Found an excellent essay via /var/log/otto,
It's written by a French-Iranian immigrant, and it is reasons
he is thankful to be an American. In these times of
"everybody in the world hates us, including ourselves"
it should be, in my opinion, required reading in colleges and
universities across the nation.
I want to post it all, but in the sake of brevity I'll post
just the last of his reasons:
|-- America, the
freest nation on Earth, is also the most virtuous nation
on Earth. This point seems counterintuitive, given the
amount of conspicuous vulgarity, vice and immorality in
America. Some Islamic fundamentalists argue that their
regimes are morally superior to the United States
because they seek to foster virtue among the citizens.
Virtue, these fundamentalists argue, is a higher
principle than liberty.
Indeed it is. And let us admit
that in a free society, freedom will frequently be used
badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to
do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom
brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the
best. The millions of Americans who live decent,
praiseworthy lives desire our highest
admiration because they have opted for the good when the good
not the only available option. Even amid the temptations of a
rich and free society, they have remained on the straight path.
Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen.
By contrast, the societies that
many Islamic fundamentalists seek would eliminate the
possibility of virtue. If the supply of virtue is
insufficient in a free society like America, it is
almost nonexistent in an unfree society like Iran's. The
reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all.
Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There
is no modesty in this,
because she is being compelled. Compulsion
cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance
of virtue. Thus a free society like America's is not merely more
prosperous, more varied, more peaceful, and more tolerant -- it
is also morally superior to the theocratic and authoritarian
regimes that America's enemies advocate.
Interesting to think this is the SAN FRANCISCO
Chronicle. I'd love to see the feedback they get for
I'll post the article in its entirety in the feedback thread
in case it disappears.
| GORDON |
10:09 pm EDT | Feedback
Arteries, or LEARNING TO HATE PEOPLE.
Long time readers of dtman.com know that the writers are, for
lack of a better word, somewhat jaded. "Why?" is
a question that, to my memory, has not been addressed, until new
forum member TPRJones submitted it.
I turned 21, I was a nice guy. I liked nearly
everybody. I thought the best of people. I
thought the world was a nice place. I thought
people would do the right thing if you gave them a
chance. I thought that government was evil (see, I
wasn't completely naive), but I also thought you could
change the system from the inside (well, okay, maybe I
was). I wanted to explain to everyone how
maximizing individual freedoms and individual
responsibilities is the only hope for a bright future
for the human race, and will eventually lead to the
ending of poverty and racism and suffering.
On Sunday, I'll turn 31, and I've become a dick. I
hate nearly everybody. I think the worst of
people. I think the world is a horrible place.
I think people will do the right thing only if
they know you will kill them if they don't. I
think that government is evil (at least something hasn't
changed), and I think it will only change when the whole
system collapses. I want to explain that killing
the fuckers that have no concept of the value of
individual freedoms and individual responsibilities is
the only hope for a bright future for the human race,
and will eventually lead to the ending of poverty and
racism and suffering for the blessedly few survivors.
Ten years ago, I felt bad when hundreds of people died
at some place I'd only seen on a map. Today, if a
virus targeted towards killing the stupid were to
decimate the ignorant 90% of the world's population, I'd
not morn the losses. At all.
Was there something in particular about the last decade
that turned intelligent individuals like myself into
bitter cynics? Or is this just part of growing up?
What happened to me?
Do you feel as you age that things are worse than they used
Personally, I'm going to take a little time to mentally
compose my answer. I think I know...I just want to think
about it a bit. But I think it might have something to do
| GORDON |
6:08 pm EDT | Feedback
I realize it's technically the weekend.
And I know I said no more posting on weekends, but I'm still
up, and it still feels like Friday night.
Just thought you'd like to know I made an update on the DTMan
Music Page. I reviewed the new album from VAST.
It's good stuff.
| GORDON |
1:12 am EDT | Feedback
do Linkin Park, Radiohead, Madonna and Green Day have
They are against consumers being able to purchase their songs
|Despite the major
labels' success in clearing hundreds of thousands of
tracks for purchase online through services like Apple's
iTunes Music Store, some top artists continue to resist
authorizing the dismantling of their albums for Internet
consumption as a la carte singles.
Some acts are requiring that their music be sold
exclusively in album bundles. For example, Linkin Park
recently pulled its music as a singles offering from
digital services. Sources say the band has expressed
concerns about undercutting album sales. Other acts with
similar stipulations about their work include Radiohead,
Madonna and Green Day, sources say.
Top acts and their representatives are expressing
reservations about the creative and financial
implications of shifting to a singles-based model.
"The fear among artists is that the work of art
they put together, the album, will become a thing of the
past," says attorney Fred Goldring, whose firm
represents Will Smith and Alanis Morissette.
Well, I guess they have the right to package their product
however they want. But know what? They're
fools. For absolutely no additional work they could
increase their revenue by offering their songs on pay-download
sites. Fans who want the entire album would still buy the
entire album. Now, those who only want one song from these
artists will just get it without paying.
I guess once you have your first million you can be picky.
| GORDON |
6:18 pm EDT | Feedback
A couple months ago I linked USS
Clueless, mainly on a lark. I was in the mood to link
a page, and I'd just surfed it for the first time.
I made a good decision.
Consistently, that website has some of the best written, well
thought out essays on the web. And, they seem to do their
research, unlike some websites I could name *cough*dtman.com*cough*.
Their commentary tends to run to current events. If you
haven't visited them, do.
Today I was catching up on a few days of posts, and followed this
article they linked. A brief history of the Air Force's
A-10 Warthog. A good read, if you're into that kind of
| GORDON |
5:35 pm EDT | Feedback
The forum/feedback threads are fixed. Somehow I ended
up with a corrupted "active sessions" database
entry. What really impresses me is that I'd thought it was
a server problem, and opened a tech support ticket with my
hosting service. But they not only tracked down the real
problem, they gave me a step-by-step in how to debug my script,
which is way above and beyond what they were required to
do. The DTMan web host is Nexpoint
Technologies. I use a shared server, so there's the occasional
downtime once or twice a year when some other yahoo breaks it,
but the cost for my plan, $100/year for 500mb storage/unlimited
bandwidth, and the excellent tech support, make it look like a
good deal to me.
I have a sauna now! It's called
"outside." I believe the news said there was a
110 degree Fahrenheit heat index, today. It's hot.
It's like Africa-hot. And I know what Africa-hot feels
My tomato plants are growing like crazy in this
heat and humidity. If it wasn't dark outside I'd
getpixplzthx. I've been putting down blood and predator
feces around the area, and so far no bunny nibbles....but the
first time I see bunny nibbles on a tomato, I'm buying a bb
gun. Be veeeewy quiet.....
Strom Thurmond died. Isn't that
weird? I mean, no surprise, but still. It was like
Senate of the Living Dead. Braaaains. Braaaains,
y'all. Fresh braaaains.
Spent the afternoon in Wilmington. Ate
lunch on the Cape Fear River at a cafe with a great view of the Battleship
North Carolina. I want one. A battleship, I
mean. Hey...my birthday is next month!
The brand new movie theater here in town is
having a midnight showing of "Beyond
Re-Animator" tomorrow night...I'm going. The
first 50 people in the door get a vial of the glowing green
re-animator juice.... if I get some I'll be sure to
postpixplzthx. Maybe we'll go to a cemetery after the
movie and see if it works. If it does I'll getpixplzthx.
HEY....where will Strom be laying in state, do you think?
| GORDON |
1:30 am EDT | Feedback
I was doing the daily surfing, and saw an interesting blog
post linked at Right
We Are!. It's a "dream" July 4th speech to
the nation from President Bush.
As you all know, the defeat of Iraq's regime has been
completed. The discovery and destruction of all weapons
of mass destruction have been covered thoroughly in the
press. A new Iraqi government has been established and
appears to be stable. Our mission in Iraq is complete.
This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of
all American forces from Iraq. This action will be
completed within 30 days.
It is now time to begin the reckoning. Before me, I have
two lists. One list contains the names of countries that
have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This
list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, and
Poland are some of the countries listed there. The other
list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of
the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary
will be distributing copies of both lists later this
evening. Let me start by saying that effective
immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2
ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved
during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the
costs of the Iraqi war. The American people are no
longer going to pour money into third world hellholes
and watch those government leaders grow fat on
Sense & Wonder
It all "Go-go USA!" I think I agree with
about half of it. I support the idea that nations who have
actively opposed us should have consequences, but I'm not sure
that pulling out of the rest of the world make the United States
| GORDON |
3:03 pm EDT | Feedback
I've not yet done any surfing today, but I heard about the Supreme Court's
decision in favor of so called "affirmative action" on CNN.
I'm guessing there's an uproar in the blogosphere about it. I'm going to
say what I have to say before my thoughts are diluted with what everyone else
Affirmative action is for losers. Those who are good enough don't
need it, and those who need it aren't good enough.
| GORDON |
1:07 pm EDT | Feedback
What can I say...I'm a cat person.
| GORDON |
11:20 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030620_1
I want to update my link list a bit. I had the category "From
the Front," and it will exist as long as there are bloggers there, but
many are coming home, and I'm in a quandary as to what to do with them,
now. I'm pretty sure I'm going to start a new link category called
"Active Duty," but I'm still thinking about it.
As such, if you know of any bloggers on the front or just active duty, drop
them in the feedback thread, and I'll get them linked.
| GORDON |
7:31 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030619_2
Couple things I wrote about in the past that I now wish to revise, now that
I've had time to really think about it.
I wrote a
few times about al-Jazeera showing images and videos of dead and wounded
American POW/KIA's in Iraq. I wrote about how dirty that was, an abuse
of Geneva Convention, etc.
All of a sudden, I just realized....they would have to be completely stupid
to think that wouldn't rally American support for the war. And I don't
think they're completely stupid.
They either did it of their own accord, or they were used by the U.S. government
as a propaganda tool. They got some bad press for it from western media,
but I think they took one for the team.
That is, at least, a possibility.
Another thing I wrote about was Bush's tax cuts, and the record
amount of pork that was added to the war spending bill. I wrote that
I support the tax cuts, but I also strongly favor control of spending. I
couldn't understand what in the hell they were thinking.
Recently I figured out where all the pork came from. Bush needed to
get his spending bill passed, his war blessed by Congress, and his tax cuts
approved...we are, after all, coming up on his reelection campaign
season. All that pork...which may have been ordinarily vetoed...was
Bush's way of buying support in Congress. I'm sure each and every stupid
project was wheeled and dealed ahead of time by the White House, to ensure
that Congressman's vote and support.
So there you go. Amazing what can happen when you have time to really
think about something.
| GORDON |
3:00 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030619_1
protecting those oil contracts in Iran, too.
I was a bit premature showing a rerun earlier....I should have waited for
this story to break:
France (CNN) -- Iranians
in Paris and London set themselves on fire Wednesday to protest a
French government crackdown on Iranian dissidents opposed to religious
rule in Tehran, police in both cities said.
