The Price of Fame - New York Times

"WHEN Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, announced this week that his office had settled payola allegations with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, he documented how record companies get songs on the radio as part of a corrupt system that few understand.

I certainly didn't understand it - until my band, Semisonic, found itself flying around the country in 1996, visiting radio stations and ingratiating ourselves to program directors, just as our debut single, 'Down in Flames,' was about to be released. "


Forbes.com Best of the Web

"Blog Power
Matthew Schifrin, Editor

This summer we have trained our sights on the rapidly growing world of blogs, also known as the 'blogosphere'. We identify the best blogs in categories ranging from Art and Literary Blogs, to Small Business, Marketing, Shopping and Music Blogs."

EFF: DeepLinks

"Imagine that every time you printed a document, it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer -- and potentially, the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of 'Alias,' right?

Unfortunately, the scenario isn't fictional. In an effort to identify counterfeiters, the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent, an act you assume is private could become public. A communication tool you're using in everyday life could become a tool for government surveillance. And what's worse, there are no laws to prevent abuse."

onegoodmove: Bush Flips Out

"What incredibly infantile behavior from the President of the United States. He has no respect for the office. All class! "

At onegoodmove, via Iggy.

National Vaccine Information Center

"Vaccines or immunizations are recommended for every child born in the United States. Vaccinations shouldn't hurt a child but sometimes they do. Before your child takes the risk, find out what it is.

How much Mercury has your child received from vaccines?"

Vaccinations have been linked to Autism, among other things. Most people are not aware that vaccines are almost always preserved with Thimerosal, which contains mercury. Click here for the Material Safety Data Sheet on Thimerosal.
Here's a small section:
"Primary Physical and Health Hazards: Skin Permeable. Toxic. Mutagen. Irritant (eyes).
Allergen. Nervous System and Reproductive Effects.
Caution Statement: Thimerosal may enter the body through the skin, is toxic, alters genetic material,
may be irritating to the eyes, and causes allergic reactions. Effects of exposure may include numbness
of extremities, fetal changes, decreased offspring survival, and lung tissue changes."


BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Japanese develop 'female' android

"She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner. "

MSN Virtual Earth

MSN Virtual Earth

check out the aerial view.

Learning From Lance

"I recently spent time in Ireland, which has quietly become the second-richest country in the E.U., first by going through some severe belt-tightening that meant everyone had to sacrifice, then by following that with a plan to upgrade the education of its entire work force, and a strategy to recruit and induce as many global high-tech companies and researchers as possible to locate in Ireland. The Irish have a plan. They are focused. They have mobilized business, labor and government around a common agenda. They are playing offense.
Wouldn't you think that if you were president, after you'd read the umpteenth story about premier U.S. companies, like Intel and Apple, building their newest factories, and even research facilities, in China, India or Ireland, that you'd summon the top U.S. business leaders to Washington to ask them just one question: 'What do we have to do so you will keep your best jobs here? Make me a list and I will not rest until I get it enacted.'
And if you were president, and you had just seen more suicide bombs in London, wouldn't you say to your aides: 'We have got to reduce our dependence on Middle East oil. We have to do it for our national security. We have to do it because only if we bring down the price of crude will these countries be forced to reform. And we should want to do it because it is clear that green energy solutions are the wave of the future, and the more quickly we impose a stringent green agenda on ourselves, the more our companies will lead innovation in these technologies.'"

ABC News: Pesticides May Be Sickening School Kids

"CHICAGO Jul 27, 2005 - Pesticide use in or near U.S. schools sickened more than 2,500 children and school employees over a five-year period, and though most illnesses were mild, their numbers have increased, a nationwide report found.
Sources include chemicals to kill insects and weeds on school grounds, disinfectants, and farming pesticides that drift over nearby schools, according to the report by researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and their colleagues. "


Word of the Day


NOUN:Variant of bunkum. "

Well, that was helpful.

