Thursday, February 17, 2005

Eason Jordan roundup

Here's a good round up of the Eason Jordan vs Internet Hordes drama, by Edward Morrissey in the Daily Standard.
Click here: Eason's Fable

Thanks for the lead: Click here: -


Laura Peek and Liz Chong have an inspiring article in the TimesOnline today:
WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they...were not prepared for...the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”
Greenpeace had hoped to paralyse oil trading at the exchange in the City near Tower Bridge on the day that the Kyoto Protocol came into force...

Protesters conceded that mounting the operation after lunch may not have been the best plan. “The violence was instant,” Jon Beresford, 39, an electrical engineer from Nottingham, said.
Fancy that: Over thirty people breaking into a place of business drew a response they didn't like. They are lucky they didn't try that in Texas: in Texas they can shoot ppl like those. Maybe they shouldn't, but they can.

The difference between Britain and Texas may explain why the Greenies haven't tried that in, oh, say, Houston.
“They grabbed us and started kicking and punching. Then when we were on the floor they tried to push huge filing cabinets on top of us to crush us.”...“They were kicking and punching men and women indiscriminately,” a photographer said....

Mr Beresford said: “They followed the guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to pavement.”
Oh, this is too funny.

But what's this? No sexual discrimination by the oil traders? I'd have guessed that Greenpeacies would approve of that last policy, especially when it is pursued in so heartfelt a manner. Go figure.

UPDATE: As for that "barrow boy spiv" comment, my dictionary says a barrow boy is a fruit & vegetable monger (aha! enagaged in filthy oppressive commerce. OK, I see that) and a spiv is one who has no regular job but lives by his wits. Also a slacker. And spiv comes from spiffy ie a flashy dresser, a dandy.

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Peggy Noonan on newsblogs

"Salivating morons." "Scalp hunters." "Moon howlers." "Trophy hunters." "Sons of Sen. McCarthy." "Rabid." "Blogswarm." "These pseudo-journalist lynch mob people."

This is excellent invective....When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right.
It's a little funny to see a columnist for the Wall Street Journal referring to "the elite media" as tho she isn't a part of it, but she makes a number of good points, including her recommendations for how the "elite" ought to respond to the new media.

Click here: OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

If you squint a bit... can just about see Deja Thoris et al whitewater rafting. But you have to clik on the pic to get the hi res version.

Click here: APOD: 2005 February 17 - Melas, Candor, and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner

It's snowing outside

Which is, of course, exactly where it should be snowing.

Big fuzzy clumps flying upwards almost as much as down.

The jury is still out on Neanderthal/H. sapiens sapiens sex

Yes? No? Yes but infertile? Yes and fertile? Plenty of Qs still unanswered by Neanderthal conference at NYU.

Robot soldiers, the Pentagon, & smart dust

Tim Weiner in the NYTimes:
Robots in battle, as envisioned by their builders, may look and move like humans or hummingbirds, tractors or tanks, cockroaches or crickets. With the development of nanotechnology - the science of very small structures - they may become swarms of "smart dust." The Pentagon intends for robots to haul munitions, gather intelligence, search buildings or blow them up.

All these are in the works, but not yet in battle. Already, however, several hundred robots are digging up roadside bombs in Iraq, scouring caves in Afghanistan and serving as armed sentries at weapons depots.

By April, an armed version of the bomb-disposal robot will be in Baghdad, capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. Though controlled by a soldier with a laptop, the robot will be the first thinking machine of its kind to take up a front-line infantry position, ready to kill enemies.
They are envisioning convoys driving thru cities and forests, with robot drivers capable of deciding who and what to shoot at. A current contract for development is $127,000,000,000, serious money even to a US Senator.

Click here: The New York Times > Technology > A New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to the Battlefield

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

eBay Littra Chur




Monday, February 14, 2005

The blog which brought poor Eason down

Here is the blog post which started it all downhill for Eason Jordan. One thing I don't understand: The presentation has repeatedly been called "off the record" (the only reason I have seen cited for the WEF's refusal to release either a transcript or the video of the discussion), yet the WEF apparently did not merely allow a businessman to blog about it, they in fact solicited him to do so. So how could it reasonably be called off the record if they asked someone to post about it on the Internet? I guess they are more nuanced than I.

Anyway, clik here and scroll down to January 28, 3:35 AM. It is hardly an wild eyed inflammatory post.Click here: - The World Economic Forum Weblog: January 2005

About that fatwa on Salman Rushdie...

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards still back it:
"The imam's historic fatwa, issued in the days when the infidel leaders who champion liberal democracy and Zionism devoted all their energies to fighting Islam, is testament to Muslim greatness and the revolutionary dynamism of Koranic and Islamic thought."

The guards' comments came a month after Khomenei's successor as Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he still believed the British novelist deserved to die.

