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What Day Was It?

trxckster's unblinking blipverts for 200308

blipvert n.(Brit. pop culture ref to Max Headroom's episode 1) High-speed commercial condensed into a few seconds that prevent channel changing and embed themselves in viewer's minds; have been known to cause the heads of viewers to explode.
unblinking n. (Net jargon) a state of mind so named by Gary Stock who explained it thusly, "refers to my rather bad habit of surfing until I reach the end of the internet, so to speak. Just keep clicking and linking, and never look away - no matter how bizarre the path! The end of the internet often leads back to its beginning in peculiar ways."

psychophobia "It's like racism or sexism. It's the fear of the mentally ill. It's such a strong thing because people project their own mishegas, mental illness, into it. So whatever they fear in themselves they like to project onto the mentally ill." [ added Saturday, August 16, 2003, 08:47 a.m.]

Microsoft Word bytes Tony Blair in the butt Suffice it say that the story begins with the 10 Downing Street dossier that arrived on the public stage out of the mouth of Colin Powell in his infamous UN speech of unrealities. [ added Thursday, August 14, 2003, 06:27 p.m.]

Infernal names Since we're selling our house, I need a new domain name & trolling I went. The things you finding while unblinking. [ added Thursday, August 14, 2003, 06:16 p.m.]

Sliced bread? Or dung heap? Another intellectual slugfest. "Power and Weakness: Why the United States and Europe see the world differently", by Robert Kagan, appeared in the June/July 2002 issue of Policy Review) and generated buzz. In January, an expanded version was released as Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order. Writing of the original essay, neo-con Wm. S. Lind wrote:

a well-written, well-argued essay. Its thesis is that America and Europe are now on fundamentally divergent courses, America seeking to become the dominant world power while Europe seeks a Kantian paradise of perpetual peace.

Others, less fond, referring to the 2003 title call it half-baked or liken it to a satire. Writing in the NYT, Francois Heisbourg wrote, "No academic piece in this realm has generated quite as much heat and interest since Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" article in 1993 or Francis Fukuyama's End of History in 1989". Then there's the truely reductionist "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus" although my fav comes from a reviewer at the Barnes & Noble site:

The writing is exquisite. The ideas are a warmed over hash. The tone is Mein Kampf Volume 2, lite, combined with (of all things!) JFK's New Frontier, before the Bay of Pigs. There's some Hegelian inevitability mixed in for thickening, though the word used by Mr. Kagan is 'structural'. The result will be a must-read in some circles, as Mao's Little Red Book was in others. Both were written to be misinterpreted.

Reviews abound:, B & N, Foreign Affairs -- to name a few.

[ added Thursday, August 7, 2003, 11:59 a.m.]

SpiralScouts International is a program for girls and boys of minority faiths working, growing and learning together. Each group is led by both a male and a female adult, to achieve and teach the balance that is so central to Earth-centered beliefs. While SpiralScouts was developed on Pagan beliefs and practices, it is designed to be adaptable by other minority faiths as well. [ added Tuesday, August 5, 2003, 03:29 p.m.]

Digital Kite Photos Another thing on my to learn more about list...! [ added Monday, August 4, 2003, 07:12 p.m.]

cool lego site of the week My favorite remains Henry's Harpsichord and the Lego Tarot. [ added Monday, August 4, 2003, 07:04 p.m.]

Presencia de Animo/Presence of Mind - a series (of paintings) by Ronald Mills. [ added Monday, August 4, 2003, 06:53 p.m.]

Shusaku Endo, an author requiring reading? One reader writes, "Mr. Endo is a rarity: a Japanese Catholic novelist, a literary Sadao Watanabe". (Also see

  • Life of Jesus
    Endo writes, "The religious mentality of the Japanese is responsive to one who 'suffers with us' and who 'allows for our weakness,' but their mentality has little tolerance for any kind of transcendent being who judges humans harshly, then punishes them. In brief, the Japanese tend to seek in their gods and buddhas a warm-hearted mother rather than a stern father. With this fact always in mind I tried not so much to depict God in the father-image that tends to characterize Christianity, but rather to depict the kind-hearted maternal aspect of God revealed to us in the personality of Jesus."
  • The Samurai
    Considered one of the late Shusaku Endo's finest works, The Samurai seamlessly combines historical fact with a novelist's imaginings. Set in the period preceding the Christian persecutions in Japan recorded so memorably in Endo's Silence, this book traces the steps of some of the first Japanese to set foot on European soil.
  • The Sea and Poison
    from Publishers Weekly - "Against the backdrop of World War II, Japanese writer Endo explores the nature of morality. In this novel, originally published in Japan in 1958, the author examines the inner lives of three characters in the central drama, a grisly vivisection of an American prisoner of war, in an attempt to understand what conscience, or lack of conscience, allowed them to participate in such an atrocity. "

Metasearch!! Find AddALL best online price customized for ship destination. [ added Monday, August 4, 2003, 06:31 p.m.]

