December 2nd, 2005

Chris Keeley

Uri Averney: The Giant's daughter

The Giant's Daughter
Hebrew soon at website: gush-shalom.

Uri Averney: The Giant's daughter
A GERMAN poem tells of the giant's daughter, who found a peasant plowing his field and brought him home in her handkerchief to show to her father. But the father said gravely: "The peasant is no toy!" and told her to put him gently back where she had found him.

The United States reminds me of the giant's daughter. Unfortunately, she has no grandfather to tell her that nations are not toys.
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But if we want to avoid a nuclear Balance of Terror, there is only one way: to use the time left, while we still have a monopoly in this field, to make peace - first with the Palestinian people, and then with all the nations of the region. In the framework of peace, a nuclear-free zone with mutual inspection can be established.

The trouble is that it is impossible to discuss this issue here, as long as the matter is classified "top secret". I propose opening it up for debate and finally getting to grips with the problem. The time has come.

As for the giant's daughter, it is time to tell her: Leave the nations of this region alone! They are not toys!
Chris Keeley

Grateful Dead "reversal" on fan-recordings is a smokescreen

Grateful Dead "reversal" on fan-recordings is a smokescreen

stories about various Grateful Dead spokespeople and band-alumni making promises to reverse their attack on fan-recordings that are hosted at the the Internet Archive (these recordings were made by dedicated fans with the band's explicit blessing, and have been the core of an decades-old evangelical unpaid promotional campaign by Deadheads that has returned a gigantic fortune for the band).

However, it appears that all the talk about "communications SNAFUs" was a smokescreen for a half-assed compromise that leaves the highest-quality recordings available only as streams, meaning that they can no longer be simply downloaded from the Archive and traded on.

The spin on this is bizarre -- see below:

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There's a ripoff here, and it's not coming from the fans. To quote John Perry Barlow, the band's irate former lyricist who wrote an open letter objecting to this move: "How magnificently counter-productive of them. It's as if the goose who laid the golden egg had decided to commit suicide so that he could get more golden eggs." Link,1284,69729,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_6

Chris Keeley

that redemption is tailor-made for the wretched

After 24 Years on Death Row, Clemency Is Killer's Final Appeal </nyt_headline>

SAN QUENTIN, Calif., Nov. 30 - Stanley Tookie Williams, once a leader of a notorious street gang and now perhaps the nation's most prominent death row inmate, leaned over a small wooden table in a cramped visiting cell here and tried to explain what he used to be and what he has become.

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"They have," he said of prison officials, his voice rising, "the audacity to ask, 'Do I want a last meal?' Absolutely not. 'Do I want anyone present?' Absolutely not. 'Do I want a preacher?' Absolutely not. I want nothing from this institution."

But he did want something, he said later.

"I want to live," he said.

Chris Keeley

Gareth Branwyn Street Tech


2005 Street Tech Gift Guide

Gareth Branwyn says: "The annual Street Tech Gift Guide is up. We've called our guide perhaps the unsexiest gift guide in cyberspace, 'cause we almost exclusively cover products that we've actually used, lived with, and love ourselves. It's not the latest objects of desire, it's tried n' true gadgets we're almost certain the recipient will enjoy. It's 'sucks-less' gift-giving." Link

Mimobots USB Flash Drives ($70-$190, Here's something for the adult vinyl toy collector on your shopping list -- no, not THOSE kind of adult toys, we're talking about the collectable action figures, dolls and other objects created or inspired by artists who do fringe comic books, anime characters, underground art, etc. Mimobots are hyper-cute little USB "designer drives" which hold up to 2GB of data. They come in nifty packaging and even have drum and bass dance mixes pre-loaded onto them. Prices range from US$70 for 256MB to $190 for the 2GB model. Be the envy of every horn-rimmed geek hipster, club kid, and Japanese schoolgirl on your block.

Alienware Area-51m7700 (, around $1,800, after rebate)
We reviewed the Area-51 m7700 a few months ago. You can read that review here. We're still very pleased with the system, with a few notable exceptions. This thing burns so hot it could do double-duty as a dorm room hot plate. Seriously. I guess that's what you get when you try to cram the components of a high-performance desktop system into a laptop form factor. We're thinking about getting one of those laptop cooling pads to go underneath it. This level of heat can't be good, except for maybe cutting down on home heating bills. The m7700 is also loud. Those numerous active cooling fans in the case, and we guess a whining hard drive, add up to a sound that's disturbingly reminiscent of an anxious saw mill blade. Whether you can stand these drawbacks has a lot to do with your need for this type of portable desktop performance and system upgradeability, and the sensitivity of your hearing.

Chris Keeley

Walk toward the light. Turn on the light

Director David Lynch, shown in 2003, is touring college campuses to promote his vision of achieving world peace through Transcendental Meditation
Director David Lynch, shown in 2003, is touring college campuses to promote his vision of achieving world peace through Transcendental Meditation "scholarships."

Yogi Bearer
Dark Films Aside, David Lynch Brims With the Light of Transcendental Meditation

By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 2, 2005; C01

LOS ANGELES David Lynch is wiggling his fingers. As the filmmaker becomes excited, wiggle speed increases. He is really wiggling now. He is talking about diving into an infinite ocean of pure bliss.


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"But to enliven this beautiful field of bliss, love, the unity of life. Through the greatest machines on Earth, the human brain, to dive within, because we are built to dive within. We're built for enlightenment."

His fingers are really wiggling now. "When people catch on to this," he says, "this is a done deal."