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November 2002 Archives

November 1, 2002

The Longest Month Name

Mockup/layout note to self: if you're trying to determine, for layout purposes, which month name is the longest that you'll have to accomodate? It's September, with 9 characters. Tied for second place are February, November and December, with 8 chars each.

November 5, 2002

James Redux

Time's featuring an excellent article on the James ossuary. It's part detective work (the limestone was quarried from the range that hosts the Mount of Olives) and part statistical analysis (the probable number of James/Joseph/Jesus families in Jerusalem around 63 AD is calculated to be ~20) it makes for good reading.

By far, the most exciting aspect -- and one that I hadn't seen reported yet -- is the presence of bone chips in the soily bottom of the box. However remote, the possibility that the chips could be James' is fascinating: direct DNA evidence of the existence of an historical Jesus, via the maternal link of Mary. Wow.

November 8, 2002

"First, you'd have to rethink progress, and stop measuring it out in spans of human lives..."

Evidence that ancient architects encoded the surfaces of their structures with the working blueprints for completion.

November 9, 2002

The Magical Shamir

From Treasures of Darkness:

"Solomon had ordered that no hammers, axes or chisels should be used to cut and dress the many massive stone blocks from which the outer walls and courtyard of the Temple had been built. Instead he had provided the artificers with an ancient device, dating back to the time of Moses himself. This device was called the shamir and was capable of cutting the toughest of materials without friction or heat."

And an interesting essay that posits the true nature of the shamir: a radiactive substance, possibly radium, that lost its radioactivity in the 400+ years between the building of the Temple and its destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. (The author is Immanuel Velikovsky, whose Ages in Chaos is being republished this month.)

Taggin' and Bombing

Here's a decent, readable history of NYC graffiti from its (Philadelphia) origins in the 60s, thru the crack epidemic of the 80s. The back-and-forth escalations between taggers and the Metro Transit Authority, set against the backdrop of evolving styles and the hip-hop culture is interesting stuff.

Here's another, more basic primer that provides the etymology for the term 'tagging'. (Tuff Artists Group) It's provided by, of all things, the Graffiti Removal Program of Portland.

And there's also Art Crimes, the Web's longest running graffiti gallery. It's a shame that digital cameras weren't around for the 70s NYC heyday...

November 11, 2002

The Kevin Tighe to my Randolph Mantooth

Now I've gone and done it. I've set up a guest account here on Soldier Ant for one Robert Duffy, host and proprietor of Donewaiting.com (a gestatory music criticism and community site.) Hopefully Robert will be weighing in on a fairly regular basis and adding his unique voice to the goings-on here.

Why did I do this?

First and foremost, Duffy's a friend and he expressed some interest. He wants a place to post about non-music related topics and I want a wider variety of subject matter on this site. Lately it's starting to look like the Old Testament threw up in here.

But, just as importantly, I like Robert's writing. Plain and simple. He's short, direct and to the point (and his writing is, too.) It should be a nice counterpoint to my lumbering, laden missives.

I've got some other stuff planned, too -- but since this is an extremely part time endeavor for me, they'll probably trickle in over the next several months: an actual design; maybe some other guest authors (want to be considered? Leave a comment); hooking up some of the more choice Movable Type features, like Search f'r'instance... Anyway.

Welcome, Robert! Bring on the vomit.

I've Found My Soldier Ant

Hi, I'm Robert Duffy. I run a website called donewaiting.com. I write about music. On SoliderAnt, though, I'm going to write about everything *but* music.

I'm friends with old man Bryce, and he's asked me to spew words into his journal. I'm excited about the whole opportunity, and I'd like to start off with a song. Yes, I said I wasn't going to write about music, but every good beginning should start with a song.

Replace the world GIRL with ANT and you'll get the whole idea.

Section 8 from The Polyphonic Spree

I found my...
She's so far...
She makes my head...
I found my soldier girl
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around

This one goes to 11

Want to determine your standings in the Google-verse? The Handy Dandy Google PageRank Figurin' Guide breaks it down. (And explains why Google reserves top ranking for itself. Ah, what the hell - they've earned it.)

Link courtesy Robot Wisdom.

