Mindful Link Propagation Archives

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Once again, Josh Marshall is politically astute; their best weapon against Sarah Palin is Hillary Clinton.

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“But man…O’ man…John Kerry descended like he stole the friggin’ bike from the GOP.”

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“As a woman, I’m offended by John McCain’s decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.”

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Debs’s blackberry stories (and blackberry pie recipe) make Mark Bittman’s NYT blog!

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“I think—I’ll have my staff get to you … It’s condominiums where—I’ll have them get to you.”

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The Medium Lobster is now writing for the Guardian?

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See also Doc; Knol is a community site without community.

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Insulting and expelling their biggest users in a Friendster-esque move.

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Experimental postal hacking.

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It’s not the height of the curve that matters, but the area under it .

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Some biting entries, but why are all the scientists white males?

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Philipp Lenssen is an Internet treasure.

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Best use of embedded YouTube videos in a blog post ever.

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The Boston Globe discusses search engine law policy; don’t miss the illustration, which makes Google look like the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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A/k/a “Andy Pressman’s Sexxx Farm,” it’s old but still amusing.

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ICHC has been on a roll: clever, cute, and silly.

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Don’t invite them to the same party as the bacteria that eat oil.

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Amazing resource of common writers’ devices. I love that they feel the need to say, “This is not Wikipedia. We’re a buttload more informal.”

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Stanford’s Fair Use Project wins again.

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Because the invasion of Iraq and the response to Katrina both went so well.

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I’m not sure which is more impressive: that they made another sequel to a brutally hard 1986 game, or that they persevered for twelve years in making it. That’s even longer than The Fool and His Money, Half-Life 2, or Duke Nukem Wait Forever

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I didn’t have Magna Carta or Wild and Groovy Moon Combat, but they sound better than some of the real games.

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Translation: the music you “bought” from MSN Music will go bye-bye when your current computer dies.

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A Carissa’s Wierd rarity, from a 1999 live set!

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Studied by mathematicians who get defensive whenever anyone accuses them of making it all up.

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New art, too, which suggests that this is for reals, and not an April 1 joke.

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Dropping rhymes about keyword selection and tuning ad text.

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I read the problem statement and thought it sounded infeasible, but no! And the algorithm is cubic in the worst case.

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Creepily, Netflix sent us A Man for All Seasons yesterday.

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I hadn’t known the bit about communications satellites.

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Penny Arcade has the best tribute; and see also

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There’s a web page for everything.

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Extremely well-done; extremely profane. See Waxy’s interview with the creators.

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Try it yourself; the relevant part is “[Whoever] knowingly … uses … a means of identification of another person … . [shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years.]” What does “knowingly” modify?

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Things are moving very fast now in the open access law space.

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Ken makes a funny about the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal.

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Proving yet again why he and they are the best in their respective businesses.

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Where are the Tastys of yesteryear?

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Think of it as doing for video what a wiki does for text.

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Julian Dibbell’s classic book about LambdaMOO; don’t miss the trials and tribulations he went through in trying to release it under a Creative Commons license.

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Stereo broadcasting predates radio!

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I’m guessing that it went live on Knuth’s birthday.

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Damn, they’re good.

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I’m going to stockpile them so I can use well-designed stamps.

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Their old logotype was getting stale, but the new one throws too much of the brand identity overboard.

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Donates money to a cause you hate each time you hit the snooze button. Ian Ayres would be proud.

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A complex, courageous figure.

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Cosmic justice would be done if Apple sued him now over his false claims that they were going to sue him last week.

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Straight Dope forum poster tries it on himself; concludes it’s unquestionably torture. Required reading.

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Someone can’t take a joke.

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I’m not the first to ponder zombie philosophy. Thanks, Brian!

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Wireless network neutrality now!

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I was right about J.K. Rowling’s next project! But will she publish it?

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This has to be a joke. Please tell me it’s a joke.

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“Irreconcilable differences?” Uh-oh.

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It’s the boldest use of the GPL I’ve yet seen.

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A five-minute, low-fi, emotionally wrenching computer game. The most eloquent counterexample to Spielberg’s fatuous comment yet.

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Having trouble finding documentation online? Help Andy help developers help you get help.

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Actually, “Activision Blizzard,” but either way, we know what the most valuable brand in this deal was.

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The sale makes even less sense than their purchase of LiveJournal in 2005.

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Great news; CC-BY-SA is an excellent license and this will have good standardizing effects for lots of other projects.

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The tide is turning.

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Compare the first draft; methinks I see Gondry’s romantic fatalism in the revisions.

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Two talented cartoonists (and guests) draw a chain of hilariously offbeat superheroes, each created to take advantage of the previous one’s fatal weakness. Start here.

