Thursday, April 29, 2004

Is it okay to grab someone's shirt and clean your eyeglasses with it? President Bush thinks it is. During a commercial break on the Late Show with David Letterman, Bush used producer Maria Pope's sweater to clean his glasses. You can watch the video here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The story about George W. Bush and his service in the Texas Air National Guard seems to be over as journalists have moved on to cover other stories. But James C. Moore thinks there is more to this story. Moore explains in this Salon article that:

"The president of the United States is lying to hide his behavior while he was a young pilot during the Vietnam War, and he has almost taken away reporters' ability to get the whole story. Unfortunately, the national media have other distractions, and they apparently don't think the Guard story is important enough to warrant additional effort. I think they are wrong."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Who will John Kerry pick to be his running mate? The Washington Post helps you figure it out with their Veep-O-Matic 2004.

Monday, April 26, 2004

The Gallery of the Forbidden presents a history of music censorship.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

In late 1882, astronomer David Peck Todd photographed the transit of Venus across the sun. One hundred twenty years later Bill Sheehan and Anthony Misch realized they could turn Todd's 147 glass negatives into a movie. This Sky & Telescope article lets you download a movie of "an astronomical event that occurred when Queen Victoria sat on the throne of Great Britain and Chester Arthur was president of the United States."

Thursday, April 22, 2004

In this Onion A.V. Club interview with Ricky Gervais, the co-creator and star of The Office discusses comedy, his influences, and fame.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The illicit drug habits of America's high school students have been tracked by a group of researchers at the University of Michigan since 1975. The Michigan drug researchers have "never seen such a dramatic drop in the use of an established illicit drug as they're seeing now with LSD." According to this Slate article, there are two reasons for the decline in LSD use. First, in November 2000 the DEA arrested two Kansas men who were responsible for 95% of the country's supply of LSD. Second, Jerry Garcia died, the Grateful Dead stopped touring, and LSD's distribution system disappeared.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

In this Salon interview, Neal Stephenson, author of "The Confusion," discusses science, alchemy, Puritanism, science fiction, writing with a pen, and the feud between Newton and Leibniz.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Barry Ritholtz of the blog, The Big Picture, believes we are undergoing a dramatic shift in how the war is covered by the media. He writes in this weblog post that, "Lately, I have noticed several changes in the media's coverage of both the White House and the Iraq War . . . What we are seeing -- in real time -- is an unraveling of the administration's media management strategy."

This Seattle Times article is another example of the shift in media coverage of the war.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Bob Woodward discussed his new book "Plan of Attack" on 60 Minutes tonight. This CBS News article summarizes the interview. Woodward calls the book,” the first detailed, behind-the-scenes account of how and why the president decided to wage war in Iraq. Some of the book's more surprising revelations include:

Congress did not know about or approve of the money used to fund war preparations. Instead, President Bush approved using "money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War."

The Saudi Arabian Ambassador, Prince Bandar, promised President Bush that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election -- to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Neal Stephenson's new novel The Confusion was released on Tuesday. In this Wired interview, Stephenson discusses his new book, confusion, and money.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I didn't blog last night because I was at the first Pixies concert in 12 years. The show included almost anything a Pixies fan could have wanted. All four original members were there. They sounded great, and almost all the songs were from their first three albums. You can read the Minneapolis Star Tribune's review of the show here. This GQ article (in PDF format) helps explain why Frank Black decided to reunite the band. Drummer David Lovering put his career as a "Scientific Phenomenalist" on hold to rejoin the band.

Monday, April 12, 2004

How are recent events in Iraq effecting President Bush's supporters? According to this CBS News article, conservatives like Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and columnist George Will, have begun criticizing the president's conduct of the war. The weblog Political Animal has more examples of Republicans Against Bush.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Comedy Central's The Daily Show is the funniest show on television. If you miss the show or don't have cable, you can watch clips on the Daily Show's website here. Many more Daily Show clips are posted in the Daily Show Clip Comedy Archive from the weblog On Lisa Rein's Radar. For example, here's the Daily Show on The Republican Response to Richard Clarke's Testimony.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Condoleezza Rice testified before the 9/11 commission today. You can read a transcript of her testimony here.

Historian Eric Rauchway wrote:

"Here's the bottom line: Rice said something in passing that rather sums up the situation: "There are plans and plans and plans. And the problem is, unless those plans are engaged by the civilian leadership... those plans simply sit." So: Why didn't the civilian leadership, AKA the White House, engage?"

Richard Clarke said:

"I think that Dr. Rice's testimony today, and she did a very good job, basically corroborates what I said. She said that the president received 40 warnings face to face from the director of central intelligence that a major al Qaeda attack was going to take place and she admitted that the president did not have a meeting on the subject, did not convene the Cabinet."

Neal Pollack sums up Rice's testimony this way:

"Lie, lie, distortion, half-truth, pander, manipulation, pseudo-intellectual bombast. Dodge, dodge, feint, lie, dodge, avoid, subject change, lie, slander, pretentious generalization, character assassination, bald-faced lie."

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Harold Meyerson examines recent events in Iraq in his Washington Post column and concludes, "The only unequivocally good policy option before the American people is to dump the president who got us into this mess, who had no trouble sending our young people to Iraq but who cannot steel himself to face the Sept. 11 commission alone."

Monday, April 05, 2004

In this New York Times column, Frank Rich wonders why, "the White House, so often masterly in its TV management, particularly where 9/11 is concerned, has been wildly off its game." If you can't access the New York Times, the column is also available here from the International Herald Tribune. (Advance the page with the next page button at the bottom right.)

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The war in Iraq and the Medicare bill were supposed to be two of the achievements that assured George W. Bush's reelection. But neither of them worked out quite as planned. According to Eric Boehlert in this Salon article, "Bush's Medicare program and the Iraq war both fit a striking pattern: The real motives were clouded in secrecy and false claims; the true costs distorted; administration officials pressured not to reveal true information; and the White House has relied on taxpayer-funded propaganda operations to try to prop up both."

Thursday, April 01, 2004

This Seattle Times article explains why some people are night owls and others are early risers. It also explains how a night owl can reset his body clock to wake up early and how an early riser can reset her body clock to stay up late.