One of my good friends (and co-residents) has pertussis, so now I’m on a week’s worth of antibiotic prophylaxis. Fun, fun, fun. (In addition, Alwin asks why we’re not immunized against pertussis, and I explain.)

In 1962, a company called International Fiberglass made a 25-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan for an Arizona cafe, with a large axe held in his hands (left hand palm-down, right hand cradling the axe palm-up). Over the next decade, they parlayed that single mold into thousands of statues — cowboys, indians, astronauts, muffler men. These statues still sit quietly by many U.S. highways and byways, hands still in the same positions, as a not-so-small slice of Americana waiting to be documented.

I assure you that there aren’t too many New Yorkers who are upset about the closing of the All-Star Cafe. For me, the happiness rests in the fact that it’s around the corner from my favorite BBQ place in the city, and this means no more maneuvering through the crowds of tourists who are gawking at two-story high pictures of famous athletes. Damn.

Two new weblog portals, BlogHop and BlogStart (the latter by the kickass Zannah), have opened their shutters over the past week or two. While they are both pretty cool, I don’t know how much utility these kinds of sites offer; BlogHop doesn’t even attempt to categorize listings, and BlogStart unsurprisingly has ended up with a disproportionately-large Personal category. Neither, though, make it any easier for me to discover a weblog that’s in the nebulous category of “Logs that Jason Would Like” — and I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.

Found in the referrer logs: someone’s explicitly searching for me. On many levels, scary…

This evening, I finally got around to updating the bookmarks column on the left; some links were dead, others were pointing to redirect pages as weblogs have moved around, and other daily reads of mine weren’t even there. Now things are better, more or less.

Is it just me, or has the amount of spam being sent increased exponentially over the past month or two?

Finally.

My new backpack: good. My new backpack’s manufacturer’s crappy Flash-based website: bad.

Frickin’ coooooool: GeoCaching, wherein you leave a secret stash of goodies somewhere, record the location via your GPS, and then post it to a website for others to find, take stuff, and add stuff. I doubt you could pull this off in NYC itself; the stash would be either thrown into the trash or found by a homeless person within hours.

Another cool GPS site (that I wish I had known about before I went to Alaska): the Degree Confluence Project. The goal is to find out where all of the whole-integer latitude and longitude lines cross, and take a picture of the spot; I’m sure that I could have helped out during my vacation.

A viewpoint I hadn’t heard before — Apple’s plummet is being blamed on the release of the G4 cube. Pretty, yes, but I agree that there doesn’t seem to be a market for the computer.

Suck has caught onto the TiVo giveaway story. (And there are rumors in some circles that some winners of free TiVos have been receiving the 30-hour model rather than the 14-hour model. My fingers are crossed…)

Some people don’t know when to quit. Hmmmm, let’s see — now, two Federal level courts have ruled that the INS acted within its discretion, and in their decisions, specifically cited laws and directives which gave the INS its power of search and seizure; yeah, this lawsuit’s going somewhere.

If at first your coach gets canned, sue, sue again.

Timothy Noah, erstwhile Chatterbox correspondent for Slate, asks an interesting question — what will happen to the White House website once Clinton leaves office? It began during his term, and the website is a strong reflection of his particular time in office. Luckily, though, no matter what the Powers That Be decide to do, there are some good archives around the web.

I truly dislike when idiots can’t understand the difference between the First Amendment right to free speech and some other entity’s right to not have to help that person further his or her views — it’s like a virus, and other people end up believing that this hick has some free speech-based “right” to have his BBQ sauce sold in major chains.

Ive visited your website on occasion, you have the strangest news on it and, id be willing to bet, nobody in the internet community cares…the only posts i ever see on your discussion board are from you, to you…by writing something that might actually interest someone and spark some sort of intellectual thought, or hey, just get someone to look twice at what was on this website, im doing you a favor…

…the olympics is the nastiest thing around right now, the rights to covering it respectably has been bought by nbc and much of the other news you talk about are not related in any way…the three most interesting headlines? whats going around in the news? im not sure whats going on here…maybe youre just reporting a few different things that you overheard somewhere and then researched and reported and perhaps you ran out of people who had the patience to sit through one of your purposeless ramblings(arent i the hypocrite)…

…i truely thought you might have something meaningful to say about my complaint with microsft…why isnt winZip free and why doesnt it come with windows…its not the only one, duh, nor is internet explorer the only web browser around but everyone i know uses that…its another Explorer/Navigator type of controversy that wont take Bill too long to notice

…instead you chose to quickly shoot down my observation and treat me as though i dont have the ability to complete a full, logical thought and as though i didnt already think of what you said…i wouldnt have complained if i didnt fully understand whats behing all that…i realize my first post may have been poorly worded but come on, im not your 7year old neice

I entered The Great TiVo Giveaway late last night, and won my TiVo by mid-afternoon today. Below is the essay that I wrote.


