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December 2004 Archives

December 1, 2004

The Kursk

The followup to this story had escaped my notice at the time, but here's a small discussion of the sad story of the Russian submarine Kursk, which sank in the icy cold waters of the Barents Sea. Not only did the Russian government badly bungle the rescue operation:

One of the British divers sent out to try to help rescue the Kursk sailors said he was "revolted" to hear the Russians claim they had done everything possible to help.

Paddy Heron, who went out with the LR5 mini-submarine, said: "We had one of the most sophisticated vessels available in Europe sitting at the wreck site with a submersible specifically designed to rescue men from submarines, but the Russians wouldn't allow us to use it."

In the aftermath, Putin and the Naval Authority behaved abysmally toward the sailor-victim's families:
Doctors have been sent by the Russian Navy to the houses of bereaved relatives to administer injections and hand out tablets. Half the women at a recent meeting with Putin were heavily sedated, according to the Moskovsky Komosomolets newspaper.

Local television editor Elena Belkin said of the incident: "It's nothing. They have been giving out injections non-stop to everybody. There's a brigade of doctors there. It's mass psychosis."

Kirsten Ulve

Kirsten Ulve apparently has done illustrations for Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and many other national publications: here's a really charming gallery of her caricatures. I love the Stones one -- so clever to go with Keith and Ron Wood instead of the more-obvious Mick option. (Hey that band is like a caricaturist's dream.)

December 9, 2004

Halo 2 effect

Ha! This c|net article speculates that Halo 2 could be the thing that forces broadband infrasture improvements.

Sandvine's latest statistics showed that Xbox Live traffic quadrupled when "Halo 2" was launched on Nov. 9, and it has stayed at that level since.
A closer read, however, seems to indicate that this issue is a non-issue, at least for now. Given the relatively small percentage of online gamers, the article ends up sounding like a puff-piece soft-sell for some British Telecom next-gen networking technology.

I've already seen speculation that sometime soon, you'll see a department of labor report blaming extensive Halo 2 -play for a 4th quarter drop in worker productivity. If my own bleary-eyed, early-morning ass-dragging self is any indication, I'd believe it.

Bluetooth Cute

This Sony Ericsson Remote Control Car is cool:

The Sony Ericsson limited edition Car-100 with Bluetooth� wireless technology is a small race car is slightly larger than the size of a matchbox, that has two gears and is wirelessly controlled by a Bluetooth enabled Sony Ericsson mobile phone.

TomTom GPS

Once I trade up to the Treo 650 (probably not for several months, at least) I'm gonna be looking for a Bluetooth-enabled GPS solution. (I've been playing with a cabled solution for several months now, using Mapopolis -- which I like overall, but some annoying quirks are starting to get to me.) This TomTom system seems promising.

December 20, 2004

Stille Nacht

WWI's Christmas Truce was 90 years ago on Saturday:

'Merry Christmas. We not shoot, you not shoot.'

December 21, 2004

Stack Shot Billy

Another notorious Christmas anniversary: "Stack" Lee Shelton shot Billy Lyons in a barroom in the red-light district of St. Louis on Christmas Day, 1895. Music artists have been singing about it ever since.

December 22, 2004

Just More Clooney to Love

George Clooney gained 30 lbs. for his upcoming film 'Syriana.' With the extra weight, he looks like my Uncle Bill.

December 28, 2004


I mostly use this website as a catchall for crap that I find on the Web. Esoterica and oddities. I almost never touch on real issues, or dig into the real condition of the World around me -- I guess because so much of that world distresses me. It's a built in defense mechanism of mine. Drives my wife crazy -- don't feel anything. Don't share anything. But this shit in Indonesia. This tsunami. It's incredibly, heart-breakingly humbling. Numbing. The death-toll estimates are climbing to 60,000, and will undoubtedly climb higher yet. And how many will perish in the weeks to come from pestilence, diarrhea, hunger, malaria? A friend who has extended family in Indonesia (thankfully, all accounted for and safe) recommends this charity. Go, please, give.

Update: For various reasons, we have chosen instead to give to the American Red Cross via Amazon instead. But either option is a good one. Just give.
Update 01/02/2005: We have, in fact, also donated to the Northwest Medical Teams, who were amongst the first American relief workers to arrive on the scene of the Tsunami. Give here.

December 31, 2004


Boy, someone has a hate-on for Wolverine:

Why identify with Wolverine? Granted, Cyclops doesn’t have a lot of interiority either, but he’s certainly a lot closer to the stereotypical comics reader than Wolverine is. It’s argued that comics readers see super-heroes as power fantasies: is Wolverine, then, the fantasy of being the high school jock instead of the high school nerd? Doesn’t the love of Wolverine by thoughtful, introverted readers express a kind of self-hatred? A wish that they could be a badass, perhaps? And a stupid, bragging, unexamined badass at that? A secret desire to be -- dare I say it? -- Flash Thompson?
And it ends on a kinky proposal.

About December 2004

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

November 2004 is the previous archive.

January 2005 is the next archive.

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