Friday, April 28, 2006

Be a More Successful Chain Saw weilding Manic

Here is ad from STIHL that actually refers to Leatherface, you know the most famous chain saw user. HA HA

Update: Bestadsontv stops you from going to the page you want. They are probably worried about being screenscraped. To get to this ad go to the page it was on, then click on the image of Leatherface.

Computer Audio Services

I listen to a lot of online audio. Mostly I listen to streaming audio. Here are some of my favorite stations. The another station I listen to, am listening to right now is David Byrne Radio. Every month David Byrne is focused on type of music. One month it is classic disco, another month it early country music, this month it is latin music.

That is the view of audio services from a consumer perspective. You however want to be a broadcaster. The software to create your programs are reasonably cheap and can be managed from midlevel machines. Your station or podcast can be listed for free in the various directories, shoutcast for streaming audio , and itunes for podcasts. The cost, the limiting cost is hosting. If you are providing a streaming service you will be paying for a streaming server. Your charges will be based on the audio quality and the number of listening slots, see more here for details. With podcasting the cost is based on total volumn downloaded. However I just come accross a podhosting company, Audio Blog, with unlimited downloads. Quite unusual. Streaming works well with music podcasts work well with speech the begining of sentences are sometimes needed for comprehension. Generally it can cost a dozen dollars a month up to hundreds, depending on bandwidth, to host your own audio programs. This is additional to any web costs to get online.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lousy IE

In the classic words of the Comic Book Guy, Internet Explorer is "the worst browser ever!" From Google news there are plenty of stories about unveiling of a beta for a new version of IE. What is surprising is the software press is not positive. A critic at a specialist magazine is expected to promote both the product of advertisers and product in general. Which is Why Adbusters has had problems placing their anti-car ads in auto TV shows and the like. Now an online magazine like Playfuls, which covers computer hardware/software has come with, Is Internet Explorer 7 actually a competitor for Firefox? And from PC Magazine, PC Magazine wrote the book on the IT promoting / covering / not necessarily crititicing computer magazine, has a story The Great Microsoft Blunder. All can say is to echo Nelson Muntz with HAHA.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fashion as Antropology

I listen to the latest On The Media and there had on the fashion writer Robin Givhan from the Washington Post. She won a local press award for criticism. This is quite unusual for fashion writing which normally focuses on the look of clothes rather than their meaning. WAPO has put a selection of her columns, from last year, together on a separate page. Check out the interesting writing.

Who gets an Obituary on BoingBoing

Jane Jacobs died today. She also joined a select and rarefied group. Those whose obituaries appear in BoingBoing. BoingBoing chooses the people and things to highlight that are meaningful to them. That is why they had an obit for Johnny Ramone and Peter Gzowski, Peter Drucker and James Doohan, the Whole Earth Review and a overweight Lobster, Andre Norton and Will Eisner. The one type whose obit is rarely covered are the usual ugly gang of authority figures, VIPs, professional assholes and stuffed shirts that fill up most of the column inches on obit pages.

Moslem Murders Inc


Through a depressing site I fequent I came accross another depressing site. The site called is called the Religon of Peace. Also on the site is an updated list of moslem murders. Yesterday, on the 24 of April, moslems killed 61.

There is also a link to Penn and Teller video deriding conspiracy theorists as marooons, to use Bugs Bunny expression. In the short video a fire guy is brought in who is a fire chief, a professor of fire engineering and an editor at Fire Engineering Magazine. Unfortunately the fire magazine website is constructor in a Microsoft code so is best used with the terrible internet explorer.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Interesting Politician

I saw the movie The Ugly American on TVO last night. The movie was as prophetic and depressing as I remember it. In the movie Marlon Brandon is sent to a fictionalized south asian country. The country, Sarkhan, is verging on instability, the commies want to take over, the government wants to stay in power, and a non-communist populist movement wants reforms and influence. Marlon Brando as ambassador Harrison McWhite, can a name be more WASPy, is sent to a country where he shad a good war. After being shot down he spent time with a resistence group, learned the language and the friendship of a resistence leader Deong. The friendship of McWhite and Deong breaks down quickly with both sides spouting slogans at each other. McWhite can't belive that anyone who is friend would surport policies and aims that are his own nation's interests rather than the US. The figure who is half way between two poles is the Sarkhan PM Kwen Sai.

