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May 2003 Archives

May 2, 2003

Oh man...

... and here I thought that “LXG” was looking screwed up...

X2 features “Dr. Pepper” as a new mutant.

I'm sorry I had to share this with you.

Lodge of Amity

desert-thumb.jpgFrom Lodge of Amity by Norris F. Schneider:

Abel Lewis became a Mason in White Horse Lodge No. 50 in Pennsylvania and worked as a visitor at American Union Lodge before coming to Zanesville. He was the first clerk of the court of common pleas in Muskingum County and postmaster of Zanesville in 1805. He became insane in 1813 and was supported by his Masonic brethren in the county jail until he escaped in 1826. He was never heard from again.

May 3, 2003

Comics Update

Charles Tokyo and I ventured out to Nancy's Home Cooking for lunch today and stopped off at The Laughing Ogre on the way back to the office. I got a chance to tug at Gib's ear for a couple of minutes...

Here a couple of titles that I've mentioned on Soldier Ant in the past months, along with updates for each:

  • Quimby Mouse from Chris Ware appears to be delayed. Again. (In fact, when it was promised back in July of 2002, it was already being referred to as “long delayed”.) Here's a decent Onion interview with Chris Ware to keep your lips moving until it shows.
  • I picked up Hellboy: Weird Tales #2 (I clean missed #1 dang-nabbit, and Gib tells me its now ungettable.) This is a fun series, albeit pretty disjointed and lightweight. I think my favorite story is “Flight Risk”, wherein BPRD gadget-man Lloyd tries to reclaim his freestyle jet-packing height-endurance record. (If you've seen Hellboy pilot one of Lloyd's creations then you can fairly well guess how Lloyd's attempt will turn out.) Some other great Weird Tales moments: Hellboy dipping a “toe” in the hot springs; Kate Corrigan haunted by Mommy (this is the Weird Tale that Eric Wight illustrated - he gives Kate a certain Bruce-Timm-like curvaceousness that definitely doesn't come across in Mignola's rendition); “Pam-cakes”-era HB let's his curiosity get the better of him; and finally a good-ol' fashioned pulp-style Lobster Johnson 2-page spread. I'd definitely recommend picking up this series.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. II, No. 5 has apparently also been delayed for awhile. But Gib promises it'll be out next week.
  • Finally, I got issues 6 & 7 of Warren Ellis's Global Frequency. 6 was a bit weak, although it does showcase the urban-Tarzan discipline of Le Parkour quite nicely. 7s story felt tighter, but Ellison does like to pile on the bleak ultra-violence. Gotta love that bit with the buckshot-cell phone, though.

May 5, 2003

Chewbacca, Mike Judge,

Two things:

  • Why is everyone so excited about Chewbacca appearing in the next Star Wars movie? Have we all forgotten how much the last two sucked?
  • Why doesn't Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill and Office Space, have his own website?

The Ark & the Temple Mount

Robotwisdom.com points to an interesting Ha'aretz article that outlines the events of 1981 at Jerusalem's Temple Mount:

“At the time, it was officially announced that the huge tunnel under the structure of the Dome of the Rock had been discovered by chance during preparation of a niche for a holy ark at the Western Wall. Only years later did two members of the committee appointed by the government to investigate the affair disclose that the story about the niche for a holy ark was merely a cover-up for the real story.”

Also of note:

  • The Falashas are the self-proclaimed “House of Israel.” Ethiopian Jews (now, for the most part, all living in Israel) who claim to be descended from Solomon and the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba. They also claim that the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Ethiopia in the 10th Century BC.
  • This article poses the question Where has the Ark of the Covenant Been? Possibilities include the afore-mentioned Ethiopia, under the Temple Mount, and in caves near the Dead Sea.

May 6, 2003

What is the Creative Commons License?

You've probably seen this on many blogs:

Wondering what the license is all about? Well, the fine CC folks put together a great flash video featuring many guest stars, including The White Stripes. Watch and enjoy.

I wonder when the ol' Soldier Ant will add a CCL ...............

What's the fascination with Twins?

Nice bio of British twins Neil and Adrian Rayment, from the so-near-I-can-hear-my-heart-stopping 'Matrix Reloaded.'

May 8, 2003

Freaks & Geeks

Did you watch the show? Did you love it? Would you like to have the opportunity to own (or rent) it on DVD? “Freaks and Geeks” Executive Producer Judd Apatow and Creator Paul Feig are trying to get a little grassroots support going for a DVD release so they can convince Dreamworks to pay for the music rights. Go. Sign It.

