Please note: the viewport design is copied from Steve Den Beste's excellent blog, USS Clueless. Used with permission.

Friday, September 30, 2005  

via New York Times

2 Teams Identify Chinese Bat as SARS Virus Hiding Place

Published: September 30, 2005

The SARS virus, which has killed 774 people worldwide, has long been known to come from an animal. Now two scientific teams have independently identified the Chinese horseshoe bat as that animal and as a hiding place for the virus in nature.

The bats apparently are healthy carriers of SARS, which caused severe economic losses, particularly in Asia, as it spread to Canada and other countries. In Asia, many people eat bats or use bat feces in traditional medicine for asthma, kidney ailments and general malaise.

The Chinese horseshoe bat does not exist in the United States.

The finding is important in preventing outbreaks of SARS and similar viruses carried by bats because it provides an opportunity for scientists to break the transmission chain.

posted by Gary Williams at 11:48 PM | link |

via Danish proverbs - Wikiquote

'En fugl i h?nden er bedre end ti p?taget.'

* Translation: 'One bird in your hand is better than ten on the roof.'

posted by Gary Williams at 10:35 PM | link |

[Politech] Member of DHS committee asks for comment on privacy"framework" [priv]

From Declan McCullagh's Politech

[Politech] Member of DHS committee asks for comment on privacy"framework" [priv]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Privacy Framework for Public Comment
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 12:29:21 -0400
From: Jim Harper
To: Declan McCullagh


At this weeks meeting of the Department of Homeland Securitys Data
Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, Joanne McNabb, Chief of the
California Office of Privacy Protection, and I circulated and presented
a draft Framework for assessing homeland security programs in terms of
their consequences for privacy and related values.

Members of the Committee will be reviewing it and test-driving it in
their respective work and studies of DHS programs and technologies.

Public comment on the draft would also be welcome, addressed to

I have posted a copy of the draft framework here:
Politech mailing list
Archived at
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (

posted by Gary Williams at 5:05 PM | link |


Check it! It is the first track "Dream State." It is off the new Ben Yomen album The Circles In Which We Walk dropping in February. We went to radio with his 12" EP late last year, which made number 4 most added, and made love in SF, Vancouver, & Ohio. You can peep some of the tracks early at the OPHOTN Records page.
Note (from Gary)Ophotn is on my contacts list on Recently, they added me to their contacts list, and I looked on their site and found this announcement, which seemed worthwhile...Update:oh, and poking around, I found an mp3 release of The Circles In Which We Walk (part of the album, at least).

posted by Gary Williams at 11:42 AM | link |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005  

[Doctorow] I've started podcasting my stories in serial form

I've finally started podcasting! I love reading my stuff aloud, but
it's not practical for me to find quiet places to sit down with a
mic and a Powerbook and record. So the idea is that I'm going to
record my stories in serial form from wherever I am: hotel rooms,
friends' sofas, airport lounges, whatever, and post 'em. You can
subscribe to the feed, or download individual installments as MP3s.
The podcast is also available through iTunes. Thanks to the Internet
Archive for hosting the MP3s and to Feedburner for munging the feed.

I've started the podcast by reading aloud from a novellette-in-
progress called "After the Siege," inspired by my grandmother's hair-
raising stories of being a little girl in Leningrad during the 900-
day Siege of Leningrad, which she recounted this summer while we were
at a family reunion in St Petersburg, Russia (Leningrad that was).




Cory Doctorow

posted by Gary Williams at 1:18 PM | link |

via Yahoo! News

Russian admiral named patron saint of nuclear bomber force

Mon Sep 26,11:09 AM ET

MOSCOW (AFP) - Historic Russian admiral Fyodor Ushakov -- a hero of Russia's wars against Turkey and Napoleon Bonaparte -- was designated the patron saint of nuclear-armed, long-distance Russian bombers by the Orthodox Church.

Russian Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, carried a reliquary and an icon of the admiral, who was canonised in 2004, into the Moscow chapel of the Russian Air Force's 37th Air Army in Moscow, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said Monday.

'I am sure he will become your intermediary as you fulfil your responsible duties to the fatherland in the long-range air force,' the patriarch said.

