Wednesday, July 16, 2008

stray bullets

The Forthcoming War with Iran Bruce Sterling: (((I've been reading Frank Gaffney's outpourings for years now. They're always of keen interest to me. He's a Pentagon Beltway bandit and infallibly pro-war with pretty much any potential "adversary" except Israel. The most interesting thing about the grand Gaffney strategy for war with Iran is the glaring likelihood that Iran would *win* this kind of war.))) Sterling's triple parentheses always create an echo effect in my head. But to the matter at hand-- We heard this sort of talk before both Gulf Wars and the U.S. military shocked the world by decidedly and brutally smoking the supposedly formidable Iraqi army, twice. I still think that war with Iran would be an unthinkably stupid move, but the U.S. military with its exhaustive tonnage of precision guided munitions and lead spraying capability and with its superior technology and mobility, would also smoke the Iranian army, with one hand tied behind its back. The consequences and aftermath would be the disastrous part, just like in Iraq. The military-industrial complex likes to talk this talk to keep themselves from getting to cocky. This essay is pure psy-ops.

Warning: Habits May Be Good for You A few years ago, a self-described “militant liberal” named Val Curtis decided that it was time to save millions of children from death and disease. So Dr. Curtis, an anthropologist then living in the African nation of Burkina Faso, contacted some of the largest multinational corporations and asked them, in effect, to teach her how to manipulate consumer habits worldwide. (via)

Did da Vinci really sketch a primitive version of the car? Yeah, I guess he did. (Oops, spoiler!) I was also attracted to a video on the page concerning Da Vinci's mirrored handwriting, which had almost nothing to do with his handwriting, but brought to mind the real reason why he wrote backward, from right to left. Da Vinci was left handed. So am I. I know from experience, and you lefties out there will almost certainly know this, that when you write, your hand follows the work. The result is often an ink stain on the side of your hand and often smeared work, if you're not careful. This result will vary depending on how one holds their pen, for me it's a big stain and lots of smears, if I'm not careful. This can be a pain in the ass and in the days when ink and paper were very expensive, it was probably a big problem. To put it plainly, he wrote backwards to save money and time. No mystical code or conspiracy, just pure utility. I stand by this to be true.

Lose Your Wikipedia Crutch: 100 Places to Go for Good Answers Online Let's not be too rash or knee-jerk in bashing Wikipedia. It may not always be accurate, but it is generally the most comprehensive and easy to use information source for the beginner or the casual browser. I always look for more sources to link on various topics for my posts, but I often find that Wikipedia is the best way to get the general idea across without too much fuss. If I find something better, I always post it. It's not necessarily a crutch when it's really useful. Still, it's always good to be armed with as many information sources as possible. (via)

PBR is now America's beer...sort of I don't drink that much beer anymore, but I maintain that, as far as crap American McBeer goes, PBR has the best taste and the most character. Kicks Budweiser's ass, anyways.

The Dude Abides Blog Several years ago Roshi Bernie Glassman met Jeff Bridges and thus began a long-term friendship. Bernie said to Jeff, "You know, a lot of folks consider the Dude a Zen Master." Jeff replied, "What are you talking about … Zen?" Bernie said that quite a few people had approached him wanting to chat about the Dude's Zen wisdom. Jeff said that he had never heard of that. Here is a blog to let that conversation go on with those interested in the Dude. Bernie has started a koan study using the Big Lebowski as source material and featuring Koans by the Coens. These koans will be posted on this blog with comments by Bernie and the Dude Himself. Before I left New Orleans, there were some kids that hung out at the same coffee shop that I did and they used to call me The Dude. They meant it with maximum respect and I secretly considered it to be an honor. (via)

The Prisoner Remake Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen are to star in a reinterpretation of the 1960s cult classic, The Prisoner. AMC is co-producing the six-part mini-series with ITV Productions and Granada International, slated to be premiered in 2009. Caviezel will play Number Two, McKellen, Number Six. I'm surprised it took this long. Let's hope it doesn't suck. (via)

How rich are you? Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here's your chance to find out. (via)

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