May 9, 2003

Webcam art

Warren Ellis notes that “Somewhere along the way, webcams became webcam art.” (With examples.)

Why is Chuck Connors Grinning?

Surfing XBlog tonight yielded The 12 Dumbest Covers of American Comic Books. My favorite is “Chaplains at War”.

The same folks have listed the 25 All-time Greatest Covers as well. Fun stuff.

May 10, 2003

Eat Fresh

Jump back Jared Fogle. Here's a list of links to pictures of Girls Eating Sandwiches. Whatever floats your boat...

(Link found on The Morning Copy.)

May 11, 2003

Plastic Parables

The Brick Testament is a really well-executed Lego recreation of key moments from Scripture (both Old- and New Testament.)

Each section of the site features parental ratings for Nudity, Sex, Violence and Cursing, with the book of Genesis apparently hitting the jackpot on all fronts.

Let's Be Honest

Okay, let's be honest with ourselves. It must be some fundamental component of the modern human condition -- the fear (especially in our professional lives) that someone, somewhere, sometime will figure out our dirty little secret: I've been faking it. I'm a hack. I have no idea what I'm doing or why I get paid to do it. Someone else is better at it than me.

For most of us, this is a passing and irrational fear. It comes on quickly in a bout of night-tremors and sheet-sweat. Gone by morning, back to work, and the whole cycle starts again...

Unless you're Jayson Blair. Who, until recently, was a reporter for the NY Times. Reading Blair's tale, I feel sorry for him.

Not because he got caught, but because - for him - the fear was real. And rational. And founded in his own shortcomings. And that must feel about thirty times worse than the garden-variety anxiety that most of us carry around with ourselves every day. I wonder if Blair is relieved that the deception is over?

Those Matrix Commercials for the Soda and the Beer...

....makes my excitement of the upcoming Matrix movie go down 5%.

May 12, 2003

Shaddup! Before I pimp slap your behind.

Should dolls be allowed to say this? Kev'Mo (or K-Maculate) says 'Hell yes'...

May 14, 2003

Jesus on the Lam

A “Weird Legend” has it that Jesus escaped to Japan following the crucifixion of his brother at Golgotha:

In the years leading up to World War II, ancient scrolls turned up in the hands of a Shinto priest just outside of Tokyo. They pertained to two small, forgotten graves in the remote mountains of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan.

The scrolls -- written in a Japanese so archaic that only experts can read it -- recount the unlikely tale of Christ's escape from death, and were purportedly written -- or at least dictated -- by Jesus himself as his last will and testament. Call it the Last Testament.

(Link found on Die Puny Humans.)

May 15, 2003

Ant Tracks are Back

It's been down for a couple of weeks, but I've got my Ant Tracks script running again. Actually, I've converted the original convoluted Applescript into a server-side XML-RPC Web Service. (A very thin AppleScript client is required to get the information from iTunes and make the XML-RPC call, but most of the heavy Amazon-lifting is done in PHP on the server.)

A bonus to this approach is that I should be able to author clients for different platforms (Windows and Linux) and different players (I'd be happy if I could accomplish WinAmp.) And there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to expand the code to work with Blogger, Manila, et. al as well.

Next step is to get some fellow bloggers using the client to post to their own sites, so I can start testing the Trackback features.

May 18, 2003

Soy Bomb

I'm not normally one to beg and pander, but the first Soldier Ant reader to buy me this Acme Novelty Datebook will receive, in return, a picture of me shirtless. With the phrase of your choice written across my breasts in black magic marker. No lie.

May 19, 2003

iTunes 4 and Applescript

Doug's AppleScripts has a nice overview of Applescripting changes to iTunes 4. Frankly I'm a little dissapointed that they haven't made shared track information available via Applescript, nor anything related to the new store.

“Access to shared libraries via AppleScript is off limits, let me get that out of the way right up front. There is no way to access any information about tracks in a Shared Music playlist. Not no way not no how. Ditto iTunes Music Store.”

Apple's got some great momentum going with their new Music Store. They need to start an Associates Program immediately, then get Web Services up and running. I'd love to offer individual tracks for sale on my site (okay, my site would generate enough in associates sales to buy a small cup of coffee, but you get the idea.)

May 20, 2003


Ready.gov Made My Skin Turn Blue by Eric Millikin nicely summarizes (and extends) the digs taken in past weeks at the laughable Ready.gov website. Read. Enjoy.

(And there's a link, albeit obscured, to the full text of a Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean comic - also good reading. I'll let you find it...)

(Found on Scott McCloud's site.)

