Saturday, September 25, 2004

End of Road for Samurai Jack

The journeys of Samurai Jack end today...

qv: NPR End of Road for Samurai Jack

Friday, September 24, 2004

NPR Talks to Poker Expert Phil Gordon

What a fun interview. Phil Gordon gives the behind the scenes scoop on Celebrity Poker Showdown. Very funny, and some very interesting news. Mimi Rogers? Who'da thunk?
Celebrity Poker Tour is now the number one show on Bravo. (Replacing Queer Eye For A Straight Guy)

qv: NPR: Poker Expert Phil Gordon

Monday, September 20, 2004

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today


Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense.

A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Feel free to pass this on.

(I got it anonymously. I'll be happy to attribute when the writer steps forth.)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Buddhist Art On The Web

This has got to be the most informative website dedicated to Buddhist art. It's beautiful, fun, and incredibly educational.

qv: http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/buddhism/

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Out of Necessity - A New Sign Language Is Born

In the 1970s a group of deaf children in Nicaragua were thrown together in a school without much in the way of formal instruction. While together they formed their own language, enriched it, and then taught it to successive classes of students. In this school, a new language is born.

qv: Scientific American - In Nicaragua a Language is Born,
NPR: Talk of the Nation - New Sign Language,
NPR: All Things Considered, Reuters

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I crave your distinguished indulgence (and all your cash)

Question: What kind of writing pays best?
Answer: Ransom notes.

I first heard that joke in the movie Get Shorty and have always attributed it to Elmore Leonard. It presents some perspective on the art of writing and how we get paid for it. As I was researching Nigerian 419 scams to explain something to my bride, I came across a delicious article by Douglas Cruickshank, editor of Salon.com People. In this web article he examines the spare beauty of the letters he has received from scammers in Nigeria. He delights in the creativity of the authors whilst entirely separating himself from their crimes. His thoughts on these letters might just change your mind about what kind of writing pays best.

qv: Salon.com

Waiting for my check from Nigeria...

Amazingly, each one of these scams nets almost $3500. Doh! If people didn't want money for nothing, these guys would have no one to rip off.

Listen: http://www.theworld.org/content/08319.wma

Amateur Archeologist Finds Viking Burial Site

An amateur archeologist found a couple of copper brooches using an ordinary metal detector. That lead to a major scientific find of a Viking burial site of six Viking men and women, complete with swords, spears, and jewelry.

qv: Reuters - Viking Burial Site Found

Monday, September 06, 2004

For Labor Day -- Ricky Gervais on Fresh Air

Ricky Gervais -- The writer, director, and actor Ricky Gervais is the star of the hit BBC sitcom The Office. He plays the the most amazingly daft boss you have ever seen. The Office is a morality play that explores nearly everything that is wrong with working in a cube farm. Terry Gross interviewed him for Fresh Air on April 12.

qv: Ricky Gervais and Terry Gross on Fresh Air