Two Iranian women and a man set themselves on
fire in Paris. Police initially said the women died, but hospital
sources later said all three were alive, with one person in critical
On Tuesday, police carried out raids in the
French capital targeting the People's Mujahedeen, the military arm of
the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which opposes the
Islamic government in Tehran.
Police said they arrested more than 150
people on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks and seized $1.3
million in $100 bills.
So there we go. France is supporting another oppressive regime in an
oil rich country. "But France is not completely passive," you
say. "They are in the Congo, after all."
Yeah. Know why? No oil contracts with the existing government.
I also find it interesting they seized all that money, with their economy
flagging, in small part due to American boycott of France and French
products. I wonder what will become of that money.
| GORDON |
11:03 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030618_2
can't think of a thing to write about, today.
Been thinking about it all day and surfing for inspiration, but I've got
So, I guess I'll just repost an essay that appeared on this page a couple
years ago, written by forum member Pander. The current "windmills
off Nantucket Sound" controversy inspired me to think about energy
So, here it is. From May 10, 2001.
SOURCES FOR US ELECTRICITY IN 1999:
Wood Waste(wood-burning): 1%
Solar - Nice but inefficient and currently <.1% of our electricity
output. It's MUCH better for passive heating than electricity
generation. Use it to heat swimming pools, or add a greenhouse effect
which can warm a whole house. However, limited deployment when you get
too far north. It might be a viable energy source for sub-Saharan
African nations, maybe a few Asian/European nations, but that is many,
MANY years into the future with research. This is not a savoir power
source though. You can't power Alaska on solar power.
Hydro - Nice but with environmental concerns. Also, nearly all gone in
the US. We can't dam the Mississippi, so what we have(3.5 Quads a
year) is all we'll get. This is generally not debated. Hydro is a good
continuous power source, but far too limited to include in any real
debate about the future of energy. It's there, it's good, we need more
Wind - Nice, with a future. I'm unsure of the environmental damage (the
Sierra Club cries about golden eagles, I don't know if any have
actually been killed yet), and it is pretty useless east of the
Mississippi, but in places like the Dakotas and Montana it should be
very good. Still, not practical for the large scale, as even the
largest wind farms produce only fractions of what a 1000MW nuclear
power plant can make. Wind contributed .1% of all the electricity the
US used in 1999, and will probably grow to maybe 1% by 2008. However,
it still is too hard to deploy, as mentioned, to provide anywhere near
the fossil fuels.
Geothermal - Nice, but it does have a few environmental concerns
(mainly noise and loss of possible wildlife areas like Yellowstone's
geysers if you really want to get the most out of geothermal). Plus,
it's very limited. The largest geothermal plant possible in the US has
already been made in California, and it still doesn't supply as much
power as a single nuclear power plant. We can squeeze a bit more power
out of geothermal, but it's just not that likely. Geothermal isn't
best used as an electricity source, but as a heating source, same as
solar. Most all of the hot water in Iceland is heated through
Coal - Ick. MUCH more radiation is given off in coal than in a nuclear
power plant, with much fewer safeguards and environmental concerns.
Hope you like sulfur dioxide, cause if you oppose nuclear power that's
what you're going to get. In 1999 Coal supplied 52% of all electricity
in the US. While it's safer now than it was 50 or 60 years ago (back
in the truly black, sooty days when sulfur dioxide and nitrous
emissions weren't being noticed), thanks to the implementation of
limestone scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators, and cyclonic dust
collectors, they still emit sulfur dioxide ranging from .4 to 3
million tons per year, in addition to even more dangerous NOx gases
and the usual CO2. Still, the fact that these plants don't take as
many permits and as large a capital to make as nuclear plants makes
them more attractive at the moment to investors.
Oil-fired and gas-fired plants provide some electricity, about 3% of
our total, but are generally not smart. They pollute, plus why not use
the fuel for cars while we can? Not a good application of oil.
Natural Gas is used to provide a good bit of electricity, about 15%,
but again, why not use it for something else (namely heating)? It's
clean, but running out fast. It's going at about the same rate as oil.
Trying to conserve it for heating is the best path I see...
Fuel cell technology doesn't seem very good for large-scale
electricity production, but it looks like a VERY good alternative for
gasoline in transportation. Give a good hydrogen storage tank and
we'll see a new industrial revolution in about 20 years. EXTREMELY
clean, reliable, affordable, in use already (Louisiana buses are
driven by fuel cells), and without any moving parts, they are a great
replacement to fuel injections engines.
Tidal and Ocean tech - Nearly useless with LOTS of green concerns. Tidal
generators use the idea that as tides rise you collect the water they
hold, then as they fall you dump the water like a dam. However, this
seriously screws up the marine life in the area, and very hard to
deploy (basically just a few areas in northeast Canada). Ocean thermal
energy converters were an idea where you'd make a huge pipe vertically
down in the ocean, and using natural convection of head you'd get an
amount of water to circulate and generate heat/electricity. Found
nearly unfeasible...might work later with better research, but pretty
much nobody is interested anymore.
Nuclear - The way to go for now for many reasons. Economically, they
are the most consumer friendly group, providing the cheapest power at
a very consistent rate. Plus, the economic barriers to building them
which scared off investors in the 70's/80's are being reworked by the
NRC and Congress, getting rid of much of the redundant bureaucracy and
numerous permits for the same exact thing. Soon it will only require
one permit to conceptualize, build, and operate a power plant instead
of 3 separate permits for each. Also, there will only be one public
hearing on safety instead of two(think of these as filibusters used by
coal companies to stop the building of nuclear plants), overall
reducing the time it takes to build a plant by anywhere from 1 to 4
Also, modular design in nuclear plants means that instead of 100
unique plants in the US there will be two major designs, making
retention for building crews very easy (thus giving incentive and
bonuses for the contractors to actually build the damn things on
time), employees can switch between plants without needing new
certifications or instructions, the plants can all be modified
together with new designs easier, and overall permit times and
building times will be shortened by the simple fact that the design is
already known and approved. Plus, the design of the new pebble bed
reactor, which uses helium in the heat exchanger means that plants
using a pebble bed core will be more efficient and have a much shorter
re-fueling outage than normal fuel-rod plants(20 days vs. 2-3 months).
Pollution is a concern. To say that there is no pollution is
incorrect. However, there are ways that are incredibly safe to deal
with the high level wastes. Out of the spent fuel of a nuclear plant
in a year(~30 tons), 28 of these will be U-238, .8 will be the highly
dreaded fission products (such as cesium-137, Strontium-90), .35 will
be unspent U-235, and the rest will be transuranics(U-238 which
absorbs neutrons without fissioning, such as plutonium, americium,
curium). It's that .8 in fission products plus the transuranics which
are the high level waste. These are currently stored in fuel rods they
were used in, and these fuel rods are placed into a pool of depleted
water (no minerals) 40 feet deep, with 6 foot cement walls coated with
stainless steel on the outside. Any dosimeter will tell you that no
radiation escapes (last month I visited the U of Illinois campus
nuclear reactor and verified that for myself, actually. Got to look
inside of the core, and inside the fuel storage pool).
Now, what to do with these high level wastes that amount to about a
ton per year per plant. Right now they are, as mentioned, safely
stored in pools right next to the reactor. The water blocks any
radiation, plus cools them down from their high core temperature, plus
keeps the energy given off as they decay cool. Some plants have been
doing this for 25 years already. So right now the high level wastes
with very short half-lives are already being worn down. But what to do
with Cesium and its 30 year half-life, or the transuranics and their
1000+ year half-lives?
There are two steps. Containment and isolation. First of all, the
fuels are inside dense oxide fuel pellets and zirconium metal rods,
together which retain more than 99.99% of the waste by-products from
fission. This is under EXTREME high temperature, high pressure
conditions which never take place in the handling of the fuel later.
However, if they are to be taken to geologically sound locations
later, they must be stored in safe containers designed mainly to
prevent the flow of water in or out, as well as prevent the flow of
any by-products. The first step is to make the waste form acceptable.
The fuel pellets we use will corrode, nor spontaneously turn into
liquid, so it will not mobilize on its own (good). Next, the waste canister
of steel or carbon is placed around it, with alloys of copper or
titanium. These will last thousands to hundreds of thousands of years
even under the constant heat and radiation of the fuel, even if
exposed to ground water. Next, an overpack encloses all the other
layers, and often a certain mix of dried cement is placed surrounding
the inside layers from it. Thus, should any ground water reach this
layer, it will turn into cement and not let any more water pass. Over
THIS is a packing which stuffs the space between the host rock and the
container. This is usually bentonite clay and crushed rock, which are
very effective at reducing the movement of ground water into the waste
package, and delays the migration of any waste by-products from the
waste form. A 1-foot thick packing can delay the movement of strontium
and cesium up to 10,000 years, as one example.
EVEN IF all these somehow fail, and water makes it in, the waste form
itself acts as a final barrier, as the pellets hold the elements well
while maintaining nearly no solubility at all. And even if THEN it
gets it...it needs to flow all the way back through the same
obstacles. Not going to happen.
These engineered safeguards are not designed to last forever. What
will happen though, to the transuranics which will outlast the
containers (many thousands of years, but it will happen), is that they
will be stuck in the isolation factor of the equation. By storing them
in safe geological repositories they will be nearly harmless, delayed
for many hundreds of thousands of years before they could do any harm.
Utah claims to be concerned about transportation of nuclear waste
through the state. Let's talk background radiation for a second. Each
person receives about 125 millirems of radiation per year from
everyday sources, such as the sun, microwaves, xrays, natural
elements/minerals, hell even bananas are a source of measurable
radiation. 500 millirems is the most the US gov't allows an average
citizen as a safety rule, and 5000 millirems(5 rems) is the most
allowed to a nuclear power plant worker (although, with the exception
of Chernobyl, no worker has ever even approached those rates, the VAST
majority stay under the 500 millirems of average citizens.). So 125 is
average, 500 is most allowed for most people, and workers can get 5
If you were to live 90 feet from a road that saw 250 shipments of
spent fuel, the increase to your annual exposure would be a fraction
of a percent of what you get from normal sources. Virtually immeasurable.
The transport cask, which must survive 40 foot freefalls onto
unyielding surfaces, direct falls onto steel rods, 1475 degree F fire
for 30 minutes, and underwater submersion for 8 hours straight, ALL IN
SEQUENCE ONE AFTER THE OTHER without a SINGLE leak of so much as a
drop of water. If that isn't safe enough...well, I can't really figure
out a way to finish that sentence. But it's safe. I watched a couple
videos of trains colliding with these casks at 80+ MPH. Now THAT was
some cool! No damage to the things at all.
The radiation shielding these things have is cylinders of
steel(1/2" thick) clad with 4 inches of heavy metal shielding,
enclosed by a shell of 1 1/2" thick steel, surrounded by 5"
of water, encircled by a stainless steel outer jacket. No radiation is
Okay, enough about safety, I hope that's convinced you a bit of the
safety of waste products and whatnot. How much fuel do we have? We
have a TON. It is dirt cheap because it is unbelievably common.