'Ghetto Talent Show,' Watermelon Eating Contest Outrages Community - Yahoo! News

"Miami city leaders are apologizing for a news release that invited summer campers to a ''Ghetto Style Talent Show'' and ''Watermelon Eating Contest.'' "


skippy the bush kangaroo

"top 10 reasons dorothy was greeted as a liberator ...and our army wasn't -

10. the wicked witch of the east actually had weapons of mass destruction.

9. rebuilding contracts awarded locally to lullaby league and lollipop guild.

8. dorothy apologized.

7. evil oppressor legally verified as 'really most sincerely dead' rather than 'maybe dead.'

6. dorothy got it that she wasn't in kansas any more.

5. did not install toto as interim governor of munchkinland.

4. went home as soon as possible.

3. no interest in munchkinland's natural resources.

2. dorothy wasn't taking orders from the one with no brain.

1. no collateral damage."

From Skippy.

The Nattering Nabob

"I hate to point this out, but we liberals have been telling them that for about 40 years now."

Iggy's got it right.

ABC News: Mom Pleads Guilty to Hosting Sex Parties

Mom Pleads Guilty to Hosting Sex Parties

Extreme Cuteness


Payola Shocker: J-Lo Hits, Others Were 'Bought' by Sony

"'Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600.'"

Blurred Clarity

"I strongly advise anyone who looks vaguely like a terrorist to get the hell out of the UK until we go back to victimising black men and all this nonsense has died down."

Hemispheres | Fiction

The Administration and the Fury
If William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House"

If you're into Faulker, this is hysterical. If you're not into Faulkner, but you're into politics, it's probably still pretty funny.

Mei Wah

"Like Calvin Trillin (most famously) and many others, I have never quite been able to sit down to a meal in a Chinese restaurant without wondering. Wondering if the Chinese characters on the menu said the same thing as the alleged English translations. Wondering what goodies I was missing from the Chinese-only specials board on the wall.

Wondering if there could be a more efficient way to make sure I got exactly what I thought I was getting, to know a little more about what I was ordering, to enable myself to make better food decisions.

So I started to learn some Chinese. I never did learn much. I still can't read a newspaper in Chinese, nor a non-food-related sign, nor hold a conversation in it. But I can read a menu in Chinese. And here I'm going to attempt to show you how to do it too.
This offer comes with some strict limitations.

I'm not going to teach you how to speak any Chinese, not even a little. These pages will be very little concerned with the sounds of Chinese or even with writing Chinese in Western letters. Mostly this is about Chinese characters. (This is exactly the opposite of the approach most Chinese textbooks take. But this is not a textbook.)"

This is pretty interesting. A crash course in how to read Chinese. Sort of.


Grand Theft Adult - New York Times

"A game like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a lot to tell us, most of it unpalatable, about how American culture looks through certain eyes. But so does the reaction to this modification and the scenes it exposes. As always in America, sex and nudity create the scandals, not systemic violence. Without Mr. Wildenborg's mod, all you could do in the fictional territory of San Andreas was engage in explicitly sociopathic - not to say psychopathic - criminality. With his mod, you get all that and a little virtual sex as well."

Um, but they're forgetting one thing - pornography is violence - it's just violence towards women, which our society has always found acceptable.

Update: And does anyone really think that parents who let their kids have this violent piece of crap in the first place are going to care in the slightest about some hidden porn?

Main Page - dKosopedia

"dKosopedia, the free political encyclopedia."

Question for the Women...

This is the second time in two days this has happened - I'm walking down the hall at work, and some guy who's heading towards the restroom has his hand on his fly before he even gets the door open. What is it with them? Do they need to go that bad?!? Or is it just that they're all so impressed with themselves for having one that they just can't keep their hands off it?

I mean, really - have any of you ever hiked your skirt up before you got into the restroom? (On purpose, I mean, not because you had the back of your skirt accidentally tucked into your pantyhose...)

HotOrNot + Google Maps

"HotorNot + Google Maps = Hot People by Zip Code"

The wonders of technology.

When a Man Dies in a Sex Act with a Horse -- What's a Reporter to Do?

