This isn't a Polish joke. These posters are wonderful!
Polish Poster Gallery
thanks to MetaFilter
Now Quorn has come to America. Since January, Americans have bought half a million boxes in health food stores and supermarkets, at an average of $3.79 each. But Quorn has managed to infuriate competitors, fungus experts and a food safety group, who say Marlow Foods is not quite telling the truth about what's in those nuggets.
A major sore point is Quorn's labeling, which says its chief ingredient "comes from a small, unassuming member of the mushroom family."
Three scientists who study fungi, or mycologists, from Penn State University say calling the source of Quorn a mushroom "is analogous to calling a rat a chicken because both are animals." True, a mushroom is a fungus, and so is quorn, but there the resemblance ends, they insist. Quorn is made from a fungus that they say is "more accurately described as a `mold.' "
thanks to rebecca's pocket
Japanese Temple Geometry
During the Edo period (1603-1867) Japan was cut off from the western world. But learned poeple of all classes ,from farmers to samurai, produced theorems in Euclidean geometry. These theorems appeared as beautifully colored drawings on wooden tablets which were hung under one of the roof in the precincts of a shrine or temple.
The tablet was called a SANGAKU which means a mathematics tablet in Japanese. Many skilled geometers dedicated a SANGAKU in order to thank the god for the discovery of a theorem. The proof of the proposed theorem was rarely given. This was interpreted as a challenge to other geometers, "See if you can prove this."
Japanese Temple Geometry
Of the world's countless customs and traditions, perhaps none is as elegant, nor as beautiful, as the tradition of sangaku, Japanese temple geometry. From 1639 to 1854, Japan lived in strict, self-imposed isolation from the West. Access to all forms of occidental culture was suppressed, and the influx of Western scientific ideas was effectively curtailed. During this period of seclusion, a kind of native mathematics flourished.
Devotees of math, evidently samurai, merchants and farmers, would solve a wide variety of geometry problems, inscribe their efforts in delicately colored wooden tablets and hang the works under the roofs of religious buildings. These sangaku, a word that literally means mathematical tablet, may have been acts of homage--a thanks to a guiding spirit--or they may have been brazen challenges to other worshipers: Solve this one if you can! For the most part, sangaku deal with ordinary Euclidean geometry. But the problems are strikingly different from those found in a typical high school geometry course. Circles and ellipses play a far more prominent role than in Western problems: circles within ellipses, ellipses within circles. Some of the exercises are quite simple and could be solved by first-year students. Others are nearly impossible, and modern geometers invariably tackle them with advanced methods, including calculus and affine transformations.
all three thanks to plep
Let's not forget India and Pakistan.
Indian and Pakistani troops, massed on the border since mid-December, exchanged heavy fire for the second successive day in Kashmir, an Indian defence official said on Saturday.
Dicing with Armageddon
The script called for a life-size Millennium Falcon. The big question was where were we going to build it. We thought that the perfect place would be Southern Johnson County. And so our journey began.
thanks to plep
What did he know, and when did he know it? Department
Maybe the lies and half truths are starting to unravel.
On July 5 of last year, a month and a day before President Bush first heard that al Qaeda might plan a hijacking, the White House summoned officials of a dozen federal agencies to the Situation Room.
"Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon," the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke, told the assembled group, according to two of those present. The group included the Federal Aviation Administration, along with the Coast Guard, FBI, Secret Service and Immigration and Naturalization Service.
A collection of weasels and their words...
Knowing Much, Bush Did Little to Protect America
When people first raised questions about President Bush's scared-chicken behavior on September 11, they were buried in patriotic abuse. But think about it. Consider the bare facts: The attacks happened on George Bush's watch. He was in charge. And he now admits to having known in general what was going to happen. Terrorists were slipping into the country. They were studying at American flight schools. They intended to hijack planes. They were financed by Osama bin Laden.
Knowing all of this, Bush still left us totally undefended. And for this performance, his approval ratings soared.
President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaida two days before Sept. 11 but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. and foreign sources told NBC News.
