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Things I've Found 35 (Who Should I Vote For?)—11/8/2003

by Mark Rose

Sigh. My newfound conservatism after 9/11 has taken a few severe hits, such as the PATRIOT act and how it affects libraries, and the sheer malevolent presence that is John Ashcroft (seriously, can you think of a more odious public official since, since, since whom? Nixon, Kissinger, heck Alger Hiss, had more positive aspects than our current Attorney General — arrgh, where oh where is Dick Thornburgh when you need him?). So it’s difficult to vote for Bush, although I think he gets way too much negativity and false accusations about our involvement with Afghanistan and Iraq. But the opposite side isn’t offering up a plate of filet mignon, either. Where is the candidate to speaks to my issues? Where is the mediator who can resolve our polarized society? Wait, I’ve got it. I know who to vote for . . .

Joe Paterno! (head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team)

Yes, it all makes sense. If you’ve read any of Joepa’s multiple books, you realize he is a man of probity, intelligence, compassion, and a tremendous leader. What else could you want from a President? And, his current 2-8 record at PSU could certainly make him available for the job. He’s old but still sharp as a tack and I guarantee he’s smarter than either you or me. Plus, if we voted him in to office, then he would stop recruiting loser receivers and quarterbacks like they’ve done for the past few years. OK, on to the links . . .

C’mon Legal System, Get a Freakin’ Clue!: This is the story of a man who has been arrested 176 times:


Oops. Make that 177. When you read the story, you’ll find out why. The judge released him early from a two-year drunk driving sentence because jails in the area are overcrowded. Judge Roxanne Bailin notes that she does not take into account any previous convictions when releasing someone early! I mean, that sentence alone should make you do a double spit take! Judge Roxy, get the rocks out of your head. So if this guy had committed 3 or 4 murders and violent rape but happened to be in on an aggravated assault charge, it would be ok for you to let him out early, because you wouldn’t want to consider what he had done before? What is the matter with these people? Our legal system is so out of whack with reality and crime prevention that you have to fight it hard to get real justice. That’s pretty sad. What we need is public outing and humiliation of judges and lawyers who act like this.

I’m sorry; I know most of you on this list aren’t going to agree with me about our current situation in Iraq, but this image and story made me snicker. A soldier was asked to repaint an Iraqi water tower, and since he was from the 101st Airborne Division out of Clarksville, Tennessee, he did as he was told, and painted it a delightful Tennessee orange:


This isn’t post- or neo- or exo- colonialism, it’s just cool. Kind of like the Palestinian terrorists dancing in the streets after 9/11, with the kid wearing the Chicago Bulls jersey. You have already been assimilated, accept your fate.

Trivial Pursuit is online! Rose family members, unite! We shall overcome!


The Acme Catalog (a collection of frame grabs from Warner Bros. Cartoons) is very cool. They could have gone to make it up into a real mailorder catalogue but it’s still cute:


Daisyphones! (Those you with minds in the gutter, please go clean them now, thank you.) If you don’t want to read the entire article quoted below, just go to this web site and have fun (you’ll need to have Java runtime installed):


Here’s the full article from New Scientist, 25 October 2003, p. 25:

“After texting, photomessaging and web surfing, cellphones might soon allow people to improvise music and ‘jam’ together.

“The idea is the brainchild of interactivity expert Nick Bryan-Kinns and his colleagues at Queen Mary University of London, who have developed software that lets people call a mobile number and work together to improvise short tunes.

“Their software, called daisyphone, looks like a floral join-the-dots puzzle. The tempo of any composition is set by the speed at which an ‘arm’ rotates, like a radar scanner, around the daisy-shaped display. The players choose notes by placing coloured shapes in the path of the radar arm, which plays the sounds in the order it passes over them. Any user connected to the phone can add to the composition.

“Bryan-Kinns hopes that cellphone makers and networks will want to include the software on their phones because it means people may spend more time using them. Lars Weisswange, a development expert within the UK’s O2 network, is duly tempted: ‘Making music this way sounds a brilliant idea.’ ”

I was skeptical at first, but the tool is actually pretty fun and you can make some very interesting tonal compositions with it. Worth a look.

Here’s a fun little card game on the Web where you match colors around a dinner table. Each card features the face of a guest and one or more colors. You must place these cards around a dinner table so colors match and guests become happy when they’re near good conversationalists. If you get stuck, there are two things you can do: 1) ask for more cards by hitting the “Deal” option to get fresh cards; and 2) once cards are placed on the table, you can move them around to see if you can get a better combination. Sweet, simple and addictive.

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/rsvp.php [Try this link instead, it’s faster: http://www.lifetimetv.com/games/rsvp/]