"When a Man Dies in a Sex Act with a Horse -- What's a Reporter to Do?"

Free Mashups

"Boulevard of Broken Songs
Green Day VS. Oasis VS. Travis VS. Eminem..."

At the time of writing, I had only listened to Pink vs. ELO, but it was really good. There's a bunch of stuff here.

Gear Live | How Google Maps Got Me Out Of A Traffic Ticket

Gear Live | How Google Maps Got Me Out Of A Traffic Ticket

The (over)exercise of power

"Given the importance of his job, it is astonishing how much time Bush has to exercise. His full schedule is not publicly available. The few peeks we get at Bush's daily routine usually come when some sort of disaster prods the White House Press Office to reveal what the president was doing 'at the time.' Earlier this year, an airplane wandered into restricted Washington air space. Bush, we learned, was bicycling in Maryland. In 2001, a gunman fired shots at the White House. Bush was inside exercising. When planes struck the World Trade Center in 2001, Bush was reading to schoolchildren, but that morning he had gone for a long run with a reporter. Either this is a series of coincidences or Bush spends an enormous amount of time working out"

Square America Home

"A gallery of vintage snapshots & vernacular photography"

If you were born before 1970, you'll probably think this is very cool.

Via an email from Dad.


Marketers May Stop Calling Dead People

"NEW YORK Jul 21, 2005 - The nation's largest direct marketing group set up a registry Thursday to remove dead people from its telemarketing, e-mail and direct mail lists for $1"

The Scourge That Is Melisma

"In the car.
Me: 'Leave it on that station, it's 'Bootylicious.' '
Deborah: 'Please, no.'
Me: 'What do you have against r&b?' Deborah: 'That's not r&b, all that ululating.'

The neosoul movement thinks American r&b is suffering from a dangerous lack of Fender Rhodes electric piano. Nick Hornby and other neocon cultural critics think r&b is a victim of the global underground network of cleavage and drum machines. Me, I think it's melisma's fault. "

Somebody had to say it.

Find the Baby


Attention All Photo Geeks

This is only in the testing stages. It is supposed to eventually include almost 200,000 photographs.

Warm Spot

John G. Roberts, Jr. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Abortion. Roberts is listed as a coauthor on a brief before the Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan 500 U.S. 173 (1991), defending the validity of a government regulation that banned the mentioning of abortion as an option available to pregnant women seeking help from federally-funded family planning programs:
'We continue to believe that [Roe v. Wade] was wrongly decided and should be overruled. As more fully explained in our briefs, filed as amicus curiae, in Hodgson v. Minnesota, 110 S. Ct. 2926 (1990); Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 109 S. Ct. 3040 (1989); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986); and City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983), the Court's conclusions in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion and that government has no compelling interest in protecting prenatal human life throughout pregnancy find no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.' [1]"

But wait, there's more...


The New Zealand Herald

"Why, when the great works of philosophy and science are so accessible in mass-produced books or on the internet, do so many people choose to be ignorant and believe that God's creatures were created in a divine flash of light, and that tsunamis, floods, earthquakes and epidemics are the good Lord's punishment for neglecting his will?

And why, when I want to get hold of my credit-card company, or my insurer, or the cowboys who sold me my dodgy computer software, do I have to wait in a telephone queue for half an hour before being put through to an answering machine? "

Bittersweet Victory for Chocolate: Study Confirms Health Benefits

"Only Dark Chocolate Will Do for Those Looking for Help for Their Hearts"

"The blood pressure-lowering effect of dark chocolate in this study compares favorably with the one achieves with commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs," said Dr. Frank Messerli, director of the Hypertension Program at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York. "


TV alert: Secret Societies July 25, the History Channel

"HISTORY'S MYSTERIES delves into the tightly guarded world of SECRET SOCIETIES in an attempt to lift the veil of mystery surrounding groups like the Skull & Bones, the Bilderbergs and the Tri-Lateral Commission. We'll hear from some conspiracy theorists who believe that they are conspiring to take over the world, and others who contend that they already have! Historians help document what is known about the groups' origins and aims, and we'll see intriguing evidence that suggests that some fears about these organizations may be justified!"