November 12, 2002

Booker's Bum

George Clooney's bare ass has the MPAA up in arms, and Soderbergh's trying to stick to his principles and fight the good fight. Ridiculous, really...

(Oh, and - for what it's worth - if you're thinking of coining the term 'Clooneylicious'? Don't bother. I already coined it. I've got witnesses.)

Burroughs' in the Public Domain

This is a great little resource - it's the collected
works of Edgar Rice Burroughs that have entered the public domain. Full texts available in PDF format. Looks like there's a lot that's not there yet, but it's a nice start.

November 13, 2002

Harry Potter, Yawn

I was one of those people who came onto the Harry Potter book bandwagon after the last book was made, The Goblet of Fire. I had the luxury of reading all four books in a month's period, devouring all of them in record speed.

I really liked them. They weren't all time favorites, but they were fun reads.

Then the movie came out last year, and I thought it was alright. Not amazing, not bad, just alright. And now comes movie #2.

I'll tell you, dudes, I could care less about this sequel. Yawn yawn yawn. I don't think I'll see it this weekend, I might not see it at all. I don't know yet. I think after seeing The Lord of the Rings rule the fucking world last year, anything else magic-related just takes a very back back seat to it all.

Bah. Muggle-bug.

Micah Wright Gets it Right

More Micah Wright political posters here.

November 14, 2002

Sleep Punch Weather Hate

I wish I could punch sleep. Slap it around, show it who's boss. Judo chop to jumping sheep.

And cold weather. I hate cold weather. I like "light jacket" weather. Maybe because I really like my light jacket. It fits as a nice second skin. But fuck you, cold weather. You are my enemy.

This is what I really want. I want a fighting chance against cold weather. I don't find it fair that I don't have any sort of say in the outcome of the temperature. If I could get into a boxing ring, go 12 round, have some judges, and then the winner declares whether it'll be partially cloudy or warm as a baby's bottom.

That, friend, is fair. I would really like that. Maybe you would, too. Unless, of course, you like cold weather, and if that's the case, maybe I'll punch you too.

Ohio had a terrible storm on Sunday. People died. I was more fortunate. The only thing I got was ten small dents on my car, thanks to hail the size of human brains.

I couldn't do anything but stand in my back porch and watch these brains pound my car to death. I swear to god that would have never of happened if I could have gone one on one with mother nature.

I'll find a way.

November 15, 2002

Medieval Mickey

This is great. Restoration on a 14th-century Austrian church fresco has uncovered a 700 year-old picture of Mickey Mouse.

Emperor Norton

One of my favorite characters from San Francisco's amazingly storied past is the beloved Philip Norton, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States:

"Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abdominal word 'Frisco,' which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor."


Game Over

Interesting article on Slate about a recent trend of throwaway Flash-based games as social commentary. Take a quick side-detour and play a round of New York Defender - as social commentary goes, it's kinda discrete (discrete more in the mixed-emotions response it teases from me than the brick-over-the-head 'subtlety' of the message.) And pretty disheartening. Powerful stuff.

It reminds me of Jon Haddock's Screenshots exhibit, that reframes real (and fictitious) historical events as video-game isometric projections.

Which itself brings a whole new set of associations: Reginald Denny and the brick somehow puts me in mind of State of Emergency - civil disobediance as voyeuristic entertainment. Wasn't the helicopter news footage of the Denny beating itself shot from a similar 3/4-overhead perspective?

And Haddock's spin on Ruby killing Oswald sent me on a furious search to find In-A-Gadda-Da-Oswald, perhaps still the funniest, most morally ambiguous Photoshop manip I think I've ever seen.

These are probably not the associations that Haddock was going for in his exhibit. And I'm not sure where this entry leaves us when all is said and done. But hey -- as m'friend Duffy likes to say. This is a journal, not journalism.

November 17, 2002


First came the Extreme Thong-Diving escapades on Oxygen last night. Now comes this. Does it put anyone else in mind of Buffalo Bill's heinous plot from Silence of the Lambs?

(Speaking of which, the actor who played Buffalo Bill -- wasn't he also in Crime Story, one of the finest stylized television dramas to air on network TV? The IMDB doesn't seem to think so..)