Uranium mines are generally not sought after because there is far too
much supply without the demand. Plus, fast-breeder reactors allow more
fissile material to be made at the expense of unusable U-238. Without
getting into too much detail, these plants don't have a moderator,
instead letting fast neutrons form with U-238 to make Plutonium, a
fissile material, while some neutrons hit Plutonium to cause more
chain reactions. More plutonium is made than used, so you can get more
fuel from less fuel. Plus, reprocessing allows unspent fuels to be
re-used (They do this in France right now), further extending usable
fuels while reducing wastes. All in all there are about 26000 Quads
worth of coal left, while the world uses about 90 Quads per year
(assuming use is nearly constant, 300 years left). There are many
times more uranium in the world. We can provide all the electricity we
want for pretty much as long as it takes until we develop fusion to a
measurable degree. Lots of uranium.
Dan mentioned the safety of plants, i.e. Chernobyl and TMI. TMI has
already been addressed, it released only a trace amount of reactants
(mainly Xenon gas) into the public, while the containment building did
everything it should, and the core stabilized. It's a wreck
economically, but it caused no problems environmentally, and served to
give the alarm for tighter safety systems and increased emphasis on inherently
safe systems as opposed to human-controlled safety systems.
Chernobyl flat out CANNOT happen in the US. The reasons are twofold.
1) We do not use RBMK reactor design, which has a graphite moderator
(useful for plutonium production). This reactor type, if it loses all coolant,
can run into severe problems, as the graphite still remains to keep
the reactor running. As the reactor runs, it gets hotter without water
to boil off, and the graphite can then catch fire or explode. Boom. We
use water as both a moderator AND coolant source in all our plants,
thereby making sure that if we DO lose coolant, the moderator goes
away too, thereby causing all reactions to stop. With the reactions
stopped, an ECCS can dump high-pressure water onto the core to cool it
off, and no problems then.
2) They did not have a containment building. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE
NO. Like with guns, no matter how safe you think it is, ALWAYS treat a
nuclear power plant as if the core can "explode", or send
highly radioactive particles miles around. As a result, all American
plants are required to have containment buildings. These are huge
concrete buildings, built to withstand (and they've tested this
successfully) B-52 crashes. They cost $800million, but they will
prevent any release of radiation to the general public, as they did in
TMI. The big fear at TMI is that hydrogen from a reaction would form
up, and blow off the top of the containment building, but no such
thing was close to happening. It easily held all radioactive particles
in. Chernobyl, and most plants like it in Russia, did not have one. If
it did, you probably wouldn't even know about Chernobyl. Since it
didn't, when the graphite blew the core out the top it spread
radioactive particles all over Europe. Oops.
Finally, any fears that a plant could blow up like a nuclear warhead
are absolutely impossible beyond impossibility. A nuclear warhead
requires 95% fissile material to sustain the chain reaction it uses to
blow up. No reactor has more than 3-5% enrichment. As a result, no
boom. Enriching to the 95% mark is something very few places can do,
and I believe they are all controlled by various governments around
That, is why I support Nuclear power as the solution for the next 100
years. No atmospheric pollution, high level waste can be dealt with,
safe, plentiful, more jobs, constant...altogether the best road.
Fusion - Definitely need research, looks very promising provided we
can figure out how to mimic the sun. Right now we CAN do it. We use
tritium and deuterium to fuse into...lithium-3 I think? I'm not sure
about that one...there's a few kinds of fusion possible, with the
harder ones being the ones we want to do. The end goal is fusing two
hydrogen together to form helium (roughly). This causes NO radiation,
NO waste products, uses water for fuel, and is incredibly powerful. It
is THE ultimate energy source. An Olympic sized swimming pool could
supply the power for a city of about 400,000 people for a YEAR. Yes, I
think that works nicely. Which is why I'm studying nuclear engineering
to work with fusion in college now.
The problem with getting those good kinds of fusion? Pressure and
containment. The sun can provide an UNBELIEVABLE amount of pressure,
and hold the resulting fused helium for thousands of years before
finally releasing it (gaining all the energy efficiency it can). We
can provide about 10^-9 amount of pressure, and can hold the result
for about one second. We can, however, provide hotter temperatures
than the sun can. We're around 200 million degrees K compared to 15
million for the sun. Go us. We can use this to fuse various isotopes
of hydrogen such as deuterium and tritium, but these have problems,
such as tritium's radioactive properties and deuterium's slight rarity
(it's still fairly common though). Lithium-3 is also used I believe,
it's a bit safer but a bit harder to fuse.
I saw fusion in action about a week ago, now that was nifty. Just
something to say, "I saw fusion".
So there you go.
| GORDON |
7:58 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030618_1
answer the door...I'm downloading Metallica tunes."
Senator Orrin Hatch thinks it would be a good idea to "destroy the
computers" of "copyrights violators."
|WASHINGTON - The
chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (news
sites) said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to
remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music
from the Internet.
The surprise remarks by
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing on copyright abuses
represent a dramatic escalation in the frustrating battle by industry
executives and lawmakers in Washington against illegal music
During a discussion on
methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and
movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about
ways to damage computers involved in such file trading.
Good old, level headed, technology oriented politicians. Never afraid
to put vigilante justice into the hands of their campaign contributors.
|Orrin's top contributors.
- HealthSouth Corp $38,255
- Pfizer Inc $34,000
- Qwest Communications $29,000
- Metabolife $27,250
- AT&T $25,499
- Torchmark Corp $25,000
- AOL Time Warner $24,000
- GlaxoSmithKline $21,000
- Novell Inc $20,500
- SmithKline Beecham $20,499
- Oracle Corp $19,750
- Global Crossing $19,500
- Verizon Communications $19,500
- Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America
- Viacom Inc $18,750
- Schering-Plough Corp $18,000
- Bear Stearns $17,750
- SBC Communications $17,500
- Merck & Co $17,440
- Rexall Sundown Inc $17,000
- Walt Disney Co $17,000
Of course, not everyone around him at the time was crazy about the idea.
|"No one is interested in
destroying anyone's computer," replied Randy Saaf of
MediaDefender Inc., a secretive Los Angeles company that builds
technology to disrupt music downloads.
They probably thought he was joking, or perhaps using hyperbole.
|"I'm interested," Hatch
interrupted. He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only
way you can teach somebody about copyrights."
But they'd be wrong. And, it occurs to me that it's pretty hard, or
impossible, to remotely "destroy" someone's computer. Then I
realized...he never said "remotely." I assume a thug would
come to my door with a baseball bat, and ask the way to my office. I
wonder if they'd break my legs instead of my PC, as an alternative?
After all, I have health insurance.
|A spokesman for the Recording
Industry Association of America (news
sites), Jonathan Lamy, said Hatch was "apparently making a
metaphorical point that if peer-to-peer networks don't take reasonable
steps to prevent massive copyright infringement on the systems they
create, Congress may be forced to consider stronger measures."
The RIAA represents the major music labels.
I think, technically, you officially become a Crazed Wacko when you support
an anti-piracy scheme so draconian that the RIAA thinks you
If you support Senator Hatch (R-Utah) and want to let him know about it,
here is the link to a comment
form on his webpage. I'm sure he'll be glad to have your words of
| GORDON |
9:54 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030617_2
|Eddie R asks via
Why do men have nipples?
>> So we know where to attach
the jumper cables.
Why do people say they need to step outside to get some air? Like in
the movies they always say " I need to go outside and get some
air" Does that mean that the air inside is some how disappearing
or did someone fart or what?
Funny you mentioned farting...you were close. People "step
out for air" because they had eggs and beer for breakfast, and
they need to cut one.
And from the forum, resident depressive Malcolm asks...
|10. Why does Gene Shalit seem to
like every piece of shit he reviews? I think he's the one that
gave Carnosaur a
>>He has been legally insane since 1980
when exposed to the movie Xanadu
on the big screen. How else do you explain his grooming
9. On what day exactly did Michael Jackson change from black to white?
>>October 16, 2001. His album
"Bad" was so corny, it could only have been released by a
8. Why is Chris Walken so evil?
>>He has to be, for when we need him to
represent humanity in our fight against "The Visitors."
7. What are my chances of graduating college & not dying from a
chemical overdose of some sort?
6. Is Iowa good for anything?
>>Keeping the liquid core of the Earth
from welling up and covering important states. See:
Nebraska. But not as an important state. Because it serves
the same purpose.
5. Who needs to die more : Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica
Simpson, Charlotte Church, Vanessa Carlton, or Michelle Branch?
5. Will "Friends" ever really go off the air or will NBC
keep milking it?
>>It will be milked another season, and
then be turned into a theatrically released movie. There will
be male nudity.
4. What's a good brand of vodka?
3. Should I bother to go to the cinema to see T3?
2. How long before EQ is officially declared a drug & made
>>Never, but EQ2 will be declared a
controlled substance on July 23, 2006.
1. Why does fate hate me?
>>Because you owe her money.
Gordo is good, Gordo is wise, Gordo knows all, Gordo sees all.
| GORDON |
12:55 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030617_1
I was shocked every time I opened my email
this last weekend and found, literally an email asking a WWGD? question.
the best one I've received so far. Acidman asks:
Why are some Bics digger than others?
Excellent question, A-man.
So keep those questions coming. Gordo knows all, sees all.
| GORDON |
6:51 pm EDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030616_1
is, "Because he's so damned smart?"
In a continuing effort to improve the
world, I will now be taking questions needing answers. Anything and
This is advice and general
knowledge, not "Stump Gordo." If I get some good ones, they'll
be posted. If I get enough questions, they'll be catalogued and indexed
and will have their own page.
Would Gordo Do?
When you need to know, ask
No, seriously. What's the point of being the
smartest human on the planet if you can't use your powers for Good?
Gordo is good; Gordo is wise.
| GORDON |
5:19 pm EDT | Feedback
holding out for a Kevin Bacon.
Apparently, the movie Footloose
hasn't been shown in Dearborn, Michigan in awhile.
surfing found this:
Arab students seek prom balance
Thursday, June 12, 2003 Posted: 10:11 AM
EDT (1411 GMT)
Fatimah Ajami, left, dances with friends during the
Fordson High School prom in Dearborn, Michigan.
(AP) -- A
hip-hop song ends, and as the throbbing beats of a traditional Middle
Eastern line dance fill the room, the Fordson High School seniors form
a less-than-stellar line and begin to dance.
Across the room, 23-year-old Hassan Makkad
slouches in his chair with his arms across his chest. Though he
doesn't care for slinky gowns and coifed hairdos, it's the women
wearing the traditional Muslim hijab, or head scarf, who receive the
brunt of his disapproval.
"It's not for me to judge," says
Makkad, who is Lebanese but has been in the United States for five
years. "But in my opinion, if you take the hijab, you shouldn't
be out there dancing."
First of all, in my whiteness, I find this...odd.
Prom, in my experience, was nothing more than a celebration of the end of
school. There weren't any politics, religion, guilt, or duty involved
with it. It was just prom; no big deal. All of this to do over
nothing just seems strange. The fact that a culture can be so uptight is
stranger. The fact that it's cultural, and the reason most of these
people originally immigrated in order to enjoy greater freedoms than in their homelands
is strangest. If you want to live in Iran, then why come to America?
|The prom at Fordson High, where
the enrollment of about 2,300 is 95 percent Arab, underscores key
dilemmas confronting Arab-American youth -- balancing assimilation and
acceptance, and being American without being too Americanized.
