done a magnificent job of expanding participation but for providing guidance to hosts.

The next edition, IATB #9 will be hosted by Hedwig of Living the Scientific Life on October 27th. Remember to send your submissions to Hedwig or to Mike at 10000 Birds before Oct. 25th.

Best regards,
Science and Sarcasm

Will remarks:  I thought this was one of those pet carnivals, but it's more focused on birdwatching and bird sciences.

By the by... thanks for linking to the Miers card...

Here's a fun one for your consideration.

Will responds:  Thanks Justin, that came out really well.

Hey Will,
Check out this Web site…it’s called Whiff.

It’s some kind of pill that supposed to decrease the foul odor of fecal matter.



Will replies:  Hi Cathy, that is so ridiculous and yet somehow I can see it becoming a natural part of the American pill diet (assuming it's not a parody).  Personally, you couldn't pay me to take that stuff, it looks like a surefire way to mess up one's plumbing.  Maybe they'd have more success with a pill that help a person believe their stuff don't stink.

Hey Will!
Always love your selections and reader comments sections. Came across this one recently. Can't figure out the story here, but this guy can write.

Keep up the excellent work!

Will takes a look:  Hi Jinny.  Looks like he's writing from the perspective of a disgruntled military person deployed in Iraq.  Given the content, I don't imagine he'll be revealing his identity any time soon, so there's probably no way to confirm the authenticity.  The language is a little coarse, but I agree that it's compelling writing.

Dear Will,
I'm replying to the link you had on 06 OCT 2005, "Dumbing down the Army."

I am a Drill Sergeant in the US ARMY and I think it is sad that the Army is taking heat for the men and women they decide to recruit.

As a Drill Sergeant, it is my job to train and retrain Soldiers until they meet the standards necessary to accomplish the missions required of an entry-level Soldier.  Although I can look into their background information, it has little bearing on the Soldier at graduation time. I have seen nearly as many college graduates wash out of training as those with less education.

There reason for this is because general intelligence is not the be-all end-all of what it takes to be a Soldier.  Any trainee that does not meet the Army's many tough standards by graduation will be either retrained until they do, or released from the Army altogether.

The focus of the Army recruiting less educated persons should not be that we are lowering a standard, because graduation standards remain the same. Instead, let's ask why people who could give more to the Army, and who know how critical our national defense is, aren't volunteering.

If they say they don't believe in the war, I say it's a poor excuse. The only way to end it is to get the job done, so why not do your part?

If society will not give less educated people a way to better themselves, then let the Army take them, train them, and use them.  When they leave the Army, they will definitely be rewarded for their service, having earned benefits, acquired skills, and saved money.

Did I mention that they also risk their lives in a time of national crisis?
-Name withheld by request

Will replies:  That is the best argument I've ever read on this issue.  I'm not a fan of the idea that people who aren't able to do well in school should be sent off to die in a war, but the possibility that a person who doesn't do well in school might excel in boot camp and become a good soldier seems entirely likely to me.  I guess it comes down to how much faith you have that success in school is an accurate gage of a person's aptitude.

Since you like those "GROW" games, which I think are fantastic...I thought you might enjoy another mind-numbing puzzle type game.  See if you can figure it out!

Will replies:  Thanks Emily.  Just in time for Clicked readers to whittle away a rainy end-of-the-week.


Will looks around:  Hi Becky, I hadn't heard of that one, but it looks like what you saw was a hoax.  Definitely a weird hoax.

The captured laser reminds me of “slow glass,” the sci-fi concept where a scene can be captured in a sheet of glass and take months or years to flow through.  This allows a dreary view to be replaced by a woodland lake, see here, or a parent to once again see her child playing in the yard, even if he or she had long ago died—another sci-fi classic.

Will replies:  Hi Dave.  Thanks for the link.  That's a really cool idea.

In case you haven't come across this yet in your clickings, the 2005 Ignobel prize winners have been announced.

Of special interest to your readers is the Literature award, granted to the authors of the Nigerian e-mail scams.  The medicine one is amusing, too.  I can, just barely, understand making fake canine testicles in three different sizes, but why three different degrees of firmness?  I shudder to think.

Will replies:  Thanks for the heads-up Larry.  Alan and I chatted with the founder of the Ig Nobels a couple years ago.  I wonder how they figured out there are only (?) three degrees of dog testicle firmness.  That may qualify as among the worst jobs ever.  (But at leat there's now a new word that rhymes with pharmaceuticals.)

