June 30th, 2004

BBC: Man acquitted of harpoon attack: “A man accused of firing a harpoon into a teenager’s face has been cleared of all charges against him after a jury accepted he acted in self-defence.”

On the lighter side, we all got this cool xray!

I went to court and all I got was this stupid harpoon in my face


June 28th, 2004

Scientific American.com June 28, 2004

Milky Way X-ray Mystery Deepens

Astronomers have long puzzled over the origin of the x-ray glow in the middle of our Milky Way galaxy. Previous spectral measurements have hinted at the source of the diffuse light, but the data were inconclusive. Recently, observers spent 170 hours pointing NASA’s Chandra x-ray telescope at a 100-light-year-wide region around the galactic center in hopes of elucidating matters. The results raise as many questions as they answer.

To study the diffuse x-ray emission, Michael Muno of UCLA and his collaborators removed from the Chandra image 2,357 bright points that came from obvious x-ray sources, like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, as well as distant galaxies lying behind the Milky Way. The remaining sources in the image were too faint to identify. But the researchers determined that these unresolved sources could not account for all of the remaining x-rays. In fact, they estimated that the galactic center would have to contain 200,000 of the known x-ray objects–10 times more than are predicted to exist–in order to generate the leftover light in the image.

Instead the majority of the galactic center’s ghostlike x-ray emission appears to be coming from two bodies of hot ionized gas, or plasma. The two plasmas occupy essentially the same volume, but one has a temperature of 10 million degrees Celsius and the other about 100 million degrees C. The cooler gas is most likely gas blown off during the violent deaths of massive stars.

But the origin of the hotter gas remains an enigma. It is so hot that the galaxy’s gravity cannot keep it from boiling off into intergalactic space. Supernovae and stellar winds could replenish the gas, but their typical energy is not enough to produce a 100-million-degree plasma. As an explanation, the researchers posit that cosmic rays, magnetic fields and excess supernovae could provide additional heat, but they note that none of these theories are entirely successful.


June 28th, 2004

Negroponte vs. Negroponte


June 27th, 2004

Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories

1. Three Stories About the Finding of the Zigzag Railroad, the Pigs with Bibs On, the Circus Clown Ovens, the Village of Liver-and-Onions, the Village of Cream Puffs.

Gimme the Ax
Please Gimme
Ax Me No Questions
The Ticket Agent
Wing Tip the Spick

The Four Uncles
The Rat in a Blizzard
The Five Rusty Rats

More People:
Balloon Pickers
Baked Clowns
Polka Dot Pigs

I hope you were fortunate enough to read, or have read to you, Carl Sandburg’s Rutabaga Stories when you were younger (or at any time of your life). If not, you have been greatly impoverished.


June 23rd, 2004

George W. Bush for President 2004


June 23rd, 2004

Scranton Times-Tribune: I’m presuming it will be closed for a while:

photo of local marijuana bust

Police find marijuana greenhouse

By Chris Birk TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER 06/23/2004

City police seized a substantial amount of marijuana Tuesday afternoon from the third-floor of a downtown Scranton business.

Peter Kameroski, 51, of 11032 Valley View Drive, Clarks Summit, was charged Tuesday with multiple drug counts stemming from the seizure above the Electric Mindshaft record store at 227 Lackawanna Ave.

Mr. Kameroski owns both the shop and the building, police said.

Acting on a tip, narcotics and special investigative agents walked away with 146 marijuana plants and scores of sealed bags and mason jars filled with several strains of the drug.

Police Chief David Elliott said the cache represented one of the largest, and most sophisticated, drug operations in the city’s history.

Narcotics agents, who asked not to be identified, said they found heating lamps, irrigation systems and drying racks throughout the building’s third-floor, which was only accessible via a 22-foot-tall ladder on the second floor.

The third floor was entirely used for growing marijuana, the agents said.

Police showcased much of the marijuana during an impromptu press briefing around 4 p.m. at City Hall. At the time, the sheer volume had yet to be processed, and narcotics agents were hard-pressed to estimate the amount or street value of the seizure.

Later Tuesday night, Lt. Marty Crofton said preliminary estimates indicate the drugs were worth from $20,000 to $60,000.

Mr. Kameroski was arraigned Tuesday afternoon before District Justice John Pesota and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He was charged with two counts of drug manufacturing and one count each of possession with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

It’s just around the corner from where I work. I had been hoping to head over there one of these days.

For CDs, I mean.

Anyway, here’s a mention of the place that proves automation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The ‘Mindshaft is right next to the newly-built Scranton Enterprise Center (you catch a glimpse of his storefront in this artist’s rendition). As part of that, and part of the general Lackawanna-Avenue refurbishment, Peter had gotten a loan to renovate the front of the building. I was looking forward to it being finished.

