Saturday, January 31, 2004

Welcome the new Bulletin writer of the virtual residence
Hot off the presses
· Best NSW Blog (SYDNEY) [ courtesy of Gianna ]

Soros, a Hungarian emigre to the US, concedes that he is open to such accusations. "I can be seen as a traitor to my class and my adopted country, but I am proud to take that role. I think there are values which transcend class and country. I think my country can be wrong and that's the value of an open society and that is the value which has made America great.

A Sense of Possibility, a Blast of Fresh Air
Within minutes of meeting the Herald at his plush west London abode, he complains about George Bush's "Orwellian truth machine" and its use of "doublespeak".
In the United States today you do have a pluralistic, free media. Neverthe-less, the truth machine is capable of manufacturing truth, so that the majority of people in America continue to believe that Saddam was somehow connected to September 11, when all the evidence points to the opposite...
The less faith we have in authority, the more trust we place in our own judgement.
The Nobel Prize-winning writer Gunter Grass said the German Weimar Republic collapsed and the Nazis took over in 1933 because there were not enough citizens. This was the lesson he had learnt: Citizens cannot leave politics just to politicians.

· Victim-turned-perpetrator [ See Also Life is a struggle for survival ]

Empowering events were almost without exception described as joyous occasions. Participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events.
· Life should get better - healthier, wealthier, happier, more satisfying and interesting. Is this the case?

Sleep, baby, sleep
Now that the night is over
And the sun comes like a god (DEUS)
Into our room
All perfect light and promises.

Like medicine or pornography, Labor Party Machine is a subject in which a person is either deeply versed or utterly ignorant. Labor History, according to a tired saying of many parliamentary historians, is merely the propaganda of the victors.
Everybody Loves to Hate the NSW Labor Right

New Sensation, the rock anthem chosen by some crafty Labor spinmeister to introduce Mark Latham
Public attitudes to politics and politicians, Mackay says, reflect a level of cynicism bordering on contempt and despair bordering on disgust...
Pragmatism, Mark Latham and the Labor machine were the winners, and conscience, the rank and file and John Howard the losers in the closest thing to a real debate. Cherrypicking evidence to support the case of the 53 most wanted Members.
· Real Debate: Tumor-ridden body politic of Conscience? Let's not be wise now [ via I wouldn't have thought anybody's ever had me rattled in politics? ]

Seeing how the other half lives
Parliamentarians' of experiment of living on minimum wage raises questions about intent.
Deputy Petr Bratsky and three other politicians have been living on the minimum wage that single mothers such as Monika Jelinkova struggle with.
It's either a sincere attempt to see how the other half lives or a cheap ploy for self-promotion that insults the poor.
These are typical responses to a radio and newspaper challenge taken up by four parliamentarians who agreed to live on the minimum monthly wage -- 6,700 Kc ($257) -- for one month beginning Jan. 1.
The members of Parliament -- Senator Zdenek Barta (unaffiliated, part of the Christian Democratic caucus), Deputy Petr Bratsky (Civic Democrat), Deputy Stanislav Krecek (Social Democrat) and Deputy Michaela Sojdrova (Christian Democrat) -- normally are paid 46,000-64,000 Kc monthly, not including a stipend of 5,000 Kc for mobile telephone calls. This month they budgeted for only 3,900 Kc, what the average family of four living on a single minimum wage has after paying rent.

· Experiment: Prague
· Poor in line for hard Labor

Southern political personalities, like sweet corn, travel badly. They lose flavor with every hundred yards away from the patch. By the time they reach New York, they are like Golden Bantam that has been trucked up from Texas -- stale and unprofitable. The consumer forgets that the corn tastes different where it grows.
[ See Also Reality: The Louisianans, like Levantines, think it naive. When I was a young man, fresh out of Tulane. I was full of civic consciousness. I joined with a number of like-minded reformers to raise a fund to bribe the Legislature to impeach Huey [Long] ]
· Danger lurks for corporate perks

Philosophy's like medicine: lots of drugs, few remedies, and hardly any complete cures...
If you are happy and balanced, why would you be a writer? Theroux

Looking for Freedom
I find it a bit sad that there is no photo of me hanging on the walls in the Berlin Museum at Check-Point Charlie.
· Hasselhoff claims he had hand in Berlin Wall falling [ via Cold Hands]
· Millionaire's den: first post-1989 business club still plays host to prominent entrepreneurs, politicians

Do the Americans get irony?
UK sitcom The Office caused an upset at the Golden Globes, when it received two top awards. Do we still believe that Americans just don't get irony?
· Just don't do irony
Isn't it ironic?
· Doing Business With The Enemy: Halliburton sells about $40 million a year worth of oil field services to the Iranian Government [See Also As far as I can tell, nobody in the Bush administration has ever paid a price for being wrong. Instead, people are severely punished for telling inconvenient truths ]

It was said of one politician that he'd been created to show how far the human skin can stretch
Tragedies suffer from the moral defect of attaching too great an importance to life and death.
Changes in fashion are the tax levied by the poor on the rich.

Life of Janet Frame: blighted by the deaths by drowning of two of her sisters
I inhabited a territory of loneliness which resembles the place where the dying spend their time before death and from where those who do return living to the world bring inevitably a unique point of view that is a nightmare, a treasure, and a lifelong possession [It is] equal in its rapture and chilling exposure [to] the neighbourhood of the ancient gods and goddesses
· Wrestling with the Angel
·An Angel At My The Carpathians Mountains
[See Also The Least Likely Bestseller ]

Friday, January 30, 2004

Fear of untruths being revealed:' Law lord hits wrong target on evidence over Iraq war
Why does it come as no surprise that Lord Hutton took the stick to the BBC and its reporter Andrew Gilligan and in the process exonerated the Blair Government over the dossier justifying the war against Iraq? Because in the view of judges, and most other long-in-the-tooth lawyers, the media invariably is out of line, and if it makes a mistake, as Gilligan did, then the crucifixion is so much easier.
· Hutton report excerpts [link first seen at Something's fishy: One-sided verdict is not the final word]

The US is Now in the Hands of a Group of Extremists
Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations, he's talking about your money -- and every other American's money?
· The US must examine its global role and adopt a more constructive vision-George Soros MUST READ [ courtesy of Googlish webdiarist alive]

Most Media Dragon readers will be saddened to learn that legendary Scottish comedian Rikki Fulton has died at the age of 79.
Fulton will be best remembered for his iconic character, the Reverend IM Jolly, a parody of the miserable religious ministers that often appeared on STV's Late Call in the 1970s and 80s, a figure that eventually became the cornerstone of his traditional Hogmanay television show Scotch and Wry.