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His case was as much about the enduringly idiotic capriciousness of unchecked bureaucracy as about anti-communist hysteria.

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Neat, but a name suggesting that books are kindling is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Half vampire, half zombie.

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My latest radio appearance is online.

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One of Brad DeLong’s commenters absolutely destroys the anthropic principle—in one sentence.

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And then publishes the list of banned addresses in his blog. It includes Adam Thierer, who might not like being blacklisted by Chris Anderson, but would fight to the death for Anderson’s right to blacklist him.

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This section of John Siracusa’s longer review of Leopard is an outstanding example of good technical software writing.

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Their Associate General Counsel posted a baseless trademark takedown request as a blog comment; the most charitable interpretation is that the comment is a forgery posted by someone not affiliated with Avis. (via Trademark Blog)

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Rule 34 validated again.

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Well, okay, never built, but still, does Dan Simmons know?

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As referenced by Jonathan Coulton. I’d been looking for this for years!

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Advocate for digital history, experimenter with new media, thoughtful theorist of Wikipedia

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Just in time for the strike.

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130 cats in one apartment; the video is a thing of beauty.

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Cf. Gruber’s cow that makes cheese.

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You don’t often see legal documents in Computer Modern.

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Everything else reminds me of nothing so much as a Two Minutes Hate.

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They turned the John Harvard statute into a Master Chief for the Halo 3 launch. (Via Steven)

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Remember how the iTunes Music Store blew away all that had come before? Amazon’s MP3 downloads do the same thing to iTunes.

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Submit to the Hypnotoad on November 27!

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Gosh, you know, I thought maybe I could trust news accounts of what the “fake bomb” actually looked like. Silly me.

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MIT student walks into airport wearing a device made out of a circuit board, wires, and Play-Doh, and is promptly arrested. No shutting down the airport, no hysterical press conferences. Maybe they’ve learned something since the Mooninite Menace. While it doesn’t sound like the student intended to “cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort,” and thus she probably didn’t violate the Massachusetts hoax device statute, it was an incredibly dumb thing to do.

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This week’s Onion: Mike Johanns Only One Showing Up to Cabinet Meetings Now

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Classic musical notation joke; someone very clever put a lot of time into this.

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Now-deleted Craigslist ad: “I hate to sound so harsh, but I have expectations to live up to. No Black, Asian, overweight, or unattractive women please. Ages 18-22 only.” Could be a hoax, but it has the ring of truth. (Disclaimer: final clubs are not representative of Harvard as a whole.)

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Seems like a nice thumb in the eye to those crowing about having derailed the appointment.

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Incredibly simple, incredibly polished wiki using Markdown syntax. Fall in love with wikis all over again.

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Savage Steve Holland to direct a movie that will create a “trilogy of sorts” with Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer!

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Man bites dog. Color me impressed.

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I supported Summers’s ouster as Harvard president, but this is ridiculous. WTF, UC? Trying to prove that your problem is cowardice, not political bias?

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Tracking down the car from a sixteen-year-old movie: now that’s fandom.

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It is satisfying when you realize how your program is tricking you.

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Usually, schools wait until they’re in existence to violate academic freedom. This could well destroy the school.

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I’d never realized that Blendo was built by the Mythbusters guys. Until now.

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Author of three books I’ve read and more than fifty I haven’t.

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But a good day for cosmic justice.

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But will they stream to an Airport Express?

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Cute, but the one in blue isn’t a Tetris piece. (via bb)

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They should charge the perp with reverse arson.

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Just in time to save me from blogging that rumors of his impending resignation were implausible.

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Remember when the official line was that it was treasonous to compare Iraq to Vietnam?

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That’s, um, Singapore Mass Rapid Transit.

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“I believe that Mailer has become a quite underrated writer, especially his Harlot’s Ghost. But wife-stabbing is not the main reason why he has failed to win the [Nobel] prize.”

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Go Susan!

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“I’m on my third 360, and it’s working great for me.”

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Coming soon to a highway sign near you.

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What did he do wrong? Was the marmoset on the no-fly list?

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Parody or satire? (via Blogoscoped)

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iPhone, eh. iWork, wow.

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“A cluttered room is literally exhausting.”

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“So who do I think will win the high-def format war? TCP/IP.”

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Thank you oh so much for giving into the lunatics in the GOP yet again. I’ll miss my privacy.

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Scroll down to listen to one of the jauntiest songs ever.

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Good lolcats never get old.

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Perhaps it is now a HAUNTED blog?

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Tyler Cowen asks a good question; many of his commenters miss its import.

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Marty Schwimmer: “You have to wonder how much Scholastic Books had to pay to get the White House to make Voldemort president for a few hours on Saturday.”