Oddly enough the Prime Minister in the movie was played by somebody did become Prime Minister of Thailand. Kukrit Pramoj was originally seconded to the movie as a cultural expert. In the end he played his one and only movie role as a PM a role he played 10 years later.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Free Music Scores

I was looking aroud the web for a/any piece of music by Erik Satie. I ended up a one site, which refered me a 2nd site. Both of these sites were "free". The secound site where I found the Gymnopédie No. 1 by Satie there was a problem with the PDF provided it was missing the 1st page. The problem was this was "free" site. After trying to reload the faulty PDF as was told. I would to pay to get membership. Finally after several days I went to wiki as should have done from the begining. From there I connected to something called Mutopia, music+upotopia?, and I find the piece(s) I am looking for.

However I still have a problem. The piece that I get is not really scored for a piano. Just look at bars 5-6 on the except above. The right hand has to sustain a chord AND play an octave above the highest note in the chord. I think that this, as it is scored, is really a piano/flute peice. remember Hinterland Who's Who those short nature films put out Enviroment Canada. This piece of music played in the backgroud.

Crazy Iranians

In the latest Grab and Maul, there is a long article on Iran's "democratically elected leader". In course of discussing Middle Eastern history he launches in to this odd paragraph.
We'll have to stop pretending we've done nothing to offend the citizens of the area. The Chinese and the Russians have done terrible things in the past, and have admit, but Britain and particularly the Americans are in denial acting like their actions have always been blameless.
The problem is that some powers have an overly positive view of their own history and motives that is not evil just human. However Russia and China have distorted and rewritten their own history. Both powers in the last century have engaged in have airbrushed history when certain old comrades have been forgotten or written out of a history. There was a time in the 90's when Russians actually looked at/could at their own past. See The Chekist, a horrifying movie about the early Soviet security agency, most of the film is executions. That the case for Russians, the Chinese Communist regime will not admit to or apologize for anything. The ChiCom do want to talk about what they did last week in the Sudan, propping up that government of murderous jihadis. To say nothing of the millions killed in Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward or any one of many noble sounding mass murders.

And then the article goes on about the "military" past of the Ahmadinejad. During the Iran-Iraq War he apparently ran a unit of the Basiji. These units would perform human wave attacks to clear minefield, overrun machine guns and other cannon fodder activities. The average age of these soliders were less than 15.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Americans Earn

I came accross an archive of generic job descriptions on line. What is interesting is that most job pay a median incomes less the stated per capita GNP, see CIA's World Factbook. So where is all the money going. These job descriptions or "occupational analysis" provide many and interesting figures. In an old Hapers/Atlantic magazine there was an a story on how airline pilots had become to believe the rhetoic that competion and deregulation and forget they were actually working for a living. This was explained that most pilots, then in the early 90's late 80's, earned more $100K and so adopted a mangement viewpoint to economic "reform". That was before the massive shakeout of american airline industry. $100k in the late 80's, 1987 would be worth $150 and $250K today and according to the website noted above, 90% of airline pilots, and flight engineers make less than $100K. Most make less the median pay 20 years ago.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Doomsday Prediction

In a thread about future weather in alt.history.future someone posted a link to google earth/map hack. The hack shows which areas of the world will be innundated for a given sealevel rise. With a rise of only a couple a metres the California's Ccntral Valley just east of San Fransisco becomes another arm of San Fransisco Bay. With further rises countries disappear, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Netherlands. It is also suggested that the Dutch with their tech could create an island lower than sealevel. Other weird things happen like the Amazon acquiring an inland sea.

Very Interesting.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Corporate News from Biker World

In the appropriately named ROB, in the Grab and Maul there is a story about a corporate shakeup in Biker world. In particular the Bandidos. Haha.
Vacancy in the corner office

Bandidos Canada Inc., a small Southern Ontario trading company, underwent a high-profile corporate shakeup this week when eight executives, mostly in middle management, were relieved of their duties.

The firings followed an intense boardroom battle for control of the closely held company, a loose affiliate of the Texas-based multinational Bandidos Corp.

Bay Street analysts differed over the reasons for the internal feud within the firm, but it is understood there were corporate governance issues, and regulatory authorities have been closely watching its activities.

Executives from the Texas parent company have been unhappy for some time with weak earnings results from the Canadian arm, and this week they travelled to Ontario to try and repair the damage from the corporate bloodletting.