Will, hi hi hi.
For the blogging folks (hence I thought could appeal to you), today marks the opening of the Blooker Prize.  That is, the world's first literary prize for blooks.  Do sit down. And do consider entering.

Our esteemed judges are Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing), Robin Miller (Slashdot) and Paul Jones (ibiblio).

Below more than covers it yet hopefully does not bore.


Will replies:  Hi Susan.  Rather than reprint your press release, I'll direct interested parties to check out the site here.  I will, however, include your definition of blook:

(blook n. blook. A printed and bound book, based on a blog (cf. web log) or website; a new stage in the life-cycle of content, if not a new category of content and a new dawn for the book itself. cf. The Lulu Blooker Prize, ("The Blooker"), a literary prize, founded 2005, for blooks. [der. Eng. book, a bound collection of sheets of paper; blog (abbrev. web log, an internet journal, diary or personal website)])

Hi Will,
I would like to invite you to try Pong.  It's free and is presently undergoing beta testing by members of the blog tracking companies included in the application as well as by over 300 weblog and feed authors who have downloaded the application in the past week since it was released.  I look forward to any comments or suggestions that you have and would greatly appreciate any publicity that you would be willing to provide for the project through a review on your weblog or by forwarding this e-mail to individuals who may find the application to be useful (or both!).

Here are the URL's that you need in order to learn more about Pong and download the application:

Thanks for your help,
-Chris Simpkins
Developer of Pong

If you are interested, here is more information on the development of Pong:

Maintenance of a real-time, searchable blogosphere is dependent upon communication between weblog authors and the blog tracking services that index the content of these publications as they are published.  For the majority of tracking services, this is accomplished using an XML-RPC based ping mechanism that transmits the URL of the updated blog (and more recently, feed URL) to the tracking server in order to prompt the server to evaluate the specified file for new content. To date, weblog authors have had to rely either upon automated mechanisms in blog authoring software and blog hosting servers, or manual ping relay via multi-ping web services (such as Ping-O-Matic) in order to transmit these notifications.  The former approach is limited by the lack of user notification of the success of the pings.  Interested authors have to manually check that the update to their site has been indexed.  The use of centralized servers via the latter approach has become increasingly inefficient as a result of the increasing demand placed on these servers by the extremely rapid growth in the number of weblog authors over the last several years.  Perhaps most concerning has been the recently substantiated rumor that deals are being struck to determine when and where pings will be sent from some centralized services that automate the handling of these notices for weblog and feed authors (see Wall Street Journal and Business Week).  This information has largely been witheld from the authors of the very publications that are generating profit streams for these companies.

While my primary concern throughout development of the application has been for the weblog author, the application stands to benefit the recipients of pings as well. I have discussed various phases of the development of the application with members of the top blog tracking services (including Bob Wyman at PubSub, Ian Kallen at Technorati, Greg Gershman at Blogdigger, Nick Gerakines at Feedster, Chris Frye at FeedBurner, Jeff Barr at Syndic8, Shane Adams at Blo.gs/Yahoo!, and Greg Reinacker at NewsGator) and their feedback has been incorporated into ping lockout intervals that are indvidualized to each service.  This mechanism limits the practice of 'spam pinging' that has increased the burden on tracking servers.  In turn, this helps to prevent users' URL's from landing on blacklists that are not indexed based upon abuse of the ping service.  In addition to this check against ping spam, the application also validates all URL's entered by the user for an appropriate http protocol format (to prevent innappropriately entered URL's from being trasmitted) and tests the user's site and feed for an http response code that indicates the presence of a valid webpage or xml feed prior to transmitting the ping(s).  Limitation of unnecessary pings benefits the tracking services because their servers are relieved of having to process the forwarded ping, determine whether the file exists, and scan the site or feed for updates.  These are costly tasks, particularly when multiplied by the millions of unnecessary pings that are presently transmitted to their servers.  To give you an estimate of this figure, Matt Mullenweg (co-developer of the Ping-O-Matic service) has estimated in the FeedMesh Yahoo group that approximately 70% of pings handled by Ping-O-Matic are generated by spam pingers.  The Ping-O-Matic site reports that they have sent over 400 million pings, so this represents an extremely large number of unnecessary notifications.  Ultimately, limitation of unnecessary pings will benefit authors and readers by maintaining updates that are as close to real-time as possible as the demand on this system of notification grows.