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Played perfectly, it ends in a draw. A good occasion to remember Marion Tinsley, the greatest player of all time and an amazingly good sport about the advance of computer checkers.

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Another perfectly poker-faced one-joke post from Philipp Lenssen.

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Oh yeah, good cover, too.

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Impeach Bush now.

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Good news, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an award of attorneys’ fees against this vexatious litigant.

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This tribute to New York is so good it makes the idea of deaf people getting excited about a phone seem natural.

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Two painfully embarrassing typos in a three-sentence letter! (If this blog post is accurate, the ONDCP’s Daniel Peterson is both a doofus and a jerk.)

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He died the day after he was scheduled to receive an honorary degree from Harvard. He was too ill to travel, so no degree. That’s Harvard for you.

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Go go Google Nina!

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Outstanding news.

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Yeah, “Bourne in Car, Writing in Book” was decidedly unexplosive.

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I’d anonymously flood the Internet with vaguely plausible but inconsistent putative spoilers.

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Did they get the idea from Groucho Marx?

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Using a product named “Evidence Eliminator” to cover your digital tracks is like cleaning up the bloodstains by burning the place down.

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Officially, it’s based on a circle.

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Anything that would take this right-wing crank’s novels out of wide circulation can’t be all bad.

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His Chronicles of Prydain are among the very best fantasy novels ever written.

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Boston has finally come to its senses: in exchange for community service and an apology, the charges were dropped outright.

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Stores can’t pay cash, must thumbprint sellers, and have to hold CDs for 30 days before reselling them. The only bright side is that the law sounds like such a restriction on your first sale rights that it might well be preempted by federal copyright law.

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A tasty tea cake. I wonder how many financiers enjoy financiers.

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343 spelling-impaired listeners; similar artists include Michael Bubblé and Michael Bublé.

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What goes around comes around.

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From page 255: “The exclamation mark is a neat and concise sneer at the legal profession.”

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The man is an administrative law judge in DC; he’s suing his dry cleaners for $65 million over a lost pair of pants. He’s turned down a $12,000 settlement offer, and one element of his damages claim is so he can rent a car every weekend to take his clothes to a different dry cleaner. Bringing the kind of outrageous claims he’s bringing shows either a shameful lack of legal knowledge or a shameful disregard for others. Either way, the man is engaged in barratry and should not be a judge. See also Canon 2A. (via)

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Why I love OS X, reason number 803 in an ongoing series.

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My mother was objecting to the incessant description of the Virginia Tech shootings as “the worst massacre in American history,” pointing out that there had been much larger race riots and slaughters of Native Americans. “You should write this up as an op-ed,” I said, and she did.

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Profoundly addictive online version of Acquire.

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Badass math, math badass.

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Response to tragedy: lame, lamer, or lamest? (UPDATE: Yale has rescinded the policy; the dean behind it is still unfit to serve.)

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Beautifully elegant animations; watch them and be enlightened.

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Astoundingly ill-informed op-ed about Second Life; it misspells Philip Rosedale’s name and just gets worse from there. As Brad DeLong would say, if the Crimson wants to survive five years, it needs to fire Noah Silver, along with the editor and fact-checker who let this one through.

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Do not capitalize it without good reason. “Wikipedia” is a name, but “wiki” is not.

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Mysterious time stream evolves you.

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Interesting trivia: His original master’s degree thesis was rejected; Chicago gave him the degree decades later, on the basis of Cat’s Cradle.

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Donald Knuth wrote for MAD Magazine!

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One could view Tom Hanks’s later career as a form of atonement.

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Most languages choose consistency over completeness. But not all. (via λ the Ultimate)

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90% spot on, but what flavor of crack inspired him to write, “The software business was overhung by a monopoly from about the mid-1950s to about 2005?” What about minicomputers, where IBM was hardly dominant?

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Know your punctuation; separate lines of poetry with a virgule, but divide fractions with a solidus.

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“It would carry off objects of which it grew fond / And protect them by dropping them into the pond.” (Thanks, Keith!)

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A Space Invaders clone, privately developed for Coke, in which the letters P-E-P-S-I replace the invading aliens. How many kinds of IP trouble can you spot in three minutes?

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NB: Total sneaker expenditure could go either up or down.

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Aislinn: “For someone who’s basically happy, you have quite a taste for sad music.”

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And this is different from Russell Stover’s caramel-filled chocolate cross how?

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“But mobs never go extinct!”

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Via Daring Fireball, the best bad test answers ever.

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I’m being deliberately obscure; I’ll be surprised if even one of my readers makes the connection I have in mind. (Via Searchblog.)