"They talk of respect for all religions but they support an apostate worthy of death like Rushdie," Khamenei complained in a message to Iranian pilgrims on January 19
It's those pesky democratic types again.Click here: Yahoo! News - Iran guards say Rushdie still faces execution

Great Wall of China

Transmogrified into road building material:
Almost 100m of the wall in northern Ningxia autonomous region was levelled in two overnight raids by construction workers who used the material to pave a road, the Ningxia Daily said.
This isn't the first time.Click here: Road builders plunder Great Wall (10-02-2005)

Thanks to Arts Journal for the lead: Click here: ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News

Richard Meier at Baden-Baden

The Washington Post reviews Richard Meier's new private museum for a "collection of post-World War II paintings and sculpture assembled over three decades by Frieder Burda, a scion of a well-known publishing family."
Modest in size and appealing in scale, it is quintessential Meier, a condensation of his complex architectural vocabulary into an intensely beautiful pavilion in a park. Visiting it makes one appreciate (again) how stubbornly consistent Meier has been over the past four decades about the means and ends of architecture -- and how stupendously good he can be.
It's worth a read if you have any interest in contemporary archetecture, even with only one photo online. Meier was the architect for the Getty Museum (the big one, not the original Neo-Roman building, and the High Museum in Atlanta, which has a wonderful pedestrian ramp with internal windows overlooking the lobby- people in the lobby can look up at a white wall and see the people on the ramp popping into and out of view as they climb and descend.Click here: Windows of Opportunity at A German Museum (

For a lot of pictures of the High Museum: Click here: High Museum of Art by Richard Meier

Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Targeting Journalists": First hand accounts...

...of the tank fire on the Palestine Hotel which killed two journalists during the invasion.

This makes it pretty clear that though tragic, the killings were mistakes, and that they were by troops who were anything but careless, sloppy, or uncaring about the lives of innocents- journalists or otherwise.

Click here: Mudville Gazette


Thanks to Instapundit for the lead: Click here:

If Thought Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Thoughts* & **

In a Boston Globe op-ed, John Hennessey, Susan Hockfield and Shirley Tilghman declare their opposition to even asking questions:
Speculation that "innate differences" may be a significant cause for the under-representation of women in science and engineering may rejuvenate old myths and reinforce negative stereotypes and biases.
Hennessey is President of Stanford, Hochfield of MIT, and Tilghman of Princeton. How much more explicit can they be: Thou shalt ask no unPC questions.

The odd thing for the presidents of three of the most prestigious research universities in the world to neglect to say: There is already solid research to show that the issue raised by Larry Summers of Harvard has already been addressed, and settled. They don't say that. They don't imply that. They simply say that the issue mustn't be raised, and that it therefore cannot be researched. They do say:
Extensive research on the abilities and representation of males and females in science and mathematics has identified the need to address important cultural and societal factors.
But Summers didn't dispute that. In fact he agreed with it.

Galileo challenged unscientific orthodoxy, and we know he was forced to recant. Of course, he turned out to be right, but the PCers of the day didn't care. They had their dogma and would brook no questioning of it.

Some of the early reporting in the NYT on the Larry Summers Affair quoted Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist at Imperial College in London, on sex-based differences.
The interesting questions are, is there an average intrinsic difference? And how extensive is the variation? I would love to know if the averages are the same but the underlying variation is different - with members of one sex tending to be either superb or dreadful at particular sorts of thinking while members of the other are pretty good but rarely exceptional
The three presidents are scientists acting like politicians. Olivia Judson is a scientist acting like a scientist. Who should be running major research institutions?

The New Thought Police undercut their very own opposition to research with:
Much has already been learned from research in the classroom and from recent experience on our campuses about how we can encourage top performance from our students. For example, recent research shows that different teaching methods can lead to comparable performance for males and females in high school mathematics.
What are they implying here if not: "Men and women respond well to different teaching methods"?

Remember: Summers did not claim there are innate sex-based differences in ability. He said there are clear differences in distribution results of tests, and suggested several avenues for research, including socialization and innate differences.

He made it clear that highly qualified ppl of either sex should should not have to deal with discrimination.

So, given that Larry Summers is highly unpopular with significant parts of the Harvard faculty and their colleagues elsewhere, and given that he was asked to make provocative remarks at what he was told would be an off-the-record session (but obviously wasn't), another question comes to mind: Was Larry Summers set up?

Click here: / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Women and science: the real issue

*A non-bumper sticker, from "My Career in Bumper Stickers" By SPARROW and ART CHANTRY in today's NYTimes Click here: The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Art: My Career in Bumper Stickers

** UPDATE: If you are interested in the Summers brouhaha, the following is by far the best roundup on it. PDF format, & you'' need to use the enlarger icon to read it.

Click here: MF debate.pdf

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NYT on Rural Suicide

The NYTimes has an article on rural suicides which would be a lot more interesting if it distinguished between guns in the home as a correlation and as a cause.

That people who suicide frequently use guns is hardly surprising: People who are serious generally choose reliable methods. The others don't.

The article also talks about a "culture of suicide," which makes a lot more sense.

Click here: The New York Times > Health > Social Isolation, Guns and a 'Culture of Suicide'