Yes, what a horrible thing to become Americanized. To paraphrase
Dennis Miller, "Welcome to the American melting pot. Now MELT,
|Wafa Shuragdi, one of Fordson's
bilingual teachers, says many parents won't allow their daughter to go
to the prom for fear word will get out she was with a boy.
"It doesn't matter if they were just
friends," said Shuragdi, who holds a doctorate in gender studies
from Detroit's Wayne State University. "After the prom, they
become the talk of the town. That kind of talk lessens her chances of
having someone come and ask for her hand in marriage."
Yes, becoming Americanized is a frightening thing. What would you do
unless you could stigmatize a teenager for acting like a teenager?
Damned shame that stoning is illegal in the Unites States. These
unchaperoned girls are obviously committing adultery. And I don't even
want to contemplate why a man would ask for a girl's hand in marriage that
he's never dated. I don't want to believe that such things happen in
this country, in this century.
|"We don't want him to
go," says Naziha al-Hanodi, Suheib's mother. "More
importantly, even if we approved, he wouldn't want to go. He didn't
even tell us about it. He's been raised from childhood to know the
difference between right and wrong."
This kid must be in the top 5% of uptight students in the country. He
"knows the difference between right and wrong." But apparently
not enough self control to not go to the prom and....well, control himself
when a girl shows a bare ankle on the dance floor.
|"Outside our country, or an
Islamic country, there is always concern about bad influences,"
Again, self control.
|Belquis Al-Khateeb, an
18-year-old Yemeni born in the United States, is married, wears the
hijab and is seven months pregnant. Her husband dropped her off at the
prom but didn't attend.
| GORDON |
10:18 pm EDT | Feedback
sure nobody touches my vehicle. Sir.
As a former enlisted man, this
article on Sgt. Stryker
left me smiling.
|His grand vision and elevated
status are a cause for amusement among other troops. One sergeant
joked that when Mr Wirges went for a meeting with senior bankers, his
commanding officers stood outside guarding his vehicle.
Go read it....quite interesting.
Good thing he was Army, though. I
hate to admit it, but I think if he had been a Marine, his specialized skill set
would probably have been overlooked.
| GORDON |
1:45 pm EDT | Feedback
this one in just under the wire.
| GORDON |
11:26 pm EDT | Feedback
look for the needle in the haystack. That way lies lawsuit.
Always a work in progress, I was thinking of writing a
search script for the pages in the DTMan network. This would enable
visitors (and me) to quickly find old articles for reference, or just to
reminisce in how moronic I can be at times.
Simple search engine. No
problem, right? Legal and stuff? No.
On April 3, 19-year-old
Jesse Jordan received a call that changed his life.
The freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute in Troy, N.Y., learned he was being sued by one of the most
powerful trade groups in the United States, the Recording Industry
Association of America.
Jordan, an information technology major,
created ChewPlastic.com, the second most popular search directory on
the RPI campus.
"You go to the site, you type in a
search term, and it finds files on the network," Jordan said.
Jordan compares his site to Google, the popular Internet search
But the RIAA likens Jordan's site to Napster,
the now defunct song-swap service that revolutionized the distribution
"The service was no different than
Napster," said Amy Weiss, senior vice president of communications
for the RIAA. "With one click of a mouse, you can get music, you
can get anything you wanted."
Apparently, this search engine would only be lawsuit-proof if I hard coded
it to omit any and all media files. Assuming said files weren't
|But Jordan did agree to pony up
$12,000, his entire savings account, to the RIAA. Jordan and his
father, Andy Jordan, felt the settlement was their best option.
So, the precedent has been set....forfeiture of my life savings gets me out
I ain't got none.
| GORDON |
9:33 pm EDT | Feedback
And now...from the same people who brought you the
Capital Gains Tax, Death Tax, and the Marriage Penalty....we have Cable Modem
|The FCC is
considering levying an additional tax of up to 9.1 percent on the
revenue of cable modem providers. In theory, a cable provider is not
required to pass the tax increase along to customers, but in practice,
companies tend to do just that. EarthLink said last week that it would
prices because of digital subscriber line (DSL) taxes imposed
by state governments.
So far, few people have
paid attention to the FCC's proposal, which began in typical
bureaucratic fashion with a reference on paragraph 78 of a 58-page
filing in February 2002. Even the FCC has mostly ignored it,
spending the past 16 months focusing on broadband
deregulation and media
now that those hotly contested votes are over, the FCC is planning to
return to its February 2002 proposal, with D.C. buzz predicting formal
regulations by the end of the summer.
A lot of folks I know don't mind paying more taxes as long as they are
going toward what, in their minds, are "worthy programs," or some
such thing. I leave your own conclusions to be drawn:
|About 85 percent of the fund's
revenues are split between two causes: the "e-rate" program
(40 percent), which subsidizes school and library Internet
connections, and rural telephone companies (45 percent), which might
otherwise end up paying more for telephone service than city dwellers.
The remaining 15 percent goes toward discounts to low-income
subscribers and funds rural health care.
Personally...I think a 9.1% increase on my cable modem bill...currently $45
per month, would be rounded up from approximately $4 to $5, in only because it
keeps the rate Time Warner charges nice and round. But hey, for some
reason my government feels I need to subsidize phone lines for people who choose
to live out in the middle of nowhere.
| GORDON |
10:13 pm EDT | Feedback
Just relocated, to any casual browsers just passing
through. 1700 miles from Nebraska to coastal North Carolina can only
mean one thing....fun fun fun. Through six states. States like
Missouri, and Arkansas.
The DTMan Army was mobilized.
We did the drive in four days. The first day was
the fun fun packing of the moving van.
Forum members UnkBill in the foreground, Cakedaddy in
Unk and his s.o., my s.o. in the
truck. I was supervising.
We loaded the truck and hit the road at
approximately 9pm...we had hotel reservations in Kansas City, Kansas.
Little farther away than I thought; we didn't check in until after
midnight. I think what I underestimated was how it would be driving a
25' moving truck which was hauling a Ford Ranger. Nerve wracking, at
The hotel in KC is not memorable. We
all collapsed in exhaustion, except for me who stood guard Terminator
The next morning I sounded reveille bright
and early, and we hit the road to Memphis; there to pick up Vince
and eat barbecue.
Both missions we accomplished. Vince
stood guard that night in order to give me some down-time.
Up again bright and early for Raleigh, North Carolina. It is only a
couple hours from our final destination, but we'd anticipated hitting Raleigh
by about 8pm, there to meet Thibodeaux and TheCatt for dinner, both high
ranking NCO's in the DTMan Army. As it is, we didn't get there until
after midnight...as such we couldn't join up with them.
The hotel was the Howard Johnson, at 3120 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC, 27610, 919-231-3000. I've stayed a lot of places in a lot
of countries, and this hotel was easily the nastiest place I ever paid money
for. It was 1am when we checked in, and almost 2am before the truck was
buttoned up for the night, so we were just too weary to change rooms.
in no particular order, are the features of our adjoining rooms.
crap on the floor next to the partially-made beds.
grit and crap in the bathrooms.
condom wrapper near another bed.
fluid on the floor near the bed and empty condom wrapper.
condom near the phone. Now that's convenience!
all that existed of one of the remote controls. A battery cover.
didn't get a picture of what looked like a train of queen ants crawling up the
wall near my bed.
We got up extra early to get out of that
nastiness....then we realized that where we parked the moving van was a
no-outlet area. We had to unhook the pickup truck and turn the van
around, and reconnect everything.
It was a
relatively short two hour jaunt to our final destination.
at the house, we discovered how close we pay attention to important things
like making sure the truck is attached to the trailer dolly:
main strap has come off the tire, and the subsystem chain around the axle is
the only thing that held the truck on the trailer. Yikes.
we arrived without incident (not counting the basketball hoop outside Vince's
house), and unloaded the truck in about half the time it took to load.
Vince had to go on a mission back to Tennessee the next morning, but the rest
of us went to the beach and watched Cakedaddy build a sand castle, somewhere
between the low and high tide lines.
His tactical trench actually did protect the main structure
through quite a few wave strikes before finally being overrun by the
encroaching ocean. Cursed moon, harsh mistress and seductive attraction.
| GORDON |
6:07 pm EDT | Feedback
I almost had to write my own update, today..
I spent most of today in the sauna. Meaning, I was
doing work outside around the new house. I was sweating before I
finished putting gas in the lawn mower. Slightly different weather than
Had a hard day, and as such I have not much creative energy with which to
write an update. Thankfully, forum regular TheCatt made a pretty good
post today, which I will now use in its entirety.
|So I've been
thinking about health insurance lately, especially since I recently
lost mine. Prior to losing mine, I paid $500/month for my wife
and myself. As such, I felt like I should get MRIs, XRays, or
whatever else I needed. I took Claritin even though I only have
mild allergies, cuz it did help some, and was cheap with insurance.
Since I had to pay for my own health insurance, I felt like I
should get my money's worth. Now, I have $100/month catastrophic
insurance, and nothing else. I cut down my medicines from 3 to
1, and replaced that 1 with a generic. Why? Cuz I pay for
As I watch commercials for medicine, I know that people are going to
their doctor and asking specifically for the medicine they saw on TV.
They don't know it costs $150/month, and they don't care. To
them it's just $10-$40/month. When they visit the doctor, they
don't think "This is $120", they think it's a $10/20 copay.
As long as the true costs of medical care are not passed
directly to the consumer, then we will not see meaningful reductions
in the cost of health care.
As seniors complain about the high costs of medicine, and companies
increasingly pass along costs to consumers, people are becoming fed up
with health care costs. They call for the government to act, or
for their employers to act. But what they really need to do is
act themselves. Ask their doctors about cheaper alternatives,
find out information about the different treatments that are available
and use the power of the market and competition to drive down costs.
If costs are the responsibility of the consumer, they will demand
better and cheaper alternatives. Of course, pharmaceutical
companies will complain about their research (and advertising) costs
and "limited" patent protection. Given the length of
the FDA trial process, drugs often lose a significant portion of their
protection waiting for approval. Perhaps costs could be reduced
by shortening the FDA trial process, allowing for European approval to
be equivalent to American approval or making trial drugs available to
patients who may need them. Additional changes could be to
protect drug manufacturers from most lawsuits if they drugs has
received FDA approval, reserving the courts for gross negligence or
Of course, these changes could be expensive to some individuals,
especially those who are having children or have a chronic situation.
While the costs of health care insurance would theoretically be
passed on to the employees, this still leaves out several groups.
Comprehensive health care could be available through normal
market means. Meanwhile, catastrophic health care could be
provided through socialized means as well as maternal care as well.
These are only ideas, but I think they could help. As it is, the
current situation is becoming less and less tenable, and complaints
are only rising. By re-introducing market forces, reducing the
burden of health insurance companies and instituting FDA reform,
however, the problem could be helped.
