Two Possible Reasons To Be Glad Nader’s On the Scene Again

I kinda wanted to vote for Nader in 2000, but did not, and I certainly won’t do it this time. However, there are two ways that his campaign—if he can keep enough news coverage on what he’s saying—might be good for those voting to the left.

  1. Draws out more daring stands from candidates. Like Dean, who seemed to transform the other contenders, Nader might have a similar effect. I think it was someone on Kerry’s campaign who said they want to appeal to those who would vote or voted for Nader.

  2. Makes the Democratic nominee sound more mainstream. By sounding far-out, Ralph makes the Democratic nominee sound less revolutionary by comparison. Maybe a voter wasn’t sure about the Democrat, but now, he sounds so normal! Or maybe the voter likes some of what Nader is saying and votes for the less frightening alternative.

On the other hand, it could all end in tears, and I’ll need to open my chain of weight training salons in Canada and Europe ASAP. (Note to Ralph: Please be sure to drop out before the end and deflect any alleged votes apparently headed your way to the Democratic contender.)

Critical Swavastika Update

This morning, my Windows machines are prompting me to download a “critical” update. The details read: “This item updates the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font included in some Microsoft products. The Font has been found to contain unacceptable symbols. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.”

Of course, I unchecked this item (1 of 3) so that nothing would change until I discovered the “unacceptable” character(s). First, I was suprised to find a font named “Bookshelf Symbol 7”; next, I was surprised to find a swastika in it. I’m surprised that made it through the first go round of whatever figurative and real eyes and hands worked on the product.

I have a vague recollection that this symbol was considered benign or positive prior to Hitler’s appropriation of it—and he actually used a swavastika or sauvastika. I don’t think I can add anything new to discussions about what to do with regard to these symbols, and apparently, discussion of this problem in Bookshelf Symbol 7 started over on Typographica back in December.

I Saw William Gibson Today

I saw William Gibson today. Here’s a few quick comments as I remember them—that is, please don’t hold him to my memory of his words.

In my picture, he looks the most normal that he looked the whole time. He’s developing quite a hunchback and a turtle-ish profile.

He talked about how he’s not really a technical guy, but he is evidently quite interested in the æsthetics of technical things. He said when he was younger that he built in his bedroom a very elaborate Doctor-Frankenstein-ish installation of laboratory glassware, and he did it just because it looked cool. He said he used to build stuff from Heathkit—and probably not correctly—because when it was done, it just looked so cool—particuarly when sitting next to the laboratory glassware.
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A Hamster Dance For Our Times

A Hamster Dance For Our Times.

If you’ve been working long hours and your only diversion is checking the “Placing Things On Top of Other Things” tribe on for new insights and checking Google News to see if your country is going to hell (yes, a futile obsession), you might find Badger Badger Badger levitating (and perhaps hallucinogenic). I just know that I feel better having it on.

If you need a little more intellectual stimulation—but not much more—try some of the “toons” and stuff on weeble-stuff.

CBS Rejects MoveOn’s Super Bowl Ad

You couldn’t throw the commodity of your choice into a distant trashbin without hitting someone who’d like air time during the Super Bowl. This crop of buyers includes MoveOn, which wants to run an ad that points out who’s going to pay for the deficit in the federal budget. (CBS has also refused to air an ad from PETA.)
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Pokemon Lunchables

In a feat that will surely turn out to be a boon to marketeers of low-grade food to media-programmed children everywhere, professor Xiaochun Li pioneered a new way to slice cheese. Using a so-called "cold laser", the professor and a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin (where else would this work be done?), are able to slice cheese without burning or melting it.

The AP news story mentions the problems with traditional cheese cutting methods, which are worthy considerations, but the picture included with the story immediately made me think of cartoon-character-shaped slices in an excess of colorful packaging.

The Leaning Condos of Lakeview Boulevard

I knew those three condos on the I-5 side of Lakeview Boulevard had been abandoned for some time, but I didn’t know why until I finally noticed a couple of weeks ago that one of them was leaning quite a bit (reminding me of some of the canal houses in Amsterdam).

Here’s a little story about the buildings and what seems to be an imminent permit for demolition (which I didn’t realize one must have before knocking down one’s own property). And cheers to the person with the beautifully dangerous existence.

Hand-Held Design Focuses the Massage Right to Tension

Does sitting in front of that computer for so long lead to stress, pain, or fatigue? Thanks to a friend’s Bulletin Board post on Friendster, I can point you to something to make it all melt away.

I do hope that version 2.0 will feature software control. Why hear “You’ve got mail!” when you could feel that you’ve got mail? Or maybe this is the perfect accompaniment to the force-feedback joystick. Add some stereo viewing goggles, and you’re on your way to the cybernautic holy grail, teledildonics.