Posts tagged #from-blosxom

These posts are from version 1.0 of mahnamahna.net, when the site’s blog was powered by Blosxom. Everything here dates to 2010 and earlier. Expect broken links, and in a few cases, broken/missing site functionality.

Not the City It Could Have Been”

How did L.A. becoming the sprawling monstrosity we know today? This amazing essay chronicles the breakdown, and also provides some insight into how New York and Chicago became the amazing cities they are today. Chock full of interesting photographs and fantastic analysis. I love it when I stumble across stuff like this on the Web.

[found on Metafilter]

Threads

Progress (?): There was a time in my life when I would have been horribly upset if a coworker’s reaction to a new shirt of mine was, “Oh, shit!” When it happened today, however, I just beamed.

The First Internet Candidate?

This article in the San Francisco Chronicle makes the case that Howard Dean, governor of Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate, is beginning to harness the power of the Internet in ways that no politican ever has.

Are you against the war? Willing to vote Democratic? Don’t know much about Howard Dean? You should: He and Al Sharpton are the only two in the running who oppose our actions in the Middle East. Wanna know more? You can start with his official blog.

The Man Who Found Private Lynch

The feel-good story from the front lines last week was the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital. Turns out a very brave Iraqi led the Marines right to her. The story is nothing short of amazing.

Martin Luther King was right: There are people of goodwill everywhere. It’s just tragic that they so rarely end up in positions of power.

The Horror of Blimps

Need a good laugh this fine Friday? This tale is beautifully written and funny as hell. “I awoke the way you awake when you suddenly know that there is a large levitating sinister presence hovering towards you with menacing intent through the malignant darkness.”

[found while exploring Deadly Bloody Serious]

Dollars & Cents

I’m a huge Radiohead fan, but I don’t follow the various Web sites that offer daily news about the band, so I did not know until yesterday that early mixes of the band’s forthcoming album, Hail to the Thief, are supposedly “widely available” online.

I tried grabbing the tracks in various ways. Most of the popular P2P networks are most easily accessible via Windows, which I do not run at home, so I gave it a shot at work. LimeWire, the only Gnutella client I still trust (BearShare being chock full o’ spyware and adware and other nastiness), couldn’t hook me up. eDonkey also failed spectacularly. In both cases, I could see the files I wanted, but I could not download them due to network congestion, latency, and what-have-you. Kazaa got me pulling down data, but the mp3 tracks turned out to be minutes and minutes of silence. … read full post »

It Can Happen to Any of Us

If it is a crime to be an Arab-American citizen of these United States, with a wife, three beautiful children, and a successful career, then I suppose Mike Hawash is guilty. But last time I checked, none of these things are a crime. And yet Federal authorities are holding Mike Hawash despite having charged him with no crime. Keep in mind when you ponder this frightful scenario that in John Ashcroft’s America, you can be detained indefinitely without ever being charged with a crime. Please go check this out. The site I’ve linked to is run by a former Intel vice president and friend of Mr. Hawash who is concerned and outraged and trying to reverse this travesty of justice—a type of travesty that is becoming more and more prevalent in our country.

No, After You!

Tell me: How much better would your quality of life be if everyone followed these simple rules? Especially C1. Come to think of it, C1 kinda applies to elevators, too. Is there anything more annoying than people who try to crowd into an elevator before folks have a chance to get out?

And since we’ve mentioned elevators, how about those morons — slightly above krill on the food chain — who arrive at the top of an escalator and then just stand there, oblivious to the domino-esque human catastrophe forming behind them?

[found on kottke.org]

Spring is Springing All Around Me

A week ago, the tree outside my bedroom window was still bare, and I looked out at it, wondering when the green would start to emerge. Today, its skeleton is covered in bright shoots. In another month it will be lush and once again keeping most of the sunlight out of my room—the only drawback to its being there.

Today was one of those warm, crystalline-clear days that makes the Bay Area just shine. I spent several hours in the City, neighborhood-shopping for my impending move. It was unusually warm over there. I’d worried about being chilled by the usual SF breezes. Not today.

Returning home on BART, I looked out one side to the tree-lined East Bay hills, and out the other to the sparkling bay. And I thought to myself, There is no place I’d rather live.