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Be forewarned; you cannot unsee these photos. (Even if I hadn’t read the Elder Ones jokes at Metafilter, the word “Lovecraftian” would have come to mind.)

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“Octopuses” seems to be the consensus pick for the best choice. Don’t say “octopoda”; that’s the taxonomic category (the order, to be precise).

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Octopuses extend their arms by sending a bend towards the tip. “Every few trials, the animal was rewarded with a piece of crab meat tied to the target.”

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He invented forcing, one of the great and beautiful techniques of set theory, and one that I barely understand, even on good days. My appreciation (read down); Wikipedia.

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Sometimes, the simple photo manipulations are the best.

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Perhaps the most boring book title of all time.

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And a comment to a post at Concurring Opinions about whether it’s harder to publish at top-N law reviews than in the past. Raw submission and rejection rates don’t provide sufficient information to tell us what’s happening.

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A comment of mine to a Conglomerate thread on law review rejection rates. The law review system as a whole can push good scholarship into more prestigious journals even if the editorial process at different journals is indistinguishable.

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One of Michigan Jay’s ditties, but check out the lyrics that didn’t make it into the cartoon.

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With a lateral-support issue, for good measure.

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Slaps DRM on its fonts, with predictably bad results: designers can’t send fonts to printing companies, can’t embed them in PDFs, and can’t use standard font-management software. You can fight the digitization of the world, or you can embrace it …

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Great feature, but don’t use it yet. It can corrupt your library database and cause duplicate entries.

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The total percentage of institutionalized adults is roughly constant since 1953; back then they were primarily in mental institutions, while today they’re overwhelmingly in prisons. Critical question: how else have their demographics changed?

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I won’t spoil the punch line, but his reflections on what happened are a must-read.

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We’ve come a long way since Fortran, but nowhere near as far as his team went in creating it.

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He’s defended his Ph.D. and will be joining the faculty at the Harvard Business School. Congratulations, Ben!

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Or call 1-800-TUNED-IN. There’s an online test; I most emphatically do not have perfect pitch.

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Great resource, ironically overrun by spam (And have I kvetched about how hard it is to print out a wiki?)

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For once, all three of the captions are great.

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At first, I thought it was a prison from the far future.

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T.W. Körner strikes again.

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(More than twice a week)

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Zero calorie, negative taste.

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Mark Frauenfelder: “The press accuses of them of not taking it seriously but, in a sense, they’re taking it just as seriously as they ought to.”

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Code as speech.

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Silly marketing campaign + idiot cops = terror scare.

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My review at LawMeme.

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“Jimmywhale” is going into my lexicon.

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The most genuinely socialist video games are Space Invaders and Lemmings.

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So pretty I had to drink some (see also)

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Infectious happiness, I say.

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Babe, Buttercup, and Tommy Pickles

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Perfect headline writing.

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User-supplied HTML can defeat the “look for a myspace.com URL in the address bar” heuristic.

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The scariest security issue you’ve never heard of.

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Word of the day.

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Too creepy to make me want to buy anything.

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Quite fairminded, as these things go. (Their NDA for visitors is also surprisingly reasonable.)

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They’re incredible live.

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Jaw-dropping. There’s a book in here.

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Farewell, Great Writ. The rule of law was good while it lasted.

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PODCAST READY for podcasting is fine with Apple.

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Chavez calls Bush a “devil;” but the Simpsons got there first and better.

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This one’s easy. “Podcast” is generic.

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Just how small is our stainless-steel hypodermic tubing?

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Not a snow crash?

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Proxies for the author in fan fiction.

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Very Sifl & Olly (via Lady Grey)

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Does justice to the strangeness of both.

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Way more than you wanted to know about screenwriting credits.

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I was curious.

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The Nabokov translation (out of print, sorry) is excellent.

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Works as advertised. Highly recommended.

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is to Fahrenheit as Celsius is to Kelvin.

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I was curious.

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More great Garin journalism.

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I was curious.

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Yay, but they’ve burned me before.

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I was curious (see also).

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Uses off-the-shelf crypto primitives.

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It does run on the same station as Sesame Street.

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I made punch cards there.

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Geometry in action.

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Best. Stapler. Ever.

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A general definition of “free content” (collaborative work-in-progress).

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A man of unconventional wisdom.

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Can you do a .357 with a bayonet?

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Her books and her cities live on.

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Why does Skype hate debuggers?

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First Hurra Torpedo, now this.

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Corbato, Licklider, Roberts, Kahn, Heart … wow.

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Thanks, Ken!

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One extra Morse code dot = $20,000 loss

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“Pirx’s Tale” is the best sci-fi short story ever, with the possible exception of “Terminus.”

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I loved that desk.