I will now tell you, dear reader, something to which I rarely admit outside the cozy walls of my living room — I am an ADDICT. I bathe in the rays of my addiction, I soak in the hum of my drug, and I whimper when it is unfairly taken from me by the mere laws of physics that restrict my ability to be in two places at once. What, dear reader, is my addiction? No, it’s not alcohol or coffee that I crave; instead, I salivate over Law and Order. I drink down every frame of it. I dream of it constantly. I praise the holy mecca of A&E for their four episodes every weekday.

Alas, my life as a doctor takes me away from my glorious Phillips 35Ē television at far too frequent a rate to make happy those neurons which are intertwined with my addiction; my recent medical school loans take my money at far too rapid a rate to make hundreds of videotapes an option. Sadly, then, I am left wistfully dreaming of Jerry Orbach making pithy sexual innuendo with Jillian Hennesy. Missing Steven Hillís grouchy demeanor leaves me writhing on the sofa, clutching at the air and imagining perps and backalley lawyers who just arenít there. The only thing which exceeds the level of my addiction is my envy for those who are unemployed, able to catch every grimy Manhattan frame of Law and Order.

Give me TiVo, and satisfy my needs!

Bushism of the Day:

“It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas.”

Told you so.

And in other Supreme Court news, Casey Martin will get the ultimate decision in his case against the PGA to be able to use a cart during tournament events. For some reason, the melding of sports and courts is interesting to me; that’s why the current trial of Marty McSorley for slashing Donald Brashear during an NHL game is also keeping my attention.

OK, something’s definitely afoot — now, I’ve won a TiVo! The essay I wrote can be read here. I am so damn happy right now I could cry; I was just salivating over my sister’s TiVo this past weekend. (I now join the likes of Jason, Wendell, Ben, and many other people. On the MetaFilter thread alone, way more than 10 people won one. Strange.)

Much drug ado at the 2000 Olympics. First, C.J. Hunter appears to have tested positive for steroids four times in the past year, and the story breaks during the Olympics despite the fact that he’s not a contestant. Then, Romanian gymnast Andreea Raducan loses her all-around gold medal due to having taken pseudoephedrine, and her entire team surrenders all their medals in protest.

Of course, now that I’ve won, I’ll need a few good websites on how to hack my TiVo to add capacity

If some company does come up with a Palm-based GSM phone, then I’ll be the first in line to buy it. I love my Palm, and I love my GSM cellphone, and a Frankencombo of the two would make me happy happy.

Again, I reiterate that the IOC ban on athletes publishing diaries during the Olympics is inane. Think how popular a legitimate U.S. athlete’s weblog would be during these two weeks…

For those thinking of voting for Nader, Bruce Shapiro has two words to make you think about your vote, and why it could shape this country more than you think: Supreme Court.

what is the problem with winzip?i just recently downloadeda .zip file and when i click to try to open it…in “unzip wizard” my “trail evaluation” had unfortunately run out, but if id like to heavily donate and nice slice of my wallet, 17 bucks, they would be kind enough to give me…not the new upgrade, but a “liscence to unzip” as i think they want to say

how can windows include a new version of internet explorer to compete with navigator, (*laughsoutofpity*), why am i still paying for winzip?!….i cant remember who was complaining when they took away the annual fee for paint and wordpad, oh wait, thats right, no one, because some shit ya just gotta have

Sorry for the quiet week — getting back from a vacation always means more work than you thought that you had, and much more work than you want to do. I’m on pediatric cardiology now, and since my hospital is a major center for complicated surgeries and repairs, we’ve got some sick kids.

A panel of British Lord Justices has ruled that the conjoined twins “Jodie” and “Mary” must be separated, killing Mary in the process. I don’t understand the parents in this one. They want God’s will to play out (which would most likely kill both sisters), yet they traveled to Britain from their Mediterranean island home to see if they could be separated in the first place. Once they started down the road of surgical separation, there really was no telling where it would end.

Of course “conversion” doesn’t work. John Paulk, hero of the let’s-convert-gays-to-God-fearing-straight-people crowd, was caught (and photographed) cavorting in a Washington, D.C. gay bar. How does Paulk’s organization, Focus on the Family, respond to something like this? If they fire him, they admit that all their prosletyzing through him was bullshit. But they can’t trust him anymore, either. Sucks to be in the religious right…

In light of students holding “spontaneous, impromptu” prayer at sports events and communities withdrawing support for Boy Scouts troops (both as a result of Supreme Court decisions), Dahlia Lithwick writes about some (ahem) other small protests against Court rulings being held around the country.