"McCain on sexy film: 'I work with boobs every day'"


7 Words You Can't Say in Kindergarten

"You're watching a movie I made with my kids on the morning of July 16, 2005.
You're welcome to discuss this in the comments section of my blog."

Go to the comments section on this. What's impressive is not the hullabaloo that this has generated, but how so many people have completely missed the point.

And anyway, it's funny.

Optimus keyboard

Optimus keyboard: "Optimus keyboard"

Cool little techno gadget.


The Costco Challenge: An Alternative to Wal-Martization?

"Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti explained: 'From day one, we've run the company with the philosophy that if we pay better than average, provide a salary people can live on, have a positive environment and good benefits, we'll be able to hire better people, they'll stay longer and be more efficient.'
A 2004 Business Week study ran the numbers to test Costco's business model against that of Wal-Mart. The study confirmed that Costco's well-compensated employees are more productive."

How do YOU spell "hypocrite"?

"Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- who once held hearings chastising Hollywood studios for producing R- rated films and marketing them to teens -- is now playing a part in one!
Opening this weekend, WEDDING CRASHERS, a movie packed with raunchy moments and bare-breasted beauties bedding down with the guys.

And Senator John McCain! "

We're Not Afraid

England (and the world's) answer to the terrorists -


You can upload your own at the link above.


Live 8 Video - Download the Live 8 videos today! Direct downloads of the Live 8 concerts and artists.

"Live 8 Video Downloads"

"These are the AOL video clips from the Live 8 concert series from July 2nd.
Special thanks to adamjacobmuller ,gregw and nebel
over on FARK.com for their work.
I don't think any of this is illegal.
If it is, does it help that I live in Canada?"


Unnecessary Powers - New York Times

"The Patriot Act already gives government too much power to spy on ordinary Americans, but things could get far worse. Congress is considering adding a broad new investigative power, known as the administrative subpoena, that would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to gain access to anyone's financial, medical, employment and even library records without approval from a judge and even without the target knowing about it. Members of Congress should block this disturbing provision from becoming law."

Red, White and Beer? A Brewer's Strong Talk - New York Times

"ANHEUSER-BUSCH is taking some chances by circulating marketing materials that may cross the line from patriotism to jingoism."

"In the past, Anheuser-Busch has mentioned Miller's purchase by South African breweries in television commercials. But analysts said that the new campaign went further in its pro-American stance, striking a note that might seem dissonant for a company expanding rapidly overseas"

But the real question is, how can they call the stuff that both those companies produce "BEER"?

Blogcritics.org: Top 13 Most Overrated Songs

"I remember now that Led Zep's theivery is well known; courtesy of Wilson & Allroy, here are some more famous lifts:

'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' - A folk song by Anne Bredon, this was originally credited as 'traditional, arranged by Jimmy Page,' then 'words and music by Jimmy Page,' and then, following legal action, 'Bredon/Page/Plant.'

'Black Mountain Side' - uncredited version of a traditional folk tune previously recorded by Bert Jansch.

'Bring It On Home' - the first section is an uncredited cover of the Willie Dixon tune (as performed by the imposter Sonny Boy Williamson).

'Communication Breakdown' - apparently derived from Eddie Cochran's 'Nervous Breakdown.'

'Custard Pie' - uncredited cover of Bukka White's 'Shake 'Em On Down,' with lyrics from Sleepy John Estes's 'Drop Down Daddy.'

'Dazed And Confused' - uncredited cover of the Jake Holmes song (see The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes).

'Hats Off To (Roy) Harper' - uncredited version of Bukka White's 'Shake 'Em On Down.'

'How Many More Times' - Part one is an uncredited cover of the Howlin' Wolf song (available on numerous compilations). Part two is an uncredited cover of Albert King's 'The Hunter.'

'In My Time Of Dying' - uncredited cover of the traditional song (as heard on Bob Dylan's debut).