The document, a formal National Security Presidential Directive, amounted to a “game plan to remove al-Qaida from the face of the Earth,” one of the sources told NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski.
The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaida, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan, the sources said on condition of anonymity.
In many respects, the directive, as described to NBC News, outlined essentially the same war plan that the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly to the attacks because it simply had to pull the plans “off the shelf,” Miklaszewski said.
thanks to Cursor
When Andrew Card interrupted the 298th reading of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by whispering words of fire and death into the ear of George W. Bush as he sat with schoolchildren on September 11th, 2001, Mr. Bush's face betrayed not a hint of surprise and shock.
Now, we know why.
Governor Jeb Bush of Florida signed Executive Order No. 01-261 on September 7th, 2001, renewing an order signed six months earlier that allowed the National Guard to be called out in case of emergency. On September 11th, he used this order to command members of the National Guard into active service and essentially declared martial law in Florida. When informed of the attacks in New York and Washington, Governor Bush responded, "Was it the terrorists?"
Now, we know why.
On the eve of his first State of the Union speech, George W. Bush along with Vice President Cheney contacted Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and asked him to soft-pedal any Congressional investigations into the September 11th attacks. The requests were little more than thinly veiled threats.
Now, we know why.
thanks to Cursor
US media cowed by patriotic fever, says CBS star
Dan Rather, the star news anchor for the US television network CBS, said last night that "patriotism run amok" was in danger of trampling the freedom of American journalists to ask tough questions. And he admitted that he had shrunk from taking on the Bush administration over the war on terrorism.
thanks to Cursor
Justin sent me this link. (He doesn't have a blog yet — he should.)
WHAT IS THE CBDTPA?
WHAT WOULD THIS LAW DO?
This policeware would restrict your use of copyrighted material on these devices -- including music files and CD's, video clips, DVD's, e-books, and more.
This is a site linked to by Bostick and Sullivan. They have a great bookstore of books on photography as well as gallerys with *many* excellent images to look at.
One of the books that caught my eye at Photo-eye was by Elinor Carruci — I checked out her site. Some great images. Unfortunately a flash site but worth the effort even if it all doesn't work.
I've been interested in photography for as long as I can remember, and Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) seemed like a natural progression. At least it did after my friend, Thomas Dewez, convinced me that it isn't completely ridiculous to suspend an $800 camera from a kite. Thomas introduced me to Cris Benton's spectacular KAP website, and the bug was planted. After looking at Cris's galleries, I knew I had to do this! So, I spent a few months researching equipment, technique, etc., and met with Cris in Berkeley for an overview. Cris was nice enough to let us watch over his shoulder as he introduced us to flying a kite with a camera attached. I haven't flown a kite since I was a kid, but I'm learning as I go...
thanks to consumptive.org
Another amazing Library of Congress site. Wonderful pictures but read the section Edward S. Curtis in Context
Who was Edward Curtis, and what did he hope to achieve by publishing the twenty volume set, The North American Indian? What was his background, and what were the cultural influences affecting his understanding of the various tribes he sought to document? How was he viewed by his contemporaries in academia, government, and the public? How has the reputation of his work fared in the seventy years since completion of his work? How has he been viewed by Indians then and today? Developed in consultation with an Advisory Board of educators and researchers in American Indian culture, the resources provided in this Special Presentation can help to answer these questions. While consulting online reproductions of the images and captions themselves, the user can look up facts on a Curtis timeline and view a map depicting locations of the various tribal groups when they were photographed by Curtis. Accompanying essays discuss how Curtis worked, what his work has meant to Native peoples of North America, and how he promoted the view dominant in the early twentieth century, that American Indians were becoming a "vanishing race."
thanks to BookNotes
War Against Some Drugs
Ground-breaking stuff. But this report, and Canada’s willingness to allow people to use marijuana for medical purposes, also seems to have raised the ire of the U.S. in a significant way. We’ve learned tonight that its drug czar is pressuring Canadian authorities not to loosen Canadian law and he's carrying a very big stick -- threatening trade sanctions if we don't do what he wants. Global National's Carl Hanlon has the exclusive details.
thanks to abuddhas memes
This government (I didn't say my government) continues to think it rules the world. So what's new?