Michael Goldstein has some great ideas to make Tiger Woods’ golf appearances more competitive and challenging, rather than the one-sided affairs that they have turned out to be.

It’s a crying, crying shame that Dr. Laura’s show halted production. Oh, wait, no it’s not — it sucked!

How can you not read an article that begins as such: “Here’s a theory: Louis Freeh has photographs of key Republican congressmen in compromising positions with young boys.” (It’s an attempt to figure out why FBI director Louis Freeh has near-immunity on Capitol Hill.)

I’ve heard of desperate measures by dot-com companies before, but this takes the cake — win a date with the CEO of SocialNet.com. There’s even an interview with her mom!

Damn, is the CueCat (I refuse to use that stupid colon punctuation thing that they use!) getting slammed. First, Joel explains what an idiotic idea it is. Then Scott Rosenberg takes aim. And last, they get caught in a big privacy breach. Strike three…

Your one-stop shopping resource for all of the latest poll results about the upcoming Presidential election. Now, if the site only had links to the various polls themselves…

Nicholas Thompson has a very intriguing look at the ways that US News & World Report has manipulated the system by which they rank schools in their yearly Best Of list. (Of course, it’s not like we all didn’t know that the fix was in.)

Two highly uncharacteristic errors led to the U.S. women’s softball first loss in 113 games last night. Thankfully, it doesn’t diminish their chances of winning the gold, since the Olympics are set up as a prelims/finals tournament.

Ick.

Can anyone explain how Women.com’s new superheroine, Lacey Brazeer, can possibly be seen as a good thing? Seems completely offensive to me; maybe it’s truly something a guy can’t get.

In the history department, the Library of Congress has released transcripts of a slew of George Washington’s diaries, spanning the time from 1748 to 1799. Of course, there’s been a great site compiling the papers of Washington for a while now; this just fleshes out the online offerings from the pen of our first President.

I see that Go.com (Disney) has settled on a new logo and look; I can’t help but think that this is a final response to losing the lawsuit that GoTo.com filed against them.

Spiff-o-rama: if you’re wondering what the time is in Sydney, and (like me) seem to have problems keeping the correction straight, just go to ESPN’s Olympics main page. There’s a constantly-running clock in the upper lefthand corner. (Of course, if you don’t want Olympics spoilers, then don’t go there.)

One issue that’s gripping Alaska (seriously!) is the legalization of marijuana. I don’t quite know the history of the issue, but apparently, it used to be legal, and now it isn’t. Each morning, it seemed that every radio station devoted at least 20 or 30 minutes to call-in discussions about it.

This may be old for some people, but I didn’t realize that a student’s computer was seized due to his alleged blatant music piracy. Interesting is that it was an old-fashioned FTP site, not a Napster node; I assume that the RIAA is just starting to set precedents. Good; if the kid were providing software, everyone would agree with the move.

Every now and then, I got lucky, and the little Alaskan town I was in had a copy or two of the New York Times around. I considered myself doubly lucky that I was able to get a copy last Wednesday, and read Maureen Dowd’s column on the RNC’s subliminal (or subliminable) RATS commercial. It’s a genius way to write a column, something more creative than I’m used to in political wonk editorials. (Interestingly, though, this column went out on the Times wire, and many sources picked it up without the bold emphasis, making it totally lose its meaning. That sucks.)

If I were a practicing Jew, I’d need me one of these.

Yet another reason not to vote for Dubya and Cheney — they’re overtly asking voters to spam their friends.

Holy crap — I go away for a mere two weeks, and while I’m gone, Mike abandons Dubya, something I would have never, ever predicted. Now, if we could only coerce him over to the good side… :)

Why does it not surprise me, though, that Dave Winer’s tilting at Tim O’Reilly’s windmills is still going on after those two weeks?

Has anyone else noticed that Wired’s Newsbot appears to be stuck at the end of August? Has it been shut down?

I’m back — I just wandered in from JFK. Summary: great vacation. Everyone should go to Alaska.

My brother and I took many, many photos while we were there; I’m getting them all developed on Monday, and will start scanning soon thereafter. Expect a photo-of-the-day type thing for a little while (I hope that there are a ton of nice ones to justify it). We also emailed summaries of the trip to our sister at various points during the vacation. I’m thinking of doing an entire travelogue website, and I’ll probably include the emails.

Meanwhile, while I was gone, it seems like a lot of cool stuff has happened in the news — Atlantis docking with the ISS, Dubya making many asses of himself, the Olympics starting, and so on. I’ve got a lot of surfing to do to catch up; expect many related links in the coming days.

Now, to sleep, perchance to dream…

I’m writing this from Anchorage, Alaska; I fly out early tomorrow morning, back to NYC. Expect mucho, mucho vacation recap, as well as a general return to normalcy around here.

