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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Will Warner's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
3:16 pm
Friday, October 1st, 2010
1:49 pm
Coyotes continue to be smart, flexible, lean, usually quiet, hungry, and universally despised.
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
9:01 pm
"Unlike the Dadaists and Surrealists, whose efforts to bait the middle class have aged so terribly, Montherlant attacks comforting notions of love to which the bourgeois and the bohemian are equally wedded."
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
4:18 pm
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
6:54 pm
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
4:15 pm
Spray-on clothing! It's like airbrushed body paint, then as you start to move around it starts to slide looser and wrinkle, and at the end of the day, you can pull it off and throw it in the washing machine, dry it, and wear it again.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
11:24 am
1) Of all the offspring of time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome. -Charles Mackay
2) Scott Adams on green building
3) Wikileaks has published a CIA memo from this March explaining that French and German voters are increasingly unhappy about the Afghanistan war, and suggesting that the government should stop showing the public generals in desert camo and start showing them suffering Afghan women who will supposedly be better off if the war continues. Last week, Time magazine's cover showed a young Afghan woman whose nose and ears were cut off on the orders of a local judge, after she ran away from her abusive husband. The story inside vehemently advocated staying the course in Afghanistan. However, the atrocity occurred in 2009, over 7 years after the US invaded and overthrew the Taliban, which does cast some doubt on the idea that the US is really doing a lot of good there and should stick around. The author, Aryn Baker, the magazine's Afghan/Pakistan bureau chief, is married to an Afghan-American IT entrepreneur whose business consists of contracts in Afghanistan with NATO and the US-backed Karzai government, which have been reported by her husband and his former employees to be remarkably profitable, and will presumably end if NATO leaves Afghanistan and Karzai's government is replaced.
4) old 2009 post about diesel autos, miles per gallon, miles per dollar, acceleration, and US/EU differences
5) 10 bizarre urban ecosystems-- in particular, check out Thames Town, a brand new Chinese town, 15 minutes by train from downtown Shanghai, made to look like a centuries old English town.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
11:19 pm
1) The nickel metal hydride battery patent situation reminds me of the Stonecutters on the Simpsons-- "Who holds back the electric car? We do, we do!"
2) 19th century: elders arranged your dates. 20th century: you arranged your dates. 21st century: your ghostwriter arranges your dates.
3) Crazier than ceding China to Baidu, but possibly still not all that crazy, Google seems to be trying to end the use of Windows within the company! But are MacOS, Chrome OS, and Linux really all that much more secure?
4) American cage fighter 'rips out still-beating heart of training partner after fearing he was possessed by the devil'
5) Mexican-American immigrants working low-wage jobs often don't get noticed much by the US-born folks around, but their remittances make them heroes back home. The "and I'm also secretly a hero" idea inspired a New York photographer to think of Clark Kent and Superman, and especially Peter Parker and Spiderman and how sad and lonely the double life can be, and to take pictures of them at work, dressed in superhero costumes. And reading along as the commenters go apeshit in all sorts of wacky directions is almost as fun as reading the article-- "the taxes from these low-wage jobs will never pay for the public services they use," "let's deport 'em all and ban all new immigration," "the article is paternalist and condescending," "the article is brain-dead fluff," etc. I think the article did a great job of touching a nerve and provoking some thought, discussion, and even sympathy.
Monday, August 16th, 2010
5:27 pm
1) Florida family rakes in $150K from YouTube viral video
2) ACLU report on illegal and unethical police abuses involving surveillance and invasion of privacy
3) Mondo 2000 retrospective
4) After sex educator Violet Blue set up a page on Facebook to discuss women's taste in pornography and how it's similar and dissimilar to men's, and bent over backwards to make sure it didn't violate the terms of service, Facebook let it run for a while, then deleted it without warning or explanation.
5) Lunatics race electric motorcycles. "On the electric bike, I don't use any earplugs... It's like riding a magic carpet, because you can be running at 130 miles an hour and there's no noise, just the trees and the landscape whizzing by..."
Sunday, August 15th, 2010
6:18 pm
1) (White) San Franciscan Nina Paley's (white) husband took a job in India, grew apart from her, and left her several months later. After moving to New York and reading the ancient Hindu religious text the /Ramayana/, Paley began work on an 82 minute computer animated film telling her own story and the story of Rama's wife, Sita, and Sita's anguish at her undeserved and tragic rejection by Rama. Paley then made the film, Sita Sings the Blues, available as a free download, and it's been getting enthusiastic reviews from the New York Times and other publications.
2) I've heard it claimed that nostalgia happens on a 20-year lag, and after all the 80s-influenced music and films like Hot Tub Time Machine and La Roux, we're now seeing Silly Bandz as the new Slap Wraps, and a resurgence in raves. Onward through the past, through raves, to grunge rock, and beyond!
3) Police Charged in Post-Katrina Shootings and Cover-Up
4) New cars hacked through wireless tire pressure sensors
5) Franco Maria Ricci, the publisher behind Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus, creates world's largest hedge maze at Fontanellato
Saturday, August 14th, 2010
1:49 am
Bad news: Apparently medical tourism can help spread antibiotic resistant bacteria, including a strain of pneumonia that, once it progresses into a severe infection, seems not to be treatable with any known technology. I suppose the doctors just quarantine you and keep an eye on you until you get completely better or die.