It's a tradition in Scotland on Hogmanay to go first-footing, a wonderful excuse to go out visiting friends and partying all night:
The first person to cross the threshold at Hogmanay brings all the luck, good or bad, for the year ahead. And, to follow in tradition they have to fulfil certain criteria. They have to be male, tall, dark and handsome. They cannot be doctors, ministers or grave-diggers (!) - oh, and your first footer cannot have eyebrows that meet in the middle! If you do find a first footer that fits the bill (for remember, we Scots might be handsome but, as a race, we're not renowned for our height) then hang on to them - you could make a packet!

· First-footin: little folks bursting with talent and suddenly able to dominate when allowed to play

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field...
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw on mistakes [ courtesy of Fist-footing ]
Bugs biting the dust
Blogging About Blogging LXXI
File under: You know blogging is so over when...
Publishers Lunch reports that Judy Goldschmidt has sold her debut middle-grade novel The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez to Penguin's new YA imprint Razorbill. The book is written as a blog "by a larger-than-life seventh grader, chronicling the ups and downs of puberty during her tumultuous first year at a new school."
Larger than life? I always thought seventh graders were, well, smaller than me.

· OzLIT for Kids
Chasing the rascal dragon ]
· sleek two-headed dragon

Thursday, January 29, 2004

A full house: Campaign Poker
The metaphors of horse races and sporting to describe the run for the White House are so tired as to make one want to puke. A far more useful analogy of the current campaign is poker. The best campaign cardgame is Texas No Limit Hold-em. It takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master....
The players are the candidates, the chips are the dollars available. The cards are the voters.
There are two tables. George's and the Democrats. The finest example of this point is the current administration, who bluffed their way into the White House. In Campaign poker the cards are important, but the size of your stack, how well you can bet and bluff is a far more important factor in determining if you can go the distance and win all the chips at the last table. One of the things that you can do is raise the other players past the chips they have causing them to fold and loosing the game. This is the current Bush Strategy. George Bush has the most chips on his table and is waiting for the winner of the Democrat's table.
Right now, the first hand is over. Kerry won this hand, Dean came in third, Gephart had the loosing hand and is out of the game. Among the Democrats Dean has the big stack. He has the most money, but the people behind him do not understand how to use this power. Having the most chips is no guarantee of winning the game. To be able to win one must have good cards and play them well.
Remember I said that the cards were the voters. The Deaniacs carpeted Iowa, but like a lot of other things they missed the the voters. Running around with T-Shirts and telling folks without an internet connection about all the wonderful stuff on the website is as useful as explaining Fucsia to the Blind.

· Read the whole thing: we’re even saddened to learn of the deaths of old enemies
[ Source Press is a political player ]

Tied up in double knots, many reporters are sprawling all over New Hampshire.... Howard Kurtz asks Shapiro what's changed since he starting coming to the state in 1980?
A lot fewer Olivetti typewriters and a lot less drinking in the morning.
The Bear Pit and its Press Gallery have always been a mystery to outsiders like me. So much power, and so little sex appeal. Hollywood for ugly people, as they say. But there's gossip, there just has to be. What BP & PG lack in sexiness, they make up for in pomposity and hypocrisy. There's nothing like losing your political virginity with Man Mountain & Bob Carr at the tender age of 37. In fear we should trust

The people have spoken. They said they want change. They said it's time to clean up Washington. They're tired of politics as usual. They're tired of the pursuit of self-interest that has gripped Washington. They want to see an end to partisan bickering and closed-door decision-making. If I'm elected, I'll make sure that the American people can once again place their trust in the White House.

DAVO: Wisdom
Meanwhile, I submit this wisdom delivered last week in Davos by Jay Rosen:
Beginning in the mid 19th century, and all through the 20th, seeing people as masses could be industrially sustained. There were only so many channels, so many ways or reaching people en masse, and this convinced the message senders that there was an audience out there. But now being a bulk message sender via the media is like the guy in the street trying to get you to take a handbill. He may have motivation for delivering the message, you have none to take it.

· Doc Searl: They are the people formerly known as the audience. And they do not want your message

Mexico City's subway city plans to lend out 7 million paperback books over the next two years in a new program aimed at reducing crime and fostering a more hospitable atmosphere for millions of commuters. Director Javier Gonzalez Garza says, We are convinced that when people read, people change. (The city suffers from a high crime rate.) Most of the cost will be underwritten by the company that control's advertising space in the subway.

Random Reviews
Dickinson's fame has always been fed by myth. She was the virgin poetess dressed in white, the tremulous daughter who never left her father's house, the maiden who turned to art because she was thwarted in love. Hard-working biographers notwithstanding, myth often wins out. National Book Critics Circle anounce their finalists for this year's awards. "Ninety-one-year-old Studs Terkel, the oral historian and self-described champion of the "uncelebrated," will receive a lifetime achievement prize.
· Reviews of Consistency [ courtesy of Pageturner]
[Book Beancounters Baking Black Bread: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ]
[ via The Reading Experience: New Blog]

Apple's core: The Mac turns 20: 1984-2004...
Life grows more equable as one grows older; not less interesting, but I hope a little more impersonal. An old man ought to be sad. I don’t know whether I shall be when the wind is west and the sky clear.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., letter to Frederick Pollock, March 22, 1892

The Importance of Being There
Yiddish word for funeral, levaya, means to accompany.
· Exceeding All Expectations

I rather think it was because a story wasn't a story until it was written down.
Barbara Jefferis, Author 1917-2004: I'm in this for the long haul.
· Baby dragon, in a sealed jar, was discovered with a metal tin containing paperwork in old-fashioned German of the 1890s.
Czechout The Best Dragon Stories of Freedom in the Universe... Comfort may be good but freedom and getting published is more rewarding:

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Year of the Mon(k)ey
The Motor Traders' Association is about to launch the most serious competitor yet to NRMA road service...
If it’s not true, it ought to be!
· Cardoor action

COLD RIVER: Allow to simmer, then bring to Amazon boiling point
No Foreigners sign hangs on the door of the Canadian publishing
COLD RIVER's somewhat of a mistake that really worked and somehow Quenches the Thirsty Mind of ordinary low brow reader...
Undeterred by publishing jungle, crocodile reviews and floods of rejections, at Amazon Cold River comes face to face with many literary multinationals...
We hear it all the time, and it's the source of much patriotic chest-thumping: Canada is the most multicultural country in the world. So it may seem odd to hear complaints about the insularity of our publishing industry.
I don't believe they see room for the incoming foreigner...
This is not so in the case of Canadian writers who have built literary reputations elsewhere (the one obvious exception being Josef Skvorecky, who won the Governor General's award in 1984 for a novel written in Czech and translated into English)
The complaint seems all the odder when one considers that my publisher is Canadian as no large Australian publisher would touch me with a political pole.
Different Cold Rivers have something for everyone:

· COLD RIVER: Story of Escape
· Canada Publishing
· Cold River 1 [ via
Walking a Cold River
The Best Cold River in the Universe

Reworking of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"?
The Sea, The Sea
When you've looked out the window for so many hours knowing that you are too afraid to step out the door and actually face the life you tried to stop from hurtling so terribly close to ruin, but could not stop, then take refuge in the truths that Murdoch carries like laudanum in her prose.

