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Archive for July, 2004

Spin Zone

July 23rd, 2004 by olly

Once-of-this-parish Eric Pfeiffer reviews Outfoxed, here. (Hat tip: Bill.) I’ll probably get around to watching Outfoxed eventually, although it sounds pretty dire. However, it made me think wistfully of my favorite documentary ever: Spin, which it turns out is available for download here.

Made by Michael Moore acolyte Brian Springer (see, I’m giving Moore credit for something!) Spin takes a look at the manufacture of news throughout the 1992 election cycle. By monitoring cable news feeds, Springer creates a wonderful montage of found moments – commercial breaks, make-up sessions, Larry King’s surpassing deviousness, Pat Robertson being a gigantic asshole – and ends up, in the climactic Tipper Gore interview, with a twist ending that is absolutely golden. And no, he’s not the guy who did The Usual Suspects.

Subediting Ecstacy In Utah

July 23rd, 2004 by olly

Given their senior Senator, the Utah press occasionally has the joyous opportunity to refer to pieces of legislation as being “Hatch-backed”. (No link. It’s too hot.)

This may not be a reason to move there in and of itself, but at least it’s something in the plus column.

Carrot Top Finally Linked To Terrorism

July 23rd, 2004 by olly

This account of near-terror in the skies has caused much hollerin’ and a not inconsiderable amount of hootin’. Here is an informative NRO piece. On the other hand, thus Brian Doherty at Reason:

In fact, even today, the skies are filled with people who, just like on that flight, are not terrorists and have no intention of taking control of a plane or assembling a bomb in it. Yet they are, as NRO points out regarding Jacobsen’s sub-Shatnerian nightmare at 20,000 feet, blithely allowed to continue on to their destination without being brought down in some other city instead. I can only thank NRO for bringing that problem to our attention.

Yes, I’d rather be focussing on campus issues, but there aren’t many to chew on this week. When the temperature hits the mid-90s, it’s too much of an effort even to riot.

I Wonder How Long Till “” is Registered

July 22nd, 2004 by Sho

BlueOregon is a new “progressive” team blog that features several contributors including popular Portland blogger and Lewis & Clark tax law professor Jack Bogdanski (who is currently on sabbatical from his main blog), pseudonymous political observer Isaac Laquedem and City Commissioner Randy Leonard. B!x is also a frequent commenter.

It’s certainly the largest team effort I’ve seen in an Oregon-based blog, and it will be interesting to see what sort of opinions come out of a blog with so many different liberal and Democratic perspectives.

iPods for Duke Freshmen

July 20th, 2004 by Sho

Incoming freshmen at Duke University will be given free iPods by the school for use with their classes. The 20-GB iPods will come with orientation schedules, calendars and even the Duke fight song. The lucky students will get to use the iPods in conjunction with many of their classes and a special school website, allowing them to listen to foreign language instruction and other multimedia class material.

Alright, so who’s for using the incidental fee for iPods? Considering the amount UO students pay each term, we should be getting the 40-GB versions.

(via Boing Boing)

Alumni Watch

July 15th, 2004 by olly

We know him as Armed Prophet, Washington Canard, and Oregon Sports Fan. However, his name is apparently Bill Beutler, and in addition to maintaining far too many blogs, he finds the time to appear in the mainstream press as well. Kudos.

Enter The Tunnel Of Dogs

July 15th, 2004 by olly

I haven’t gotten around to the latest issue of Reason, but I’m linking to the cover anyway. Why? Because while their focus on the War on Fat is admirable, I’m willing to bet – before even reading the issue – that they haven’t covered what seems to be the most promising treatment for the obesity epidemic.

I refer, of course, to the practice of running away from dogs.

Send us details of your heart-rate, body fat and medical history, and our experts will select the right dog for you. The dog is carefully weighted to match your overall speed and fitness. As you improve, simply remove the weights and the dog becomes progressively faster. Before the dog is released it is put in a cage and taunted. It is poked repeatedly with a stick until it is absolutely livid. Then, and only then, is it released to chase you.

Memo From The Booze Desk

July 13th, 2004 by olly

Cute idea: at this link, you can buy Christopher Hitchens a drink.

In other news, this is what I’ll be sipping tonight.

Life Ain’t All Puddin’ Pops

July 12th, 2004 by Timothy

Bill Cosby has some harsh words for the African-American community. And, according to Bird Dog over at Tacitus, Ted Rall is not very pleased about it. The whole development isn’t surprising, but I think Cosby’s statements, while perhaps overly harsh, could do a lot of good in the long-run.

Call It “Anything But Happiness Hour” If You Insist; Just Give Me A Goddamn Drink

July 10th, 2004 by olly

From across the pond:

The drinks industry has agreed to introduce a new code of conduct curbing cheap liquor promotions and happy hours, [Home Secretary] David Blunkett revealed yesterday.

The story is irritatingly non-specific as to what these curbs will consist of, but I fear the worst.

Ironic counterpoint: these remarks were made at the Local Government Association’s conference in Bournemouth, which event I once worked at as a steward and miscellaneous dogsbody. Unless the character of the event has changed, I very much suspect that the attendees are making the most of the cheap liquor promotions while they still have them.

(Speaking of conferences, I’m writing this from Utah, where I’m told the situation is even worse, happy-hour-wise. Scenery is gorgeous, though.)

Six Pounds Of Weed In A Shopping Cart

July 9th, 2004 by olly

Medical marijuana: Bill O’Reilly versus Reason‘s Nick Gillespie and, for the government, Andrea Barthwell, here.

Notice how long it doesn’t take for Barthwell to bring up the “selling drugs to schoolchildren” trope.

(Incidentally, this story says one pound rather than six. Is it a different measure? Or did “shopping cart” just sound better than “shopping basket”? I can’t be bothered to check.)

Shameless Theft

July 8th, 2004 by Timothy

From The Blogfather, but you simply must read this Lileks piece in all its screedy goodness. From the Intro:

Believing in Bushs perfidy gives some people the same comfort and emotional nourishment others get from believing in Jesus. It validates them, cements their view of the world venal, conspiratorial, run by capering chimps who are somehow ten times less intelligent than Usenet posters but somehow able to yank strings on a global scale.

Meanwhile, On The Ballot

July 8th, 2004 by olly

Strategical discussioneering on gay marriage over at Worldwide Pablo and the Communique.

Fibber Magee’s Last Stand

July 8th, 2004 by danimal

Some time ago we reported that the Republic of Ireland had adopted a blanket smoking ban. Here is some follow-up I found while trolling the overseas Yahoo pages (and staking out my puppy’s nightly poo on the kitchen floor so I can yell at him this time).

Just as in Eugene, the ban has not doomed all drinking establishments, but it has made it a whole lot tougher for some folks’ favorites to stay afloat — an association of rural pubs reports sales drops of 15 to 25 percent. Now a Galway pub called Fibber Magee’s is poised to go the way of Doc’s Pad, and they’re smokin’ ’em if they got ’em.

And sure, Ireland, like Eugene, may smell a bit better now. But we needed it a whole lot more. They freshen up with Irish Spring; over here it’s patchouli.

Blog Sells Out

July 7th, 2004 by pete

A profile in the new Willamette Week, complete with picture? That scowl ain’t fooling nobody. Smug bastard will have banner ads up pronto.

Kidding of course, but don’t be surprised if he starts demanding membership fees.