Generally good advice

Ed Cone, himself a journalist, gives some guidelines for journalists with weblogs. You know what? I think these are pretty good guidelines for anyone with (a) a weblog, and (b) a day job.

May 21, 2003

The Bone Dancer

This bears investigating. The Bone Dancer is an online comic. It's “The undead adventures of a necromancer and his zombie.”


Soldier Ant as written by a giggly teenager.

May 23, 2003

Michael Jackson followed the same route

A Cardiff, England professors posits that SARS may be from space:

"A small amount of the culprit virus introduced into the stratosphere could make a tentative fallout east of the great mountain range of the Himalayas, where the stratosphere is thinnest, followed by sporadic deposits in neighbouring areas," Professor Wickramasinghe writes.

Of course, another scientist claims that SARs came from people in southern China eating civet cats.

Al-Quaeda Upskirts

CNN sez Hidden camera on ship causes terror scare. This is just great. Now the War on Terror is impacting my supply of hidden-camera-drunk-girls-peeing photos!!!

Impeach Bush Now.

May 24, 2003

Jesus, etc.

Last week, I pointed to an article about Jesus' supposed final resting place in Japan. Just tonight I stumbled across the following, from a longer article on Mary Magdalene's emigration to southern France:

There is a great tradition - as valid - or more valid perhaps to realists than the virgin birth, crucifixion and ressurection. [...] This claims a tomb in Kashmir to be the grave of Jesus after a long mission in India which he made after surviving the crucifixion. If peace is ever made in that disputed region of the world without blowing it to powder, acheologists may have the opportunity to search for clues. There is another case made by Thomas and Lomas for the Tomb depicted in Poissions painting, "Les Bergers de Arcadie" which is near Rennes-le-Chateau in Arcques as the final resting place for the mortal body of Jesus the Nasorean Priest. This makes more sense in a way because it is well known that Mary Magdalene was there with their three sons. But perhaps his sense of duty to the old Lost Tribes in Persia and India led him east anyway. Even today, suppression (and war) prevents a thorough exploration of these questions in the field. However, the only problem with the tomb in Southern France is that it is located on private property. The stone itself was removed years ago due to trespassers some of whom marked the stone (vandalized). So without a way to bring high pressure to counter the Church's pressure to leave it alone, it may be many years before real scientists may be able to search that site.

Remaindered Links out of Control

Kottke has added another guest poster to the remaindered links weblog, and Megnut is considering adding her own 'remaindered' blog. I even recommended something very like it to Duffy for Donewaiting. It's remaindered madness!

But something occurs to me. I have been enjoying the experience of following Kottke's Remaindered links over the past couple of weeks. And I think that the feature partially succeeds based on it's scarcity model. So far, the links have been high-quality (by which I mean, interesting) and there are few enough that I can check them once a day, follow each one, and end with a quick feeling of satisfaction.

Tonight, however, all that has changed. It looks as if Lance and Jason have had a little remaindered posting party. 22 posts. Too much!

(A peek at the RSS feed confirms that Meg is largely absent from tonight's boy-on-boy fun, weighing in only with 1 very practical (read 'boring') link to the Motley Fool, and a guide to NYC restaurants. One can only assume she was Googling 'ways to get my 20 bucks back'.)

So, Jason. Do us a favor. Keep the remaindered links, but don't kill their appeal with overrabundance.

(An aside: Kottke's 'Remaindered' format is very close to Jorn Barger's Robotwisdom. Which I also enjoy, at least when he's not foaming at the mouth about 'the Zionists.')

May 27, 2003

Fuck you Adobe


I'm just trying to get some work done.

  • Why does this thing have to come up every damn time I start Illustrator? (I could swear I've turned it off in Preferences about 6 times, yet it's never stopped doing it.)
  • Why does it seem to time out about 9 times out of 10?
  • Why should it hang the app when it fails?
  • Why the FUCK am I writing some damn blog entry while I watch a spinning beach ball that should be my Illustrator canvas?


Addendum: (10 minutes later) When your piece-of-shit Adobe application actually does time out on its clever XML-update-over-the-wire to Adobe's-slicker-than-snot-application-server, and finally allows your crummy little application to start so you can start your mind-numbingly dull day-job-busy-work for the week... When that happens -- don't bother going into Illustrator Preferences, and finding the 'Online Preferences' panel. Cause when you do, you'll inevitably set the app to Check for Updates 'Never':

Adobe Still Sucks

But then you'll get curious.

What the hell is that compelling little button that says 'Updates..." Will that maybe bring up a settings dialog that will really make my piece of crap Adobe application stop talking to some piece of crap Adobe server?

