Wednesday, April 30, 2003

This review of the book The Earth's Biosphere discusses how little we know about the biosphere. It also examines the consequences of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere and whether the earth will experience another ice age. The review also discusses the life and ideas of the Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky, who was the first scientist to make the biosphere "a central concept unifying the study of the earth with the study of life."

Monday, April 28, 2003

Dragons are part of the mythology of various cultures all over the world. This New York Times article discusses how "cultures that had no contact with one another constructed mythical creatures so remarkably similar."

Sunday, April 27, 2003

A few months ago I posted a link to a web site that compared locations in San Francisco used in the 1968 movie Bullitt with how those places look today. Now I have found a web site that shows before and after pictures of several San Francisco locations used in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I like the new White Stripes album Elephant. I think it lives up to the hype and good reviews. Here's a Slate article on the White Stripes and their new album.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Here's a web page that combines Star Trek geekiness with computer geekiness. It's called "How to make a Starship Enterprise out of an old floppy disk".

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

This New York Times article examines the revival of the Seattle music scene. The Times finds new life in the city it says was once "the rumbling epicenter of a coffee-fueled grunge nation."

Monday, April 21, 2003

Here are two articles from the New York Times. In the first article, Frank Rich discusses the "brilliance" of The Daily Show. According to Rich, The Daily Show is funny "without being particularly ideological," and "a place to find a smart take on the war that does not abide by the strict guidelines that come with either blind support or apoplectic rejection of "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

The second Times article is on the battle against spam. It discusses strategies used to stop spam, as well as the countermeasures used by the spammers.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Here's an article from the Nation about John Stewart and The Daily Show. Like the Salon article on The Daily Show a few weeks ago, this article discusses the show's humor and politics. Stewart says, "The show is neither Democratic nor Republican but simply seeks to represent the 'politically disappointed'." The Daily Show's ratings are good, for basic cable. According to the article, "More people (4 million) tune in to The Daily Show in a given week than watched Fox news at the height of the war (3.3 million)."

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Slate's Fred Kaplan explains what we still don't know about the war in Iraq in Eight Questions About the War.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Here's an article about a man with "Wisconsinaphobia". The phobia and associated severe back pain were triggered by "anything related to Wisconsin - sports scores on television, license plates and business names, for instance - and anything that had to do with public utilities."

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Here are two articles on the war in Iraq from the Washington Post. The first article discusses how "what ended as a military victory that toppled the Iraqi government in 21 days was filled with moments of uncertainty, miscues and unexpected successes for U.S. forces." The second article tells the story of one member of Saddam's Fedayeen.

Monday, April 14, 2003

How did the United States win the war in Iraq? In this article from Slate, Fred Kaplan explains how the U.S. military has changed and improved since the last Gulf War in 1991. These changes include "a new war-fighting doctrine, advanced digital technology, and a less parochial culture."

Sunday, April 13, 2003

How many of you remember Norm Coleman? Norm won the Senate election last November in Minnesota after his opponent, Paul Wellstone, died in an airplane crash. Last week Norm told the Washington newspaper Roll Call "To be very blunt and God watch over Paul's soul, I am a 99 percent improvement over Paul Wellstone. Just about on every issue." (The link is to an AP story. I would link to the original story, but it costs $200 a year to access the Roll Call site.)

Norm was surprised that anyone was offended by that statement, and "tried to put his remarks in context, saying he was making the point that he was close to President Bush, while Wellstone 'was never with the president.'"

When that didn't work, Coleman said "I apologize without equivocation. . . . It was wrong."

All this controversy has made Al Franken ponder the other 1%.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

John Stewart has always been funny, but lately his Daily Show has been particularly good. Here's an article from Salon about John Stewart and the Daily Show.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Sight and Sound magazine’s once-a decade list of the best films ever made was released late last year. It was based on lists of films submitted by movie critics and directors. The top 10, including movies like Citizen Kane and Battleship Potemkin, did not include any movies made in the last 30 years. But according to this article from the Boston Globe, film students have their own ideas about what should be considered classic films.

Monday, April 07, 2003

In this New York Post column, former Army officer Ralph Peters examines the war in Iraq and concludes that "The troops are winning impressively - despite Secretary Rumsfeld's micromanagement."

Friday, April 04, 2003

In this article from Haaretz, Israeli military officers and historian Martin van Creveld discuss the media coverage of the war in Iraq. They agree that because of the high level of disinformation, "nobody knows what is really happening in Iraq." As Van Creveld says, "Everyone is lying about everything all the time, and it is difficult to say what is happening. I've stopped listening. All the pictures shown on TV are color pieces which have no significance."

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Gregg Easterbrook is writing a series of daily dispatches about the war in Iraq. This dispatch is about the dispute between Rumsfeld and the Army generals over planning the war. In this dispatch Easterbrook discusses the deaths of Iraqi combatants and Iraq's incredibly weak tactical position.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Here is a New York Times article about the Marquette University basketball team. Marquette has reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time since Al McGuire led the team to the championship in 1977. The article is ok, but I posted this link because to the right of the article is what may be the World's Greatest Sports Team Photo. (Be sure to click on "Enlarge this Image".)

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

This New Yorker article by Seymour Hersch discusses how Donald Rumsfeld overruled senior Pentagon planners and reduced the number of American ground troops for the war in Iraq. According to several of Hersch's sources, "Rumsfeld simply failed to anticipate the consequences of protracted warfare."