I'm a big fan of leaving market forces be, so I couldn't have said it
better myself. President Reagan also had a few things to say somewhat
relating to this subject:
|Public servants say, always with
the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if
only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the
truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does
nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.
October 27, 1964
We who live in free market societies believe
that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created
from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human
spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are
given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting
from their success -- only then can societies remain economically
alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the
one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the
notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic
September 29, 1981
Are you willing to spend time studying the
issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to
family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government
handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against
socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors
without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion
of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If
some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals
from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are
just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
October 27, 1964
| GORDON |
8:36 pm EDT | Feedback
to the beach.
All happily relocated, hopefully to never set foot again
in Nebraska. After the hellish year I've just had, I am extremely
pleased to be back in the path of most of the hurricanes that hit the east
"Once I thought I was dead. Turns out I was
only in Nebraska." - Little Bill, Unforgiven.
The vacationy bits were fun, but living there was like
just giving up on life. It was like...giving up. Screw that.
Nebraska and France suck.
Lots of this where I now live:
The most mediocre view of the ocean beats
anything Nebraska has to offer.
Some pics and stories from the 5 days of the move...coming soon.
Thanks to Leisher for updating in my absence. And props to
him for untangling my HTML. He and my code are crazy old
Side note not relating to anything: I'm presently
reading a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Fun fact: sometimes in personal
and professional correspondence, he signed his name, "Th.
Jefferson." Got me to thinking I should start referring to myself,
Steve Gordon, as, "St. Gordon." Doesn't really apply, but
every dictator needs a title.
I'm coming at you correct.
| GORDON |
10:20 pm EDT | Feedback
Best Buy Quality
This afternoon, I took a trip to Best Buy
to look at Car Stereos for the wife. I walked into the Car Audio
section and went immediately to the computer they have there to
punch in her car type so I could find out which stereos were
compatible. I got the list and hit "Print" to get a hard copy
and immediately received an error that the printer was out of
paper. At this point, the person working the Car Audio section
came over and said something along the lines of "How can I
Just for ease of reading, let's call him
Chuck. So you can picture him: Chuck is a young man with
bleached blonde hair and a large necklace hanging around his
neck. He is only about 18-20 and he talks like he's a street
Anyway, I asked him to get me a printout
of the list on screen. Chuck explained that he needed to run
over to Home Audio to do that because that's the only printer
What? Excuse me, but this is Best Buy. Are
you telling me that this company is hurting so badly financially
that they can't afford to put paper in the printers so their
customers can get what they need?
Anyway, Chuck came back with a sheet of
paper missing half of the entries on the screen. I asked him
where the rest were and he said, "Well, that's how it came off."
At this point, I knew Chuck wasn't going to be as helpful as I
wanted him to be, but I decided to stay and see if I could get
more information. Chuck asked me what kind of stereo I was
looking for and I explained that I simply wanted a CD player to
put into her car. Chuck asked what I was looking to spend. I
explained that my wife had received several gift certificates at
Christmas and we wanted to keep the price low. After all, its
just a CD player for the car, and really how good of a system
does one need in their car? The longest trip she takes is to our
lake on the weekends and that's only an hour.
Chuck and I walked towards the wall of
stereos and he asked the limits of my price range. I again
explained that we wanted to keep it on the cheap side, and she
wouldn't have a need for a car stereo worth $500. Chuck then
asked, "Does she mind if it skips?" At this point, I just looked
at Chuck like he was an idiot. He smiled and responded that he
was serious. He went on to explain that if I didn't want a CD
player that skipped, then I should stick to the stereos that
were $120 and up. While Chuck is explaining all of this, I'm
still pondering his statement about the skipping. I stopped
Chuck and asked him if he meant skipping on a bumpy road, which
I would expect, or during normal driving. Chuck chuckled, and
said during normal driving.
At this point I had to ask Chuck if he was
being serious. He stated he was and discussed how the cheaper
players skip during normal driving down normal roads. I asked
Chuck why Best Buy would stock inferior CD players. He
explained, "We acquire all players for anyone." I thought I
understood what he just said and responded by saying they
shouldn't stock such products as it brings down their name. How
would you feel if you bought a CD player and it skipped as you
drove down a normal road?
Again, Chucks told me, "We acquire all
players for anyone." I didn't think Chuck was speaking English,
let alone following me, so I changed the subject back to getting
a CD player for my wife. After a few more questions, I thought
back to the cheaper ones and told that I just couldn't believe
Best Buy would stock something like that when they have the
market power to demand better.
Chuck then said, "You'll find the same
ones at Circuit City, Car Stereo One, and Meijer's." I told
Chuck that I'd expect it of Meijer's, but would expect the other
stores to use their influence to demand better.
Chuck looked at me and appeared to be a
bit upset when he responded, "We don't stereotype." Huh? He then
again repeated, "We acquire all players for anyone." Double Huh?
At this point, I thanked Chuck for his time and left.
So Chuck, if you happen to read this,
follow along with me here. You're an idiot. Pull your head out
of your ass and listen when someone speaks. You obviously have
no grasp of the English language, so let me help you out.
I was implying that Best Buy should use
its market power to force the makers of inferior car stereos to
fix their cheaper products so that they perform better. Best Buy
shouldn't want its customers to purchase faulty products because
those same customers and the people they complain to will equate
those faulty products with Best Buy. Then they'll take their
business elsewhere. I was not implying that Best Buy shouldn't
stock cheap products to keep the riff raff out, which is what I
believe you thought I was saying.
Of course, I also believe if Best Buy
wants to win over their customers then they should also hire
employees who are capable of normal human conversation.
All was not lost though as the guy working
the Computer department was extremely helpful in my search for a
new 3D card. Every other word out of his mouth was "Sir" and he
told me exactly how I could get a hold of the hard to find card
I was after. Maybe Chuck will take some lessons from this guy
before I return.
To cap my Best Buy experience off, I
passed by a new PC on display as I was leaving the Computer
department. Being a PC guy myself, I stopped to check out the
setup. Under the PC being displayed were packs of printer paper,
7:13 pm EDT |
Slow News Day
I am completely unmotivated to write a
post today, mainly due to being busy as hell here at work. Iím
going to post something anyway as I promised little Gordo I
would do while he was away. The bastard already gives me enough
grief about not posting often enough when heís around. I donít
need to hear him bitching about the lack of posting when heís
I was actually working on a longer post
for today concerning voyeurism and exhibitionism (yeah, that got
your attention didnít it?), but I didnít like how it was turning
out. Iíve filled it and will try and bring it back out next
For now, enjoy these random thoughts:
This news must piss off certain congressmen who believe the
future of our country lies in censorship and not good parenting.
The Amazing Race 4 starts tonight at 8
p.m. EST. Its the only reality show that I can get into. The
host isnít annoying, the show isnít over-hyped, there really
arenít any alliances, the people arenít all greedy backstabbers,
and they travel the world experiencing new cultures. The human
drama is more true to life as teams of two are made up of people
who know each other, like a father/son, or best friends, or a
married couple. I encourage anyone to give the show a try, even
if you hate reality TV, this show might be the exception.
While youíre visiting, check out our
forums. Youíll have to register to postÖpossibly even to see
them all, but weíre quite proud of the collection of people we
Have you ever seen Michael Mooreís
Bowling for Columbine? It won the Academy Award for Best
Documentary. Problem: It wasnít a documentary. Now some people
are trying to get the oscar
revoked. I fully support their movement. Not because heís a
democrat or because heís anti-war, but because heís a liar.
Someone who makes a documentary should be fiercely dedicated to
the truth. Hell, there are enough people in this country who
believe normal motion pictures represent the truth, we donít
need documentaries telling them how to think.
Boy it sucked to be the Redís starting
pitcher last night. The first three Braves up to bat in the game
all hit home runs.
Ok, Iím really grasping for straws here
and something new Iíve got to deal with just dropped into my
lap, so Iíll leave you with this final note:
Gordon and I had toyed with the idea of
putting webcams up on the site like other sites have done.
Nothing pornographic, just putting a face on things. We even
talked about linking other peopleís cams. Click Feedback below
to tell us what you think of that idea.
2:29 pm EST |
Yes, I am filling in for the Gordon as he
treks across the U.S. to find a new home. Actually, filling in
is probably the wrong word. As a co-founder of this site Iíve
posted many times before, but since Gordon does most of the
posting it seems like a one-man site. Letís just say Iím picking
up some slack.
After a nice long weekend, there really
isnít a lot that is pissing me off today so Iíll simply make
this a post of links and some random thoughts. Iíll do it Larry
King style and just ramble from statement to statement. For your
ease in reading, each paragraph will be a new subject. Enjoy.
To the girls over at
Right We Are, you can add
Kelsey Grammer to your list of celebrities. Check out the June
issue of FHM or Stuff (I forget which) to see his interview for
A little story for gaming geeks, non-geeks
can skip ahead: I was at
last Sunday tagging along as a cousin picked up Lost Kingdoms 2.
I noticed that Enter the Matrix had been released for all
systems and asked the clerk if he had heard anything about the
PC version. For those gamers reading this, youíll probably
understand that certain genres play better on the PC than the
consoles, and vice versa. I want to try this game, but donít
want to deal with bad graphics or bad controls. Anyway, this
gaming ďexpertĒ that EBGames hired told me he had heard mixed
reviews, then proceeded to go into a long rant about how the
X-Box is the superior gaming system to them all. His diatribe
included gems such as how the X-Box is ďdestroyingĒ the other
consoles in the console wars, and how the X-Boxís graphics are
far superior to anything the PC can churn out. I looked at this
person like he was the stupidest human alive on the planet, and
he may very be. I explained to him that the PS2 has sold 30
million units while the X-Box and Gamecube have sold about 2-3
million each. I also explained how the graphics cards in the
consoles were 2 years old and couldnít hold a candle to PCs,
which new graphics cards come out for every few months. Not to
mention that any console connected to a TV is going to be
severely limited right from the get go due to the TVís
limitations. This ďexpertísĒ responses were basically that the
X-Box was winning because he sold more of them in his store, and
the X-Box has better graphics because you can plug it into a
High Definition TVÖ
Speaking of gaming,
Penny Arcade! is my
favorite online comic and I encourage any gamers to visit there
frequently (new comics: Mon, Wed, Fri). Most of the comics will
remind you of you and your group of gaming friends, while the
site news will keep you informed on some upcoming titles that
may not get covered in so much detail elsewhere.
This may be a bit late, but
Iím sick of hearing about how Anika Sorrenstam ďproved she could
play with the menĒ. How the hell did she do that? Anika did
not qualify to play at The Colonial. Anika also did not make
the cut. Anika finished tied for 96th out of the 111 people who
made it to the second day. Keep in mind, this was on the PGAís
shortest course that was soaked with rain making it play much,
much easier than it normally does. Donít get me wrong,
Iím not a woman hater trying to keep a woman off the menís tour.