Will replies:  Dear Chris, thanks for the info and links.  As a Ping-o-Matic user I'm definitely interested in checking out Pong.  I hope you don't mind my editing out some of your letter, but I think the development background is better suited to this blog than the technical stuff and I'm always looking for a good explanation of the dynamics of pinging.  Good luck with this project.

October 13, 2005 | 1:58 AM ET

Ann Althouse is mellowing on Miers.  "We need a safeguard against the excessively theoretical."

Representing today's opposing perspective:  "Information that has come out over the last week has caused me to believe she is not a conservative. So I’m changing my position: Harriet Miers should not be confirmed by the Senate."

Glenn is trying to figure out where the "win" is for the White House in the Miers pick.

And speaking of trying to figure out the president, were conservatives misreading Bush's intentions?  For as long as I've been aware of George W. Bush, people have been trying to read a subtext in everything he says and does.  I don't know enough to say whether there's ever a subtext to be found, but I made a personal note to myself today not to assume anything more about a politician than what he or she is willing to say out loud.  (Which isn't to say I necessarily believe what a politician says, but at least I won't be making things up on their behalf.)

Speaking of reading subtext in the president, Harry Shearer tries to deep think a new found presidential facial tick.  (When you watch the video, look at his jaw.)  Someone in the comments section asks whether this is really news but meanwhile the Washington Post a story in which the reporter counts the number of President Bush's blinks.  So I guess body language counts.

Of course, once one begins speculating about the unspoken, the tether to fact is cut and one is free to roam with the rumors.  The two most popular ones I'm clicking have to do with infighting in the White House.  Are Bush and Cheney fighting?  Are Karl Rove and Andrew Card getting along with each other?

Speaking of untethered, new (to me) term: WHIG: White House Iraq Group.  I clicked it here in this outline from Think Progress and then I saw it again here on Digby's blog.  (That Digby link is a new one on me, and I thought I'd heard them all.  I know people are talking more about after last week's New York City hoax, but that story seems a bit much.)

The question of the existence and lineage of hobbits is more involved than I realized.

This is the first review I've seen of the new The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe movie.  The message from this blogger is that the religious indications in the book have been maintained.

Speaking of religion and bloggers, Top 25 Christian blogs by links Pundit Guy has some questions about what qualifies as a Christian blog.

Yahoo talks about incorporating citizen media in their news.  I'm of mixed mind.  I like the idea, but I also don't want to go looking for storm photos and end up finding a batch of Flickr photos submitted by some guy who's been taking camera phone shots of his TV every three minutes for the last 48 hours.

Remember the story about the legislation in Indiana restricting some people from assisted reproduction?  It's been withdrawn.

Commuter Click:  I've only read the first bit so far but I don't think I've read anyone talking about their disillusionment with the Internet like this before.  Many pioneers of the Web are real idealists but they have to deal with the harsh realities of real people as the population of the Web grows.  The amorality referred to in the title is about the fact that there's nothing inherently communal or transcendent about the Web and its tools and properties.  People still act like people whether online or not, and that includes their flaws.

"Webloggers of 1999 don't equal bloggers in 2005."  The cool kids have packed up and left the blog scene.  I take two messages from this.  One is that more is not necessarily merrier on the Internet.  And The message that seems to have resonated is that it's the public spotlight that has spoiled the fun of blogging.  The other is that the blog-as-popularity-contest-and-global-megaphone model is not something everyone wants to follow and maybe wasn't even part of the original plan.  Is blogging in 2005 a monster run amok?

The Gaping Void talks about " Global Microbrands" by which I take it he means having an online identity such that you can make money by being yourself.  It sounds like a great idea, but how many people can actually pull such a thing off?

Prof fails to heed his own advice — Dan Drezner is denied tenure.  Was it the blog?

"Thousands of men are shelling out $6,500 for hyper-realistic dolls that answer all their needs -- and don't talk back."  I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but they don't look that realistic to me.  NOTE:  First image in the slideshow has nudity... or whatever... bare rubber?

How We Can Help Quake Victims — Raises the issue of whether there's some donation fatigue among the online generous.