· Oh, god, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say any of that. It's just sometimes I feel so wounded I need to lash out
[link first seen at Tobias Seamon lists what literature has taught him ]

2003 Koufax Award Finalists Best Blog: Magnificent
The seven finalists for the 2003 Koufax Award for Best Blog:
Daily Kos;
Talking Points Memo;
Talk Left;
Whiskey Bar!

· Many Antipodian Nominated, but Not Even One Finalist: Wampum Conspiracy (smile)

Most of the above blogs seem to enjoy linking to political stories such as how the press is a political player and how campaign reporters create - and then dash - their own expectations of candidate performance.
[ See Also Politics, "The Press" and Servant Journalism ]
What can the press do differently to help us get the real story

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Oprah announced that the next title to be read by Oprah's Book Club is HarperPerennial's One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

One of Melbourne's biggest bookstores is closing, and it's hard not to feel nostalgic. Do I protest too much? Metropolis was just another place of consumption, much like a cafe or a bar or a chemist. Let's not get sanctimonious about a bookstore. Maybe my mother is right; maybe I am a literary snob. Maybe I should watch more TV, drink more Coke, get in touch with the mainstream. Who am I to say Acland Street, post-Metropolis, has gone to the dogs?
[See Also Ode To A Closing Bookstore ][See Also Ode To A Opening Bookstore ]
[ via What the gossip bookdividers at work say]

Reporter says raid of home "felt like slow-motion robbery"
Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill, whose home was raided on Wednesday, writes: I will remember what happened to me as part of how the post 9/11 world works. Some Canadians of Muslim faith and Middle Eastern origin have told of the early morning knock on the door from the RCMP. Because of my everyday work as a journalist, I've now experienced myself something that I realize would be more difficult to endure without a lawyer, without knowing my rights, and being confident of media attention.
· I woke up and thought I was in some totalitarian state

Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein tried to get New York Post reporter Keith J. Kelly to stop writing about Talk magazine by offering him a book deal to write a history of Irish Americans

Codes of conduct in Australian and some overseas parliaments
The conduct of ministers and members of parliament is often in the news. In Australia some parliaments have adopted codes of conduct for members while others have a code governing ministerial behaviour. Only three parliaments have codes relating to both ministers and members. All Australian parliaments have adopted registers of pecuniary interests.
· Interested Interesting [ See Also Discrimination in electoral law: using technology to extend the secret ballot to disabled and illiterate voters (PDFormat)]

WSJ is really good at turning "trends" into great features
And if you believe the Wall Street Journal, a lot of people are getting nude on vacation. It's breathtaking how many trends we consume every day, served up by the trendaholic media. A trend story doesn't have to be new to make a splash. Some are hardy perennials. Not a year goes by when the media don't report that teenagers are having sex earlier, except when the trend is that they're having it later, as one recent spate of trend stories claimed.
· Nude on vacation

Book Ring Master
Full of feints and feuds, the drama of the Booker prize livens up the rarefied literary world. Can new chairman Chris Smith control the annual circus?
The Booker's New Wrangler Member of Parliament Chris Smith is heading up this year's Book Prize jury, and he says he has no preconceptions about what the winner should demonstrate. Cynics might argue that this absence of preconceptions is merely a spin on an absence of knowledge. After all, how much time does your average MP have to keep up with even a fraction of the 10,000 or so novels published each year? What sort of books does he have on his bedside table?

· Bedside Table: The Guardian (UK)

Monday, January 26, 2004

For every mile of beautiful scenery and warm sunshine, there are hundreds of miles of cold, dark nights, no food and no one to care whether I live or die...
I got there about sundown, half-starved, and, before my eyes on the American River, I could see thousands of campfires. I went to the nearest hobo jungle and smelled something cooking.
The last free men: Rudy Phillips is not running away. He is just seeing the world!

Sex-trafficking trade
The sex-trafficking trade may begin in Eastern Europe and wend its way through Mexico, but it lands in the suburbs and cities of America, where perhaps tens of thousands are held captive and pimped out for forced sex-yum yum in the U.S. This Is horrible beyond imagination.
· Certainly not victimless crimes here

When the police publicly identify someone as a suspect in a notorious crime, the injury done to that person’s reputation may be irreparable. Just ask Richard Jewel.
[ See Also The Politics of Crime ]

Young people who grow up in a context of real economic opportunity, basic rule of law and the right to speak and write what they please don't usually want to blow up the world. They want to be part of it!
A simple message: The cure to the problem of the Middle East is jobs...
[link first seen at War of Ideas, Part 6: It's the economy, stupid: Tom Friedman gives us a bonus sixth part to his five-part series (smile)]

Howard Dean: I Lead With My Heart And Not My Head
Look, I’m not a perfect person. I have my warts. I sometimes say things that get me in trouble. I wear suits that are cheap. But I say what I think and I believe what I say, and I’m willing to say things that are not be popular. Saying the politically popular thing is easy, but is that what America really needs now?
· Howard Dean has warts: The Only Chance We Have Against George Bush

The Truth is out....must send dogs to silence those who oppose.
Goldilocks was right, and if she were a working journalist today, she'd agree with me that this week the Boston Globe handled a story with too much heat, the New York Times with too much ice, and that the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call got it just right.
· Globe, Too Hot; River, Too Cold: Roll Call gets the stolen Democrat files scandal just right

The word for monkey in Czech is opice which is also a slang word for hangover. So, year of a monkey in Czech is rok opice which is year of hangover. via Petr

If you can see the future, you have no future. This line from the movie perfectly sums up the twisty, fascinating premise of this very absorbing movie.
I was the only person in the theater. Good thing I wasn't in Communist Russia: they used to wait until every seat was sold before rolling the film. You could wait for hours, and never know when it would begin, or even if it would. Three cheers for the command economy model, R.I.P.

Tzvetan Todorov's Hope and Memory
Democracy versus totalitarianism, then. But the trouble is that liberal-capitalist democracies, when plunged into dire trouble, sometimes become totalitarian as a way of solving their problems; and if this book was not so strikingly silent about the causes of such absolutist regimes, it might be rather less confident that liberal values are one thing and a knock on the door before dawn quite another. For liberal values include market enterprise, which can easily get out of hand; and the more economic anarchy you breed, the more you will need an authoritarian system to prop it up and suppress the discontents it creates.
· A knock on the door before dawn quite another

Always avoid violence,
If you succumb to the temptation …
unborn generations will be the recipients
of a long and desolate night of bitterness,
and your chief legacy to the future will be an
endless reign of meaningless chaos...
(Use the Internet to expose sins of our masters and commanders...)