A Journey to 3rd &

In a dream I had last night, there was no Pacific Bell Park five blocks from my office; instead, there was a massive, abandoned high-rise hotel down by the water. I think my mind based this structure on pictures I’ve seen of Detroit’s Book-Cadillac Hotel (more on that fantastic structure here).

At any rate, in the dream, I headed down to the hotel with several coworkers. Exploration was our goal, Dark Passage-style. Urban archeology. We broke in—it wasn’t hard—and began poking around. To our astonishment, one of the elevators was in working order. It arrived with a tremendous groaning sound just seconds after LB pressed the call button.

We got in. The buttons for the highest floors did not seem to work, but we were able to get up to the thirty-second floor. The hallway was filled with detritus and kipple, but there was a window at the … read full post »

Regarding the “Rules” of War

There has been a lot of noise made over the past few days about how the Iraqi forces are disregarding the “rules” of war. Last night on CBS, I heard a Marine whine (yes, I’ll use that word) about how they’ve encountered enemy soldiers who don’t “fight like men”—in other words, don’t wear fatigues and shoot when expected to.

I won’t argue that the summary execution of prisoners of war is justified; it’s not. It’s disgusting. But throughout history, the underdogs in armed conflict have always resorted to tactics that fall outside the generally-accepted rules of engagement. Our country is no exception. Let’s think back to 1776 for a minute. Back then, the accepted way to go into battle was to don colorful uniforms (they didn’t call the British “red coats” for nothing) and march down the road with fife and drum making plenty of racket. But the American … read full post »

There’s Something Happening Here

… what it is ain’t exactly clear. Two very different takes on the war tonight on network television. On NBC’s Dateline, a portrait of a Pentagon in disarray, stunned by the ferocity of the resistance in Iraq … “shock and awe” a complete failure … commanders on the ground begging for reinforcements that aren’t going to be there for days … not-so-subtle hints that the war could drag on for months.

But on CBS’s 60 Minutes II, a very different picture: our forces facing harsher conditions and tougher fighting than expected, yes, but holding their own and beginning to distribute humanitarian aid in Umm Qasr … footage of civilians in that town (mostly children: beautiful, hopeless, struggling, heartbreaking children) crowding around military water trucks, carrying away the first potable water available there in more than a week, flashing the thumbs-up sign to the camera.

What to believe? … read full post »

Does This Page Look Right to You?

This site is now generated by HTML code that contains no <table> tags whatsoever, but instead lays everything out via CSS positioning. (If you know what that is, you probably understand why I’ve affected this transition, and why it is a Good Thing. If you don’t, you’d likely be bored by the explanation.)

Please email me or attach a comment to this posting if the site now displays funny in your browser. Let me know what browser you’re running, what version you’ve got, and what platform you’re on. I want everyone to be able to hear me loud and clear.

Reality Check: The French

A wise poster on Fark.com recently made the case that this country endured four decades of Cold War and never felt it necessary to rename Russian dressing. But the French go against us in the U.N. and suddenly the Congress is all about “Freedom Fries.”

It’s a great American pasttime to bash the French, but Tony Judt, in the first of a fantastic three-part piece about the politics of this war (appearing in the New York Review of Books), reminds us of a few sobering statistics that should make us rethink our view of the French as a bunch of “surrender monkeys” …
In World War I, which the French fought from start to finish, France lost three times as many fighting men as America has lost in all its wars combined. In World War II, the French armies holding off the Germans in May-June 1940 suffered 124,000 …
read full post »

A Quick Oscar Thought

Michael Moore won an Oscar, and, as expected, let fly with a political speech that ended up garnering more boos than cheers. Which is appropriate: He chose not to deliver an anti-war message, but an anti-Bush message, which, no matter your politics, was inappropriate for the moment. The man is a gifted filmmaker, but let’s face it, he is also a clod.

Adrien Brody, on the other hand, is a class act. When he won for Best Actor, he did three things that kicked ass, pure and simple: (1) He gave presenter Halle Berry one hell of an unexpected, full-on-the-lips kiss that left the woman stunned, (2) when the orchestra started playing before he was finished, he very forcefully (and successfully!) told them to knock it off, and (3) he delivered a beautiful pro-peace message that was everything Michael Moore’s speech was not: inclusive, noble, heartfelt, touching. Well done indeed.