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November 2004 Archives

November 2, 2004

Swing state saga

ElectionDay04 X

Midmorning today, we left to cast our votes. The excitement and tension in Columbus is palpable (Bush was here yet again even today.) But the mood at the polling place was light and friendly. Chairs were brought out to sit on. Places were held for those who needed to duck out for a bite to eat. Kids were holding a bakesale. It still took us 2 hours to get through the line. It was worth it.

Check out my quick photo-essay of our swingstate election experience on Flickr.

November 3, 2004

AOL Layoffs

Besides the political quagmire that greets me this morning, there's one other bit of bad news thats on my mind. Rumored layoffs at AOL (although I'd say they sound like more than just rumors, and maybe fall into the category of 'announced layoffs'.)

My heart goes out to you Lance. I always hated this time of the year at AOL.

November 5, 2004

History of Maps

Here's a nice little timeline of the evolution of mapping:

Evidence of mapmaking suggests that the map evolved independently in many separate parts of earth. Marshall Islanders made stick charts for navigation. Pre-Columbian maps in Mexico used footprints to represent roads. Early Eskimos carved ivory coastal maps. Incas built relief maps of stone and clay. Chinese literature contains references to maps as early as 7th century B.C.

November 7, 2004

This Year's Black

November 9, 2004

The Littlest Prisoner

abughraib.jpg It's a little late for the season this year, but the Stranger has a nice roundup of the year's scariest Halloween Costumes! Including such topical hits as: Arrest Protestor, Nancy Reagan, and Lyndie England. Like I say, these won't do you much good this year, but don't you kinda get the sense that "Jenna Bush's Liver" will still be in vogue in '05? I do.

November 10, 2004

Hey Skinny

A short history of men's bodybuilding in America:

The $1000 prize winner in Macfadden's 1921 contest for "The Most Perfectly Developed Man in America" was Angelo Siciliano, an Italian immigrant who achieved fame as "Charles Atlas." Mythologizing an experience he'd had as a teenager on a Coney Island beach--when a bully had kicked sand in his face--Atlas sold "Dynamic Tension" mail-order courses to generations of boys who wished to face down their own bullies.

November 12, 2004

Tall Cool One

Cockolada. The first drink out of a cocktube.

Proceed With Caution

“Oedipus was destroyed by truth. He looked like he had a happy life until he learned one too many things. That's the cautionary tale.” -- Bill Joy

November 15, 2004

Why did it have to be snakes?

Can I just say that I love the fact that these cool Raiders of the Lost Ark icons (from the always-impressive Iconfactory) feature the keyword hovitos.

November 16, 2004

Dark Matrix

Wow -- here's a French-language page cataloging thematic and visual similarities between Dark City and Matrix. Amazing. I need to go back and watch Dark City again.


The editors of The Stranger point out that the Red-v-Blue State race really has nothing to do with states, per se: It's the Cities, Stupid:

Take a look at the second map. This map shows a county-by-county red/blue breakdown, and it provides a clearer picture of the bind the Democrats finds themselves in. The majority of the blue states--Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware--are, geographically speaking, not blue states. They are blue cities.

Look at our famously blue West Coast. But for the cities--Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego--the West Coast would be a deep, dark red. The same is true for other nominally blue states. Illinois is almost entirely red--Chicago turns the state blue. Michigan is almost entirely red--Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo turn it blue. And on and on. What tips these states into the blue column? Their urban areas do, their big, populous counties.

It's time for the Democrats to face reality: They are the party of urban America. If the cities elected our president, if urban voters determined the outcome, John F. Kerry would have won by a landslide. Urban voters are the Democratic base.

One of the Missing

An Ambrose Bierce short story:

Jerome Searing, a private soldier of General Sherman's army, then confronting the enemy at and about Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, turned his back upon a small group of officers with whom he had been talking in low tones, stepped across a light line of earthworks, and disappeared in a forest.

November 19, 2004

Hot Door

This bears investigation. Hot Door makes plugins and symbols for Adobe Illustrator.

November 21, 2004

Condi Rice is the new Cliff Yablonski

Here's a fantastic collection of photos of an angry, scowling Condoleeza Rice. Grrr!

November 23, 2004

The Burdens of War

From a long and impassioned appeal to the marines that he's traveled and reported alongside, NBC cameraman Kevin Sites summarizes eloquently:

So here, ultimately, is how it all plays out: when the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility.

The burdens of war, as you so well know, are unforgiving for all of us.

His narrative is long and well-measured. Balanced, sad, sorry even. It's well worth the read. For what it's worth, I'm personally saddened by the events in that mosque, but I don't quite know where to point the finger of blame, if 'blame' is what's necessary.

War. I blame war.

November 28, 2004

Arsenic Embalming

This article points out an old danger lurking in American cemeteries:

Arsenic embalming began as a sanitary practice and a practical means to preserve the body until burial or for transport. Considering that the alternative was ice, arsenic embalming seemed like a significant improvement. What the embalming practitioners, or undertakers, did not consider were the long-term effects of placing significant amounts of arsenic in concentrated burial areas—cemeteries.

November 30, 2004

Source Material

Do you suppose that this was the inspiration for 24s Season 2 episode with Kim and the Mountain Lion?

Fly on the wall

In the weeks leading up to my departure from AOL, I had the intense displeasure of sitting in on some planning meetings for the next version of the Netscape browser. Which went into limited beta this week.

What impresses me most is how eerily accurate this Slashdot comment is:

We're talking about a design committee that must have obtained a dozen Congresses worth of stupidity, distilled it over the flames of historical ignorance, condensed it on flask walls of monumental technological apathy, and beer-bong-chugged the elixir obtained therefrom.
Now I'm wondering if 'Tackhead' is one of my ex-coworkers.

Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dozing Dingo

This article on Slate advocates sleeping with your dogs (contrary to years worth of folk wisdom about the negative side-effects: an inflated sense of self-worth in the home social hierarchy being the chief one.) My favorite quote:

An account from a 19th-century explorer in Australia, as quoted in The Domestic Dog, describes how Aborigines were so devoted to their dingoes that the dogs were treated as members of the family and allowed to sleep in the hut. (The rock group Three Dog Night takes its name from the supposed Aboriginal practice of judging the coldness of an evening by the number of dogs required to keep warm.)
Sinister Above is a picture of our dingo-dog, Dozer. He's an absolute gentleman in bad at night - never snores, lie with the grain instead of against it. Demon Polly, however, is another matter altogether. (I found the Slate article on Modern Pooch, which looks promising.)

About November 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Soldier Ant in November 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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