I Find Freedom To Be Offensive!
Warning: Cynical tripe and mindless dialogue ahead!
· Monologue [ courtesy of Government Spying (on You) Continues to Grow ]

Atom Blogger: Selling Atomic and Other Wirelessactive Secrets

First Kill All The Blogs...
Every entry needs to include a link. With a very few exceptions, you probably got the idea for what you are writing about from another webpage.
· Yvelle at Radical Rejection has compiled a list of standards she believes bloggers should meet [ via dead half-finished web pages ]

Iron deal
Philips and Unilever are introducing a new product in the Netherlands in April 2004: Perfective.
Still waiting for the ultimate solution though: clothes that need no ironing, and a washing machine that washes and dries. And brings coffee and the newspaper on Saturday morning.

· Perfective in all 3 [ via House-of-innovation]

Where Everybody Knows My Name: Most Musicians are not Rich
John Buckman talks about the music industry at: Why I created Magnatune Records. If you think Magnatune is a worthy goal, please support it. There are powerful forces who want it to fail, so I need your help if this is going to work.
· Actually, he's way more eloquent than Courtney Love

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Despite expressing concern over red ink in the federal budget, every one of the eight hopefuls would worsen the deficit by billions or even trillions of dollars

America as a One-Party State: Flowerless
Liana and Co. at ABCTales discussed recently a quote from a film ... I think someone is being let out from a long spell in mental hosp and they ask their therapist when they will be ready to go to politics and the therapist tells them to get a houseplant and if its still alive after a year to get a pet ... and if the pet is still alive and well after a year then that person can go into a politics ...
America has had periods of single-party dominance before. It happened under FDR's New Deal, in the Republican 1920s and in the early 19th-century "Era of Good Feeling." But if President Bush is re-elected, we will be close to a tipping point of fundamental change in the political system itself. The United States could become a nation in which the dominant party rules for a prolonged period, marginalizes a token opposition and is extremely difficult to dislodge because democracy itself is rigged. This would be unprecedented in U.S. history.

· American hard right seeks total dominion. It's packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself
Davo Insider
[ via Aussie Masters & Commanders]
First Jim Henson, then Mr. Rogers, now we lost Captain Kangaroo himself, Bob Keeshan. O Captain! Our Captain!

Hugo nominee is a worthy sci-fi novel
The great man is he who does not lose his child-heart. He does not think beforehand that his words shall be sincere, nor that his acts shall be resolute; he simply abides in the right.
Mencius on resolve

What would you do if you did not have to do anything?
Just about everyone's had a day when they've wished it were possible to send an alternate self to take care of unpleasant or tedious errands while the real self takes it easy. In Kiln People, David Brin's sci-fi-meets-noir novel, this wish has come true.

· Kiln People [ via blogcritics ]

Fortune magazine released its 2004 Report on the 100 Best Companies to work for...
Congratulations to J.M. Smucker (#1) for being the best place to work! We especially liked their code of conduct:
Listen with your full attention,
look for the good in others,
have a sense of humor,
and say thank you for a job well done.
No wonder they've been in business for 107 years!
At thought Scooter Store (#58), there is a 14-minute huddle every morning to discuss the day's goals.
Why wait? and I'm worth it: From Rah Rah! To Ah Ha!
Blogging is also a fractal activity because, even though you're doing an individualistic thing, you're also "part of something bigger". When you blog, you're participating in a group activity. The question for us bloggers then becomes: which scale am I blogging at and therefore how much time should I be devoting to it in relation to my other activities?
· Trend Forecast: 2004
· Brand NewWorld
[ courtesy Dina]

Peco's deeper ties to Fumo
If you're a Peco Energy Co. customer, every time you flick on a light, you are routing money to a little-known South Philadelphia nonprofit group controlled by close aides and allies of State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo's. Mario F. Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer, continuing his investigation of a non-profit connected to state Sen. Vincent Fumo, used state audits and IRS records to find that customers of utility company Peco Energy have been funding the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, which is controlled by Fumo allies.
· Fuming Customers

Troubled bankers called to account
They had it all. Money. Gorgeous women. A fabulous playground of a city and all the trading in the world. But the dark side -- over the thin line between trading and roaguing, between swinging self-confidence and brutal arrogance -- took its toll. Their great ride is over, and currency trading will never the same.
· National Australia Bank's currency trading scandal
· Booze, bravado and male honour make for a culture of violence

Britain's largest mountain: Random words for the fast lane>
Which Way Did They Go? A British hiking magazine accidentally mapped out the quickest way off the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis... as in off a cliff.
· Oops; A Good Way to Lose Subscribers... [ via I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Australia's Gold Coast rainforest]

Spirit Stops Sending Data --Is It Fatal?
You know you might think that you might outgrow some things. Such as Senseless Trillions wasted on Martians. While the poverty on earth goes on while the rich boys are playing on Mars. The rich boys fear and complain about those who point out such waste... These people wouldn't last one minute in the "real" world.
· Cold War Legacy of Lunatics [ courtesy of Lunar New Year unites One third of the world ][ see also Lexical Lunacies: But we never quite meet them. Maybe we're better off that way ]
Russians Conspiracy Generators: X-ray vision

· The first show of American Idol where they make fun of all the losers who are awful singers, is by far my favorite ...
The ideal poker player learns that sometimes both science and common sense are wrong; that the bumblebee can fly; that, perhaps, one should never trust an expert; that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of by those with an academic bent...
David Mamet on poker

Amazon Roulette: Cold River author scores review with Dr. Siever's editor
William Frucht (see more about me) from New York, NY USA I object to the author's using Amazon to spam me about his book. If I was ever inclined to read it, I certainly won't do so now...

Bill is teaching me in every practical way how every negative has a positive, You just have to look for it...
Dear Bill: I wish everyone in the whole world was exactly like you--charming, candid, informative. Phew. Stevie Smith had a poem where she kept talking about a breath of fresh air...
(Real me: I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore. Has Bill gone off his meds? I know I'm taking my life in my own hands with the kryptic sentiment of this post, but if you'll hang in there with me, you might see where I'm coming from. (risk taking smile)

Bill has edited a great book New View of Self: How Genes and Neurotransmitters Shape Your Mind, Your Personality, and Your Mental Health (Great Book)
This is a book for anyone who has ever been depressed and wondered about taking medication, for anyone who has ever worried about his own mental health or had concerns about friends and family. Dr. Siever gives us a comprehensive introduction to all the major psychiatric diseases and disorders, illustrated with numerous case studies--of the narcissistic or histrionic personality, of dpression (sic), of obsessive compulsive disorder. His stories are illuminating and compassionate.
· Once Upon a Imaginary Negative Number
· Positive Numbers ( She Sells Sanctuary)
· Boing Blowing Bohemian Blogs

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The critical ingredient is getting off your czech butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
Robert Browning on the true entrepreneur

There's a freedom for me a value to the independence
I'll be giving readers a sense of what's happening that they don't get in conventional journalism.
Marshall is bypassing the editorial labyrinth of "conventional journalism," eliminating layers of editors, constrictions of newshole and limitations of deadline, to report directly to a public who values his work enough to pay for it in advance.
Significantly, tradition-bound newspaper editors and reporter who disparage blogging as hormonal therapy for teen-age girls cannot dismiss Marshall for lack of reporting credentials.

