Boundary Layer

The best way to find a line is to cross it

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Auto recall database

The NHTSA Recall Campaign Database lets you know if there are any defects in your car that have been subjected to a recall. Let your dealer fix or replace dangerous and usafe parts for you. I would bet that there is an inverse relationship between the number of recalls and the reliability of a given model. That would make it a useful tool to check when buying a used car.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Who says an art history degree is worthless?

What can 250 year old paintings tell you about global warming? Several reseachers have used Canaletto's 18th century detailed views of Venice to find that the sea level there has risen 0.8 meters since that time. The blame for the relative rise is split between global warming and the sinking foundations of the city of canals. (Early report in February, Conclusion of study last month) The photorealistic paintings were essentially the 18th century equivalent of postcards aristocrats brought back with them after a trip to Venice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Diary of an aspiring pornstar

I don't much care for personal journals and diaries probably mostly because they are rarely unique or interesting to me. Less history, more mystery is usually fine with me. But this journal is well written and gives a look at a another world.

"And then when I got into the house, which was covered in thick white carpet and white furniture all over the place, who do I see? Topanga. We're like cosmically connected or something. She had changed her look again: she has blond extensions now. I don't know. I don't really like 'em. But whatever, she's nice. I wouldn't say that we're friends, since we don't have much in common except that I came on her face a couple of times, but we treat each other well."

The diary pulls no punches and may offend some with its rawness. (via Haddock)

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Filled with Jesus' love

Divine Interventions makes sexual toys with religious icons and manages to be as offensive as possible which makes it funny as hell, which is probably where they're going.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Keeping track of Dick

If you're wondering where our vice president has been lately, rest asssured, he is safe and is keeping a journal in his secret bunker. (found at Fark)

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Another Bush, another war for oil?

A new book claims that the Bush administration discouraged investigations into OBL and his associates soon after being elected. The situation sounds similar to when Clinton prevented idictments in the Khobar Towers bombing investigation to maintain good relations with Iran. The revelations in the book come courtesy of the former chief of international terror operations for the FBI John O'Neill who resigned in protest. Unfortunately he died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 where he had just taken over as chief of security. According to O'Neill the fear of destabilizing Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan motivated oil companies to pull the strings on Bush to get him to halt investigations.

Monday, November 19, 2001

O.J. to Train Ground Troops

Cause he was in some kind of Navy SEAL movie right? This headline and more stories at Satirewire.

Home Depot marathon

Idiot spends 16 hours straight in Home Depot and keeps a journal. (via Fark)

Friday, November 16, 2001

Sanrio surprises

Ftrain reinterprets some cute cartoony Japanese characters including The Tasty Kittens, Sad Abused Lamb, and Wry Homosexual Party Dog.

Sunday, November 11, 2001

Broken Promises

A set of articles in the Toronto Star (copy) has reignited interest in a twenty year old criminal conspiracy involving the highest levels of several governments. The story is convoluted but essentially the investigation involves the PROMIS software which was a sophisticated database developed by an ex-NSA researcher and stolen by the US Department of Justice. A backdoor was added and the program was then sold to governments and institutions all over the world. This gave American intelligence secret access to databases around the world. Now the Canadians are pissed because they believe these backdoors led to several large security breaches. If it isn't complicated enough, there is an Israeli connection described at Cryptome. This Wired article traces the timeline up to and beyond the congessional investigation in 1989. (via Rumor Mill News)

Saturday, November 10, 2001

Pushing the limits

A detailed and very explicit story on the Girl's Gone Wild phenomenon. I had assumed that whoever makes these videos just collects a bunch of amateur footage shot at the right place at the right time. While this may have been true at some point, nowadays, to get raw, sexy, and outrageous footage professional companies go out and interact with their subjects stretching (among other things) the "reality genre" label to its limits and blurring the line between porn and a wild weekend out on the lake. The author takes us on one of these outings with a video company for a weekend of 'sexual anarchy'.

Like anything there has been an escalation in raunchiness of the acts performed on the videos. The women in the videos have gone from taking off their tops to inserting bottles of Jack Daniels in various orifices. Why does each video have to be more lewd than the last? John Seabrook in the PBS Frontline series, Merchants of Cool comes as close as I've seen to an explanation.

"In a crowded marketplace, where everyone is trying to be heard and where there's an amazing number of choices, the loudest, coarsest, most shocking voice does tend to be the one that at least grabs your attention for a moment. And since moments are the currency within which modern media trade, that's all that really matters. "

In the end it comes down to getting attention and as long as there are women that crave it, there will be men to indulge them.

Subversive sarcasm

More Get Your War On:

"Why do I get the feeling that when the War on Terrorism is over we're gonna have more fucking Cipro than we know what to do with?"

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

An NPR piece comparing military psyops during Desert Storm and Desert W. Storm.

"And then at some point during the broadcast day, the next day's B-52 targets were announced, but never at the same time. So if Iraqi soldiers wanted to know what was on the list, they'd have to listen all day, exposing all the propaganda we cared to deliver," Hoffan said. "It was an amazingly effective campaign." is an informed and well funded site that covers the psyops operations in Afghanistan and around the world.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Operation Infinite Consumerism/Propaganda

In the great tradition of Desert Storm trading cards comes Operation Enduring Freedom:the trading cards. The people at Topps know an opportunity when they see one.

"Enduring freedom picture cards presents the New War on Terrorism in a format that children understand. Not included are the disturbing images shown repeatedly on national newscasts. Instead, Topps has chosen to focus on America's strengths -its elected leaders, the security of its military, its worldwide support…and the courage and unity of its people."

Elected leaders? Thats funny because alot of those cards have George Bush on them. They weren't kidding when they said this war would be fought on many levels. I can't wait to hear a ten year old saying, "I'll trade you my 'Flowers Outside U.S. Embassy In Beijing' for your 'AC-130 Spectre'."

To which the natural response would be: "What are you smoking? The AC-130 incorporates side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather."

The folks over at Fark photochop up the sample cards with some funny results.

Saturday, November 03, 2001

Who says a degree in history is worthless?

"Centamin Egypt shares yesterday posted their biggest gain since April after the Perth-based gold exploration company found gold in Egypt using a map thought to have been drawn by King Seti more than 3000 years ago."

Here's the article (via The Daily Grail).