I simply HATE hype. Babe Zaharias was a woman that played golf
on the menís touryears ago, and I support her right to play. She
qualified to play in menís events and thus earned the right.
Anika is an exceptional golfer and I have no doubt that she
could easily earn the right to play on the menís tour by
qualifying. Iím actually more pissed off at the fact that the
LPGA wonít let a man play on their tour. Where is the equality?
If Anika could come to the menís tour to test her skills, why
couldnít a Tiger Woods go play on a ladiesí event and test his
skills? Why is this society so intent on tearing down sexual and
racial ďbarriersĒ for certain groups, yet leave them standing
for others? As a final note, how pissed off do you think
feminists were at Anikaís comments about her performance? If you
missed them: ďIt was a great week but I've got to go back to my
tour, where I belong,Ē she said. ďI'm glad I did it, but this is
way over my head.Ē
Speaking of stereotypes, if people were
really trying to make this country more ďequalĒ then shouldnít
we be doing something about
Well that should be enough of a post to
tide you all over for now. I have no idea when Gordon will
return. Until then, Iíll try to do a post a day or every other
day, depending on my mood and how busy I am at work.
12:03 pm EST |
Welp, time for the big move. As soon as I put this post
online, I'm tearing down my system. When you next see me, I
will blessedly be out of this godforsaken hellhole of a state.
I'll hit the forum on Sunday night from Vince's,
Minimum downtime is until Tuesday, but possibly up to two weeks
while I get the new house straightened out. I've given Leisher
the keys to the site, and if he can figure out my tangled HTML he'll
be updating in my absence. I give him 3:5 odds, against. ;)
Take care, Godspeed.
| GORDON |
4:40 pm CDT | Feedback.
I've not done any speculating either way since this ordeal
started, not only because I didn't have enough evidence to have an
opinion either way, but because I saw plenty of Scott Peterson (her
husband) bashing plenty of other places around the
blogosphere. All of it I saw had the guy convicted and were
calling for the death penalty.
Because cops never ever screw up, apparently.
Peterson's defense team says they have found the mystery
woman who can provide information about the real killers of
the California murder suspect's 8-months-pregnant wife, Laci,
and their unborn child.
sources told Fox News they're working to transport the woman
to a safe location because they fear retaliation against her
if her identity is revealed.
lawyers have been talking for weeks about evidence they say
will prove someone else kidnapped and murdered Laci.
the defense team says they are only days Ė if not
hours Ė from locating the people who they believe are
responsible for the killing.
Whether the guy is guilty or not, only a handful of people know
the truth. Stop forgetting "innocent until proven
guilty." It could be you unjustly accused, next time.
| GORDON |
3:03 pm CDT | Feedback.
The truth comes out.
Here's some of the nuggets of wisdom I've been exposed to lately
from somebody's mother.
There's still a couple days left in the visit and this may be premature,
but I'm seething with anger at the moment and need to vent.
I'll post more nuggets in the feedback thread as they occur.
"We were happier when I was younger. The country was a better place then.
People didn't get divorced, and families spent time together."
"People looked down on you back then if your parents were divorced. Some
parents wouldn't let their kids play with me because of my parents being
"And that's better than the way things are now?
"Do you think there's still that horrible stigma attached to divorce these days?
"Computers don't really speed up the world. In the old days I could just walk
into a store and buy something. Now, every other time the computer is down and I
have to wait.
"Yeah, well, the computer is still doing the work of 5 people, in inventory
"Yeah, well, everybody had a job back then, too.
"Today unemployment is about 5%. During the Great Depression it was about 30%.
"I wasn't alive then. And nobody was lazy then, everybody worked."
"Computer programming doesn't really require you to be smart. Most everything
is done off disks someone else already created.
"Actually, I wrote programs to disk every day.
"You actually created the disk?
"You created the disk in the factory?
"Oh, errr, well no. But I wrote the programs that went on the disks.
"Things were better in the old days.
"Well, you guys had Polio.
"Your generation has AIDS.
"So, your generation was better because your disease only killed kids?"
"Sitting in front of a computer all day isn't work. It's just being lazy."
"Autoworkers are smarter than computer people, because they make more money. My
husband made more than you do."
| GORDON |
5:19 pm CDT | Feedback.
On May 10th I told a story about what I
did a long time ago in Athens, Greece. Thibodeaux, a forum
regular, said, "Hey, I'll be in Athens next week!"
So, I called him out, and challenged him to repeat my performance.
This is his story.
spent our last two nights of our Greek Odyssey in Athens. We
dedicated one morning to visiting the Acropolis and other
antiquities. With Gordon's challenge in mind, I had planned
to try to come as close as I could to recreating his
notorious pose. The night before we were to visit the site,
I recalled Zetleft's suggestion to get a DTMAN.COM sign in
the scene. But how to improvise such a sign with the meager
materials I had on hand?
I had several
sheets of standard letter-size paper, but I didn't think
that a single sheet would be big enough, and I had no tape
to create an aggregated sheet. Perhaps I could find
something in the hotel room...aha! A long sheet of toilet
paper might allow me to form letters large enough to be
read. But how could I write on the paper? A pen or pencil
would likely shred it. Finally it hit me: the wife had some
nail polish in her kit.
A spent a few
minutes carefully marking out DTMAN.COM on a long sheet of
toilet paper, using only straight lines for that classic
Greek letter look. The polish soaked through, but
quickly dried. Soon I had what I thought would be a decent
sign, that folded up into a nice compact package to boot.
morning, we set off for the heart of ancient Greece's glory.
The wife, who would be snapping the shoot, would not only
cooperate if I agreed not to jump any barriers. Recalling
Gordon's brush with the law, I readily agreed. As we neared
the summit of the Acropolis, I noticed a sign outlining the
ground rules: no touching of marble, no picking up of any
rocks, no video cameras or tripods, and no (I'm going from
memory here) "obscene or defamatory" acts to be
photographed. Hmmm...would holding up a toilet paper banner
with a URL count?
We made our
rounds of the Acropolis marveling at the remains of
Pericles's golden age. I had identified Gordon's photo site
as the Erectheum, and arranged our tour to pass it last. The
Acropolis was crowded with tourists, so I knew I would need
to be circumspect, although perhaps the throng would provide
some cover. As we came near the porch of the Erectheum, I
noticed with joy that there was hardly anyone standing
nearby. I quickly glanced around for The Man as my wife got
into position. I unfurled the banner, but disaster nearly
breeze was blowing, and was making it difficult for me to
maintain the banner in a readable configuration. I was
worried that the tensile strength of the (admittedly
low-grade motel quality) toilet paper might be exceeded. As
I struggled with the banner, I hoped that my good wife would
be quick to snap a few quality shots.
short, round Greek woman came running up, blowing a
whistle. She was telling me that I wasn't allowed to
take a picture holding a sign. She asked what it said.
I told her it was a website, and I was very sorry, that I
didn't know this wasn't allowed. She made me throw the sign
away, and then she started pointing at my wife's camera. I
feared that she might try to confiscate it. Fortunately, she
only wanted to make sure it was not a video camera. We
apologized profusely and moved along.
my wife managed to get a shot that is about 95% of what I
was looking for. And so, here I am, Damning the Man from the
cradle of Western Civilization.
| GORDON |
4:48 pm CDT | Feedback.
Black Hills: Reloaded.
Back in '99 right before I left North Sioux City, SD for Memphis,
TN I took a very relaxing four day weekend in the Black Hills.
I decided I'd better see it before I left that part of the
country. Since then, many of you know I moved to Nebraska for
a time...and as I'm again leaving this region for the east coast, I
decided I'd better go see it again.
But this time I had a digital camera.
The map said it would be about a seven hour drive, so I left
early...I also wanted to take a scenic route on which there would be
light traffic. Vacations are no fun if you get stressed on
I know I mentioned a police chase in the teaser....and there
was....but I'm not sure how much detail I should give. I don't
want to end up as a Fark
entry, "Asshat evades police, brags about it on the internet,
jailarity ensues." Let's just say that I didn't break any
laws, but I did some things that to a lesser mortal might have been
deemed "reckless," and I did it in front of some sort of
public employee who was deliberately pissing me off. 1. The
Bandit would have been proud. 2. I'm very impressed
with the solid construction of my Pontiac. As rough as it
ended up being, I was certain I'd have at least bent something
underneath....but I didn't. Yahoo. Note
to any law-enforcement types: this is fiction, as far as you know.
But I digress.
Last year I was in a hotel in western Nebraska, and took a trip
to a local attraction, Carhenge. Wrote
about it. So of course I could pass through that area
again without taking a ganders.
Still a bit overcast...I can't seem to find that
place on a clear day.
Now, this part of Nebraska is pretty desolate.
Hours and hundreds of miles from anything that could be properly
called a city, the locals have made due with whatever was available
to them, carving their homes out of the rough stuff of the High
Plains. But, they never forget to show the proper hospitality
to weary travelers.
For you citified types, those are bales of hay.
Local avian residents, however, are less welcoming
to visitors. As the car door was opened to snap those pics, we
When I realized I needed a picture for posterity, it
had started raining.
Finally, before dusk, we arrived at our destination,
State Park. We'd rented a cabin right inside the
park. It was quite a scenic drive in...we saw lots of critters
right alongside the road.
Prairie dogs, the bane of cattle ranchers.
And of course, American Bison.
When I came here in '99, I noticed an interesting
phenomenon: when one encounters jackasses in this park, they aren't
shy like the other animals....they'll stick their head right inside
the car with you. This lesson wasn't lost on me.
Ahead on the right side of the road, I spied a herd
(flock? pod?) of jackasses. My mother-in-law was in the
Slowing to a stop, I pushed the button to roll down
her window, and slowly turned on my camera.... and began to laugh,
because the jackasses haven't changed.
She's cowering in fear. I'm snapping
pictures. Little woman's in the back laughing nervously.
I'm laughing whole heartedly, having difficulty holding the camera
steady. I only stayed there for three or four minutes,
though. I'm not a completely heartless bastard.
Many mountain roads later, we arrived at the main
lodge to check-in. There's a few rooms and a nice restaurant
in this "State
Game Lodge," but we wanted a private cabin. Here's
the sign hanging on the front of the lodge.
It says that President Coolidge moved the White
House here in 1927, and President Eisenhower stayed here in June,
1950. Eventually it will amended to also list
Got the cabin, went to the nearby general store for
firewood, dodged the bison, and relaxed a bit.
There are bison everywhere, including all around the
cabins. Picture is deceiving; the buffalo in the background
aren't more than 50 meters away. No fences. There was
not a thing stopping those animals in the background from charging
and goring me. In fact, the next morning there was one
sleeping outside our door. Directly outside the door. My
wife's screams made it leave.
She was caught somewhat unawares.
Next day, we decided to hit Mt.
Rushmore, and the under-construction Crazy
Horse Monument. We took a leisurely drive through the
park, and found lots of panoramic lookouts as we approached.
And, as always, it was humbling to stand before it
and be dwarfed by the mountain itself, and the reason it was
built. Because this is the most incredible nation in the
history of the planet, and I get to live here. It's hard to
take that for granted in this place.