· Blogging: hormonal therapy? [ courtesy of Tim Porter]

Though it is important to stay focused, an occasional distraction can sometimes be a good thing. There is much value to be found in the unexpected. The people you didn't expect to meet, the places you didn't expect to go, the things you didn't expect to learn can often lead you in new and positive directions.
Ralph Marston on the unexpected

Blogo Slovo by Kaiser
So melancholy, and yet so hopeful.
We must support people like Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian woman who won the Nobel Prize for her work on behalf of human rights and rule of law. We must empower moderate Arabs who just want to have a nice job and some control over their own lives.

· This was the approach we took during the cold war, and now many of our best friends are countries like Poland and Lithuania, who are grateful for our opposition to Soviet tyranny. [link first seen at What to do with the drunken sailor ]
Blogo Slogan in 30 seconds!

Periodically passing on copies to the media
Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe.
From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics.

· Hundreds of memos [ courtesy of Matrix Database]

Unhappy with Our Short-comings?
The World Social Forum, a global movement seeking alternatives to globalization other than those discussed at the World Economic Forum at Davos, is wrapping up its fourth annual meeting in Mumbai, India, this week. The event site features news links, resources, and press releases in English, French, and Spanish.
· World Social Forum: 'Another World Is Possible' [link first seen at VOW: We challenge the orthodoxy, so you don't have to]

· Ample support in the Bible for true believers to get down to the bare essentials

Life is a Dome of Surfing
The Sutherland shire of Sydney Fame is blessed with a wide variety of beaches such as The Alley which has consistently great surfers' waves, while the Shark Island provides many experienced surfers with many challenging breaks. North Cronulla, Elouera, Wanda and Greenhills like to parade the local folks on breaks too.
Body surfers draw together around Cronulla Pavillion, but keep your arms and legs between the yellow and red flags. Blackwood and Shelley beach are each splashing spots for young families and the young at heart. If you are from Central Europe czech out Gunnamatta as the kiosk has the coldest icecream in Australia. For snorkellers the Cronulla penninsular created Darook Park. Be a royalty for a day and catch a ferry to a fairytalish Bundeena, which is part of the virgin Royal National Park. If rip takes a fancy to you whatever you do never fight it as they say if you cannot beat it join it. Never ever panic! Garie Beach Youth Hostel is according to the local rag the best kept secret. A mix of international and local surfers and bushwalkers tend to book the remote retreat at a cost of $11 per night for YHA members or entire hut for $120 as part of the Rent YHA scheme. Almost as good a deal as the Scarborough Moroton Club provides to its members at the Morton Island. Book virtually at or call 9261 1111

· Elsewhere, Gianna could hear kids screaming and laughing down by the water for weeks. Now it's gone quiet [link first seen at Australia Day Long Weekend]
Sydney derives from Saint Denis, the saint who converted the pagan Gauls to Christianity

I have this wonderful image - mantra - way of thinking - we are clay, if we are brittle we dry up and crack into a million pieces - dust - but if we stay maleable and fluid we can always reshape or be reshaped
· River as a metaphor is powerful - as a symbol for the flow of life, its continuity, and its ability to hold myriads of things while still representing unity and oneness

Weblogs are more than the sum of its parts: more than vibrant public forums and frequently updated streams-of-consciousness, alternative forms of publishing and online outbursts of gonzo journalism, and personal diaries. They are ...
Cross-fertilisation among individual thoughts and ideas unfolds
[See also Spinning Yarns around the Digital Fire - Storytelling and Dialogue among Youth on the Internet ]

Friday, January 23, 2004

The lure of the unknown writer proved absolutely irresistible for many virtual readers. Thank you one and all readers at Amazon for challenging the orthodoxy of the publishing world, so the next generation of writers don't have to! Imagine... Phew, how tough it has been for ordinary storytellers of my calibre running on literary water. Today you put me in the three figure current. Cold River is ranked as 710 as at 9 am Sydney time...
· Now, Ice cold beer, anyone?

If you're in a hurry in the Year of the Monkey Shorter State of the Union Address, Fiscal Policy
A boy leaves home for his first semester at college.
The Matriarch of the family gives him some money for books and incidental expenses. The money is intended to last the entire semester. Within a month, the son calls the mother, informs his Mom that he is broke and asks for additional money.
“What did you do with all the money I gave you last month?” asks Mom?
“Well,” the son replies, “ninety percent of it I spent chasing women and drinking beer. The rest I just wasted.”

· courtesy of Wampum
If you have heaps of time...

[Memo to San Francisco Chronicle staffers]
I am delighted to announce that John Koopman, who has been a metro reporter or editor in San Francisco since 1997, is joining the Datebook staff as a special assignment writer. His beat is sex...

Nothing New Under the Sun: Drown the Messengers and Witches!
Teams of RCMP officers armed with search warrants today raided the home and office of Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill, searching for evidence of leaks in the Maher Arar case.
The simultaneous raids were conducted early this morning on Ms. O'Neill's lowertown home and her office in the the Citizen bureau at City Hall.

· Be Prepared
· > Still Stonewalling After All These Years: Deadly Nerve Agents [ via Ageless Aga]

2004 AD & the Story of Our Teeth: A Poor Cousin of the Middle Class Witches
Caroline's is the face of the working poor, marked by a poverty-generated handicap more obvious than most deficiencies but no different, really, from the less visible deficits that reflect and reinforce destitution. If she were not poor, she would not have lost her teeth, and if she had not lost her teeth, perhaps she would not have remained poor.
· Not just bureaucrats who cheat the poor but also the poor who cheat themselves
· Citizen impotence, our specifically modern experience of poverty [link first seen at Rebeccablood]
· Electronic Elections: a new electronic voting system based on open-source software created in Australia
· Interactive Voting Map

Well, if you write non-fiction, review non-fiction, or prefer to read non-fiction, break out the champagne. The most compelling ideas tend to be in the non-fiction world. Because we are a newspaper, we should be more skewed toward non-fiction.

The Plot Thickens at The New York Times Book Review
With a new Sunday book editor on the horizon, The New York Times takes a hard look at its literary coverage paper-wide.
· Which way are the winds blowing?

First, the American tradition of free speech and free press gives us a nearly unbounded right to cover the banal, the bizarre, and the shamelessly self-promoting.
· Why Do We Cover Celebrities? [ courtesy of Romenesko ]

Readers are often surprised to hear that Cold River is a representation of reality. Those in the corridors of power with generous imagination and a gift for milling rumours know too well that I did not drown because I am a witch rather than rich (smile):
Indeed, the witch of Morava River kissed me with her tongue until the leaves on the trees, the soles of my shoes, and even my thoughts, felt like leaden tongues.