'His strong faith helped Saint Fyodor Ushakov in all his battles,' the religious leader said, reminding his audience that the famous admiral of the 18th and 19th centuries never lost a battle.

posted by Gary Williams at 12:17 AM | link |

Tuesday, September 27, 2005  

via Google/ig

Quote of the Day

There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
- James Thurber

posted by Gary Williams at 6:58 AM | link |

Monday, September 26, 2005  

via KWTX

Sheehan Arrested During White House Protest

Police arrested anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan Monday during a protest outside the White House.

Sheehan and several dozen other protesters had sat down on the
sidewalk after marching along a pedestrian walkway on Pennsylvania

Police warned them three times that they were breaking the law by failing to move along. Then, officers began making arrests.

Sheehan was the first to be taken into custody. She stood up and
was led to a police vehicle.

Protesters nearby chanted, 'The whole world is watching.'

The demonstrators who were arrested cooperated with police.

A police spokesman says they'll be charged with demonstrating
without a permit, which is a misdemeanor."

posted by Gary Williams at 11:29 PM | link |

via Yahoo! News

Don Adams of 'Get Smart' Dies at 82

By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer Mon Sep 26, 6:46 PM ET

Don Adams, the wry-voiced comedian who starred as the fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in the 1960s TV spoof of James Bond movies, 'Get Smart,' has died. He was 82.

Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said Monday, adding that the actor broke his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.

posted by Gary Williams at 11:22 PM | link |

[Doctorow] Themepunks part three is live

By Cory Doctorow

Salon is serializing the first third of a novel I'm working on, whose
working title is Themepunks. The first 50,000 words are a stand-alone
short novel, and every week for ten weeks, Salon is publishing
another ~5,000 words from the story.

The third installment is online. In this week's piece: Perry and
Lester, the garage hackers that Andrea (the tech journalist) is
profiling, take her on a tour of the new technology esthetic, brought
on by the lost generation of out-of-work photoshoppers, html jocks,
and perl hackers left behind by the dot-bomb.

> He handed her a white brick, the size of a deck of cards. It took
> her a moment to recognize it as an iPod. "Christ, it's huge," she
> said.
> "Yeah, isn't it just. Remember how small and shiny this thing was
> when it shipped? 'A thousand songs in your pocket!'"
> That made her actually laugh out loud. She fished in her pocket for
> her earbuds and dropped them on the table where they clattered like
> M&Ms. "I think I've got about 40,000 songs on those. Haven't run
> out of space yet, either."
> He rolled the buds around in his palm like a pair of dice. "You
> won't -- I stopped keeping track of mine after I added my hundred-
> thousandth audiobook. I've got a bunch of the Library of Congress
> in mine as high-rez scans, too. A copy of the Internet Archive,
> every post ever made on Usenet... Basically, these things are
> infinitely capacious, given the size of the media we work with
> today." He rolled the buds out on the workbench and laughed. "And
> that's just the point! Tomorrow, we'll have some new extra fat kind
> of media and some new task to perform with it and some new storage
> medium that will make these things look like an old iPod. Before
> that happens, you want this to wear out and scuff up or get lost--"
> "I lose those things all the time, like a set a month."
> "There you go then! The iPods were too big to lose like that, but
> just look at them." He passed back the iPod. The chrome was
> scratched to the point of being fogged, like the mirror in a gas-
> station toilet. The screen was almost unreadable for all the
> scratches. "They had scratch-proof materials and hard plastics back
> then. They chose to build these things out of Saran Wrap and tin-
> foil so that by the time they doubled in capacity next year, you'd
> have already worn yours out and wouldn't feel bad about junking them.
> "So I'm building a tape-loading seashell robot toaster out of
> discarded obsolete technology because the world is full of
> capacious, capable, disposable junk and it cries out to be used
> again. It's a potlatch: I have so much material and computational
> wealth that I can afford to waste it on frivolous junk. I think
> that's why the collectors buy it, anyway."

This week's installment (part three):
Part one:

Part two:


Cory Doctorow

posted by Gary Williams at 1:51 PM | link |

Sunday, September 25, 2005  

via essays & effluvia: New Office Slang

New Office Slang

Beepilepsy - The brief siezure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.

