Sunday, May 28, 2006

Welcome to the New Improved Iraq

Welcome to the new Iraq, where

>you're marked for death if your name is Omar
>ethnic cleansing is on the rise
>tennis players are shot dead for wearing shorts
>14 year old boys are shot dead--apparently by police--for being gay
>women are being forced to cover their heads
>people selling alcohol are beaten and killed
>backgammon and chess are outlawed by hardline clerics
>civil war is imminent if not already underway

So when do we get to the improved part?

1 Laptop/Child

The new $100 laptop for kids has debuted and it's way cool.

Pete Barr-Watson has flickred additional shots, too.

Liberal Dose has additional details, including info on how the handcrank works.

Last Train to Ithaca

still from In the Sun documentaryOne of my favorite artists Joseph Arthur offers a new track "Last Train to Ithaca" dedicated to the victims of Katrina. [mp3]

Arthur encourages donations to Mercy Corps. Also visit the In the Sun Foundation, launched by Michael Stipe. REM collaborated with various artists on Arthur's song "In the Sun" to raise money for hurricane victims. Sundance is airing a brief documentary about that effort. You can watch it online.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Excuse Me, Do You Work Here?

I'll confess that due to a streak of perversity, I quite admire this sort of "improv": 80 strangers don khaki pants and blue shirts and walk into a Manhattan Best Buy at once. Pictures and everything. They stod at endcaps and helped customers if they approached. If they were asked if they worked there, they said "no." If they were asked if they knew the name of another psuedo-associate, they could quite honestly say "no," since the whole thing was organized over the net.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I Heart Ian McKellan

When I grow old, I want to be like Ian McKellan, partly to age gracefully, but the best part will be being able to say what I really think all the time - hopefully in a witty fashion:
I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith.
That's Sir Ian, in response to suggestions that The Da Vinci Code open with a disclaimer reminding the audience that it's fiction. McKellan confessed that he read the book and thought it a load of codswallop - this while promoting the movie; you have to love the man. He continued to describe the book in this fashion:
I doubt if people have read The Da Vinci Code more than once. It’s not that sort of book. You understand it as you go along and having understood it—it’s like a crossword. Once you’ve done the crossword you don’t rub it out and do it all over again and go onto another one, do you? I don’t.
He also recently said he thought Christians should be happy with the Code's premise:
I'm very happy to believe that Jesus was married. I know the Catholic Church has problems with gay people and I thought this would be absolute proof that Jesus was not gay.
WorldNetDaily covered most of these proceedings in a single article, though I'm not sure they found the humor in Sir Ian's comments, as I did.

He's going to be in the X-Men III, too, which comes out next week, so it's going to be all Ian all the time. Much better than all Tom all the time in my book.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Is Pat Robertson really a prophet? Or has he just been boning up on global warming?

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Brand-New Jaw Line

I've posted an update on my brother's surgery today over at Saving Chris's Smile.

He should wake up in a few hours with a brand-new jaw line.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Holy Everlasting Nano Storage!

Before long you may be able to store everything you ever come across on a single memory stick smaller than a piece of gum or a flash drive on your keyring. Been hearing this sort of thing was coming eventually, but this breakthrough in ferroelectric technology is nothing short of astonishing.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Gay? Fine by Me.

Gay Bingo!This cool program encourages folks to buy a "Gay? Fine by Me" t-shirt to show their solidarity with their gay, lesbian, bi and transgender friends. They just sold their 50,000th t-shirt.

Speaking of all things gay: Just went to the final Charlotte's Gay Bingo last night. Good, clean, riotous fun as usual. Raised over 600,000 for RAIN. But the last one? Shelita! Tell us it ain't so!

A tangential thought: I'm amazed at how when people see what an ardent supporter of gay rights I am, they assume I must be gay. One former student wrote me a year or so to say she "deduced from reading my weblog" that I was "holding to a syncretistic meld of religious and philosophical perspectives, engaging in a homosexual lifestyle, and expanding [my] interest and skill in the arts and popular culture." Eh? Because I link to Human Rights Campaign and write about gay rights from time to time, I'm "engaging in a homosexual lifestyle?" (And that expression "homosexual lifestyle" is so telling of the writer's presuppositions, too.)

What does it say about how far we have to go that people assume you'd have to be gay to support gay rights? (Which, after all, are human rights.)

I don't point this out to out myself as a heterosexual (heh). If people mistake me for gay that's fabulous. I'll take it as a compliment on my sartorial choices and my passion for the arts (to sling a coupla stereotypes around). But I do think the dynamic's telling.