Have a Thick Skin: Put something new into the world
(Please help spread the rumour... I am not just a bouncing czech; I am a wicked witch; burning kryptikal grin)
Amateurs are writing as they’ve always written. Self-consciousness, self-doubt, awkwardness, and overcompensation are perennial hallmarks of the beginning writer. The reason today’s amateurs seem more profoundly un–profound could be a simple matter of exposure...
Sharing great discoveries is largely why weblogging got so hot and sultry in the first place. Big, heavily funded sites weren’t acknowledging the grace notes and hidden talents of the web, so it was up to webloggers. For some webloggers, it still is. Wired doesn’t need your help as much as undiscovered sites, which may be offering equally good (or better) material.

· When the kidnapper called the blind woman, he told her that she’d never see her son again

Thursday, January 22, 2004

January, 1848: THOREAU delivers a lecture on -- the relation of the individual to the State -- later retitled CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

Strange Freedoms
Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the State should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.
· Dimensions
· Carnival Of The Capitalists: Winds Of Change.NET

Reality blogging with Road to Surfdom and Cast Iron Balcony
As a parent, the government's mantra of "choice" is meaningless to me. School fees of around $10,000 per child per year (in Melbourne) for two children? Not possible for us. I know the pundits always say there are legions of taxi drivers out there who manage to "sacrifice" to send their kids to private schools, and if the rest of us would cease our wickedly spending ways we could too, but take it from me-- as a non-smoking moderate social drinker who who sees approximately two live plays a year and whose work clothes hover between chainstore tragic and sheer embarassment, and who is relying on her 1991 Nova to last at least 7 more years, there is not $10000-20000 worth of fat to trim in this family. And the fees are only the beginning-- then you'd start on the uniform, the ski trips, the China excursions, etc. so that little Tarquin isn't socially ostracised.
Some choice. And then we get the pleasure of seeing the little Tarquins beat my child for a place at University with an ENTER score of 87.55 to her 96.5. Oh, and our taxes are helping to pay for it!
I'm having a Marge Simpson moment. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Attack on the editor of Respekt
De javu, I remember reading about a similar type of attack taking place in Brissie last year...
Early in the morning on Saturday 18 January, two men attacked the editor of Respekt, Tomas Nemecek, as he was returning home with the shopping. They sprayed teargas into his face, knocked him to the ground and kicked him. He ended up in hospital with concussion and a suspected ruptured spleen...
Zeman was a cute teddybear, yes, but he was also a dangerous bully and as Respekt hints, he's partially responsible for creating an atmosphere of anti-journalism.

· Zeman liked to call journalists scum and other names. Klaus called them stupid, but that's not quite as bad [link first seen at Not Much]

About Last Night brings to us today the Bogart-Rains scene from my favourite movie Casablanca:
There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff, 45 miles an hour.
How fast was I going, Officer?
I'd say around 90.
Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Suppose it doesn't take.
Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.

Cash Lifeline for Crumbling Roads
As I drove last year from (Moonlight) Sunshine State to Sinful Sydney we stopped counting the number of potholes after Balinna. We counted over 200. (According to my daughters, one can spy around 100 potholes from Egadine to Sutherland and back) This initiative will no doubt lessen the number of orphaned families...
Lets also hope that Antipodean, or Bohemian, investors and inventors put their cash and ideas where pedestrian dangers exist. Speed might kill, but slowness puts many drivers to sleep in a state of complaicency as it makes many drivers to keep an eye on speedometer rather than what is happening around them. If someone, anyone, can come up with a practical solution to keep the driver and pedestrian at the same eye level, Holden or Tatra will reward them generously for this road safety formula. To be able to see the speedometer as one is travelling around schools and through urban areas unobtrusively on the front window of the car would do the trick. This could be an international hot seller just like Cold River (smile).
The Howard Government will spend an extra $340 million improving local NSW roads and is considering more funding for upgrading of the Pacific Highway as part of a $2 billion regional roads plan.
· Carrs and Roads Run Over by Lack of Creativity

· Judging an Antipodean creative man by his beer

What matters after 50 are hits to the heart
The capability is real. The arts must dare to take their place in Australian society
· The push goes on - towards an artistic top end
[ via Creative Destruction]

Self-Publish And Be Damned?
I had been warned against self-publishing. You can't get reviews, you can't get shelf space, and you can't get respect. One hundred thousand books are published every year, so you need an imprint to stand out from the noise. Being naive, and used to being treated like Rodney Dangerfield, I decided to publish my book anyway.
I found a printer near Boston that could turn out thousands of copies in two weeks. A printer in Michigan took four weeks but, for two bucks each, produced tens of thousands of stitched-binding, store-quality copies. Ready or not, I was now in the publishing business. I opened an Advantage account on and had "Wall Street Meat" for sale on March 17. Not even spring of '03. Ha.

· I brought out my own book and beat the odds
· Where To Read About Reading [ via Book Slut]
· Literary Blogs]
[Adult Link Booble v Google]

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Tim Porter & Religion Are Born Again
There's nothing like a long time in Mexico to make you forget about quality journalism ...
Journalism selects those who cannot but be writers and journalists. It means you get a level of commitment and dedication that is quite unusual in many other professions. But you can only abuse people so much. They have families, children and student loans and lives to lead. We are not monks.

· Catching Up, Getting Religion [ via Tip toeing into these digital rivers: to ignore change is to be consumed by it ]

Jan Masaryk death theory draws fire
His Father: Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia
Investigator claims he's proven murder; critics reject conclusion
Many assumed Jan Masaryk committed suicide, but a detective, Ilja Pravda, says it was murder...

· Dirty Tricks: Pravda means truth ... [ courtesy of Prague Post]

High housing prices not just Antipodean problem
The topic dominates dinner-party conversations: braggarts boast of the killing they've made on their houses, while the timid or the young worry about how they'll ever afford anything bigger than a shoebox to live in.
Now the French, the Spanish, the Irish and soon maybe even the Germans will be able to play the same game.

· Not any more. Europe is fast catching the housing bug

Rising homelessness in the capital challenges shelters; no solution in sight.
· Mean streets: Salvation Army's homeless shelter [ via Prague Post ]
[link first seen at Gentlemen: A staggering array of porcelain plumbing ]

It comes as no surprise that nearly a third of our young people who want to get into a university have missed out ("Degrees of separation: thousands rejected", Herald, January 19) when our Government spends its resources on the military and not education... Letters, SMH 20/1/04 Denis Doherty, Glebe

Broken Earth of Good & Evil
Joan Kroc, the late widow of the McDonald's founder, has left almost $2 billion to the Salvation Army.
The religious charity said today it was "humbled" by the generosity of one of the biggest bequests ever made.
The money will be used to develop community centres across the United States which will be named after Ray and Joan Kroc.