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Halted by progress … progress of science. [via bb]

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I’ve successfully blocked most of my memories of working on Isn’t it Romantic?.

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Not to be all grinchy, but his work never really did much for me.

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Ninja victim reassembly et al. (via Lady Grey)

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Unhelpful explanations of the math heighten the pathos.

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Farewell, Mr. Kerber.

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At first cute; then numbing.

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Today I am a wastrel.

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Go, Steven!

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There is no great fire-safety genius without some touch of pyromania.

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Lucid, informative, and entertaining.

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By Stanislaw Lem; thanks, waggish!

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Read the caption.

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How many of you remember this one?

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What’s amazing is not so much the lip-sync itself as that the director must have been in on the joke.

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Makes you appreciate the importance of editing.

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Given the available data, it was actually pretty smart. (See also)

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The mashup works because neither work makes sense in the first place.

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The story reads like a bar exam fact pattern.

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These are the scripts that get redlit.

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FUD is perhaps not the best acronym and … hey, I had dibs on July 11!

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Scans of every page … but will there be text-only versions?

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He has such lovely, crinkly hair.

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More jaunty machinery.

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Also: more project ideas from the same author.

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Based in part on a reference to Cat and Girl

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A one-joke URL.

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Some folks call category theory “abstract nonsense,” but I like it.

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The performance involves smashing a stove.

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Spinny wheels for your bicycle.

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Shockingly awful MP3, thanks to the The Stranger. Pure Seattle Zen.

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The exact opposite of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

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Euphoric, incomprehensible, and quite possibly copyright infringement.

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I’m an attorney who does not like ninjas.

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Sad but hilariously true.

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Seriously, Popeye: get help.

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Did the quadratic formula a splode?

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The past is a strange place. Espcially the 1970s.

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X, marks the spot, 590

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Has G.I. Joe made you safer?

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Note the obviously public domain song.

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Strange Flash returns!

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Of the five U.S. vice presidents from Indiana, Quayle is the most famous.

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A marvelous modern text adventure.

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XHTML and CSS are your friends.

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Yes, I am a punctuation snob.

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For starters, don’t say “character set.”

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Nice people, nice books.

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Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion i’ the earth?

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Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and dial again.

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The banana cracks me up.

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Not to be confused with …

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It’s had one of its own.

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Never reuse a leech.

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It follows that there are 16 mules in a square mile.

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Too good to be true.

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“What [Dale] Peck writes is distilled envy, sanitized for your convenience.”

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Proof that DDR kicks ass.

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Just like Zeus said about Kronos.

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When lawyers meet internet quizzes, the results aren’t pretty.

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No, this is not a quiz about British dentistry.

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Vermin Supreme?

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This one’s for Tim.

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The mind boggles; the gorge rises.

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For a constitutional theorist, he was pretty good.

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Feel means am. The relationship means you. Like means think, brain, think!

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The regional variations can be stunning.

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Coming soon to a bookstore near you.

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Dang! Postponed!

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I loved that game.

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His sun has gone down.

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No more Mousterpiece Theater.

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Depleting the commons no longer.

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You can’t hack the law.

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The linearity is striking.

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“I never want to go through that again.”

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A man who symbolized everything that was wrong with not one, but three magazines.

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The very spirit of symmetry.

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Atheists can be inconsistent, too.

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I still say they’re doing it with Photoshop.

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Sounds fishy to me.

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Paul Ford is a genius.

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Featuring a cameo by Mike Jittlov.

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So that’s where it went.

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A metaphor in search of a referent.

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Wear a pancake in his memory.

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Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

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Color-coded for easy reference.

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Hello Cthulhu meets Stick Figure Tarot.

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Must be unseen to be believed.

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The scream that wouldn’t die.

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Because Sindarin is for wimps.

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Completely missing the point.

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The Man wins again.

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Ruining the web, one font at a time.

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Oh, the memories.

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HOWTO: rig a standards-setting process

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He hates the RIAA, you know

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Krisha preserve us.

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Best. Spam. Ever.

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Free the Mouse in 4/4 time

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God hates plagiarists.

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When lasers are outlawed, only outlaws will have lasers.

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How to translate “moo,” “oink,” “bzzz,” and so on into major world languages.

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A bunch of California geeks have built a profitable business using eBay to sell characters and items in Anarchy Online and Dark Age of Camelot. Predictably, the game-runners came in and shut down the auctions, and now the geeks are suing. My heart is with them, I guess, but their case looks awful damn shaky.

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Militant Arab Muslims aren’t the first to hate the “West.” This article describes the common threads of Nazi anti-semitism, Russian pan-Slavism, Japanese mysticism, and fundamentalism of all flavors.