The folks at Metafilter highlight a gallery of photos of a cool ship graveyard.  More links farther down the thread.

"When playing the 'law nerd' version of Trivial Pursuit, remember that the question 'Who prevailed in the first written decision of the Roberts Court?,' should be answered 'convicted murderer Paul Allen Dye.'"

Chip Kidd (graphic designer) talks with Milton Glaser (graphic designer)

A library blogger ponders the relevance of libraries in the Internet age.  What should libraries be doing to avoid the "hey we should have thought of that"?

Is Lack Of Big Media Coverage Of Oklahoma Explosion OK?  Strange that he doesn't call him a suicide bomber.  We've debated this one around the office a bit.  I don't buy the "the FBI has all the info so we can't cover it" excuse.  The TV media hardly needs information to justify devoting excessive attention to a story.

Speaking of a lack of information, Jay Rosen is trying to understand how the New York Times is handling the Judith Miller situation and does a great job of outlining the number of unanswered questions.

While everyone is focused on the smearing of Joseph Wilson, this blogger looks at smear tactics at the Pentagon.

In writing about the launch of a Creative Commons fundraiser, Lawrence Lessig provides a nice basic explanation of what it's all about.  A good primer if you missed the hype that started people putting little CC boxes on their material.

1000 things made of bamboo

Ah!  The new Cat Power mp3.

Colorized WWI photos — Takes a while to load, it's not a slide show.

These people are going around the world and are asking for your tips and pointers.  I'm not sure what the registration is about, I guess to keep out spam.  It doesn't look like they're trying to sell anything.

Hundreds Of Snakeheads Found In Va. Creek — Huge storms, floods, fires and crazy land-walking terror fish.  Oh, He is angry.

UFO maps.  They're not really arranged where I would  have guessed.  Given the number of sightings around Lake Michigan, I think it's safe to say that aliens are using that as a base to amass forces before taking over the planet.  What?

Mercedes to come out with a hybrid fuel cell car — If you start saving now, you can buy one in 2012 when they come out.  P.S.  Check out that concept drawing at the bottom.

Trapped in a bottle (Where's the camera?)

How to buy nothing

Machine makes dishes on demand — It took me a while to figure out why this would be necessary.  Does it really take up so much energy to make plates?  And so much space to store them?

Rick Moranis streams two songs from his new CD.  The second one is funny.

Video of the Day:  Check out what he does at 1:15.  Crazy.

Speaking of crazy, these guys are why your kid will be coming home with a broken body part.  NOTE: There's a brief slam session at the beginning of the video but otherwise they're all happy endings.

Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country

Watch Nova episodes free online

I'm behind on mail again.  Tomorrow I catch up.

October 12, 2005 | 2:03 AM ET

The federal prosecution and intimidation of online porn is perhaps a story uniquely suited to bloggers and online media given the nature of the subject matter.  That said, it is still possible to follow the story via Safe For Work links.  Last week we heard from the Suicide Girls.  Today I clicked two more sites that had to shut down because of their content.  One was text-only stories.  In perhaps the most ironic twist yet, the guy we saw last week hosting Iraq war trophy photos of people killed and maimed in the name of spreading freedom is in jail, but not for the gore, for the porn.

Saudi Arabia blocks access to Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal

Polling Right-Of-Center Bloggers On The Harriet Miers Nomination

Pro-Miers/Con-Miers side by side

Three part disharmony — Captain's Quarters sees three categories of conservative reactions to the Miers nomination.  This is particularly significant to a community that is struggling with a bit of tent-too-big syndrome.  As it is, I see people writing complaints to the Letters to the Editor mailbox about the term "conservative" needing a modifier in news reports.  Do you mean social conservative?  Religious conservative?  Fiscal conservative?

You may have caught the news last week that AOL purchased Weblogs, inc .  Folks who are interested in such things are looking at some of the reported numbers to do the math on how much the sale means a blog is worth.

Speaking of bloggy purchases, Dave Winer talks about selling Weblogs.com, the ping service that is the underpinning of so many blog tools.  It's through Weblogs.com that many blog databases know when blogs have been updated.  See for yourself.

More on new Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling.

Video of the Day:  Amazing animated plant video.  They've got a lot of really cool stuff at the main site in the "projects" tab.

Speaking of video, a collection of short Pixar films — Naturally you want to see more, but the clips are long enough to get at least one joke in.