Offered without comment.

"My eyes! Dear GOD, my eyes!"

George Bush has never looked better? My Sunday morning has never looked worse.. Wgirls provides a series of poorly-done Photoshop manipulations placing the Shrubs mug on various curvy female forms. (Dick Cheney, please medicate before following that link.)

The Myth of the Bloodless War

I've generally tried to keep this blog fairly apolitical, but some matters just beg to be commented on. Like Bush Sr. and Dick Cheney's collusion in silencing the American and international press during the last Gulf 'conflict.' All in a (sadly, mostly succesful) effort to convince the American people that there could be such a thing as war without death:

"Schwarzkopf repeatedly brushed off questions about the Iraqi death toll when the ground war ended in early March. Not until 2000, during a television broadcast, would he estimate Iraq losses in the tens of thousands. The only precise estimate came from Cheney. In a formal report to Congress, Cheney said U.S. soldiers found only 457 Iraqi bodies on the battlefield."

Harry Potter Redux

Okay, so I saw Harry Potter 2. Funny, right? Because somewhere below on this web journal I said "i'm too good for harry potter 2, yawn, who cares, blah blah!" And then I go see it two days after the release.

Shut up.

November 18, 2002

Suddenly he was Jack Kirby

Linkmachinego has a nice summary of pointers regarding
Stan Lee's lawsuit against Marvel. I particularly like the Ellis quote.

Note to Bloggers

Big photos in Soldier Ant makes it go ka-boom.

November 19, 2002

Best Advice Ever

This is a great article on how to influence other team members as an interaction designer. Regardless of the title you've chosen for yourself (IA, UI Designer, plain ol' Designer, whatever) these are some effective tips and strategies for getting your good ideas out there.

November 20, 2002


What would Jesus drive? Wouldn't that be an ass?

November 22, 2002

Thank you, Mr. Bruckheimer

In front of the latest Harry Potter film, the good people at Warner Bros have thoughtfully included no less than five trailers for upcoming movies which, coincidentally, are predominantly Warner Bros / New Line movies.

Sandwiched between the impressive (The Two Towers) and the curious (Rowan Atkinson in a James Bond spoof) were trailers for three films which look simply god-awful. One was for a Hugh Grant / Sandra Bullock romantic comedy titled Two Weeks Notice where Sandra decides to quit her role as personal assistant to a wealthy obnoxious brit (guess who) in order to get him to notice her. Another was for "What A Girl Wants," in which a teenage american girl learns her absentee father is british lord, or something, and flies over the pond, and a hilarious clash of culture and attitude ensues, and ... whatever.

But here's the clincher: a fresh slice of hell called Kangaroo Jack. I dare you to watch the trailer. Bonus points for spotting the near-subliminal frame-and-a-half flash of Christopher Walken about 75% of the way through.

November 23, 2002

Ellen Feiss was stoned

On Benadryl. She confirms it herself in this interview, where she also takes a couple nice digs at late night teevee, Steve Jobs and Steven the Dell Dude.

(This link dedicated to Charlie Tokyo. And discovered via Evhead.)

Graphing in Illustrator

graphing-thumb.gif I've been goofing around with Illustrator's auto-graphing features and I have to say I'm fairly impressed.

There's a whole hell of a lot that it won't do (no calculations within data cells, for instance) but then again, there's a lot that I've never been able to get Excel to do either (tasteful color selections, careful kerning, etc. etc.) I'd say that the design team made a carefully-weighed set of tradeoffs: just enough graphing abilities to give us the feature, not so much that you'd want to do your primary number crunching with it. Actually, Excel open in one window, pasting into Illustrator in the other is a combo that's hard to beat.

Oh, and if you find yourself having to do graphs in Illustrator? Download the PDF Workbook from IllustratorAnswers.com. It's concise, thorough and readable. And, please do leave a comment if you read this and have any cool Illustrator-generated data graphs that you'd like to share.

November 29, 2002

Where can I get a pair...

Of those badass leather gloves that Marc Singer used to wear on 'V'?

About November 2002

This page contains all entries posted to Soldier Ant in November 2002. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2002 is the previous archive.

December 2002 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


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