'The Lemon Song' - uncredited cover of Howlin' Wolf's 'Killing Floor' - Wolf's publisher sued Zeppelin in the early 70's and settled out of court.

'Moby Dick' - written and first recorded by Sleepy John Estes under the title 'The Girl I Love,' and later covered by Bobby Parker.

Nobody's Fault But Mine" - uncredited cover of the Blind Willie Johnson blues.

"Since I've Been Lovin' You" - lyrics are the same as Moby Grape's "Never," though the music isn't similar.

"White Summer" - uncredited cover of Davey Graham's "She Moved Through The Fair."

"Whole Lotta Love" - lyrics are from the Willie Dixon blues "You Need Love."

Anti Bush T Shirt #627

Anti Bush T Shirt #627
Bush Liar Liar


Sat Jul 09 2005 19:16:16 ET

BRITAIN and America are secretly preparing to withdraw most of their troops from Iraq - despite warnings of the grave consequences for the region, the SUNDAY MAIL in UK is reporting."

Word of the Day


NOUN:Dullness of mind; mental lethargy.
ETYMOLOGY:Late Latin hebetd, from Latin hebes, hebet-, dull.

And here I thought it was a personality trait of a really cool Jew.

Internet News Article | Reuters.com

"AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Consumers will soon be able to recognize Web sites specially designed for use by mobile phones by the new '.mobi' suffix, which will be introduced alongside the popular '.com' and other top-level domain names. "


The Nattering Nabob

"And when you ask the obvious question - 'How is fighting in Iraq preventing terrorists from attacking over here?' you get no answer - the slogan just gets repeated. Such is the nature of advertising.

This is the consequence of starting the wrong war in the wrong country.

Al Qaeda - not Iraq - bombed London.

Al Qaeda - not Iraq - attacked New York City and Washington

Al Qaeda is the enemy.

Iraq was NOT the enemy.

And when we had the chance to break Al Qaeda's back in Afghanistan - even capturing Osama Bin Laden - we inexplicably pulled back, we changed the focus to Iraq and Saddam Hussein, we didn't finish the job, and we allowed Al Qaeda to restrengthen and regroup."


ABC News: 450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey

ABC News: 450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey


UK govt goes after smokers' sex lives

"LONDON: The British government has launched a series of tough anti-cigarette adverts with the message that smoking is bad for your sex life because it makes men impotent and women ugly. "

Johnnie Moore's Weblog: You bomb us, we'll make tea

Johnnie Moore's Weblog: You bomb us, we'll make tea: "You bomb us, we'll make tea"

Brits, soldiering on. And they do it with so much style.

London Bombings: Through Bloggers Eyes - Web Logs Archives

London Bombings: Through Bloggers Eyes - Web Logs Archives: "

Examples of blogger accounts include: Some photos of the London bomb blasts are found via Flickr (here and here). London-related blog entries may also be found through the Technorati tag 'London'."

Blurred Clarity

Blurred Clarity: "Blurred Clarity "

A blogger in London. No-holds barred opinions on American politics, as well as other stuff. And of course today, a local view of the London bombings. Uncensored, so steel yourself, some of it's not pretty.

Via Moose.

The Sith Sense

The Sith Sense

Pretty cool 20-Questions type game. Has sound. It guessed wrong the first time for me, then there was a surprise, and then it got it right.

Just A Thought

This morning, while making his statement about the London bombings, our beloved Shrub said he'd been

"talkin' to the Homeland Security folks."

Inspires confidence, doesn't it? Personally, I don't want to hear that some ignorant faux-cowboy who can't even drive a bicycle without causing havoc is "talkin' to the Homeland Security folks", I want to hear that The President of the Untied (spelling error intentional) States is Conferring With Top Security Officials" or something similar.

If the man can't even speak clearly in times of crisis, does anyone really believe he can think clearly?