Where is Santa Claus?
This is the first time a Web Cam has been deployed at the North Pole. The images from the camera will track the North Pole snow cover, weather conditions and the status of PMEL's North Pole instrumentation, which includes meteorological and ice sensors (seen in the camera images).
thanks to abuddhas memes
When we last left the Super 23, it was on it's way to a machine shop. Blaine has been missing in action so I contacted Eric Stone at E T Precision Machine here on Whidbey Island.
I gave him the camera (what was left of it) and this picture. "Make the top like this."
Viola! A new flat top. Now I can start plugging holes, reassembling, and attaching new leatherette.
Here it is with the aluminum plate off.
The screws attaching the accessory show were interfering with the new machined mounting surface so he milled a hole in the little boss in the back for clearance.
And because of the accessory shoe screws had gone through much thinner material on the old cover, Erik machined litte holes for the nuts. The other screws are the screws that attach the aluminum plate. They are stainless steel #2-56 flatheads. A really nice job.
From Russia with Love
U.S., RUSSIA TO SIGN HISTORIC NUKE TREATY NEITHER SIDE PLANS TO ABIDE BY
The United States and Russia on Monday agreed to dramatically reduce their nuclear arsenals, a pact observers hailed as one of the most important international treaties the U.S. will eventually back out of and Russia will secretly ignore.
Due to be signed at the end of the month, the treaty would cut the number of long-range nuclear warheads by nearly two-thirds and "effectively liquidate the legacy of the Cold War," said President Bush, "until I can find some reason to unsign it."
In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he looked forward to violating the terms of the agreement as quickly and quietly as possible.
Why do we enjoy inflicting pain on others?
The Art of Arguing — not!
The intent of detailing and naming these insidious tactics is so that the reader may AVOID USING THEM, to quickly recognize if someone else is using them, and for fun. There is much humor in the way people (consciously or unconsciously) conversationally cheat.
First, we have the Ad Hominem Variants where you attack the person as a way to avoid truth, science, or logic which might otherwise prove you wrong. Next are the Sleight of Mind Fallacies, which act as "mental magic" to make sure the unwanted subject disappears. Then, we move on to Delay Tactics, which are subtle means to buy time when put on the spot. Then, the ever popular Question as Opportunity ploys, where any question can be deftly averted. Finally, we have the General Cheap-Shot Tactics and Irritants, which are basically "below the belt" punches.
thanks to BookNotes
The Matrix Returns
thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!
What a sad place New York City has become. A vibrant, disputatious town with a worldwide reputation for loud voices and strongly expressed opinions is tip-toeing around in whispers. Grief over the casualties of the twin towers massacre is not the reason (those wounds are slowly healing), but a stifling conformity which muzzles public discourse on US foreign policy, the war on terrorism and Israel.
"If people knew I held these views, I wouldn't be able to stay in this job," an old college friend confided as I passed through the city for a few days last week. He was appointed by the Bush administration to a top Federal position (not connected to foreign policy) some months ago. His subversive views on the Middle East, if uttered in Europe, would raise no eyebrows: Ariel Sharon has no vision or strategy; his tactics on the West Bank are counter-productive; the American media are failing to report adequately on the suffering of innocent Palestinians in cities ransacked by Israeli troops.
Another friend, a liberal rabbi, was about to set off on a regular visit to Israel. She contrasted the usual furious public arguments which she expected to find there to the behind-the-hand mutterings of New Yorkers. "Over here Sharon and Netanyahu have managed to turn the issue of terrorism, which was provoked by Israeli behaviour on the West Bank, into an existential question of the survival of the Israeli state. Debate becomes disloyalty," she complained.
thanks to Liberal Arts Mafia
Israel Pursues Focused Attacks
"This is Ashraf," he said, according to Abu Zalata's recollection. "I have just killed two of your people, and we are now going to withdraw. You [expletives] can come and get the bodies. We will be back and kill more of you."
