Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, August 07, 2004

"The elephant in the room that nobody wanted to talk about was education.  The non-profit world likes to think about affordable housing, leadership development, better health care, specialized training, etc.  If everyone in a poor neighborhood were educated to the standard of the average Harvard graduate all of the other problems would be solved." [via Philip Greenspun]

"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."

-- H. L. Mencken

Will Ferrell on Whitehouse West.

"In Gabon, a small country on the Equator, I went through a Bwiti initiation, eating iboga, a psychedelic rootbark inducing a trance that lasts for thirty hours. The bark powder temporarily releases the soul from the body, allowing the initiate entry into the African spiritual cosmos, where he is shown the outline of his fate.

Some of the Bwiti call this ceremony, "breaking open the head." The book describes how my own head was broken open, and how I have gingerly attempted to put the pieces back together again."

A correlation of terror warnings and President Bush's poll numbers.

Pakistan: U.S. blew undercover operation.

Oh, well done.

Friday, August 06, 2004


Good God -- what is going on in Londonderry?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Griffin Technology: The Garage Band Guitar Cable


Yes, it seems I'm catching up: MLS announces Chivas USA in Los Angeles.

Suddenly she called out, “Quick, come and see this!”

“This” was John Kerry saluting the crowd while saying “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.”

“Americans are weird, aren’t they?” she said. “They really believe in all that patriotic stuff.”

“They sure do,” I replied. “Even the Democrats, whom you might expect to be a bit more skeptical. They make good computers though.”

[via Johnathon Delacour]

How did I miss this: Major League Soccer expands to Salt Lake City.


Just when I think cynicism has reached new heights...

Chicago Republican party members are encouraging Alan Keyes to oppose Barack Obama in his senate race.

Sure, this makes sense. The Republican party would encourage Alan Keyes who:

  • Worked in the Reagan administration to oppose sanctions on South Africa.
  • Paid himself a huge salary out of campaign funds while the campaign was accumulating large amounts of debt.
  • Opposed all forms of sex education in schools.
  • Is a resident of Maryland.

...to run against Barack Obama because, you know, Keyes is black. Here is the utter cynicism of the morally bankrupt Republican party. Rather than think of the good of the people, members of the party think Obama Barack is a threat not because of his policy positions, not because of his popularity, not because of his abilities, not because how he connects with the public, but because he is black. I'm sickened.

"It would be a classic race of conservative vs. liberal," said state Sen. Dave Syverson, a member of the panel looking for a candidate to go up against Obama. "It would put this race on the map in this country -- just for excitement."

That is how the Republican party selects its candidates? Just for excitement?

There are many thoughtful, moral members of the republican party who believe the good of the country comes before politics or simply "winning." Where have they all gone? Where are the conservatives who don't agree with the direction their party is headed?

"So I think that there are circumstances under which it is essential, in fact, that we have and apply the death penalty in order to send a clear moral message to people throughout our society that we will not tolerate that kind of disrespect for life."

Alan Keyes, talking about his position on abortion. Ah, yes. We will steadfastly defend the sanctity of life by killing people. To send a clear moral message. This sums it up for me.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Via mikehersh.com, some interesting facts about Republican Senator Tom DeLay:

  • DeLay obstructed justice for low-paid sweatshop workers on the island of Saipan by taking large campaign contributions from Saipan's chief lobbyist and blocking any Congressional investigation of the appalling conditions there.
  • DeLay obstructed justice by lying to the FBI when he charged that the reporter who broke the Henry Hyde adultery story in the 1990s had been working with the White House to expose Hyde.
  • During a deposition for a lawsuit filed by a former business partner in the pest company in 1994, DeLay lied that he had not been an officer of the company for two or three years. On congressional financial disclosure forms filed in 1995, he listed himself as chairman of the company's board of directors.
  • In 1997, DeLay actually shoved Rep. David Obey [D-Wisconsin] and called him a "chicken shit" on the House floor. That same year, DeLay tried to impeach federal judges he didn't like.
  • In 1998, DeLay said that people with "foreign-sounding names" probably aren't Americans.

Henri Cartier-Bresson has died in Vaucluse, France. His photography changed the art form and touched countless lives. His writing gave insight into the art and luck of capturing a moment. His painting was inspired. He will be missed.

