Monday, July 30, 2007

La Môme

Edith Piaf is one of France's finest gift's to music. Yet, her life was marked by the tragedy and anguish that permeated her songs. Piaf's sublime voice had the potential to bring tears to even the most stouthearted of men. The songbird of Paris is the focus of a new movie, called La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink).

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d'amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of Obscenity - Garrison Keillor

Northern Europe's Favored SonOne of the benefits of Katrina is how it got Congress to focus on real things: the relief of suffering and devastation and eventually an investigation to learn why Homeland Security stumbled so badly. And to cancel the nonsense for the time being, such as the push to roll back the estate tax, a private bill for the relief of billionaires; and the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, a high-water mark of official stupidity that swept through the House and now is lapping at the doors of the Senate.

The BDEA is the anti-Janet-Jackson's-nipple bill that would make broadcasters liable for fines of up to $500,000 for any obscene, indecent or profane material they disseminate. Every congressman who voted for it should have his or her name engraved on a brass plaque on the Monument to Cowardice.

To the CBS network, a half-million is petty cash, but to the manager of a radio station in Lexington, Ky., it may mean extinction. So when you hang that enormous sharp sword over his head, you force him to monitor closely everything uttered, muttered, sung or chanted on his airwaves. It is not possible to do that and still have a wife and children. So the station manager is forced to cut out any programming that is original or that originates live and switch over to syndicated programs that come with a Decency Guarantee. Or else live in fear.

Talk about abuse of government power. Talk about government intruding into the lives of people to no good purpose whatsoever.

This summer, a radio station canceled a radio show of mine because I read a poem that used the word "breast." The poem was far from lascivious or obscene. If you'd read it to your Aunt Esther in Greenville, maybe she would blush faintly. But the word "indecent" can be interpreted so many ways and a Federal Communications Commission hearing would be long and tedious and the show is broadcast on 500 radio stations, so the fine would come to $250 million, or about half the cost of a baseball stadium, which is a lot to pay for freedom of speech, and what boob would want to take those risks? So, here in the land of the free, freedom won by brave men whose speech was salty and whose interest in women was keen, a man cannot say "breast" on the radio. How do these people manage to order Kentucky fried chicken?

The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act illustrates beautifully why the American people's opinion of Congress is only slightly more favorable than our view of telemarketers and drunken drivers. You need go no farther. Congress can sometimes be so removed from reality that it goes after a mosquito with a chain saw. The word for this is dementia.

I would feel better about the law if Congress held itself to the same high standards and subjected members of Congress who utter obscene, indecent or profane things to the same heavy penalties.

If Sen. Bleaughhh, posing on the Capitol steps with a delegation of 4-H'ers from Cooterville, should slip and fall on his hinder, and land on a hemorrhoid the size of a Concord grape, and suddenly make a vulgar reference to holy excrement and call down God's wrath all in one succinct phrase -- shouldn't there be some recourse for the decent and God-fearing just as there would be if Howard Stern had said it?

What a horrible experience for those 4-H'ers. To travel all the way to Washington and stand in awe at the gaudy splendor of it all and get the chance to shake hands with an actual U.S. senator and suddenly the old fattycakes cuts loose with some ripe language you didn't hear at the prayer breakfast -- bummer!

What rules do we have in place to protect schoolchildren from some old demented Republican walking around exposing his right nipple and saying crude things and waving sparklers? None that I'm aware of. A Congressional Decency Enforcement Act would specifically forbid the waving of genitalia, while either whooping or not, or exposing the mammary glands, either male or female, or exposing the posterior (also known as "mooning"), or referring to the posterior, or to fecal matter, whether chicken, horse, bull or any other species, and a half-million-dollar fine would be a good deterrent, though I'd prefer locking offenders in the stocks and pelting them with offal, dead cats, fish heads and rabbit pellets. I do not think you can ever do enough in behalf of our children.

From September 15, 2005

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

The most important television show currently running is It's Not Easy Being Green. Originally broadcast on the BBC, INEBG has now been picked up by the Sundance channel as part of their environmentally friendly programming series, called The Green.