With that, the Israeli soldiers left, having accomplished another of the tightly focused attacks, usually carried out by special units operating in small numbers. They have become, in effect, a target-by-target continuation of the month-long Operation Protective Shield, allowing soldiers to arrest or kill Palestinian militants accused of involvement in attacks or planned attacks on Israelis.
According to Israeli reports, the attacks are often mounted on the basis of information squeezed out of Palestinians taken into custody during the broad campaign that began March 29 and ended officially with the pullout from Bethlehem last Friday.
On Tuesday night, for instance, as Israeli forces killed the two intelligence agents here, other Israeli soldiers arrested a dozen Palestinians in Dura, a few miles to the south, and an official of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, in the city of Hebron, adjacent to Halhoul. A dozen other arrests were reported around the West Bank.
The operations have been relatively easy to carry out, because the Israeli army, in pulling out from Palestinian city centers and refugee camps, did not go very far.
The War Against Some Terrorists
Some months ago, a book was published in France entitled 'Osama bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth.' The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasique, described a connection between the September 11th terrorist attacks and a stalled plan to build a pipeline to exploit the vast natural gas fields along the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Their story pointed damning fingers at American petroleum companies and the Bush administration, citing instances where U.S. anti-terrorism efforts were thwarted in order to smooth the way for the pipeline deal.
Brisard and Dasique were paid little mind by the American news media. Many of their allegations were based upon conjecture, circumstantial evidence, and the words of a dead man named John O'Neill. Their argument seemed plausible enough – the interests of the Bush administration and the energy industry are, in essence, one and the same - but without proper corroboration, there was nowhere for the story to go.
In the last 100 hours, however, the substance behind Brisard and Dasique's accusations has been amply augmented.
thanks to This Modern World
President Bush and his top advisers were informed by the CIA early last August that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden had discussed the possibility of hijacking airplanes, according to reliable sources.
The information, given to Bush as part of his daily intelligence report, lacked specific details about how the terrorist plans would be carried out, the sources said. The White House said last night that law enforcement agencies were quietly placed on alert as a result of the intelligence.
What did he know and when did he know it?
President George Bush's foreign policy is starting to look like a running gag on "Saturday Night Live." How inept can he get?
On Tuesday, Bush teed off on Castro of Cuba, saying he "ought to have free elections," "ought to have a free press" and "ought to free his political prisoners." All of which is dandy, except Bush was standing right next to one of our more questionable allies in the "war on terrorism," the prime minister of Malaysia.
Malaysia is also in serious need of free elections, a free press and freed political prisoners. Mahathir Mohamad is a far more brutal ruler than Castro ever dreamed of being. He's been in power since 1957 (love those free elections) and the subject of denunciations by human-rights groups the entire time. He's actually senior to Castro in the long- running dictator sweepstakes and far ahead on bloodshed points. Him -- we're offering him whatever he wants.
I complain about work getting in the way of blogging and then I stay up late designing a pinhole assembly for my Mamiya. What can I say?
This is for the one person out there who may care. The focal length will be 67mm and the pinhole will be .014" dia (some formulas give me .012" dia) with an f stop of around 220. The angle of view, with my 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 negative, will be 72 degrees, which will be a nice wide angle, 40 degrees would be normal. With the bellows back of my Super 23, I can get longer focal lengths and I will be getting extension tubes for even longer focal lengths. I will be using commercial laser drilled pinholes in .001" thick stainless steel.
Here are a couple of links that I came across in my search for pinhole information.
This one is truly demented. (That's high praise.) He has a 110 pinhole camera that he makes exposures from inside his mouth.
I just ran across this in a link from a pinhole site. Bostick and Sullivan specialize in platinum and palladium printing supplies but have other intersting stuff including the most outrageous camera I have ever seen — a hand held 8 x 10 camera.
No rosewood here. No gold plate, no hand rubbed finish. No attitude. Its bloodline is more Jeep than Rolls Royce. We wanted a large format 8x10 camera that could ride in the trunk with the spare tire and jack and feel comfortable. We wanted an 8x10 that could be hand held. We wanted a lot. This is it.
The Bostick and Sullivan home page.