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An awful Apple II platform run-and-jump game. Terrible control, lousy graphics, and unsatisfying gameplay. Why did I like it so much thirteen years ago?

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Most depressing link of the day: AUC, Colombia’s murderous right-wing paramilitary faction, takes its propaganda war to the Web with this shooting-gallery game.

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If we ever get “a personal rapid transit system of computer-controlled, three-passenger vehicles on slim guideways operating on-demand and nonstop direct to any station in the network,” these are the people who’ll bring it to us.

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For real. Bush has dispatched ~100 administration officials to secret undisclosed fortified bunkers, to ensure government continuity in the event of a massive terrorist attack. Not in itself necessarily a bad idea, but note that “only the executive branch is represented in the full-time shadow administration.”

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King Birendra of Nepal, along with much of his family, was killed a few months ago, apparently in a murder-suicide carried out by his lovelorn son. The email I recently received promoting this biography of Birendra is, without question, the most interesting spam I have ever received.

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Kaiju Big Battel is the world’s only live monster wrestling spectacle.

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They Might Be Giants, ever playful, wrote a theme song for The Chopping Block, the design firm behind TMBG.com

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Because there aren’t as many yak toys in the world as there ought to be.

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An old Broderbund game for the Apple II. The gameplay mechanics are strangely catchy: you and a pair of mutants chase each other around an arcade, trying to steal tokens and feed them to jukeboxes, slot machines, and other devices.

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An article on the social dynamics of NASCAR races. Not the social dynamics of NASCAR fans, which seems to be the usual angle. No, this article is about the cooperative and competitive tensions in the races themselves: the fact that cars drafting off one another go faster than cars on their own, apparently, gives NASCAR races a unique texture, characterized by the emergence of temporary coalitions and sudden, dramatic, rearrangements of loyalties. That the article is written by someone who is clearly a major NASCAR fan adds to the appeal. (Thanks to Gus for pointing me at First Monday, where I found this gem, along with all sorts of other neat articles.)

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An Indian scientist set up an Internet kiosk in a New Delhi slum. Local children, using it without any adult assistance, mastered computer basics at a remarkable speed.

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While attending law school, future Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and William Rehnquist dated each other. Ewwwwww. (Sorry for the Google-cache link: the original seems to have gone missing from FindLaw).

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A Utah law, held unconstitutional by a federal court, that would have had the effect of classifying protests outside of businesses as “terrorism.” The act made it illegal to enter business premises to interfere with the business’s operation — so far, so good — but then defined “intrusion” to include sound waves and light rays. We are not making this up.

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And that’s not even the worst of it. Heinz — the green ketchup company — is also planning to bring cinnamon french fries and sky blue french fries to market. They should be shot for the marketing campaign alone, which features the incoherent press release header “Ore-Ida puts Fun Into Funky With the Introduction of Funky Fries” and also includes the flavor name “Sour Cream and Jive.”

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A reasonably interesting article on the job-centrism of succesful affluent twenty-somethings. Perhaps laden with overgeneralizations, but fairly thought-provoking.

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The Middle East Media Research Institute translates articles in Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew for a Western audience.

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John Ashcroft, singer/songwriter. Warning: he’s a surprisingly good vocalist, but as a lyricist, he could use a good ass-kicking. Contains the phrase “like she’s never soarn before.”

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A walkthrough to the classic Infocom text adventure Leather Goddesses of Phobos that goes far above and beyond the call of duty.

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Good old-fashioned anarchist sci-fi. Probably reproduced without permission, which seems oddly appropriate.

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The first of the lawsuits over the Guantanamo Bay detainees was shot down a couple weeks ago by a California federal court. I finally got around to reading the decision, and whoo boy, I’m not sure that the court’s reasoning is such a good idea. You see, the court went back to the original lease to assert that no American court has jurisdiction … because Cuba retains sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay. Is it just me, or is this an open invitation to the Cubans to come in and demand the detainees’ release?

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Micro-propaganda, 285x290 style. Quality varies from pithy to pathetic.

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Old news, but I just found out about it now. The relentlessly peppy touring production-number company Up With People closed its doors in late 2000. Apparently, their business model — in which you pay to go on tour with them — was just unsustainable. I especially like the line that they were “facing increased competition from mainstream acts.”

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A somewhat better Apple II game of World War II fighter combat. The controls and gameplay were clearly very extensively playtested, because the mechanics just work. All the same, it hasn’t held up so well: perhaps it’s my Internet-addled attention span, but I can’t play it for more than five minutes at a time. In this day and age, it’s boring.

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An 18th-19th century English volume of ghastly true-crime stories. Learn about timeless con games, botched executions, unlawful marriages, and much much more.