· Salvation Army [ courtesy of Google ]

Die Broke
You are not a corporation - you are a human being. Your money shouldn't outlive you. You should exit life as you came into it: penniless. Your assets are resources to be used, for your own benefit and for the benefit of those you love. Every dollar that's left in your bank account after you die is a dollar you wasted. Use your resources to help people now when you know they need it, when it will do the most good, rather than hoping they'll be helped when you're dead. The last czech you write should be to your undertaker… and it should bounce.

Double Dragons don't just exhale fire, cause maidens distress, and make life tough for silver-clad knights...they also have hearts as big as castles.

Literacy Matters: Cats & Dragons
If you learn anything in your life, you will find yourself roughly where I am now. Lying in a pile of drunk (dragons).
I have fifteen (dragons) in all, named after various notable poets: Hölderlin, Rilke, Celan, Cohen, Layton, Rimbaud, Evans, Shelley, Hughes, Maxwell, Alfau, Eliot, Mandelshtam, Lawrence and Dunthorne. I have trained them by writing and speaking continuously in service of the ultimate, and of mankind. Whenever one of my articles was printed in the Sunday papers, I forced my (dragons) to read and reread it, and whenever I was interviewed on the radio, I turned the volume up, so that all fifteen of them could hear what I was saying. I taught them to smoke - cigarettes at first, but then pipes. Their favourite tobacco is Gambler Full Flavour.

· We order from [ via]
· Puppy Love[link first seen at Tim Dunlop]
· A Politician's Wardrobe [ courtesy of DotLit]

Jacko Irwin: Crocs and Dragons
For a real life photograph of Steve and Jackson
· Cartoons of 2004 newsmaking: What a crock business...worth a grin [link first seen at Barista]
· Other Peoples Stories

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

A Dragon, the World, and the strong urge to hibernate: active articles from across the gamut
One of the operating political assumptions of the Bush administration is that the checks and balances have essentially been checked.
· Beacuse freedom cannot protect itself. [ see also Moral pork-barrelling: sucking up to hog farmers and singing the praises ...]
· Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett [link first seen at Interplay between the freedom of speech and election law ]
· Modern regulation of corporate political donations [ via Displacement of Bloggs ]

Evil, Law, and the State
Political pressures complicate the behavioral analysis of police & legal institutions.
· Janko Votkinz Creating Stations of Evil [ courtesy of Conference ]
In a nation without aristocracy, Hookes was one of those rarities, a prince among men; honest man who spoke his mind...
· A celebration, then a senseless tragedy: David Hookes

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of saying, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – but not their own facts.

Dishonest Socialisation of Loses: Are there parallels to be drawn or not?
Our goal here can’t be to find truth – that’s a job for philosophers and theologians. What we can do here is sort through the factual claims being made between now and election day, using the best techniques of journalism and scholarship.
And I can think of no better job for a journalist than holding politicians accountable for getting the facts right, regardless of their party or political philosophy.
Like the anarchists, Roosevelt diagnosed a growing awareness among Americans of genuine injustice. He believed, as few other politicians did, that the comforts of middle-class life blinded many of his fellow countrymen to the hardships endured by the majority of humankind - hardships whose effects might be lessened by political action.
And so, although Roosevelt opened his first address to Congress by pledging himself to fight the 'evil' of anarchism, he moved immediately into a much longer section of his speech titled 'Regulation of Corporations.' He proposed to address the great 'social problems' and the 'antagonism' of the day - the radicalism that threatened Americans' safety by trimming the excesses of unfettered capitalism.

· Corporate Welfare reaching new heights: (Kosciusko, Australia)
· The most evil corporate entity ever... (US)
[ via Political Fact Czech ]
[ courtesy of Is this a great job, or what?]
· Is Mina Naguib, the hackiest double dragon living in Montreal, or what?

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

The Dual Commandments: Act Like Nothing's Wrong
The coldest current to swallow Amazon up in years:
(1) If you like Cold River, give it to your friends.
(2) If you have an allergy to Cold River, send it to the bullies at school, work or parliament...
Just because I write about horrors of absurd communism doesn’t mean I always identify myself with other forms of barbarism such as ruthless capitalism.
· COLD RIVER: The Hunt for the Book That Is Best to Give to Bullies of this World [ My Virtual Middle Earth Digital Exposure: May the Ghost of the Morava River Protect the Powerless]
· Digital Silver Foxes: What is the son of Barbara Bush reading in 2004?

Blogging Idly
Living impressions of the decade that rocked my world
· 1980s Theme
· Don't Know Much About History?
Metrosexuals are better dressed. Homosexuals are so last season. Slowly, eat your heart out Kylie...(smile)
[ courtesy of Googling yourself metrosexually]

The film, The Blair Witch Project, formerly the biggest-grossing indie flick of all time—it has since been surpassed by My Big Fat Greek Wedding—brought in $248.3 million worldwide. The five producing partners of Blair Witch netted $5 million each, the actors $1 million.
· To you, that’s serious money, but in Hollywood, it’s chump change. Is that depressing, or what? [link first seen at About last night]

Monday, January 19, 2004

Farce to tragedy in one act of US folly
In the structure of a classical play, a problem is presented in Act 1, complications arise in Act 2, and all is resolved in Act 3. In Iraq this northern spring, while much of Europe was still enmeshed in Act 2, George Bush plunged directly into Act 3, without acknowledging the complications or fully considering the consequences...
Their choice will be historic, and will go a long way towards determining, once the curtain falls, whether or not Bush's Act 3 ends up as a tragedy.

· The Iraq war has already alienated Europe [ via Dream democracy falls over for Czechs everywhere]

Media of Oz and Wizzards of Brittain
Aussie Letters: Crikey continually rubs elite the wrong way...
· Media 1 [link first seen at Media 2]
· The Guardian website has a Great Brittain list of MPs
Did you hear the rumour? In my adopted country, I Owe Parliamentary Clerks everything... even how to make rumours and sausages (smile)
Whispered words over a coffee, a hint of intrigue, a conspiratorial giggle at a particularly juicy piece of information are all essential parts of workplace gossip, and good for you...
Gossip could be good for worker morale, reduce stress, boost creativity and, therefore, help business.
Gossiping could be seen as trivial but was often therapeutic...
It lubricates relationships at work.

