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Current Topic: Society

RE: LA's future is up in the air
Topic: Society 1:08 pm EST, Feb 24, 2009

Every time I see the Seattle Monorail (and it is often on my commute), this tune goes through my head.

noteworthy wrote:

Ah, the monorail [mp3]:

Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!
[crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...
Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You'll all be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
                I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
                Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
All: [singing] Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
All: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: Once again...
All: Monorail!
Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
All: [singing] Monorail!
                [big finish]
Homer: Mono... D'oh!

RE: LA's future is up in the air

Farm Fetish
Topic: Society 12:11 pm EDT, Oct 25, 2007

They send a reporter to literally Middle America, and surprise, discover that they don't much care for them Hollywood movies. Suuuurrr-prise!

But one chunk of this report, to me, is symptomatic of a larger issue that grinds my molars.

ANDERSON: We stopped by the Lebanon [Kansas -- ed.] hotspot, Ladow's Market, where one local told us Hollywood just can't relate to a farming way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've never been back in here to know what it's like to actually have to make a living doing this.

You know what, Unidentified Male? You're right. I don't know what it's like to have to make a living farming. NOBODY DOES.


Four million people in the US play World of Warcraft. And yet, do I ever hear:

ANDERSON: We stopped by the gates of Ogrimmar in Durotar, on the east coast of Kalimdor, where one local told us Hollywood just can't relate to the level-grinding life.

UNIDENTIFIED ORC: They've never been back here, questing Razormane or Drygulch Ravine, y'know ... or farming for Peacebloom and Silverleaf. They're out of touch.

No. No I do not.

Farm Fetish

RE: Texas town renames itself 'Dish' to get free TV - Yahoo! News
Topic: Society 1:56 pm EST, Nov 17, 2005

terratogen wrote:

This is just incredibly stupid.

Is it? The town of 120 gets more recognition, and as suburb, that's a good thing. They get free publicity, along with free TV and signage. There is a set of people who will now visit Dish, Texas who otherwise would never have visited Clark, Texas. Dish gets cheap media coverage and advertising. Where is the downside?

RE: Texas town renames itself 'Dish' to get free TV - Yahoo! News

RE: Voting Panel Will Propose New Calendar for Primaries - New York Times
Topic: Society 4:05 pm EDT, Sep 19, 2005

bucy wrote:

Why wouldn't you just have a single nationwide primary?

Because that would marginalize the smaller states even more.

A benefit of the per-state primary system is that candidates who would otherwise ignore a state or region are compelled to try to directly address them. Why hit any of the Dakotas when Florida outvotes all of them? Candidates would carve up the map -- as they do along party lines in the post-primary -- and fight over the battleground states. The cost of running a primary campaign would quickly spiral out of control, because you'd immediately have cause to invest in national campaigning.

But the per-state system is obviously broken. They will continue to become more clustered, because all the states want initial candidate attention. By the time Pennsylvania's primary happened, if Kerry didn't already have all the votes he needed to be candidate, it was too close to that to matter.

Staggering primary clusters by region would benefit both candidates and the regions. For one month, each region would have all of the candidates' full attention. It seems like a very strong idea.

RE: Voting Panel Will Propose New Calendar for Primaries - New York Times

RE: Where is this place?
Topic: Society 12:38 am EDT, Apr 24, 2005

Catonic wrote:
] It stands today, a monument to human spirit. If life exists
] on other
] planets, this may be the first message received from us.
] -- The Realist, November, 1964.

It is worth considering the source. /The Realist/ was not a particularly factual magazine. The creator and author was Paul Krassner ( There is a bio ( that gives some juicy quotes.

Or, from

] In 1958, having decided that what the world needed was a satirical
] magazine for adults, Krassner began publishing The Realist, and has
] continued to do so, on and off, ever since. People magazine calls
] him the "father of the underground press." Library Journal calls The
] Realist "the best satirical magazine in America."

RE: Where is this place?

Inside Firefox - The Inside Track on Firefox Development
Topic: Society 7:04 pm EST, Jan 24, 2005

] As of January 10, 2005, my source of income changed from
] The Mozilla Foundation to Google, Inc. of Mountain View,
] California. My role with Firefox and the Mozilla project
] will remain largely unchanged, I will continue doing much
] the same work as I have described above - with the new
] goal of successful 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0 releases. I remain
] devoted full-time to the advancement of Firefox, the
] Mozilla platform and web browsing in general. I'm sure
] you have many questions. While I will be spending more
] time at Google, I will work out of the Mozilla Foundation
] offices regularly as the need arises. For all questions
] regarding Google, I ask that you contact Google directly,
] rather than myself.

This was expected -- Firefox is on the cover of Wired. Of course Google can afford to pay him more than the Foundation -- and of course Google would prefer to hire him directly than through the Foundation. /Don't be Evil/

Inside Firefox - The Inside Track on Firefox Development

A step toward solving comment spam? ||
Topic: Society 7:52 pm EST, Jan 19, 2005

] So I have a feeling that what we're going to see after
] the widespread implementation will not be a decline in
] comment spam (and, on weblogs which support TrackBack,
] TrackBack spam), but rather a marked increase.

This is a nicely thought out article that follows up on my question posed on the show: ok, this eliminates PageRank advantages, but spammers don't give up -- where do they go next.

Volume. Damn it.

I kind of like the criticism angle, too.

A step toward solving comment spam? ||

Yahoo! News - Telephone Business Gears Up to Deliver TV
Topic: Society 10:28 pm EST, Dec 21, 2004

] If everything as planned, the telephone industry will be
] all about television in 2005. TV over your home phone
] line. TV on your cell phone.
] "There's one application knocking on the door and
] consumers are truly hungering for it: real-time TV and
] streaming TV," Anssi Vanjoki, general manager for
] multimedia at cell phone maker Nokia Corp., proclaimed
] at a recent investment conference.

Funny, bucy and I were just talking about this this afternoon.

Yahoo! News - Telephone Business Gears Up to Deliver TV

Wired News: Cell Phones That Do It
Topic: Society 6:16 pm EST, Dec 19, 2004

] With all of the business functions covered, I suppose
] it's no surprise that the next big thing in cell phones
] is to turn them into sex toys.

The question is taking them out in public.

Or sharing your phone.

Wired News: Cell Phones That Do It

Schneier on Security: An Impressive Car Theft
Topic: Society 12:51 pm EST, Dec  1, 2004

] There are two types of thieves, whether they be car
] thieves or otherwise. First, there are the thieves that
] want a car, any car. And second, there are the thieves
] that want one particular car. Against the first type, any
] security measure that makes your car harder to steal than
] the car next to it is good enough. Against the second
] type, even a sophisticated GPS tracking system might not
] be enough.

Sometimes the professionals pull off something substantial enough to make international headlines. "Russian mafia" indeed... I propose a connection to the latest GTA (begin "Ban Video Games" thread here)

Schneier on Security: An Impressive Car Theft

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