There is some speculation that they may try to revive its fortunes with a partial spinoff as an income trust.

A Bandidos Corp. spokesman said he could not comment, except to raise his middle finger.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A SHWI view of the Da Vinci Code

One of my favorite alt history authors, one one confines himself to writing on a newsgroup, is Raymond Speer. Some author posted an ad for his new book on soc.history.what-if. Raymond Speer takes that as a suggestion for a DBTL involving a secret history opposite to the da Vinci code. Here also is Screewtape's view of The da Vinci Code. Ha Ha.

Raymond Speer wrote:

I read Dan Brown's bestseller, _The Michaelanglo Code_, which says that Jesus never founded a dynasty, but instead was a celibate preacher.

If you look in the Gospels, you'll see that there is never any mention, not even once, of any marriage ceremony between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. (Or between Jesus and Lazarus' sisters, to anticipate objections by Orthodox.) The assumption that Jesus was a married man is only a guess made "fact" by constant repetition.

Look at his cousin, John the Baptist. It is conceded that John was single, a wanderin preacher in the Wilderness. Josephus mentions the Essenes, a Jewish faction that praised refraining from sex. Why would it be improbable to assume that Jesus migh have been a follower of the Essene Way through the influence of his cousin?

A long time ago, back in the third century when the texts still existed, a Christian named Loquoqus reviewed the writings of an early missonary named Paul, or Shorty. Shorty drowned when a ship he was on sank, but before then he had been one of the bolder messengers of Jesus Christ. Shorty was a real prude, advocating the restriction of sexual activity to the marital procreation of children. Would Shorty have been endorsing celibacy had Jesus Christ been fornicating normally only twenty years before?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Elected Landslides

Different goverments rebuild after a diaster differently. The suggestion that not all of New Orleans will be rebuild or repopulated has upset many people. However since the most badly hit parts of New Orleans are also the lowest and most vunerable to future flooding. It often a question after a diaster how much effort goes into repairing or prevention.

When the earthquake hit Kashmir last winter it hit Pakistan occupied Kashmir worse than on theIndian side. There were no reports of the conditions in ChiCom occupied Kashmir, probably a restricted military zone. One reason for greater destruction in Pakistan occupied Kashmir is that Pakistan settlement policies have led to a higher densities at higher elevations on land that is ecologically precarious and physically unstable. These settlement policies still being persued in Pakistan. On the PBS Newshour a Pakistan government official, army officer, was interviewed. To relocate and resettle the families that were displaced by earthquake the Pakistan regime will only give funding for rebuilding if people rebuild back up in the mountains, where they pushed out by the quake. The story profiled the case of family that has money to rebuild, but no more land, it slid away.

Obvious Headline

In today's Toronto's Star there is headline on the frontpage that is more statement than news.
Bikers Linked to Murders. The problem is the headline could run any time. More obvious headlines are Murderers Kill People. Or what about Some Candidates Elected, Some Not, or Movie Shown, or Cold Cases Remain Unsolved. Ha Ha.

American Influence in Latin America

I listened to a Julia Sweig talk on NPR about anti-americanism. At one point she was talking about how America is not responible for social welfare conditions in foriegn countries, especially in Latin America. Below is my transcription of what she said:
Allthrough I have talked alot about what the US has or has not done. Also the case there are certain things the US cannot be responible for nor can be held responsible for. And in Latin America, especially you know the elites in these societies, those that do have the wealth, becasue Latin America is not a poor region it is just a very unequal region. They do have some responsibility to implement something that I call a social contract. A social contract which means investing in their own people. And thats not somethime we can export. So I do think it is important to distinguish between where the US can be responible for something and where it frankly can't be.
The problem is that the US has intervened militarily in Latin America on behalf of small elites primarily when local governments were improving the social contract and living conditions of most of the locals. It has not being a stated policy that the US is always in favor of lower living standards for most people. It is just that the life styles of the rich and foreign investors are valued more highly.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Wolves and the Illusion of Rancher Independence

Canadian ranchers have had a hard time of it lately. Because of the BSE crisis, which has stopped the export of live cattle, the wholesale price of cattle has dropped in half, while the consumer cost of meat has not moved. One obvious solution is that ranchers form their own meat pools and set up their own packing companies. Which is what the wheat farmers did after being screwed over by the elevator companies. However ranchers believe in the myth of their independence and are unwilling to combine together for better bargaining. This is as bazzare as the type of people who are most resistent to some sort of unionization, which would better their own lot, are the same people who are most fervent in support of "our free enterprise system". There is DS9 episode which deals with this contradiction of anti-union free enterprisers, Bar Association.