Join the Strawbridge family as they trade in life in the big city for the English countryside. Their goal is to have as little impact on the planet (i.e. water, wind, solar power) as possible while still enjoying a modern, comfortable, 21st Century lifestyle. Learn how to take yourself off the grid by creating a grid of your own. This show is superb. Top Marks.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Together Again!

The Dudes

Monday, July 23, 2007

Better Be Good

Big Brother

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Good Friends To Have...

Click Here to see what the buzz is about.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

You're Under Arrest

Well, I drove straight from Pittsburgh to the Police concert in Philadelphia. Totally amazing! If you get a chance, definitely check them out on tour. You won't be disappointed.

The Police"Synchronicity II"
Another industrial ugly morning
The factory belches filth into the sky.
He walks unhindered through the picket lines today,
He doesn't think to wonder why.
The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,
But all he ever thinks to do is watch.
And every single meeting with his so-called superior
Is a humiliating kick in the crotch.
Many miles away something crawls to the surface
Of a dark Scottish lake.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good Times

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stardate -331595.4

Enterprise-DIn 1992, Apple Computers began work on a prototype platform that would allow the Mac OS to run on Intel-based x86 architecture (PCs). The slogan for Project Star Trek was: "To boldly go where no Mac has gone before." Although, Project Star Trek was eventually completed, it was considered a failure, because it required very specific hardware and all of the software needed to be ported. Apple also feared that continuation of the project would eventually lead to the creation of more competition for itself. Project Star Trek inspired third parties to produce some powerful emulators, such vMac and Basilisk II. A decade after initial development, Apple Computers also released an open source emulator program, called Darwin, allowing the Unix-based core of OSX to run on Intel processors. Today, Darwin is one of many open source projects designed under The Apple Public Source License.

The Stardate was generated here.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Big Brother Über Alles

Net Neutrality is a fundamental principle built into the Internet's protocols. According to The Common Cause: "Net neutrality is the principle that you should be able to access whatever web content or services you choose, without any interference from your Internet service provider." Simply put, it means that everyone has equal access to bandwidth. Yet, the proposed COPE Act will allow Internet Providers (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc) the ability to act as gate keepers. They will be in the position to determine which sites go fast or slow. From Save The Internet: "Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road."

The Threat:

Jello Biafra on Net Neutrality:

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

Outlaws Will Evolve

FlashThe H.O.P.E. (Hackers On Planet Earth) Conferences are a display of technological innovation and ingenuity. They are also marked by the latest evolutions in networking systems, from Modulator Demodulators to T1s and beyond!

1994 Hope
28.8 kbit/s local network

1997 Beyond Hope
10 Mbit/s local network

2000 H2K
Ethernet and T1

First Appearance of Flash2002 H2K2
Wireless and Ethernet
Public Cluster operating at T1 speeds

2004 The Fifth Hope
Wireless and 2 T1 lines
Backup Public Cluster

2006 Hope Number Six
100-megabit Internet connection

The next H.O.P.E. is being planned for July 2008. Who knows what's next?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

You are Here

After the Fall by Edward Field
University of Pittsburgh Press

Excerpt from Homeland Security

My advice to anybody who looks like an Arab these days is,
when you're in a post office or jogging around the reservoir,
never stop and jot down any notes,
even if its a great idea for a poem.
And for God's sake don't snap any photos at the airport,
even of your cousins arriving from St. Louis.
God forbid you should draw a map of the subway for them,
showing the route between their hotel and your house.

And if a new "friend" - the guy on the next barstool, say -
starts suggesting pranks
like blowing up tunnels or poisoning the water supply
or, God forbid, assassinating anyone
and how it might be done by you and a few pals,
just keep saying what's fun about that,
even as a reality game, and you're really only
interested in poetry about nightingales.
That's Life

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Don't Copy That Floppy

Propaganda courtesy of the Software Publishers Association (SPA) circa 1992.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Life of Dissent

Chomsky Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at MIT , is a key intellectual figure in the world international relations. As the eighth most cited scholar of all time, his work has impacted a diverse fields range of fields, including computer programming, psychology, and mathematics. Chomsky is also a world renowned political activist.
Of Politics: "My personal visions are fairly traditional anarchist ones, with origins in The Enlightenment and classical liberalism."

Key Resources
Official Website
CounterPoint Column