A Dress for Mona - play about real life "On the 18th of June, 1983 in Sh�r�z, Iran, ten women were executed by hanging for their unwillingness to renounce their Bah�'� belief in the face of the Islamic fundamentalism that had recently overtaken their country. This act was particularly disturbing since usually only Bah�'� men were targeted for execution. The incident brought outcries from the world community appealing to the Iranian government to implement basic human rights for the Bah�'�s. This international pressure had its effect in that recent years have witnessed fewer executions, but Bah�'�s are still denied basic rights of education, employment, assembly and legal protection. The Bah�'� Faith is a religion native to Iran and is considered apostasy by the religious leaders of Sh�'ih Islam. Since the religion began in 1844, over 20,000 of its adherents have been martyred. Of the ten women executed in 1983, the youngest was only a teenager. Her name was Mona Mahm�dnizh�d."

Metasearch!! Search A Dress for Mona for best online price customized for ship destination. [ added Monday, August 4, 2003, 06:03 p.m.]

Former Slave lends money to friend a former First Lady, or as Derek would say, "Who knew!". I was unaware that why we know much of what we do about Mary Todd Lincoln is because of the biography Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, by Elizabeth Keckly, one of the first black women entrepreneurs. This primary source was published in 1868; in it, Mrs. Keckly details how she was a much prized dressmaker, purchased her freedom in 1855 and moved to the nation's capital where she became the companion, confidante and fashion consultant of the emotionally troubled wife of Abraham Lincoln. And now, with the recent publication Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly, author Jennifer Fleischner unveils another bit of forgotten history in the story of this mulatta seamstress and ex-slave & who was deep in the private lives of Abraham and Mary Lincoln.

Fleischner is also the author of several nonfiction books for young readers, including I Was Born a Slave: The Life of Harriet Jacobs (1997), The Dred Scott Case: Testing the Right to Live Free (1996), The Inuit: People of the Arctic (1995) and The Apaches: The People of the Southwest (1994). Jennifer Fleischner taught in the English Department at the University at Albany from 1986 until 2002, and served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for a number of years beginning in 1996. In 1993-94, she received a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship to teach at Harvard University. In September 2002, she left the University at Albany to serve as Full Professor and Chair of English at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.

Metasearch!! Search AddALL for best online price customized for ship destination! [ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 07:17 p.m.]

"And don't call me a racist!" A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America / Selected and arranged by Ella Mazel. This book is not for sale! This book represents a desire to make a significant contribution toward understanding and resolving the "problems" of prejudice and racism. It is distributed without charge to non-profit organizations and institutions whose work involves multiculturalism, diversity, equal opportunity, affirmative action, race and gender issues, minority studies, & any other anti-racist program or activity. Since publication in November 1998, more than 300,000 copies have been shipped on request to over 2,000 organizations and institutions in all but one state. (Wyoming!!) Many recipients have re-ordered repeatedly. For ideas on its multipurpose possibilities, see How people are using the book. [ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 07:10 p.m.]

a few [1917] decrees ...with approval of the Executive Committee of the Provincial Soviet of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants Deputies [2] has established the following:

  • Former owners (husbands) retain the right of priority usage of their wives.
  • All women subject of regulation under this Decree are exempted from permanent private property and are declared public domain of all working people.
  • Women will receive 200 Rubles when they give birth to twins.
[ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 03:18 p.m.]

Growing Up Nigger Rich by Gwendoline Y. Fortune (Pelican Publishing, 2003). Biography masquerading as fiction? Growing Up Nigger Rich is what happens when (a) you let your son help title your novel and (b) someone gets tired of the typical representations of black folk in America. I saw the author on BookTV the weekend it aired happenings at the July Harlem Book Fair (watchable online). Speaking of black folk, you might also check out Reconsidering the Souls of Black Folk: Thoughts on the Groundbreaking Classic Work of W.E.B. DuBois, by columnist and author Stanley Crouch and journalist Playthell Benjamin. I'd never heard of the latter but I saw both (again, on BookTV, in May) on a panel at the Studio Museum and they were fairly entertaining. [ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 02:55 p.m.]

160,000-year-old fossilized skulls uncovered in Ethiopia are oldest anatomically modern humans found. [ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 02:48 p.m.]

Private Computation Using a PEZ Dispenser (PDF), joint work with Jzsef Balogh, Yuval Ishai, & Eyal Kushilevitz. "We consider the following 'recreational cryptography' problem. A group of n deterministic players wish to compute some function f of their inputs without revealing their inputs to each other. To their aid is a PEZ dispenser, which may be pre-loaded with some fixed public sequence of colored candies. The colors correspond to the possible values of f, and two distinct candies of the same color are assumed to be indistinguishable. The players take turns, where at each turn one of the players takes the PEZ dispenser and decides, based on its input, how many candies to pop out. At the end of such a protocol, the following requirements should be met: (1) the color of the candy at the top of the dispenser corresponds to the value of f on the inputs; (2) while executing the protocol, no player learns information on the inputs of the other players. Quite surprisingly, we show that every function can be computed in this model, and obtain some bounds on the complexity of such a computation." Will appear in Theoretical Computer Science, 2003 [ added Friday, August 1, 2003, 01:41 p.m.]

Images of Native Americans an electronic collection that includes images and text from UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library materials covering 400 years of Native American history, has won a special commendation from the American Library Association (ALA). [ added Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 10:01 p.m.]

what makes a political conservative? Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

  • Fear and aggression
  • Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
  • Uncertainty avoidance
  • Need for cognitive closure
  • Terror management
[ added Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 09:31 p.m.]

The next diet fad? H20 just add sun Indian 'guru' baffles NASA scientists & gets invite. [ added Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 12:18 p.m.]

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