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Yes, Kentucky is landlocked. But State Representative Tom Burch wants the state to buy the USS Louisville and deploy it on the Ohio River to sink riverboat casinos.

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A parent representative to a Manhattan school board was dismissed for allegedly practicing voodoo on the superintendant. Her supporters are claiming she would never stoop to using voodoo powder, which bothers the scientist in me. Shouldn’t the response be “and so what if she did?” (Link thanks to Gus)

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The major investment rating services have downgraded The Gap’s debt; the company’s bonds are now considered junk. Hey, protestors: pile-on time?

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In American news culture, when blacks riot, it’s scary. When whites riot, it’s funny. So funny that even an impassioned article about the double standard for coverage of riots can’t resist cracking the jokes. My favorite line: “With apologies to the National Rifle Association, beer doesn’t riot, people riot … white people, to be precise.”

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This article has an interesting focus on police reactions; by “interesting,” I mean that it raises more questions than it answers, especially about the author’s preconceptions. For fun, figure out what the throwaway reference to “social injustice” is doing in there.

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Yes, that John Poindexter. One of the wobbliest of the bumbling brains behind Iran-Contra is back, heading up the Information Awareness Office (high-tech spying) and the Information Exploitation Office (high-tech shooting).

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Jesus is with you always, whether you’re selling insurance, welding, or playing the french horn. The sort of earnest sincerity displayed by these pencil drawings is one reason why irony deserves to exist. (link courtesy of Chris Rugen at The Ranting Forum).

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IDM manufactures a line of plastic imitation televisions, computers and stereos for furniture stores to use on their display models. The Props collection also includes a realistic-looking “surveilance camera” which rotates, thanks to an internal battery.

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A song from the 1980 animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King. Note that this is the third book of the trilogy; Rankin-Bass skipped the first two. The lyrics are most definitely not taken from the book.

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Troy Hurtubise has a dream: to create an armored suit capable of standing up to an attack by a grizzly bear. He and his suit are the subject of this documentary film.

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Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the beer label that launched a multi-year freedom-of-speech lawsuit between Wasatch Brewery and the Utah office that regulates alcohol advertising.

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There was a Simpsons episode about this.

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Troy Hurtubise, inventor of an anti-grizzly suit of armor, has announced that he will test it in action against a real, live Kodiak bear on the 9th of December.

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A self-study beginner’s guide to Middle Egyptian and the culture that produced it. Its examples are drawn from the collections of the British Museum.

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In a previous existence, Shlonglor ran one of the most important Warcraft II fan sites on the Internet. Now he works for Blizzard, clips headlines, rants about the world, and races his Civic on the freeway.

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“At their peak, the nominal value of the pyramid schemes’ liabilities amounted to almost half of the country’s GDP. When the schemes collapsed, there was uncontained rioting, the government fell, and the country descended into anarchy and a near civil war in which some 2,000 people were killed.”

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There are two jokes here waiting to be made. One is about $400 hammers; the other is about the search for nails.

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The urban legend that Van Halen would trash their dressing room if they found brown M&Ms backstage at one of their shows is in fact true.

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You know, like Age of Empires and Age of Wonders.

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After the publication of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s graphic novel Watchmen in 1987, Terry Gilliam and Joel Silver optioned the movie rights. This is the screenplay version that Sam Hamm wrote for them. While many of the characters and events are familiar, Hamm altered the ending and side plots radically enough to fundamentally alter the meaning of the story.

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Text-based gaming lives at Skotos, a low-profile start-up developing the tools to marry Infocom-style text adventures and MUDs. Brian Moriarty — an Infocom alum and the author of Trinity, the most emotionally moving text adventure ever — is their Director of Game Development.

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Chapter 115 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code governs actions against the government of the United States. Generally, “sedition” is defined so as to include only violent acts and plans, but the “aid and comfort” clause in the definition of “treason” is considerably more vague.

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An index of saints’ feast days, indexed by date. For example. the 26th of October is Saint Bean’s Day, and the 27th is Saint Polycarp’s Day.

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An elegiac essay by Michael Chabon, inspired by a Yiddish phrasebook for travellers. If there existed a country where such a phrasebook were useful, what would that country be?

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A set of plush dolls based on Star Wars characters produced in Japan in the early 1990s.

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Ted Nelson’s 1995 proposal for transcopyright, in which a publisher allows free virtual republication of documents, in the form of instructions on how to get and assemble them. The actual bits need to be purchased directly by each reader.

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The Library of Congress prepared these 101 studies of countries around the world for the Army. Each includes a detailed history, together with political, social, and economic information.