And you'll click it.

And then you'll realize that it's just a manual trigger that kicks off the SAME DAMN PROCESS that got you digging in the app preferences anyway. And Now your effin' application is trying to hit some (apparently, non-existent) server to pull down some piece of XML (that probably would've said 'No Updates to Application' anyway.)

And you're watching god-damn 'Beachball Pt. II: Reloaded'

I sat down to work in Illustrator at 10:45. It is now 11:07. My day is officially shot.

Fuck you Adobe.

May 28, 2003

"Those #@*& Dogs Eat Better than I Do!!"

Aftenposten Nettutgaven reports:

A young Norwegian mother who took a litter of puppies to her own breast when her dog died giving birth remains proud of her unusual move.

Conspicuously absent is any kind of quote from the baby's father. (Off nursing his resentment, no doubt.)

May 29, 2003

Daring Planet

daringplanet.jpg Daring Planet looks awesome, in that retro-Rocketeer, Cadillacs-and-Dinosaurs, Mignola-esque kinda way. I can't wait to see what they do with the first episode...

The Mandeans Surface

Well, some Mandeans. I wrote about them in January. An alert visitor (who unfortunately remained anonymous) shared the following report..

A small community of 100 Mandeans appear to be interred in Sydney's immigration detention centers. Unfortunately, conditions there are not good for this small group, in the face of an overwhelmingly Muslim presence in the camps:

"The reports we're hearing say that Mandeans, Tamils and other Hindus and Christians - in particular Christian converts - are facing violence or threats of violence from certain Islamists with the detention centres.

"They are being called infidels. They are being refused access to kitchens and things like that because people think they are unclean as infidels.

"This has escalated at times when there is a serious breakdown of order within the detention centre when there are riots and things like that and these groups, who often refuse to participate in riots, are physically assaulted."

I also re-Googled, and found the following mention of American Mandeans, and some small plans to build an exile community on a River in Florida. (The river is, no doubt, necessary to perform the Mandean's ritual baptisms and cleansing by water.)

iTunes 4.0.1

Hot Dayyam! I know some people are pissed about the crippling of share-anywhere streaming, but Apple fixed a major (well, major to me) bug in this release: although the What's New/Readme doesn't mention it, this update now allows Applescript to get correct Track/Artist/Album information from a Shared track. Which greatly expands the utility of my Ant Tracks client.

(And, yes, I updated, instead of stubbornly holding onto version to 4.0 to keep the ability to stream anywhere. The only people I've been sharing with are on my subnet at work anyway, and half of them upgraded. Since 4.0 and 4.0.1 don't interoperate, it was a matter of following them or losing out on Sharing altogether.)

May 30, 2003

The Gauntlet

This SFGate article describes the lead-foot bedlam Along 19th Avenue. Another pedestrian died on Monday. The driver did not even break pace. And the “normal” state of affairs continues to terrify:

The intersection bears the scars of countless crashes. The traffic-light control box has been hit, destroyed and replaced. The power-pole conduit has been hit, destroyed and replaced. The mailbox has been hit, destroyed and replaced.

On the south side of the intersection, the street-light pole in the center island was struck by a car last year and stands bent over, like an old man. On the north side, the street-light pole is missing entirely -- taken out in a crash a few years ago -- leaving the intersection only half-illuminated at night.

I can vouch for the sorry state of pedestrian affairs on 19th Avenue. When the wife and I lived in San Francisco, we had a brief but intense flirtation with the Taco Bell Chalupa (Chicken Santa Fe, if you must know.) The closest Taco Bell to us was a mere block or two past the dreaded Highway 1 corridor.

Some nights on the way home from work I'd curb-straddle the Escort near 19th and Irving (facing North) and dutifully wait for the light to make the crossing at a flat-out run. (The article's right -- you've got NO TIME to get across with the light - forget about the elderly, or anyone laden down with, say, a big bag full of Chalupas.)

It was a toss-up in my mind, whether 19th Ave. traffic would take me before the saturated fat did.

(19th Ave Link via kung fu grippe.)

May 31, 2003

Music City

Wow, this guy bandix is sold on Nashville. My wife lived there before we were married - his description of advances in urban development there almost make me want to take her back...

Celery + Gravity = Oopsy!

The Peculiar Art of Mr. Frahm features a lot of failed elastic, and a lot of spilled groceries. This is an entertaining essay.

About May 2003

This page contains all entries posted to Soldier Ant in May 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2003 is the previous archive.

June 2003 is the next archive.

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


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