The worldwide U.S. military-political offensive is manifest in multiple contexts in Latin America. The U.S. offensive aims to prop up decaying client regimes, destabilize independent regimes, pressure the center-left to move to the right, and destroy or isolate the burgeoning popular movements challenging the U.S. empire and its clients. We will discuss the particular forms of the U.S. offensive in each country, and then explore the specific and general reasons for the offensive in contemporary Latin America. In the concluding section we will discuss the political alternatives in the context of the U.S. offensive.
thanks to wood s lot
More good ruins
A dangerous and entirely unscientific application of archaeological principles to inspect evidence of previous human habitations and demises, preferably involving an amateurish and histrionic analysis of human relics, case and site assessments based on children’s diagrams of parlor games, and palindromic investigations of imaginary crime scenes. Equipped with expert witnessing skills and third-grade chemistry sets, we are always ready to take the stand.
thanks to consumptive.org
The War Against Some Terrorists
When the War Hits Home
The U.S. government and its military and corporate officials are fond of making the pitch to the American public that the U.S. Constitution mandates that their survival, above all others, is absolutely necessary to ensure that the government that emanates from that document survives a debilitating attack. It is astonishing that the American public believes such absurdities. But one has to admire the boldly craven and callous "doomsday" planning of the Bush regime and its military centurions and corporate nabobs, who take pleasure in gutting the environment, the workforce, the economy, and the world in general. These are the same people who played hide-and-seek with the American public in September 2001.
Craig is back! He was lost, wandering in the wilderness. I don't know if he is found but he is back at his keyboard.
Work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work.
The links have been a little erratic lately due to an excess of work. There is a plus side — it keeps my landlord happy. It also allowed me to take my Mamiya Super 23 down to a local machine shop to whack off the top. It should be done by the end of the week. Then I get to put it all back together — I hope. I think I've also figured out how to do a cable release pinhole for the camera. More later. Link and work, link and work...
The richly diverse vernacular architectural traditions of China are unrivaled in the world. No nation has as long an unbroken tradition and, with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, none is as ethnically diverse. China, a nation of 56 nationalities living in disparate natural landscapes with widely varying climatic conditions, is certainly more varied in its housing patterns than is the case in single nations such as the United States or even in comparison with multi- national Europe. China's folk architectural forms, even as they portray common elements, clearly reveal the broad range of solutions that humans are capable of in providing basic shelter and creating homes for their families.
thanks to plep
The Israeli right wing's true colors...
The Likud Central Committee last night turned down Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's request to postpone any decision on a binding resolution against a Palestinian state, voting nearly 60 percent against and then, in an overwhelming show of hands, passing a resolution saying that "no Palestinian state will be established west of the Jordan River."
There is Israeli opposition...
Tens of thousands rallied in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Rabin last night to call for a withdrawal from the territories. Police estimated the crowd at about 60,000, while organizers Peace Now put the figure at above 150,000, calling it the biggest peace rally since the current wave of violence broke out in October 2000.
B'Tselem releases new report:
Today, B'Tselem hosted a press conference to release its new report, Land Grab: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank. B'Tselem's researcher, Yehezkel Lein, presented the report and the accompanying map which details the built-up areas and the land reserved for future development of West Bank settlements.
International humanitarian law prohibits an occupying power from transferring citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory. An occupying power is also prohibited from undertaking permanent changes in the occupied area, unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population or are for urgent military needs. Israel's settlement policy violates these regulations.
B'Tselem's report was published following extensive research and despite difficulties in obtaining information from the Civil Administration. The report makes available to the public for the first time comprehensive information regarding the extent of human rights violations resulting from the establishment of settlements in the West Bank.
The research reveals that while the built-up areas of the settlements constitute only 1.7% of the land in the West Bank, the municipal boundaries are over three times as large: 6.8%. Regional councils constitute an additional 35.1%. Thus, a total of 41.9% of the area in the West Bank is controlled by the settlements.