Betamaxed - When a technology is overtaken in the market by inferior but better marketed competition as in “Microsoft betamaxed Apple right out of the market”

Blamestorming - A group discussion of why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

Blowing Your Buffer - Losing one’s train of thought. Occurs when the person you are speaking with won’t let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. “Damn, I just blew my buffer!” (Synonym: “Head Crash”)

Body Nazis - Hard-core exercise and weight-lifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn’t work out obsessively.

Bookmark - To take note of a person for future reference. “After seeing his cool demo at Siggraph, I bookmarked him.”

posted by Gary Williams at 11:01 PM | link |

via The Observer | International

Armed and dangerous - Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina

by Mark Townsend Houston
Sunday September 25, 2005
The Observer

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.

Leo Sheridan, 72, a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the US government's marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.

'My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?'

posted by Gary Williams at 10:39 PM | link |

via Alton

So, Who the Heck is Alton Brown?

Alton Brown may have spent much of his childhood hanging out in his family's kitchens and his high school and college years toiling in rib shacks and pizza joints, but he never considered a career in food. In fact, the theater major didn't give food much thought despite the fact that a semester performing summer stock in Tuscany turned him into a self-professed "chow hound". It also planted the seeds of what would become Alton's Food Network series "Good Eats".

Alton Photo After college, Alton worked as a cameraman and eventually as a director of commercials and corporate films. When he wasn't shooting he was cooking, and watching cooking programs which he constantly criticizes as dull and uninformative. Tired of the griping, Brown's wife (and producer) DeAnna suggested they do something about it. So they left their careers, sold the house and moved to Vermont so that Alton could attend the New England Culinary Institute.

During the years of work and study that followed Alton started to concoct a new kind of food show, one that would blend wit with wisdom, history with pop culture, and science with the kind of common cooking sense that our grandmothers took for granted. It would be a show for people who'd rather understand their food than follow a recipe. It would be Good Eats, now one of the top-rated shows on Scripps-Howard's Food Network.

Now heading into its fifth season, Good Eats' success has allowed The Browns and their firm, Be Square Productions, to expand into other food related productions. Development of new show concepts has kept Alton and the company consistently on the run. While he writes, directs and hosts his own show, he is also Executive Creative Director on other properties.

Additionally, Alton's first book is due out from Stewart Tabori and Chang Publishers in spring of 2002, entitled "I'm Just Here for the Food."

Alton and DeAnna live in Georgia along with their daughter Zoey and what Alton refers to as "one worthless hound dog". In his spare time Alton likes to cycle, read, smoke a good cigar, judge recipe contests and, occasionally…cook.

posted by Gary Williams at 9:58 PM | link |

[BAD SIGNAL]Where I Am On Teh Intarwub

From Warren Ellis's Bad Signal

[BAD SIGNAL]Where I Am On Teh Intarwub

bad signal

Bugger me. I just checked and there are now over
8400 people on the Bad Signal. Are you people
cloning yourselves or something? That's more
people than have bought some of my books...!

Anyway. A quick catch-up on where I am on
the famous internets right now: The Engine, online community : bist of writing : since someone
gave it to me today... where I used to get a
lot of the music for the Superburst Mixtape podcasts where I dump my
photos etc Mperia being a music
site. This is here for a reason that will hopefully soon
become clear.

-- W

BAD SIGNAL mailing list
Archived at BAD SIGNAL mailing list
Moderated by Warren Ellis (probably in a pub) (

posted by Gary Williams at 8:53 PM | link |

via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Help Find Missing Kids

Featured Services
Project ALERT

Retired, law-enforcement professionals volunteer their time and expertise to assist law enforcement

Team Adam

On-site response and support system that provides assistance to local law-enforcement agencies

Domestic-Abduction Case Assistance

Provide critical information and assistance in domestic-abduction cases

posted by Gary Williams at 10:33 AM | link |

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!


Free JavaScripts provided by
The JavaScript Source

Free Guestmap from Free Guestmap from

The WeatherPixie

Search WWW TFS Reluctant


Who What Where When
homepage, email
and store
Defunct Blogs
News, science
and stuff
Politics, government
and stuff
Web and
Webhack stuff