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Monthly Archives: February 2006

Beever Puddle

This guy is incredible. From Rense:

Julian Beever is an English artist who is famous for his art on the pavements of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Its peculiarity? Beever gives his drawings an anamorphosis view, his images are drawn in such a way which gives them three dimensionality when viewing from the correct angle.

Beever Coke Bottle

Beever Missing Street Tile

Here is an image from the incorrect angle:

Beever Incorrect Angle

Here it is again from the correct angle:

Beever Correct Angle

(via the Kircher Society)

Iraq War: Baghdad Patrol

The latest Gallup poll finds that 55% of Americans believe the War in Iraq is a mistake. From E&P:

More Americans than nearly ever before now say the war in Iraq is a “mistake” for the United States, according to a new Gallup poll. That figure now stands at 55%, up 4% point since late January. Only once before was the figure higher, at 59%, and that was during the period of overall pessimism right after Hurricane Katrina hit.

Gallup noted that it had asked this question about other wars involving the United States, “and only the Vietnam War engendered more public opposition than the current Iraq War.” The peak opposition to the Vietnam conflict was 61%. That figure for the generally unpopular Korean War was 51%.

Bombed Shiite Shrine

As many of you probably know, the situation in Iraq seems to have finally escalated to a civil war. On Wednesday, insurgents destroyed one of Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrines, which in turn brought attacks by Shiites militias on over 90 Sunni mosques. While a curfew has been put in place, the violence continues to this day. Juan Cole does an amazing job explaining all the events of that fateful day, pointing out that there was much more than just attacks on mosques..

Here are some interesting stories related to the outbreak of violence:

– For almost 3 years, Bush has ignored the warnings of Iraqi civil war from congressmen, the security committees, and the CIA.

– William F. Buckley, the founder of the conservative magazine Nation Review, stated last Thursday that “One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed.”

– There are now zero Iraqi battalions capable of operating without U.S. support. That’s right. The Pentagon announced that the one battalion that was capable of operating self-sufficiently has been downgraded. This is down from 3 of 100 reported last June. Check out the Daily Show from last October.

– Conservative columnist George Will: “This is a civil war.”

– – And only on FOX News: “All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?” No. Probably not.

I apologize for not updating for the last week. Instead, I have been forced to devote my life to that ever-demanding dominatrix: grad school. So, after a long week of studying and testing on 16th Century arguments about predestination and sacraments, I have regained my freedom. I think Toothpaste For Dinner sums up the feeling rather well:

Graduate School

Earth at Night

For those of us who cannot get enough Google Maps, check out Nighttime. Nighttime is a 128 megapixel image from NASA of the earth at night that you can navigate using the Google Maps inverface. It really is gorgeous and makes one wonder if this is what astronauts see. (via MAKE)

Greenland Glaciers

As global warming continues to escalate, so does the rate at which Greenland’s glaciers break off and melt into the ocean. From Live Science:

Those faster-moving glaciers now dump in a year twice as much ice into the Atlantic as they did in 1996, researchers said Thursday. The resulting icebergs, along with increased melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, could account for nearly 17 percent of the estimated one-tenth of an inch annual rise in global sea levels, or twice what was previously believed, said Eric Rignot of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
That stepped-up flow accounted for about two-thirds of the net 54 cubic miles of ice Greenland lost in 2005. That compares with 22 cubic miles in 1996. The most recent volume is more than 200 times the amount of fresh water used by Los Angeles in a year, Rignot said.

You can be part of the solution.

Cheney Holding Mic

Here a few more interesting items on Cheney, his alcohol, and his gun:

Cheney has a history of drunk driving.

The FBI has a 780-page file on Cheney that they refuse to release, even though they had no trouble releasing John Kerry’s just before the 2004 election.

Cheney’s victim gave his first public statement yesterday. His doctors say he is doing fine. Why then did he say the accident happened on Friday when Cheney said it happened on Saturday?

Dubai Ports Authority

Apparently, the Bush administration looks the other way for terrorists willing to give the United States money. They have now outsourced the operation of six of our country’s largest ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). If approved, Dubai Ports World, managed by the UAE government, would control the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia for $6.8 billion. Here are some known facts about the UAE:

– The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.

– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.

– After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.

So, let me get this right. They recognized the government helping the 9/11 terrorists, transferred money to those same terrorists, will not help us find said terrorists, and aided Iran in possibly assembling nuclear weapons? I am thinking it probably does not sound like a great idea to give them control over key entry points into our country or ever really do any sort of business negotiation. But that’s just me.

Luckily, a 7-member bipartisan group in Congress is calling for a suspension on the approval until the Treasury Department investigates the national security implications of the sale.


A few people have sent this to me. Apparently, Rumsfeld is troubled by our current level of technological ability in the war on terrorism. From Reuters:

The United States lags dangerously behind al Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday.

Modernization is crucial to winning the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide who are bombarded with negative images of the West, Rumsfeld told the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Pentagon chief said today’s weapons of war included e-mail, Blackberries, instant messaging, digital cameras and Web logs, or blogs.

“Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today’s media age, but … our country has not adapted,” Rumsfeld said.

The sad thing is that Rumsfeld lack of technological ability has been reprimanded because of his domestic response to hurricane Katrina. It turns out that he does not even use e-mail.

When it came to documentation of how Secretaries Michael Chertoff and Donald Rumsfeld responded to Katrina, however, congressional investigators got a different answer from the administration. The House committee established to investigate Katrina was “informed that neither Secretary Chertoff nor Secretary Rumsfeld use e-mail,” reported Reps. Charlie Melancon and William Jefferson, two Louisiana Democrats who participated in the inquiry despite a boycott by other House Democrats who felt that the inquiry was too partisan. The Democrats made the disclosure in a report attached as an appendix to a widely publicized investigative report released today by the Republican majority which led the House Katrina investigation.

What is that about talking the talk and walking the walk? I am sure it is comforting to know that most second graders have a stronger grasp on internet communications than our Secretary of Defense.


I wish we had this kind of toy when I was a kid.

Bubo is a toy with “magic” powers that can cast spells and take control over innocent devices or other kids’ toys in its surroundings… Bubo takes control of home appliances by constantly sniffing for IR transmission, intercepting and learning infrared commands from remote controls to their devices and acquiring their functionalities.

I am not sure every parent wants to give their kid a universal remote that can control every device in the house. I am pretty sure, however, that every kid wants one.