"Bad but improving" news:
-After being jailed from age 18 to age 45, a Houston car thief turned jailhouse lawyer managed to dig up DNA evidence and prove that he was not one of the four black men who raped a white woman in Houston in 1983, and has been released. If you think Texas justice is reliable and not all that racist, or you universally disregard the claims of jailhouse lawyers, especially if they are admitted criminals, please read this story.
-In 2004, the FBI sent an ISP owner a National Security Letter, demanding that he turn over private info on one of his customers without a warrant, not contact a lawyer, and not tell anyone that the FBI had forced him to do so. He did contact a lawyer, and the ACLU, fought like hell for six years, and the FBI has finally allowed him to speak publicly about the case. Meanwhile, Obama is trying to extend Dubya's evil and stupid expansion of police powers, and specifically the FBI's NSLs.

Good (if inconsequential) news: Remember the fake trailer for The Shining that made it look all happy and inspiring, with Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill"? Well now someone made a fake trailer in the style of Inception, for a somewhat less well respected movie. Inception really needs some mockery-- like The Matrix, it's a really good action movie that has no ideas that would impress anyone who's ever read a book for fun, and tries relentlessly to pretend that it does, and like The Matrix, if it goes unmocked enough for long enough, it could become a wildly overblown and overfunded blight on our whole pop culture.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
10:40 pm
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
8:51 pm
Monday, July 19th, 2010
8:04 pm
So apparently Massive Attack, knowing their music is always poised neatly between sensual and cerebral, decided to intercut a song of theirs, footage from one of three early-70s pornographic films generally considered pornographic classics, "The Devil in Miss Jones," and 2009 footage of the film's star, "Georgina Spelvin," now 73, eloquently discussing the experience of making the 1973 film. It isn't an arousing music video, although a few brief repeated slow-motion cuts from the film do look gorgeous and fit very well with Massive Attack's music, but it is an absolutely fascinating one. (The other two early-70s porn flicks widely considered to have artistic merit are "Deep Throat" and "Behind the Green Door.")
Thursday, July 8th, 2010
8:03 pm
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
6:30 pm
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
2:21 pm
1) The guy who discovered and publicized the AT&T/Apple privacy fiasco is also a racist, an internet troll, and generally a jerk, and shortly after publishing the fiasco got busted for drug possession, which is interesting, because no one seems quite sure what prompted the police to search his residence. Perhaps when one publicly disgraces one of the largest, richest, and outright sleaziest corporations in America, one should flush the drugs. In somewhat related news, Iceland declared itself a whistle-blower and media haven, at least for now.

2) Continuing my discussion a few weeks ago about the possibility of Mexico's drug cartel violence spilling into Texas: "SULLIVAN CITY, TX — The city’s police chief was arrested Wednesday as part of a nationwide sweep of suspects allegedly connected to Mexico’s drug cartels, federal officials said. ... His arrest comes two years after former Starr County Sheriff Reymundo Guerra was swept up in a similar nationwide operation targeting Gulf Cartel members and their associates."

3) Fascinating Miller-McCune article on how the US research system was designed to put most students who earn science and math Ph.D.s into tenure-track faculty positions, but hasn't sustained the explosive growth necessary to do so, leading to worse wages, working conditions, and opportunity for scientists as a whole, especially postdocs, but giving tenured senior researchers and universities lots of skilled young scientists willing to work long hours for low wages. On fixing the problem: "Based on federal statutes, regulations and appropriations, the system can be fundamentally altered only by congressional action. ... Like any Ponzi scheme [...] this one will collapse when it runs out of suckers -- a stage that appears to be approaching. ... But dismantling the current system would require overcoming the powerful vested interests that now benefit from the inequities and exploitation of young scientists. Well before that could happen, there would have to be an honest recognition of today’s labor market realities, the forces that caused these distortions and the damage they are doing."

4) Even when I agree with everything Friedman's saying, his writing is still pretty hilariously off key, as this call to leave Afghanistan demonstrates. However, sometimes all the bombastic thrashing around he does as he tries to write will unearth a real gem. I'm going to start looking for opportunities to refer to the internet, as he does in that column, as "The Virtual Afghanistan."

5) Highly sexual Medieval art I never knew existed: "Sheela na Gigs (or Sheela-na-Gigs) are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are found on churches, castles and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Britain, sometimes together with male figures. ... There is controversy regarding the source of the figures. One perspective, by James Jerman and Anthony Weir, is that the Sheelas were first carved in France and Spain in the 11th century; the motif eventually reached Britain and then Ireland in the 12th century."
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
10:57 am
5 things:

1) The bluefin tuna popular as sushi are endangered, although they'll probably still be served for a while until they finally get protected or much more endangered than they already are. The NY Times Magazine has a great new article about humanity's systematic destruction of various aquatic species, and approaches being used now to stop it, preferably while continuing to eat delicious foods like sushi.

2) On November 20, 1980, a 14" oil drill bit going down through a shallow lake hit a salt mine, causing 2 days of exceptionally dramatic geological and geographic change and property damage as the lake filled the mine.

3) A lawsuit has come to light revealing that millions of Dell Optiplex computers sold between 2003 and 2005 had faulty motherboard capacitors, causing them to break and/or catch fire unexpectedly, and that Dell covered up the problem instead of dealing with it honestly.

4) Australian [mining] billionaires take to the streets for tax protest

5) a totally awesome Manhattan Pride photo
Monday, June 28th, 2010
11:19 pm
Monday, June 21st, 2010
1:24 am
Contemporary artistic masterpiece: costumed musical gymnastics at a little show in London called Madame Pain's Boudoir Circus.
http://www.vimeo.com/12569542 http://www.vimeo.com/12541498
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