The report presents the various mechanisms by which Israel's governments have taken control of land and have encouraged Israeli citizens to move to settlements. These techniques include the de facto annexation of the settlements to Israel, the planning system which invests significant resources to expand the settlements, and the granting of numerous economic incentives intended to raise the standard of living in the settlements. For example, in the year 2000, Jewish local councils in the West Bank received grants from the government averaging sixty-five percent more those received by their counterparts inside Israel. Settlement regional councils received grants averaging 165% more than their counterparts in Israel.
Making the blooms desert
Jericho used to be one of Palestine's prime agricultural spots. An abundance of springs made the fertile land surrounding the ancient town famous for its oranges, bananas and strawberries. Now, all that is changing. Fields are drying up, crops are dying and farmers are being put out of work. The reason is simple: water. Israeli settlements get priority access to water and as they expand and new ones are built, the amount of water available to Palestinians decreases. Because of its strategic location between Jerusalem and Jordan, the Jericho region has been particularly affected.
It helps Israel divide the north and south of the West Bank from each other, and creates "facts on the ground" that preclude the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. But its water crises are repeated across the Palestinian Territories.
Since seizing the West Bank in 1967, Israel has illegally exploited the Mountain Aquifer and Jordan river basin. Many historians believe this has been the underlying reason for the invasion and occupation of the West Bank.
One of the first military orders of the occupation was the confiscation of almost all West Bank wells. Since then, drilling for new wells has been banned and quotas have been imposed on the existing ones. The amount of water allocated to Palestinians has been capped at 1967 levels, despite the subsequent growth in population.
More online books...
thanks to Robot Wisdom
Welcome to Vintage Labels - a site dedicated to the history and lost art of the luggage label as visualized by the world's hotels, airlines, railroads and oceanliner companies.
thanks to MetaFilter
The images you are about to see were collected over a three year period while working in China on a book project on traditional rural Chinese architecture.
thanks to plep
Isn't Nature Wonderful
Old balls still scorch
Goodness gracious! Two British chemists believe they have solved the 26- year-old mystery of how shipwrecked cannonballs that were rescued from the deep spontaneously erupted into great balls of fire.
"They were glowing bright red and you could feel the heat coming off them as the desk began to smoke," recalls Bob Child, now a chemist at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales in Cardiff.
thanks to plep
By dissecting the brain of a sheep — an animal in which brain structure and function are similar to our own — we can see where memory takes place.
thanks to plep
Let's not forget that the Microsoft case is continuing...
The last of the witnesses for Microsoft finished testifying on Friday at hearings to determine whether the company should face tougher penalties than those it agreed to in a proposed settlement of the Justice Department's antitrust case. But after eight weeks of hearings, during which nine states seeking tougher remedies presented 15 witnesses and Microsoft called 18, including the company's chairman, Bill Gates, several key questions in the case remain unresolved.
How a disappearing oil field was the answer to one tribe's prayers
In a terse statement, Oxy last week said it would now leave the region "for technical reasons" and hand back its 2,000sq km (516,000 acre) concession to the Colombian government. Its test wells, drilled to more than 3,600 metres (12,000ft), discovered only faint traces of gas and water. "We remain confident in the geology. We made an evaluation of the results of the drilling and the investment we've made, and it didn't justify continuing," a spokesman said.
Yesterday the U'wa, who say they have never known war or conflict, were jubilant at Oxy's departure and sent a defiant message to the west. "No one destroys man. Man destroys himself. We want to continue reflecting to avoid the destruction of the world because the U'wa want to continue to live," said a spokesman.
The Nikon Small World Gallery gives you a glimpse into a world that most have never seen. It is a window into a universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope.
thanks to consumptive.org
Who's running this show?
Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, is expanding his White House portfolio by inserting himself into the debate over how to deal with the Middle East, trade, terrorism, Latin America and other foreign policy matters, say outside advisers and administration officials, including some who are rankled by his growing involvement.
Mr. Rove's influence beyond domestic affairs has developed gradually and is hard to measure. As one of the president's closest advisers, he offers his counsel in private, usually only for the president's ears.
Yet increasingly, officials in the administration see or imagine his influence, citing the political significance of such instances as the president's turning his back on free trade to offer protection to farmers or steelworkers.