Now ranchers are up in arms about wolves, and not about the meat packing companies that are screwing them over. To make a tastless joke, wolves are nature's way to control the number and profitablity ranchers.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Yoko Ono the Performance Artist

Yoko Ono in someways destroyed your artistic reputation by marrying a "Beatle". In many ways she is similar to Andy Warhol. The difference is that her involvement with rock music damaged her reputation. Whereas Andy Warhol involvement with The Velvet Underground made Warhol hipper and and the VU artier. Now from Boingboing comes film of one Yoko Ono's most noted performance art works, "Cut Piece" (link to film/mpeg). Like alot of performance art the actions and behavior of the audience creates the art.

Spooky.

The Great Transformation

Karen Armstrong has written a book, The Great Transformation (Amazon link), about how roughly 2500 years ago, during the Axial Age, religon evolved from tribal beliefs to a more inclusive development of empathy. Interesting in this history of religous development she also puts details Greek rational philosophy. I could go on but why listen to me when you can hear Karen Armstrong talk about her book on NPR's Talk of the Nation. On Amazon there is some reviews of this book.

Friday, April 07, 2006

History of Plywood

Years ago there was a seasonal ad campaign at Grand and Toy. The campaign obstensively advertised horrible gift ideas, with kicker that Grand and Toy had stuff that people both needed and wanted. One if the gift suggestions was a book set about construstion technology with one the books being The History of Plywood. I would amuse my friends and relations by asking for The History of Plywood at Grand and Toy in person and by phone. It was both joke and serious. Because I have a weakness for technology histories. I have read both The Natural History of the Screwdriver and an earlier and more obscure book whose name I have forgotten. Now I have come across a history of plywood at a trade association for the "engineered wood industry". And through this history is parochial, American patents are cited as proof of invention instead proof of the existence of American patent lawyers, and stilted it at least gives some sort of timeline.

The Plywood illustration come from a chichi yacht supply company.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Islamic Imperialism Explained

For most people the term Imperialism is used to describe the bad behavior of white people. Tranny and oppression of non-white people by other non-white people is not described as imperialism. Instead a country that fought to abolish slavery thoughtout the world is described as a "evil imperialist". And a country that has brought down a murderous tyrant is reviled.

Now Efraim Karsh has writen an explaination for the mindless agression of moslems to the world. Islam's Imperial Dreams explains how Muslim politacal ambitions aren't a reaction to Western encroachments. Of course as Armenian, like Yosuf Karsh, knows that islamic rule is not always sweetness and light.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chinese Atrocity Story

There is a report from NW China about some broken skulls found in a forest. I think that somebody at ChiCom Ministry of Truth has screwed up. Given the chinese state propensity for murder, these victums most likely killed by officially licensed state killers.

Photo Caption from Chicom Press
A total of 121 skulls whose tops had been sawn off were discovered last week in a forest in Northwest China's Gansu Province. DNA tests are underway to work out if the skulls belong to human being. The skulls were first thought to be monkeys, but a local professor held a suspicion that they belong to human being as he had found plastic teeth in a jaw of one of the skulls.

Tom Delay Quits

Smiling is not the normal reaction to being arrested. But to the right is Tom Delay's mugshot. He does seem a little too happy. I came accross a thread in SHWI from 1999 that nails the personality of this smiling exterminator.

Patrick Q. Mullen wrote:
> Bob Barr and Tom Delay are #'s 2 and 3 respectively.

I've met Tom Delay. I used to live in his district. He's definitely a big "number two" in my book.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Gabrielis the Venetian Composers

The BBC3 Program Composer of the Week is focused on Andrea and Giovinni Gabrieli (1532/3-1585; 1555-1612). The Gabrelis were Venetian composers between the the eras of renaisance and boroque. I have tried to look for works by these composers in my local library system, unfortunately very few works by these composers are in the system.

Giovinni Gabrieli, wikipedia reference.
Andrea Gabrieli, wikipedia reference.