Oh yeah, probably the same people who believed that Alzheimer-ridden, B-grade actor Ronald Reagan was making sense.

eyewitness accounts

Your eyewitness accounts from Guardian Unlimited: Newsblog: "There is no major panic here, just an underlying sense of confusion and despondency."

Excerpt from the London eyewitness accounts. (See below.)

Your eyewitness accounts from Guardian Unlimited: Newsblog

Your eyewitness accounts from Guardian Unlimited: Newsblog

Emails from eyewitnesses to the London bombings today.

Via Iggy.

The Nattering Nabob

"Thursday, July 07, 2005

BAGHDAD, July 7 (KUNA) -Thirteen people have been killed and 27 wounded in car bomb attacks, the Iraqi police reported on Thursday.

What happened in London is a daily occurence in Iraq."

via Iggy.


Corruption? What corruption?

"And if the Democrats are worried about rooting out corruption because some of THEM have their hand in the till - well, too F'in bad. If you're corrupt, I want you the hell out of Washington, and I don't care if you belong to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or the Surprise Party."

Iggy's on a roll today.

It's shaping up to be a bad week, so here's some cuteness.

Utilities Could Run Low on Fuel

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobody is talking about blackouts just yet, but a long, hot summer combined with railroad disruptions could spell disaster for U.S. coal-burning power plants. "

Lovely. Just lovely. The question is, is this true, or just another excuse to raise prices?
Via an email from Dad.

skippy the bush kangaroo

"the million march skippy-a-thon...day 15"

"so many people have joined in the blogtopia-wide (yes! we coined that hyphenate!) goal of helping skippy reach a million visitors on our third blogiversary of july 10 and/or 13, that we can hardly write this without tears of joy interferring with our snark."

Go there and help Skippy reach a million hits - after all, "jon stewart says "when i want news, i turn to cnn...and they turn...to...skippy...the bush kangaroo."
It's a good blog. Check out the post "fortunate son".
On a related note, I read somewhere yesterday that while Jon Stewart has ruled out a jump to network television, he has not ruled out a run for a political office.
kinky for governor! JON STEWART FOR PRESIDENT!



"Gay Pride: 'Across the street form St. Patrick's Cathedral I found these two specifically quarantined off and surrounded by at least 6 police offers. Watching the faces of the jovial parade goers as the signs caught their attention was heartbreaking. My belief in 'freedom of speech' had never been tested to such an extreme. I wanted to throw my camera at their heads.'"

The WINBUTTON - You the button click. Money you might win.

The WINBUTTON - You the button click. Money you might win.

Welcome to The Official Website of The Electras!

Welcome to The Official Website of The Electras!

Check out the bass player!

MCCARTNEY golem leads 'Live 8' call for bankster takeover of Africa

"Then there are the strings attached to the deal. In order to qualify for debt relief, poor countries must implement strict structural adjustment programs required by the IMF and World Bank. These programs involve opening up domestic markets to imports and cuts in social spending, which usually results in more poverty--and more loans."

You knew there had to be more to the story than what Live8 was telling us, didn't you?

United Church of Christ Backs Same-Sex Marriage

"ATLANTA, July 4 - The United Church of Christ became the first mainline Christian denomination to support same-sex marriage officially when its general synod passed a resolution on Monday affirming "equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender."


Not crazy about this new template, but it's the only one that seems to be working properly. All the others shoot the sidebar down to the very bottom.

AOL Music: LIVE 8 Concert Highlights

"Watch the highlights from the biggest concert event in history, on-demand, as many times as you want."

This has got to be better than the godawful VH1/MTV broadcasts. Could they have possibly shown any less music, or any more of the inane, chattering VJ's?

U.S. service men, women who have died in Iraq, Afghanistan

"To see more detailed information, roll you mouse over a point and pause to see its name. Clicking on the point will open a new window with the name, age and other information about each soldier from that town who has been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan."

Interactive map.

Biometrics: From Reel to Real

"Are you who you say you are? Answering that question may soon involve more than simply handing over your ID. You may also need to hand over part of your personal biology by submitting to a biometric scan. "