He had, I think, the last used-CD store in Scranton. He also had a great selection, gave fair prices on trade-ins, and would let you test-play anything. :::sigh:::

This really bums me out. All the CDs were filed in the back to deter theft, with the empty jewel-boxes on the shelves. He always complained when I came up to the counter with my selection, becuase even though I told him which category I found the discs under, they were enver filed there. I tended to pick the kind of music that got re-categorized every week or so, I guess.

The Soundtracks bin was one of the best things, for some reason. I found Fitzcarraldo‘s music there, as well as the Chemical Bros. stuff for Fight Club, and two discs of Bill Frissel’s Music for the films of Buster Keaton.

UPDATE 06.25.04: WYOU22 newsbrief:

From garbage bags filled with 146 live marijuana plants to ziplocks stuffed with dried pot ready for sale, Scranton Police confiscated enough weed to put a large dent in the local underground drug market. They estimate the street value to be in excess of 20 grand. An informant lead police to a Scranton music store late last week. One search warrant later, the 52 year old landlord, Peter Kameroski, is behind bars. Police say Kameroski was running in effect a marijuana greenhouse on the third floor of the building on Lackawanna Avenue. Drying racks, light transformers and all. The building has been condemned.


June 23rd, 2004

Paterson’s Hot Texas Wiener Tradition — Part 3

Wherein we discover why it’s actually called a Texas Wiener:

The specific reasons for his choice of “Texas,” unfortunately, are more likely to remain unexplained. I suppose that, seeking to give a unique and, for Paterson, exotic name to his new and somewhat spicy food ? itself characterized by a sauce whose name (“chili”) carries Western, Latino, and cowboy associations ? he might have chosen the “Texas” designation to give his creation what today we’d call an “image.”

Ooops. My bad. Well, it’s still informative. Rather well-researched, too.

See an last-year’s post on a local tradition.


June 23rd, 2004

The New! Boing!Boing! 2.0! is a nice, pleasant-to-read layout, with all of the former content and then some.

With the exception of Best Blogs. A loss that is made less by half of them pointing to redirection pages that were already two years old. So, in the spirit of bestness, or at least blogs that are interesting and we got to like them quite a bit becasue we were exposed to them easily, here they are:

News of the Dead
Making Light
Irregular Orbit
Follow Me Here
Batelle’s Searchblog
Due Diligence

Kottke’s retina-blast
the NullDevice
OddBall comicbook of the Day

I may be missing one or two, still. I don’t recall those that had been non-updated for a long time…


June 23rd, 2004

Slate.com: The Condensed Bill Clinton

Page 742: Strom Thurmond, 94, tells Chelsea, “If were 70 years younger, I’d court you!”

Page 879: On a visit to Italy, the actor Roberto Benigni leaps into Clinton’s arms and shrieks, “I love you!”


June 23rd, 2004

diesel sweeties t-shirt promo

diesel sweeties: indie t-shirts (AKA tshirts)


June 22nd, 2004


Took back the streets.

Well, the overpasses, anyway.


June 22nd, 2004

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Enriched Uranium: What Every Parent Should Know.

  • Children who participate in sports are 80 percent less likely to procure, produce, and/or deal enriched uranium
  • Enriched uranium is what is known as a gateway element. Children who try enriched uranium are more likely to try plutonium and wine coolers
  • Generally speaking, girls seem completely uninterested in obtaining enriched uranium
  • In a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of high-school students reported that they knew where to get uranium if they wanted it; another one-third of students said that they had been at parties where isotopes were being separated

via J-walk.


June 21st, 2004



June 21st, 2004

wind is the enemy Archives

Mr. Burmeister, at work. The bitmap, in the proper hands, is a powerful tool….

The index is, of course, completely illlegible.


June 21st, 2004

Received in the email, today:

I’d search for it on Google, but my wireless dial-up connection has a limit of 10km radius from the source, and I’m in some remote village about 38km from where I usually am. If I stand on the roof and wave my handset around I can catch a signal just long enough to check my email!

If we’re living in the future, where’s my jet-pack?


June 18th, 2004


Piet is a programming language in which programs look like abstract paintings. The language is named after Piet Mondrian, who pioneered the field of geometric abstract art.

This program prints the first 100 Fibonacci numbers. It is shown at 1 pixel per codel, and twice at 121 pixels per codel.


June 18th, 2004


via Veer.


June 18th, 2004

Jesse’s Bookmarklets Site

Courtesy Eli the Bearded.


June 18th, 2004

Q: Why does Philip Glass write music?

A: Because Glass is a poor conductor.


June 18th, 2004

Achewood goes Southron Gothic

They’s wemt, in the fire.

All souls was taken then.

All souls did burn.

Two dark and cryptic episodes, follwed by two bright-and-cheery Phillipe-for-President episodes, and then back to the gloom and humidity.

You know, way back when, they all used to be a bunch of toys.

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