· 'What's going on there? Wink wink, nudge nudge', is all right
· Get Parliamentary Culture Talking: Our Glorious Deaths by Thousand Cuts

How do you say in parliamentary language, "Potential colossal benefit of public money"?
IMHO, World wide travel is fine for our polliticians, in fact it should be a must as travel widens the horizon and the sharing of best practices eventually benefits everyone. Every new MP should be forced to visit each continent early in their careers, not too long after the maiden speech is delivered in the Chambers of Ideas, Hopes and Dreams; not so parliamentary staffers as some are better known around Parliament Houses by their travel bug type nicknames rather than their real names...MP Travel: Making the old new again

Novo Niche Blogs
Literary Blogs: Kitabkhana and Sanskrit
· Best Blogs [link first seen at Wampum]

The Fountain of Youth exists
Thanks for taking my ribbing well, Dave. Now -- enuff about you, let's get to some serious topics. In the past few presidential elections, the candidate selection has been, well, rather limited. This go-round, I've found caucuses. A form of!
[ courtesy of 'Anti-aging' Beer entitled - COLD RIVER]

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Thanks blogesphere!
Poems of Dreamers Win a mention inside the Olympic newsletters (Greek edition: archived by my Google mates). A newsletter that seems to get delivered on desks of every political leader, bar Saddam Hussein.
However, my book cannot be considered Olympic material even if it has the ability to cultivate the strange truths of human condition...
Never before has Amazon moved so slowly, so ackwardly towards a four figure current. Could it be more slower? (smile) Sales Rank: 5,226 The River Nobody Wanted to Swim in 1980 is now winning more and more eSalers...
Speaking of speed, it appears that 29.04 seconds for 50 meters freestyle is good enough time for certain teenagers to invade the national swimming competition in Perth... (So back to my second home in the urban Bush)

The best of us reach our highest heights when we are making recommendations for what to read next:
Speaking of Pages and Rivers...
I’m seven months’ pregnant and standing on the banks of an angry, flooding river, feeling incapable of anything except awe . . . This is the day I decide to tell you about our river. The Pages, as in the pages of a book. Most of the time it isn’t a mighty torrent but a creek you can wade through.
· Pregnant River [ via PHILLIP ADAMS: I’m even saddened to learn of the deaths of old enemies]

Shalinka, the Wampum Keeper
The author Pat Montague, a former librarian, who comes from my Double Dragon Publishing stable, reveals an in-depth anthropological review of the Native Americans’ world view.
Emphasis is placed on rites of ritual cannibalism designed to appease and support the sun god, which in turn empowered the high chief.
This concept of devouring a victim as a religious act carries over into an evaluation of the Christian communion with an analysis of the Roman Catholic Eucharist presented as a type of "eating" of the divine person by the worshipers.

· Double Dragon Pick Speaks the Language of Booklovers [ I also like a blog Wampum Troublemakers (smile)]

Fear in the tank, hope on the horizon
MIKE MOORE’S recent Oscar-winning documentary, Bowling for Columbine, depicted an America in the thrall of fear, largely of itself. Recently, North American ‘privatopias’ have arrived in Australia. The opening of Australia’s first gated community, the Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove in 1985, marked the start of a new residential development form that has become common across the nation. Although the outright gated community remains relatively rare, exclusive (ie. exclusionary) residential communities are now mainstream suburban products.
· Gated Estates [link first seen at Few Australian politicians in living memory possess the Queensland premier's sensitivity to voters’ wants and fears]
· Concept of Evil

Web Design Tips
When it comes to website usability, the leading authority in the world is Jakob Nielsen, whose Nielsen Norman Group in Fremont, Calif., has influenced tens of thousands of site designers. Nielsen's is a must-visit site for anyone in the web business and I think more non-techie journalists should know about it.
· Things webmasters need to fix [link first seen at Sree Sreenivasan ]

Saturday, January 17, 2004

My family is off again to Homebush Aquatic Centre where the NSW age swimming championships are being held covering ages 13-19 years/Over Age; covering the long, long, period from 13-19 January...
Swimming in our family emerged out of summer days splashing at Andrew (Boy) Charton and Bondi Iceberg pools, but the love of swimming came from the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef...
While many swimmers fall into the shooting star category, it is the healthiest sport on earth and almost as tough as ballet where extremely intensive dedication and love are a must. But, unlike ballet, swimming is objective. It is the ego, H2O and the clock...

True Passion Motivates Most Swimmers
The Middle Earth Europeans seem to be everywhere even at Homebush Aquatic Center and some even work for the IOI Scientific Committee (ISC) which in its maiden newsletter for the Athen Olympics poetically noted:
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
Are the ones who do!

The Olympics are still young and full of promises, for those who believe in them. I hope James Cumes might one day blog more about the true Olympic Spirit.
Meanwhile Dr. Tom Verhoeff, ISC Chair, writes that until IOI'99, the preparation and execution process suffered from a scaling problem...
The GA had very limited time to assess the tasks for approval and translation. This gave rise to long, intense, emotional discussions (a few well-informed persons versus a large group with little information), taking place under severe time constraints...
The ISC acts as an intermediary between GA and the HSC in the preparation and execution process. In all of this, it is important to remember that the ISC is intended to represent the GA. In fact, most ISC members have been GA members and they often return to the GA after serving on the ISC.
Now, we turn our attention to IOI 2004 in Athens, Greece. If the contact person has changed for your country from the one used in 2003, please send an email to Mr. Spyros Bakoyiannis, Greece, so he will have an up-to-date list of the country contacts. The contact person is necessary for sending out country invitations to IOI 2004...
· Olympiad Newsletter (PDF format) [ courtesy of Turning Dreams to Realities]
· Thorpedo in Swimming to Athens mode [link first seen at NSW Swimming Championships ]
· Bidders begin 2012 Olympics race

True Blue Olympic Colours & Spirits: People over 60 in Wales will be given free access to swimming pools in the first move of its kind in Europe. The move follows a scheme which gave schoolchildren free swimming during last year's summer holidays... (Politicians of all colours take note)
Sadly, Gray - who first found fame delivering confessional, humorous stage monologues such as Swimming to Cambodia man is missing

Bush Has Neglected the Balkans For Too Long
OSI Senior Policy Advisor Laura Silber argues in an op-ed that the U.S. should pay closer attention to the southeast Balkans or risk economic and political deterioration in the region.
· A ticking time bomb
· Government by time bomb
· More Conflicts of Chinese Walls on the 9/11 Commission: This is beginning to look like a whitewash
· An abrupt southerly wind change: Choose Freedom or Else

Last Mile: Dreams Come Alive
Computerised lamp posts look like being the basis of the biggest data network ever, as the world's traffic monitors set about controlling cars with wireless.
· If Last Mile is right, then the WiFi revolution could happen much, much faster than anybody has dreamed.

City by city, neighborhood to neighborhood, our politics are becoming more concentrated and polarized. America must not only stop making dumb mistakes, like starting trade wars with Europe and China; it must also put in place new policies that enhance our creative economy.
It is a sad irony: America's creative economy sparked a demographic shift and a political polarization that now threaten to choke that economy off. What America desperately needs now is political leadership savvy enough to bridge that gap.
[ Creative Edge Creative Class War: How anti-elitism could ruin America's economy]