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Dave told me about Ruby, an object-oriented scripting language with a syntax that actively encourages good code. In addition to a distinctive module system and an automatic marshaller, Ruby prominently features anonymous lambda closures, like any good functional programming language.

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This was linked from AOL’s “AIM Today” page. The game has nothing to do with Mario, other than the use of various (presumably copyrighted) images from the Nintendo game. The game is also abysmal, verging on unplayable. AOL’s reasoning is unclear.

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Richard Posner has commented that truth is like a product with a ninety-five percent market share and that falsehood like one with a five percent share. What happens when people — and large, rich, corporations — start taking that metaphor seriously?

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A reference book for package designs, showing how various kinds of boxes and cartons, familiar and unfamiliar, are assembled.

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A sample book of corporate graphic design, showing how companies’ visual images are constructed by imposing a consistent design aesthetic on everything it makes, owns, sells, or touches.

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Smith is most concerned about safety and privacy, but consider also accuracy. Think of everyone denied a loan because of a mistake in the credit-bureau databases, and imagine that they’d been thrown in jail instead.

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This patent is the foundation for modern theatrical lighting. In one fell swoop it presents the idea of digitally controlling light intensity and lays out a complete protocol to make that idea work.

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“In a repressive society, a writer can be deeply influential, but in a society that’s filled with glut and repetition and endless consumption, the act of terror may be the only meaningful act.”

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Flat Eric was the puppet star of a series of Levi’s Sta-Prest television commercials in Europe, in the most memorable of which he bobbed along to techno while riding in a car. Just another piece of culture that never really made it to the U.S.

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Perhaps Kierkegaard’s most influential work, Fear and Trembling is a philosophical treatise about faith its opposition to ethics, presented in roundabout and discursive fashion. (But see the Hong translation for a more precise version of the text).

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Tare Panda is a Japanese cartoon character in the Hello Kitty tradition: cute, mouthless, and the center of a vast merchandising empire including clothing, stationery, and plush toys.

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Elena Sisto’s paintings hover somewhere out beyond mythological portraiture, somewhere hazy and quiet, with a little of the contemplative calm of early Renaissance profiles.

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A student who reported threats (allegedly) made by a classmate was then personally sued by the classmate after the school district expelled him. The district refused to pay her legal bills, and a court agreed. Note that had she not reported the threats, she could have been disciplined herself by the school.

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A Russell Baker article in the New York Review of Books about Mitchell, containing the quote, “I believe that the most interesting human beings, so far as talk is concerned, are anthropologists, farmers, prostitutes, psychiatrists, and an occasional bartender.

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Contrary to first impressions on seeing the headline, he was not killed during an actual America’s Cup race.

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An online story/puzzle in twelve parts. The story is presented one week at a time; each week contains three puzzles. At the end of the twelve weeks, the answers to the thirty-six puzzles can be put together to solve a metapuzzle, which ties back into the plot of the story.

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Chapter six: “Feel” = “Am.” Example: “Man, you’re doing all the work yourself. I feel so lazy and unproductive.”

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Chris Crawford’s breakthrough 1985 game about power, responsibility, and unexpected consequences. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. contend for international influence, but the trigger-happy player will quickly discover how frustratingly easy it is to blow up the world in a minor dispute over an insignificant third-world nation. Both the PC and Mac versions are available as freeware and more relevant than ever.

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A study of equidistant letter sequences (best known as the basis for the “Bible codes”) in the text of Moby Dick that appear to foretell various major assasinations.

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The Artists (sic) Rights Foundation is dedicated to bringing moral rights to the United States. Filmmakers have been especially interested in moral rights — the colorization controversy dramatically illustrated what can happen when the rights to movies escape from their creators’ hands.

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Hannah Arendt’s book on Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial introduced the phrase “the banality of evil.” This Library of Congress page links to facsimiles of the book. Also available are the complete transcripts of the trial itself.

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An online repository about Jewish (Halachic) law and its tricky interactions with secular law in the U.S. In addition to some off-the-beaten-track church/state cases, the archive features lots of material on balancing the demands of two distinct legal cultures.

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A search interface to the Clark County marriage records. Don’t remember what you did that one night on your trip to Vegas? Punch your name into the system just to make sure.

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The Beehive Collective is best known for its anti-FTAA and other activist line-art posters, but the Maine-based group is also working in hand-cut stone murals, which it sees as a way of creating long-lasting art with a close connection to nature.

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The MacArthur Foundation has announced its 2001 Fellows. On the list are novelist Andrea Barrett (author of Ship Fever) and artist David Wilson (curator of the Museum of Jurassic Technology), who share, in their very different ways, an interest in the historical intersection of the scientific and the human.

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A book that tells you how to make Twinkie clones and faux Big Macs in your own kitchen.

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