"My contact sheets may be compared to the way you drive a nail in a plank," he said. "First you give several light taps to build up a rhythm and align the nail with the wood. Then, much more quickly, and with as few strokes as possible, you hit the nail forcefully on the head and drive it in."

Ahh. Like his photographs, so perfect.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Global Guerrillas: $100 oil?

Yahoo local beta is out.


Roger Clemens was ejected from a youth league game after his 10-year-old son was called out in a close play.

"Most of the al Qaeda surveillance of five financial institutions that led to a new terrorism alert Sunday was conducted before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and authorities are not sure whether the casing of the buildings has continued since then, numerous intelligence and law enforcement officials said yesterday.

More than half a dozen government officials interviewed yesterday, who declined to be identified because classified information is involved, said that most, if not all, of the information about the buildings seized by authorities in a raid in Pakistan last week was about three years old, and possibly older." [via The Washington Post]

Interstingly, CNN is reporting that the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Moor Khan, rather than three-year old intelligence, has led to the increased terror warning.

Because President Bush is apparently fond of a children's book called "The Pet Goat," I'll endeavor to bring things down to that level. We all learned the problems associated with situations like this as children, thanks to the fairytale of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

We've already lost the faith and support of most of the world. Lets not lose the faith of the American public by releasing three year-old information as if it is something new. I'd hate for real information to be lost because the public stops believing the Bush Administration's warnings. And, certainly, don't release this information at a time when it could be interpreted as a political ploy.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Amazon just freaked me out a little. Instead of the regular home page, I was greeted by my personalized "plog," then I noticed that they switched from using Google for searches to some company called a9. Did Amazon write its own search engine?


I didn't like the Time Warner building (at Columbus Circle) as it was being constructed. Too Big.

But I've come it appreciate it a bit more. It's shape acknowledges Columbus Circle at its feet. Its glass reflects the sky above and central park below. This is the view from the 59th Street subway station, just in front of Trump Tower.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

It seems that Steve Jobs has been treated for pancreatic cancer:

I have some personal news that I need to share with you, and I wanted you to hear it directly from me. This weekend I underwent a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from my pancreas. I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1% of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time (mine was). I will not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

The far more common form of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma, which is currently not curable and usually carries a life expectancy of around one year after diagnosis. I mention this because when one hears "pancreatic cancer" (or Googles it), one immediately encounters this far more common and deadly form, which, thank god, is not what I had.

I will be recuperating during the month of August, and expect to return to work in September. While I'm out, I've asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, so we shouldn't miss a beat. I'm sure I'll be calling some of you way too much in August, and I look forward to seeing you in September.


PS: I'm sending this from my hospital bed using my 17-inch PowerBook and an Airport Express. [via macRumors]

My best wishes go to Mr. Jobs.

Oooh! I like this meme.

If I were John Kerry, and I needed some music to accompany my triumphant ascent of the stage, right before my douche-chill inducing salute, these are the songs I'd choose:

5) Tighten Up - Archie Bell and The Drells
4) Modern World - Less Than Jake
3) Good to be Gone - Soulhat
2) I'm the Man Who Loves You - Wilco
1) Smash the Mirror - The Who

Time Warner is once again using its customers as pawns in its contract negotiations with Cablevision. Time Warner cable is going to take the MSG network, Fox Sports NY, and the Metro channels off the air.

This is simply not how a public utility should behave. Both Time Warner cable and Cablevision management should be ashamed of themselves.

Ah -- I just found the perfect new sound system for my bedroom: the NIRO 400. This will work perfectly with my AirPort Express (note: optical in).

Schering-Plough is found guilty and fined $345.5 million in a government price-manipulation scheme.

A few weeks ago, some kind of explosive went off in the 42nd Street subway station in New York City, shutting down or diverting large parts of the west side trains. The anti-terror police were called in, and shut down Eighth Avenue around 42nd Street, causing quite a mess.

As it turns out, the explosive seems to have been planted by the police officer who "found" it that night.

I hope this doesn't insult any of my wonderful readers, but I really hate acapella singing groups. I rate them just above mimes.

It is like a treasure map for a geek pirate.

Michael McCracken talks about stakeout, a MacOS X utility that uses kqueue (thank you for syncing with BSD 5, Apple) to automatically execute a script against changed source files. He is using it to automatically run unit tests as files change.