Archive for the 'Linkage' Category

So how much can you bench?

Aug 09, 2004 in Linkage

An oddly fascinating article in Slate today examines the recent string of broken records in the sport of powerlifting. In a sport where it took over 17 years to break the 800 lb. benchpress mark, it’s taken only a year or two to break 900. And two of the sport’s major competitors are close to breaking 1000.

The secret? Not steroids, but a sturdy garment called a bench shirt. Technological advances in making these high-tech shirts have allowed weightlifters to bench more weight than is humanly possible, or advisable — choice quote from the article:

“Mendelson says that when he’s pressing 1,000, “I can feel my bones flexing.” The first time Kennelly held a half-ton he heard a humming noise and had blurred vision. “Now my central nervous system has adapted to it. I’m used to it,” he says.”

File Sharing Experiment: How much money does Big Media make from file sharing? (plus Today’s Reheated News Links)

Aug 05, 2004 in Linkage

Nuclear Elephant is running an interesting data-gathering experiment to determine just how much money the RIAA, MPAA and SPA may be making from consumers who sample content from file sharing services before buying the product.

Certainly one of the main arguments in favor of file sharing is that it allows users to sample content before they buy. Any file sharer (at least those with some disposable income) has noticed this effect, and has likely run out and bought an album, video game or DVD after they’ve tried it out. I myself ran out this weekend and bought Neverwinter Nights Gold for $40 after downloading it from Bit Torrent.

A little wackiness from a Congressional race here in Tennessee: Republican James Hart is an advocate of eugenics (read: Hitler’s “master race”) who is running unopposed for the GOP nomination, simply because local Reps didn’t bother to run their own candidate against the 15-year incumbent Democrat.

From the current issue of Esquire: “The Case Against George W. Bush,” written by none other than Ron Reagan (the son of that other Ronnie Reagan). Read this one if you’re still on the fence.

A lot of noise has been made recently about Tom Ridge’s occasional habit of announcing non-specific terror threats and bumping the terror alert up a notch. In the man’s defense, I’d just like to say this: If you were al-Qaeda, and were planning a terrorist attack, and your target intercepted some of your communications and (vagely) announced your intentions to the world, don’t you think that maybe you’d think twice about going on with your plan?

See, it’s a deterrent effect! “Damn, they’re onto us!” the terrorists must be saying. After all, they watch CNN too. It’s hard to launch another terror attack when you always have to stay one step ahead of your target. Good job Mr. Ridge!

Secret History (Conspiracies and Coups Galore!)

Jul 31, 2004 in Linkage

An interesting post from MeFi: The linked articles detail the secret history of an planned coup d’etat by wealthy American industrialists against President Roosevelt, in an attempt to restore the recently abandoned gold standard. The man they approached for carrying out their plans was US Marine Major General Smedley Butler, who turned them in to Congress as soon as he realized the full details of their plot.

Butler was a highly decorated, well-regarded and very outspoken man. An apparent bundle of contradictions, Butler spoke at pro-Communist gatherings, but opposed fascism long before it was trendy to do so. Butler wrote a short book in 1935 called War is a Racket, in which he argues that war is often an imperialist enterprise designed to make a few people very wealthy.

Also linked to is part of a comprehensive and frequently digressive anti-war essay called “This War is About So Much More.” The material here would seem very left-wing-conspiracy-theorish if not for the fact that the author backs up at least some of his assertions with legitimate media and news reports and declassified government documents.

Reheated download of the day: 100 song mix CD

Jul 08, 2004 in Linkage

Is it possible to fit 100 songs onto a mix CD? World of Stuart has explored the answer to this question, and the answer is most definitely yes!

The result is Big Songs for Little Attention Spans. The full mix is available for download, and it looks like a pretty interesting mix. Just in time for the 13-hour drive I have ahead of me in the next two days.


Reheated link of the day

Jul 01, 2004 in Linkage

The Morning News - Sentences of Discontent: Sentences to start off your best-selling, Great American novel.

?If only you knew the problems farting has caused me.

?We never should have given the nine-armed monkeys machine guns.

?Of all of the king?s cows, only Bootsie had magical poop.

Is Happiness essential?

Jun 23, 2004 in Linkage

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Pray for Reason

Jun 21, 2004 in Linkage

Pray For

I’m not a religious man, but this is something I can believe in. Pray for Reason asks people to pray (meditate, whatever) for Bush’s defeat in the November election.

Pray for Reason is a response to the Presidential Prayer Team website, which has 2.8 million people praying daily for President Bush. (To be fair, the PPT claim to be non-partisan, and not endorsing any elected official, although they and Bush do share similar beliefs.)

An excellent page of resources highlights Bush’s Christian agenda, and the influence of Christian lobbyists on Bush’s policy decisions.

The best part of Reagan’s legacy: 80’s punk

Jun 14, 2004 in Linkage

The New Republic Online: Reagan Youth

“…No accounting of Reagan’s cultural legacy is complete without noting a simple truth: Ronald Reagan is responsible for some of the best punk rock ever recorded.”

[via voltage and bestweekever]

Today’s reheated links

Jun 14, 2004 in Linkage

In another example of print media reporting on the blog phenomenon, Time offers up ‘Meet Joe Blog’. Unlike most stories on the topic, Time’s story is lengthy, insightful, even accurate.

Lefty ‘zine truthout delicately addresses the dark side of Reagan’s legacy: deregulation (and the resulting corporate consolidation), the massacre of social programs, the corruption in his administration, and his administration’s support of dictators such as Saddam Hussein.

An amusing flash file simultaneously compares Nickelback’s hit song from a few years ago with their newer single. The similarities are uncanny, if not unsurprising. I call it “vaguely-alterna-rock-hit-song blueprint.”

“God hates soccer” video

Jun 13, 2004 in Linkage

For those who haven’t seen this yet: Japanese television reported this footage of a freak dust devil materializing on a soccer field during a game. (A dust devil is similar to a tornado. They occur on hot, dusty terrain when heated surface air is disturbed by a gust of wind, creating a vortex of air that can sometimes be as destructive as a weak tornado.)