And I crushed it.
Spent a couple hours there, and we had some lunch
while overlooking it. Then we headed toward Crazy Horse.
Their hook is that the Indians want the white man to
know that the Indians "have heroes, too." They are
carving up this mountain with only private donations....they have
refused money from the federal government more than once.
I visited here in 1999, it was small and rough. It was free to
park, and they just recommended you donate once you were in the
simple information center with the deck overlooking the
mountain. I picked up a free rock from the mountain, and
dropped $20 in the tip jar. As simple as the
"overhead" was, I felt like the majority of my money would
go into the carving of the mountain. This is a good thing.
When I was there last week, I saw where a big chunk
of my money must have gone: the new huge multi-million dollar
visitor center. Oh, and it now costs $20 to park your
car. And to be honest, I saw some, but not a lot of progress
on the mountain. It felt a lot more like being tricked by a
tourist trap than it did visiting a monument.
After the $20 cover charge, I took my rock and
avoided the tip jar, this time. Damned shame.
course, I had to crush it.
next day we decided to drive into Wyoming and visit Devil's
Tower. Least populous state in the Union, you know.
the drive through western Nebraska could be considered desolate,
then Wyoming is like....a thing even more desolate.
a llama farm somewhere after the state line.
took a scenic route and stopped for gas somewhere, so the entire
drive was between two and three hours.
At the park
entrance, we were told by a nice ranger lady that a climber had just
fallen off the tower, and to please give way for emergency
got the ambulance rigs in this picture. They had a part of the
trail circumnavigating the tower blocked off from rubberneckers, and
I loitered in that visitor center area for a couple hours, but I
never saw anyone...or any corpses...being brought down. I
don't know if the climber lived or died, but the scuttlebutt down
there at base camp said it was a girl that fell.
size of the thing is ridiculous. Here's a picture for
scale...the two dark specks near the middle are two climbers
standing on a ledge.
STOP THE INSANITY!
Oh, and I crushed it.
On the way back into South Dakota, I crushed both
the "welcome to" sign, and my two passengers.
Our last day in the park we decided to go horseback
riding, and to take a long drive down the scenic Needles
Highway. On which there are lots of rock formations known as
I don't have anything to show scale, but they really
are more impressive than I can show in this picture.
There are three one-lane tunnels on this highway,
and the story is told that the main engineer wanted all the tunnels
to center on Mt. Rushmore in the distance. He was told it was
impossible. He said, "Nigga, please."
Hard to tell in that image, but that is Rushmore on
Here's the actual "Eye
of the Needle" formation.
Ignore the edge of my thumb. Accidental
Horsie pictures will need to come later...due to
some camera restriction, those pics are on real film.
And, that was the trip.
On the way back I avoided the town in which I caused
some trouble, and I didn't get pulled over. However, if I had
I imagine it would look something like this:
Is there a problem, officer? You JACKASS.
A few more pictures are in a folder accessible
through the Feedback thread.
| GORDON |
8:51 pm CDT | Feedback.
Got back this evening, but too physically and emotionally drained
to tell the story that needs to be told.
There was another police chase.
Story after I get some sleep.
| GORDON |
12:10 am CDT |
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030520_1
DATA LOSS, HERE.
Did you hear me ask for jelly only?
You wanted just jelly on bread? I thought you meant no peanut
butter. Nobody eats just plain jelly sandwiches without
Men and women are two species set
apart by a common language.
| GORDON |
7:41 pm CDT | Feedback
||Link to: http://www.dtman.com/archives.htm#20030512_1
Happy Mother's Day.
To those to whom it applies.
| GORDON |
3:10 pm CDT | Feedback
The statute of limitations has expired. The story can finally
Once upon a time, I almost got thrown in jail in Greece.
A few coworkers and I were in Athens on
"business." This particular day we closed the deal
early, so we cleaned and stowed the weapons and decided to do the
We started down in the marina district. We had some lunch
at a place on the waterfront called "American Pizza," and
after had a few adult beverages while enjoying the sights. Of
the topless beach. On which we were the only men, for some
After a few hours we started walking, heading generally toward
the city center, or what seemed like it. A few hours and about
10 miles later found us in a market district, and we had a steak
dinner (with tomatoes and onions on the side) in an open-air
restaurant and did some shopping. I found a great shirt with
lots of hidden pockets, but still nice enough to wear to the discothŤque.
Chatted with the proprietor a bit, and found out one of her
suppliers was in Ohio, not far from where I grew up. Or...not
far from where up I grew. Whatever. At any rate, I went
to Greece and bought a shirt that was probably made in Fremont,
Ohio. Small world.
All of a sudden, we were at the base of a decently sized
hill. We checked the map, and realized we were at the base of
the Acropolis...from our position it looked like nothing more than a
big pile of rocks. Up we went.
actually a decent hike to the top, reminiscent of Mount Motherfucker
in California. Yes, I believe that's the official name of that
particular hill.... anyway, we passed through a massive
entrance thousands of years old, and I beheld the Parthenon for the
I was appropriately impressed. Underneath the sterile
skeletal facade, it was easy for me to feel the antiquity of the
place. I could see Greeks in the world's first Democracy
overseeing the construction of this place as part of a large public
works project. I imagined invaders from Rome and Turkey and
Germany and Germany once more using this position as a high vantage
point from which to keep an eye on the surrounding territory.
And, as I'd been drinking a lot that day, I wondered how cool it
would be to pee off the side.
As I was busy looking around, I failed to notice how portions of
the stone path were so worn with the treading of feet over thousands
of years that they were smooth as glass.
I wasn't paying attention and I slipped and fell on my ass, much
to the amusement of me mates.
ANYWAY...all of the structures were, at that time, cordoned off
by ropes. No touchy allowed. This pissed me off. I
didn't come millions of miles to the cradle of democracy to be
stopped by a freaking rope fence...and hell, I've infiltrated
tougher places than this.
There were antiquities police (or whatever) everywhere we looked,
so we'd have to recon a bit for a quiet corner...and we found one,
or so we thought. It was around a smaller structure in a
deserted alcove of the hilltop...perfect for what I had in
mind. The finger points to the location.
I gave my camera to one of the guys. I said,
"Ok...I'm going to jump this fence, sprint up the stairs, get
next to a column, turn around and lean against it. Snap the
picture the second I turn around, don't lollygag. Then I'm
going to get my ass off before someone sees me. Four seconds
from start to finish." This seemed like a good
plan, so we had a little countdown, and I was off.
Leaped the fence easily, and was bounding up the
marble steps. I was focusing hard on the task at hand, but was
somewhat surprised to see the guard at the top of the stairs but
back a bit, where none of us had seen him. I didn't hesitate a
micron as I watched the surprise register on his face...his second
of hesitation saved me. As I turned around and leaned against
the pillar for the picture, his hand was bringing a whistle to his
lips, and he was getting his mass in motion in my direction. I
saw Tillman snap the picture, and got myself moving back down the
steps...waiting for a hand to fall on my shoulder. It crossed
my mind that if I felt him grab me, I shouldn't throw him forward as
it was a long drop down some hard steps...fortunately he didn't
I got down the steps and jumped the barrier.
Ran the few feet to my buddies and turned around to see what we were
facing. For some reason he didn't blow his whistle...but I
guess he hesitated to chase me when he saw he faced three
not-out-of-shape guys. He stood at the top of the steps where
I had just been and jabbered for about 15 seconds in Greek. I
waited for a pause in his tirade and attempted to be
diplomatic...adding a lilt of apology in my voice, I told him that I
apologized for desecrating this national shrine, but I wanted a
picture, and that now we'd be going. He launched into another
fit, sounding even angrier.
Now, the guy who took the picture of me was my
associate, who we'll call Tillman. He is a large black
man...one of the ones with a bald head....and he has a pretty short
temper. About now he says to this guard, "Hey, he already
apologized. You'd better just calm yourself down," and
actually starts taking a step at this guy. REALLY not wanting
to cause an international incident, and not forgetting how close
help was for this guy if he blew his whistle, I caught Tillman to
check his progress, and Schmitty helped me get him turned into our
desired direction. It was time to "ass-out the
area," as we used to say.
We walked briskly but calmly toward the stairs out and down.
We left when we chose to.
And I have a great picture.
The guard is directly behind the pillar against
which I'm leaning. Almost sad that we didn't get him in the
And here's me leaving the country a few days later.
| GORDON |
10:58 pm CDT | Feedback
You kids be good.
Had a road trip appear unexpectedly, so no new posts this
week. I'll appear in the forum as often as possible.
Until next weekend be good, damn the man, and click the GuestMap
button in the right column.
| GORDON |
9:42 pm CDT | Feedback
Hacked by RIAA.
Last year I wrote
about the RIAA's attempt to get laws passed that would allow them to
hack into private computer systems to hunt and destroy media
files. I wrote my Congressman asking his opinion, and a month
later got a form letter thanking me for my interest.
Apparently my inability to fly him in on my corporate jet for an
expensive dinner and prostitute means I'm not worth listening to.
recent was my post
about the RIAA allegedly hacking private peer to peer file sharing
systems. They popped up messages to the users that they were
breaking the law, whether or not the person had ever actually
downloaded an "illegal" media file. Popular rumor
has it that this is only the most public of the RIAA's hacking
practices; Madonna's latest debacle is only the tip of the iceberg
in the practice of flooding the networks with "spoofed"
files. And, the fact remains that more than one file-sharing
network has been getting continually DOS
attacked (speculations are deep into the thread) to the point of
uselessness, and nobody seems to be able to track the source.
it seems that they've been developing attack plans before they've
even had a chance to be made legal.
|Some of the world's
biggest record companies, facing rampant online piracy, are
quietly financing the development and testing of software
programs that would sabotage the computers and Internet
connections of people who download pirated music, according
to industry executives.
The record companies are exploring
options on new countermeasures, which some experts say have
varying degrees of legality, to deter online theft: from
attacking personal Internet connections so as to slow or
halt downloads of pirated music to overwhelming the
distribution networks with potentially malicious programs
that masquerade as music files.
The covert campaign, parts of which
may never be carried out because they could be illegal under
state and federal wiretap laws, is being developed and
tested by a cadre of small technology companies, the
"Varying degrees of legality?" That's a new one
on me. I guess something can be somewhat illegal, but kind of
Before you start thinking, "well how bad could it
|Among the more benign
approaches being developed is one program, considered a
Trojan horse rather than a virus, that simply redirects
users to Web sites where they can legitimately buy the song
they tried to download.
A more malicious program, dubbed
"freeze," locks up a computer system for a certain
duration ó minutes or possibly even hours ó risking the
loss of data that was unsaved if the computer is restarted.
It also displays a warning about downloading pirated music.
Another program under development, called
"silence," scans a computer's hard drive for
pirated music files and attempts to delete them. One of the
executives briefed on the silence program said that it did
not work properly and was being reworked because it was
deleting legitimate music files, too.
Other approaches that are being
tested include launching an attack on personal Internet
connections, often called "interdiction," to
prevent a person from using a network while attempting to
download pirated music or offer it to others.
