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Things I've Found 40 (You Say Gregoire, I Say Rossi, Let's Call The Whole Thing Off!)—1/27/2005

by Mark Rose

No, it's not a joke. The International Sand Collectors Society wants you! http://www.sandcollectors.org/ISCSHomeIndexx.html

Food Anomalies. Pictures of twisted, tormented, plain ol' just wrong food. http://www.hanttula.com/exhibits/freakyfood/index.htm Oddly intriguing. Go ahead, you try to spell "I Love You" with a bag of potatoes.

"I'm on Morphine and I'm High as a Kite." That's a direct quote from a potential juror in this sadly hilarious article: http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/18/shallow.jury.pool.ap/index.html

What If My Life Had Been Different? This obsessive, and humorous, chart of life's opportunities and potentials is a wonderful visual kick in the head. Click on each of the little graphics to get the full story. http://www.flipflopflyin.com/whatif/

Did you know that salami can strip paint? http://www.dailynewstribune.com/policeLogs/view.bg?articleid=48343 Neither did I. Jesus, what will soppressata do??!!

Crazy-Ass Game of the Week: Tobby Patchi! I don't even know how to explain this, since it's all in Japanese. Basically, you have a little dog (it's Tobby!) on a bouncy circle trampoline. With your mouse, click and hold the circle on which the dog rests. Move the mouse to stretch out the trampoline and release to let the dog fly into the air. You're trying to move the dog to the next trampoline. Blue gems score points. Blue circles act like manic pinball bumpers. Straight-line walls can be broken out bit by bit with your dog's head. Shuriken stars kill your dog. Lovely, no? But damn fun! http://www.toshiba.co.jp/digital/game/tobby_pachi/play.html (Also try the Tobby Balloon game: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/digital/game/tobby_balloon/play.html; and the Tobby Firehose game: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/digital/game/tobby_crisis/play.html; and the Tobby Crane game: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/digital/game/tobby_clane/play.html)

A great source for around the world radio: http://www.mediaradio.ca/cgi-bin/liveradio.cgi Try a random station every day of the week!

Engineers Are Gods and I Am Not Worthy: Here's a way to make a portable MP3 player out of an Altoids can and $50. http://web.media.mit.edu/%7Eladyada/make/minty/index.html. Mmmm. Minty.

Photographic Art as Topographica: http://www.flickr.com/photos/multiflora/3241119/

McSweeney's has a lovely list of statements found on organic products: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/5KateBrown.html ("Please note: for those at Things I've Found, it's all about our deep respect and commitment to the links we have to share with you.")

What do you get when you cross a pita bread sandwich with turkey meat, McDonald's and Pulp Fiction characters? One of the best McDonald's TV ads you'll ever see, but you'll only see it if you go to Israel. http://www.mcdonalds.co.il/popups/mcshoarma.mpg (link points to 3MB file)

Doodles, Drafts and Designs: A fascinating look at early inventors' drawings currently on display at the Smithsonian. Take some time and click around. http://www.sil.si.edu/exhibitions/doodles/

My pimp name is Large Rosebud Shizzle. What's yours? http://www.white-wolf.com/pimp/index.php?line=generator

I Wanted to Post This Link Two Months Ago and Now I Can: http://www.reason.com/0501/fe.ps.cut.shtml. Reason Magazine (one of the best magazines on the planet by the way) tumbles a whole bunch of government employees who got their degrees from diploma mills. And no, President Bush isn't one of them. Remember, Yale is still supposedly a bastion of higher learning. As Uncle Floyd would say, "Scary stuff, kids!"

This is why I read more blogs than I can manage to read in two days: Because The Invent Blog (http://nip.blogs.com/patent/) has a lovely little bit on boxer Jack Johnson. You may know of Jack Johnson from the recent Ken Burns' documentary on PBS "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson." It turns out Mr. Johnson held two invention patents, and here they are: http://nip.blogs.com/patent/files/pat1413121.pdf and http://nip.blogs.com/patent/files/pat1438709.pdf. And now you know THE REST of the story.

What I'm Watching: People need to know that Ali G sucks! He cannot hold a candle to the brilliance that is Sanjeev Bhaskar. Mr. Bhaskar has two shows currently running on BBC America, one of which is a bit past its sell-by date but which still belongs in the permanent comic canon. He first came to light in Goodness Gracious Me, a very controversial sketch comedy show when it first aired, that primarily concerned how Indian emigres to the UK fared in that new culture. While funny and filled with some fine moments, it's also amateurish and goes for cheap laughs too often. If you want to see it, you can, but you should really make time to see Bhaskar's newest show, The Kumars at No. 42, which airs in a double block with the aforementioned show on BBC America (satellite/cable) on Wednesdays (7/10p, Pacific Time). Bhaskar is Britain's Red Skelton, in that he is a middle-class comic who can make other classes and disaffected groups appealing without being cloying or patronizing. This is a skill that we no longer see on these shores. This is the real face of multiculturalism, able to laugh at itself while still making you appreciate the differences. The Kumars are an Indian family who have set up in a London suburb and created a talkshow. They speak with famous guests but the outlying conceit is that all these guests come to the Kumars' home and feel their warmth, hospitality, and, indeed, familial craziness. The writing is subtle, so you really need to listen to the lines, but the effect is tremendous. Highly recommended. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/profiles/sanjeev_bhaskar.shtml

As for the Washington state governor's race, ai yi yi. Let me get this straight. The candidate Rossi wins by 261 votes. That does not fall within the mandatory recount by state law, so Gregoire's party pays $700,000 for a revote. This time Rossi wins by 42 votes. Since that does fall within the mandatory recount by state law, the political party is reimbursed their $700K (and it will now be taken out of taxpayers' pockets), and this time Gregoire wins by 129 votes. No additional recounts are possible under state law. When Rossi won the first time, Gregoire said the election was a "tie", which doesn't bode well for her budgetary acumen. During the first recount, there were questions about uncounted ballots. During the second recount, more uncounted ballots were found and a whole stack of ballots were located that had been ruled invalid at the time of the election but ruled on improperly. These were also counted for the first time. After the final count, it was discovered by independent bloggers (not by journalists) that more votes were cast in King County than there were voters on the electoral rolls. The bloggers stated that there were 3000 of these extra votes. The election officials pooh-poohed this and then said the number was more like 1000. It turns out that the number is more like 1800-2000 but still election officials indicate that is "close enough" for them to be comfortable with. Their most common excuse was that there is a voter-anonymity roll for abused spouses who do not show up on the official voter rolls. When pressed, they were forced to admit there are approximately only 40 people in the anonymity program. Weeks after the final count, it was discovered that at least 129 convicted felons voted, none of whom had fully served their debt to society and all of whom should not have been able to vote (the 129 number is a coincidence...I hope). Now there are almost 750 contested votes that have been counted. After all of this, The Seattle Times dares to state that the election is official, it was well-run, there is no evidence of impropriety, we proved our superiority over Florida and Ohio, and now we should let bygones be bygones and let Gregoire govern the state.

Well, that's not a big surprise, since the Times is little more than a DNC mouthpiece, but it would be refreshing to see them cover the election in an objective manner, wouldn't it?

Sigh. I used to think my vote didn't count because we have an electoral college; now my vote doesn't count because people can't seem to count my vote.

And on that cheery note, ta-ta till next time!