Sorry that Q died for a few days sometime during my trip… I had someone restart the machine a few hours ago, and once I get back to NYC, I’ll figure out what happened.

See you all tomorrow night…

Alas, tomorrow morning I fly out for Alaska, to hike the great outdoors for two weeks, and Q will fall silent for a little while. I haven’t decided if I’m going to seek out periodic refuge in Internet cafes along the way; if I do, you may hear peeps out of me. But I do promise photos, photos, photos when I get back… we’re bringing both point-and-shoot and 35mm film cameras. And, of course, my GPS will let me keep track of my routes along the way, so that I can publish maps of where we were. Fun fun fun.

Bob Herbert on the laughable nature of listening to Dubya and Cheney rattle on about how they’ll help the children of this nation. Dubya is a man who has demolished Texas’ ability to provide medical care to children; Cheney is a man who doesn’t want to provide any federal funding for children’s programs, anywhere. Do these two yahoos thing that we don’t know their records?

I love this picture; it took me a while to (read the caption and) realize that the grasshopper’s on a windshield, rather than caught in midair by the camera. The photo essay it comes from — MSNBC’s The Week In Pictures for 9/2/2000 — has a slew of great shots; while this week’s ones don’t have an archive link yet, they should show up at this URL once they are moved to the archive.

My last post yesterday about the battles between Tim O’Reilly and Dave Winer may make little sense to those people catching up today, since most of the context was moved from Dave’s home page yesterday to a subpage. Completely removed (not just the link, but the entire thing) was the survey that Dave was running which seemed to explode a bit late last night; all that’s archived is the question and results as of 10:15 PM Eastern.

Thanks for everything, Andre; your work and talent will be missed.

Sorry about the quiet ‘round here the past few days. I was on sick call this past week, which means that when another intern gets sick and is unable to cover their shift, I slide into that shift; last night, that meant covering the general medicine and GI service overnight, after working a full day shift in the ER. It was a lot of fun, though, and it also means that I get to trade back to that intern one of my calls over the next few months.

A little while ago, I mentioned the fact that Planned Parenthood was fighting in court to keep their staff lists out of the hands of abortion protesters. I am very happy to report that they won; the decision (in PDF form) is here. Interesting to me is that the decision specifically takes notice of the grotesque website “The Nuremberg Files” in deciding how much danger staffmembers would face.

The lack of borders on the Internet is making for confusing discrepancies in laws and regulations. Ed Foster’s column in this week’s InfoWorld notes that a company which colocated a webserver in New Jersey is now facing the wrath of the NJ tax collectors, who claim that the presence of the colocated server does make the company liable for taxes to New Jersey on all of its sales. Yet a California judge ruled that a company’s decision to colocate their webserver in New Jersey does not make the company subject to New Jersey jurisdiction in lawsuits. Somehow, all these issues need to be ironed out and made consistent.

Weeeeeeird. Today, I realized that I would have to come home and find an online list of Internet cafes in Anchorage, so that my brother and I can periodically check in with our family on our trip to Alaska next week. When I got home, I started my nightly surfing, though, starting with Zannah’s crib… to find a link to a comprehensive list of cybercafes.

Obscene Interiors is another site that I stumbled onto via a link from someone else’s weblog; I apologize for the lack of specific attribution if it was you that pointed me there, but it’s too great a site to not point out.

Oooooh, this isn’t a good development…

Election-related link of the day:

“Five years after the Republican Congress shut down the government in part because of the money President Clinton wanted to spend on education, four years after Bob Dole embraced a Republican platform that advocated abolishing the Department of Education, Mr. Bush has made an expanded federal role in education a central campaign issue.”

Massachusetts is petitioning for custody of an unborn child based on the fact that the woman carrying the child is suspected of covering up the death of a prior baby. (She has already been declared an unfit mother, and has lost her three living children to the state.)

I hate to admit it, but I’m actually enjoying the pissing contest going on between Dave Winer and Tim O’Reilly (the last salvo of which is here). Of course, it’s only because I know exactly where Tim is coming from. Dave and I have had many private email exchanges in the past, and I’ve learned that they’re pointless because he quickly starts to accuse me of saying or doing things that never occurred. The ironic thing is that his freak-outs almost always occur after I have asked him some question of clarification or justification — ironic because Dave’s the one that believes that anyone who can’t handle questions is a hype artist with something to hide. (And pointedly, in the last email exchange, never once did Dave answer any of the questions I asked; it became a running joke through my subsequent replies.)

At the end of Tim’s post, he proposes two surveys. Dave set one of them up, and for a little while, he was pointing to it; it is located here. I set up Tim’s other question here. Answer away…