In summary, they want to send you a virus to redirect you to
content they decide you should see, they want to lock up your
computer system no matter how else it's being used, and they want to
deny you use of the internet. Because your nine year old
daughter wanted to hear the latest crappy N*Sync single.
say you're on a cable modem, and the RIAA decides to DOS your cable
modem using, file trading neighbor. Wouldn't the fact that you
and your neighbor are on the same network node mean that the entire
neighborhood gets DOS'd along with the alleged file trader?
Not to the same extent that particular IP will get attacked, but
still I can't imagine there not being an overall reduction of
And keep in mind, this is indeed all alleged.
Without a search warrant, the RIAA has absolutely no way to
determine whether or not I don't already own the vinyl or cassette
version of the mp3 copy I'm trying to obtain, which makes my file
download perfectly legal. All you can do if unlawfully
attacked by the RIAA is fork over a few thousand dollars to a
lawyer. And the RIAA has deeper pockets than you.
| GORDON |
4:26 pm CDT | Feedback
Saw X-Men 2 last night; excellent
flick. Spoiler alert: there was this one guy who went
like BAMF! and did a bunch of kickass stuff. Like, totally
During the movie, whenever
Mystique had a protracted scene, damned if I didn't have a hard time
focusing on the dialogue. Here's some Rebecca.
But then when I found pictures
of the X-Women in street clothes, I thought Jean Grey was the most attractive.
And then there's Storm, who appeared topless in
that other movie with Wolverine, and also that one with Slingblade:
And of course, there's tragic
Rogue. Can't skip her.
And it just wouldn't be right if I didn't
include the woman who had the kitty claws. She's a bad
girl. Bad girls are dirty. Dirty girls need baths...
What can I say, I like the ladies.
I do. I can't rant about stupid morons all the time...
if you want to see scantily clad X-Men, post them yourself. I
can't on principle.
Most of these pics are clickable,
by the way.
| GORDON |
11:14 pm CDT | Feedback
Why Dick and Jane are morons.
Because that's how they're being
taught. On purpose.
the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful
beheadings and call off Christmas!"
read that delicious line from "Robin Hood, Prince of
Thieves"--or even its components "lepers,"
"orphans," "beheadings" and
"Christmas"--in America's textbooks and
standardized school tests. The sensitivity police of
American educational publishing, as rigid and ill-tempered
as the sheriff of Nottingham, won't allow it. To them those
words are just too controversial.
Nor will you
see in your children's textbooks such things as
"birthday cake," "hot dog,"
"fireman," "brotherhood," "you and
your wife," "England ruled the seas, her navy was
huge," "the deaf," "mentally ill,"
"the elderly," "bitch" (in reference to
a female dog), "first baseman," "Chief
Sitting Bull" and even "bookworm." Why, you
can't refer to Africans as slaves or Jews as classical
mention George Washington Carver's work with peanuts or Mary
McLeod Bethune's National Association for Colored Women. You
can't breathe a word about magic, witchcraft, family conflict,
sexuality, satanism, evolution, the supernatural, Mount
Rushmore, owls, God, or Harry Potter.
Long time readers know my position on political
correctness, but for you three new people who have visited since
Christmas, I feel it is nothing more than policing thoughts.
Forbidden phrases and unwords are simply Orwellian shades of
1984. There is a difference between walking up to a person in
a wheelchair and saying "you are a worthless cripple," and
using the word "cripple" in its alternate and otherwise
completely valid sense, for example, "American students'
chances for success are being crippled by frivolous litigation and
the desire to be inoffensive at the expense of accuracy."
If any handicapped folks are offended at the word
"crippled" in that sense, then you better just stay
indoors. The world has too many rough edges for you.
isn't just political correctness making the children stupid, it's
the too often ignorant school administrative layer, more concerned
with avoiding lawsuits than making sure they actually teach someone
After all, colleges and universities are, before all
other things, businesses.
|A's are common as dirt
in universities nowadays because it's almost impossible for
a professor to grade honestly. If I sprinkle my classroom
with the C's some students deserve, my class will suffer
from declining enrollments in future years. In the
marketplace mentality of higher education, low enrollments
are taken as a sign of poor-quality instruction. I don't
have any interest in being known as a failure.
Parents and students want high
grades. Given that students are consumers of an educational
product for which they pay dearly, I am expected to cater to
their desires not just to be educated well but to receive a
positive reward for their enrollment. So I don't give C's
anymore, and neither do most of my colleagues. And I can
easily imagine a time when I'll say the same thing about
And even when an instructor takes his or her job seriously and
will not give away grades, they are punished.
|Brooklyn College has a
proud tradition of serving economically disadvantaged young
adults. It has, over the years, earned a strong reputation
for offering a rigorous, high-quality education to a largely
working-class student population. Many of those students are
the first in their families to go to college. Many have not
had access to the best schools, and many arrive at BC with
educational deficits that need remediation. It has been the
mission of the college to make it possible for those
students to improve their lot in life by providing them with
a first-class education. Frederick Lang--who is himself from
a background very like those of his students--believes that
the best way to open doors for these students is to train
them as well as it is possible to train them: even if it
means hurting their feelings by giving them honest
assessments, even if it means being the first person ever to
tell them that their writing isn't up to snuff, even if it
means slowing their time to degree by making them repeat a
writing course that they should not pass. Brooklyn College
administrators disagree with Lang: They say he is too harsh,
too exacting, and that he harms his students' self-esteem.
They cite as examples the fact that he counts off for poor
spelling (instead of giving credit for spellings that get
the general idea across), that he covers students' papers
with red ink (instead of just pointing out one or two
problems so that students won't get overwhelmed), and that
he compels students who can't do the coursework to repeat
the class (instead of just passing them on to the next level
if they complete all the assignments and appear to try
That instructor, Frederick Lang, has been
suspended from teaching in part because he docks points for
Dick and Jane are screwed.
| GORDON |
9:25 pm CDT | Feedback
"It's all Israel's Fault!".
Remember that time when I said I wouldn't be
posting on weekends anymore? Yeah, that was cool. Well,
it turns out that for the next month or so I'm traveling a lot, and
when not traveling I'll be moving half way across the country to an
ocean. As such, there will be frequent gaps in posting during
the week, so until things settle down I'll just post whenever I can
to compensate for dead air.
II gave the Arab world a big reality check. Not only did Allah
not intervene and crush infidel Americans who dared trod on ancient
Mesopotamia, but one of the biggest armies in the region was flicked
away like a booger from a nine year old finger, and there was no
uprising by the people, either, in any country. My guess is
that more people protest US Iraqi involvement in San Francisco and
Hollywood than do in Iraq as a whole.
stumbled upon this editorial the other day in Arab media:
|As the dust settles
over Iraq and the cacophony of excited voices on our
television screens dies down, the Arab world has begun to
stir from the confusion into which the swift fall of Baghdad
had thrown it, to take a good look at itself and take stock.
The political repercussions, as
ever in the Arab world, are not easy to ascertain, but the
fallout for the media is all too evident. To put it bluntly:
A great many journalists and media outlets have been left
with egg on their face. From accepting the wild claims of
Iraqi minister of information Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf, to
wildly predicting a jihad among the Iraqi people, very
little the Arab media speculated on had, when push came to
shove, anything to do with reality.
I agree with what the author
has to say, and disagree with what he omits. He states that
the Arab world cannot continue to blame Israel for their
problems. This is obvious to most people outside of that
particular argument. He goes on to state that Arab media was
wildly biased and too willing to accept falsehoods as fact, while
still managing to slip in a jab at western media.
I feel he omitted was a flat statement that the United States isn't
the cause of all their problems, either, but I guess that would be
asking for too much. I guess they need to work on not wanting
to blame/destroy a smaller country before than can stop wanting to
blame/destroy the most powerful country in the history on the Earth.
| GORDON |
4:15 pm CDT | Feedback
France getting uppity.
It's week-old news now, but I've needed time to contemplate it:
anti-war states to create EU army
Belgium, April 29 (UPI) -- Four European states that opposed
the war on Iraq agreed Tuesday to pool their armed forces
and set up a military headquarters independent of NATO in a
move dismissed as unnecessary by Britain.
Brussels, the leaders of France, Germany, Belgium and
Luxembourg signed up to a raft of measures that could lead to
a fully fledged European Security and Defense Union by the end
of next year.
My knee-jerk response to this news was, "What, they're
setting up an opposing force, ala Warsaw Pact? So I stopped to
think about it. And yes, I think they're setting up a force to
oppose United States "unilateral" action.
This brings up a number of points:
- What do "no war at any cost" countries need with a
combined military force in conjunction with their own national
- Aren't these countries pretty broke right now? No way
this will work without the United States paying the lion's
share, as usual.
- What happens in, say, Iran if the United States decides they
need a regime change, and this fledgling little club answers a
call from Tehran to defend the borders from US
The conclusion of these questions is, to me, "Nothing good
can come of this." In my opinion this force is being
created to thwart any actions by the United States in which they see
fit to disrupt. France is a wannabe Soviet Union in all other
respects, they might as well have their baby Warsaw Pact, too.
This is almost comical, considering their countries' ability to
wage war compared to that of the United States. But what if
they had another country join their little club, who had a little
firepower? Might the hub of the Axis of Weasel side with North
Korea? No. Well, not yet.
M. Chirac returned
from Moscow soon before making this announcement.
Interesting coincidence. One wonders if he was
recruiting. Putin so far hasn't suggested he'd join the Force
of Weasel, but he is making more pro-U.N.
noises. Nobody wants to be left out, I suppose.
| GORDON |
4:48 pm CDT | Feedback
For those who don't know, I lived in Memphis for a few years, and
was exposed to a lot of the idiocy of the State Government.
Every six month or so, the Governor, who ran on a platform of
never instituting a state income tax, would rally the state
lawmakers in attempt to impose an income tax. Every time this
would happen, it seemed everyone in Nashville stormed the statehouse
in protest. Near riot conditions. Right before I left,
it was reported in the news that to avoid public protest, his latest
attempt had been held at the governor's mansion, which is off limits
to the public.
Every other week there was a new story in the news about state
spending. One day it was the fact the state's fleet of
vehicles was going to be replaced with hundreds of the sport models
of Ford Tauruses. Upgraded to include cd player. Another
time it was when the governor's wife went to Paris with their son
for a week. At taxpayer expense.
Which leads me to another article I found.
recent years, the federal government has pumped millions of
dollars into highway safety advertising in Tennessee
goal: to combat images of death and destruction on the
highways with eye-opening images like those from the highly
acclaimed, "Booze It & Lose It" campaign
that money also bought bobbleheads.
bought a bobblehead?" asks one taxpayer.
money?" another asks.
all part of a campaign aimed at Nashville Predators' fans.
The state not only paid for advertising in the arena, but
10,000 Preds fans also received Scott Hartnell bobbleheads...
at taxpayer expense.
cost: $40,000 dollars.
If the people of Tennessee
let this slide next election time, my opinion of all southerners
will drop in general. (Interesting info upper right on that
| GORDON |
4:21 pm CDT | Feedback