"Scientists have taught dolphins to combine both rhythm and vocalisations to produce music, resulting in an extremely high-pitched, short version of the Batman theme song."  No audio link in the story.   I did follow one link to a page of interesting sounds.

Speaking of listening to things, I heard a mash-up of President Bush singing a medley of Imagine and Take a Walk on the Wild Side on the car ride home yesterday.  All three on that page came out really well.

Michael Totten reports on things getting thick in Lebanon.  There may be mainstream reports of this as well, but I saw the blog report.  There may be a lesson there for news editors about blogs reaching a different audience.

This person finds deep meaning in the Serenity movie.  "This is the movie that I wanted Star Wars to be."  Best phrase: "The cult of Han Solo."  Warning:  I haven't seen the movie yet, but this may contain a spoiler.

While at Technorati today I noticed that their top search term is "IIPM."  It's the story of IBM pressuring an employee about his blog postings to the point where he resigned.  The story is really bizarre.

A video game timeline

Cool musicians who blog

Gada.Be searches a bunch of different engines at once ("metasearch").  I didn't understand the joke in the name until I read the "about" page:

Where is gada.be?
Anywhere you gada.be.

Crib Candy is a thumbnail blog of cool home furnishings and products.

Finding the location, identity, or affiliation of e-mail senders

7-11 in Japan will sell iPods.  In case you have 300 bucks left over after buying cheese whiz and a blueberry slurpee.

Medium Format Pinhole Lego Camera

On the trail of cyberextortionists.  Gee, it sure would be a shame if someone were to launch a denial-of-knee-cap attack on you.

Google global wi-fi/satellite based Internet? — This guy is just thinking out loud, it's not a news story.  My understanding was that expectations are that WiFi will stay on the ground like telephone service and may in fact take over some of the role of satellites in GPS and broadcasting.

Tech firms agree on faster WiFi standard — Keep an eye out for 802.11n.

USB pencil sharpener — I'm not sure this is a totally stupid idea.  I keep a lot of written notes even though I spend all day on the computer.  I use a pen, but maybe if I had a USB sharpener I'd use a pencil.

On RSS and the coming wave of content theft — Though most of what you read about RSS is positive because it's more convenient for Web users, I don't know if the debate over content theft has ever really been put to bed.  The idea is that if you can read my site in your RSS reader, then you're not coming to my site, so not only do I lose the traffic, but whoever is supplying your reader is benefiting from my content.  This article outlines some other scenarios.

R.I.P. WYSIWYG — "[T]he most obvious departure from the past is that menus and toolbars are all but wiped out. The focus is now on letting users specify the results they want, rather than focusing on the primitive operations required to reach their goals."  They're calling it "results-oriented."

"An industrial solvent used to clean graffiti has become the potentially lethal drug of choice for some on the gay clubbing scene."  Consuming paint remover is bad.  A public service message from Clicked.

Arianna Huffington savages the New York Times over its handling of the Plame story.  (And stands up for blogs as agents of the news.)

But bloggers aren't journalists... probably.

But blogs are news.

But bloggers don't have to identify themselves.

" Scientists must stop ignoring "Intelligent Design"—religious prejudice disguised as intellectual freedom" — I think there's an interesting contrast in how the scientific community is dealing with the Intelligent Design folks, and how the journalistic community is dealing with bloggers.  I know it's not a perfect parallel, but both deal with the question of how to handle someone who denies your credibility and thinks they can do your job as well or better than you with new ideas.

Hackocracy — The New Republic goes crony hunting. [ Ahem] ...

...Which seems to be a popular game lately.

" Smurfette is left for dead . Baby Smurf is left crying and orphaned as the Smurf’s village is carpet bombed by warplanes..."

The DARPA grand challenge site has videos if you click the "downloads" tab.

Yahoo now has podcast search.  Chinese lessons are their third most popular.

Have you played the Energy Hogs games yet?  They're cute for kids, but not if you don't want you kid nagging you all the time about window caulk.

Subway sketches

There's a new Michael Yon report from Iraq.

Waiter Rant tells the story of Legion.  In case you're not familiar, Waiter Rant is usually a well written blog of stories from his job at a restaurant.  In this case he reveals a bit of personal vulnerability and relays a Bible story.

Project Manager Leaves Suicide PowerPoint Presentation


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments