How weird — I had no idea that pirates still existed. Four hundred and sixty nine attacks in 2000? Wow.

Thanks to Rafe for pointing out Molly Ivins’ latest column, the one pointing out that John Ashcroft is a member of the secret right-wing group Council for National Policy. Makes me really happy that this man will be the one deciding what laws to enforce.

Pathetic — way more Americans rank their car as the most important thing in their lives than do their kids or spouses.

Also pathetic — I can’t stand the fact that I don’t have a New York quarter yet. I’m about ready to ask cashiers to root through their registers for me…

It is truly scary how close we can get to another Columbine before a completely lucky break prevents it. A few neurons which recognize the stupidity in bringing photos of his arsenal into a quickie photo lab, and this guy may have pulled off his massacre.

Slate’s Culturebox takes aim at the omission of contemporary musicians from Ken Burns’ Jazz series.

I think it’s pretty great that, despite Ray Lewis winning the MVP in the Super Bowl, the “I’m going to Disneyland!” line went to Trent Dilfer. Perhaps it’s because nobody accuses Dilfer of either participating in or observing the stabbing deaths of two people in an Atlanta nightclub after last year’s Super Bowl.

A lot has been made of the vulnerabilities in bind, the domain name server that most of the ‘net runs on, and how intelligent crackers could do a lot more than deny access to Microsoft for a day. If you want to read a good technical summary of the vulnerabilities, COVERT Labs had put one together. (Most Linux distributions now have fixes available, too; while I can’t find a single page that points to the fixes, a good start is Linux Weekly News.)

Anyone out there feel like buying me the Ken Burns Jazz series on DVD? I’ve been listening to the CD box set of the show (a very kind holiday present from some family friends) a whole lot, and now I’m jonesing to see the entire series.

CBS pulled this Smirnoff ad from the Super Bowl, which is a damn shame seeing as it’s funnier than any other ad that was shown during the game.

A Chicago-area man suffered third-degree burns when a stripper at a club leaned into him to embrace him, causing him to lean backwards into a candle. Of course, he’s now suing her and the strip club for damages. This whole incident could have been avoided, though, if Harvey, IL had Tampa’s now-famous Six-Foot Law (which prevents nude dancing within six feet of patrons).

Note to Dubya: those who follow someone in a job are called “successors.”

I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.

One example that helped put into focus my exact hatred of the Bush administration and the ideas that it represents: it’s now illegal to use United States money to fund abortions or abortion counseling, but it should be OK to use United States money to fund religion and religious activism. This is the President who spent the last few weeks telling us how centrist he would be?

(By the way, luckily, the ACLU is stepping into the breach on the faith-based charity proposal. Their concern is a huge one — that public money would be going to organizations which do not have to abide by U.S. civil rights laws — and, along with the basic violation of church and State issues, will spell the proposal’s demise if it ever makes its way off of the drafting table.)

My most recent pseudo-brush with fame: on my way out of my Tampa hotel room Monday morning, I heard someone passionately talking into the payphone about “how that show last night totally misrepresented” her, and how she really is a nice person, not manipulative or controlling like “they” made her out to be. I looked to see who it was, and it turned out to be Debb Eaton, the first person kicked off of the Survivor 2 island on Super Bowl night. Later, in the lobby, she was talking to her stepson-cum-fiancee about how it was only him that seemed weirded out by their stepmom-stepson relationship, and to everyone else, they appeared to be a normal couple who was in love. Yuck.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday — go Giants!

Here in Tampa, we’ve been listening (a lot) to the “Oops, I didn’t know the microphone was on!” Britney Spears audio clip, and laughing our asses off. The clear group favorite part: when she freaks out and screams “Oh, my pants are too short! I grew!”

Do me a favor, will you? Remind me to re-read the top ten SSH FAQs this week, when I set up my newest Linux box.

Cool — it appears that I made it onto Yahoo, in the Online Journals and Diaries > Web Logs category. (I took a screenshot, in case they realize how lame this site is and renege my membership.)

What a piece of shit decision by NBC, yanking this past week’s Law & Order episode from the air forever. I saw the episode, and it both didn’t seem to have much offensive potential and was based, in part, on the reality of the 2000 Puerto Rican parade. My TiVo, back in NYC, dutifully recorded the episode for me; if anyone wants a copy, I’d probably be willing to make a tape for you.

Today is the 15th anniversary of the loss of STS-51-L, known to most of the world as the Challenger space shuttle. Seventy-three seconds after liftoff, with a good deal of the U.S. watching on television, Challenger exploded, taking seven lives with it, including Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian passenger on the then-new space vehicle.

O.J. Simpson continues to appeal the verdict against him, and he continues to lose. What a joke he has become.

[Macro error: Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “discussionGroup” hasn’t been defined.]

Picture time — the photos from the first few days here in Tampa are up. Making showings are the SI trailer, my convertible rental (very important in Tampa), the stadium, the practice Air Force flybys, and all the people down here.

Eric Raymond has an interesting social experiment going on, one that has the side effect of adding function to the Linux environment. A bit strange.

Our President, eloquent as always:

My pro-life position is I believe there’s life. It’s not necessarily based in religion. I think there’s a life there, therefore the notion of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

MetaFilter is just getting better and better. Between the incredibly well-tempered community and the seemingly-weekly addition of some new feature or shortcut, Matt has created one of the best little corners on the web.

Neale is a funny, funny bastard.

A few legislators in Puerto Rico are trying to pass a law which explicitly prohibits lawmakers from being drunk on the job; if the U.S. would consider passing similar restrictions, I have a feeling that we’d have a lot less stupidity coming out of Washington.

There is hope for me after all!

National Geographic has redrawn its world map; changes include a deeper deepest for the Dead Sea (411 meters), markers for all of the new U.S. national monuments, and reverting to the indigenous name Kolkata for what was previously Calcutta. And, coolest of all, National Geographic runs an Atlas Update site which provides software patches for their products and printable updates for their books. (Here’s the printable Kolkata update.)

The Boy Scouts are taking the first official action in support of its newly-minted ability to expel gays from its ranks — the organization is severing ties with seven Chicago-area troops because their sponsors are explicitly refusing to abide by the exclusionary policy. Sadly, it appears that these troops were all chosen to be the first ones to be expelled because they are in Oak Park, a community which has a long history of supporting gay rights.

It looks like someone’s a little grumpy about logging referrers… (Seen on my referrers page today.)

Apparently, Darva Conger wants to extend her fifteen minutes a little bit…

What a scary, scary town this Tampa is. We went out for a team dinner last night, and the place we went was overrun with middle-aged women in skin-tight, shiny snakeskin catsuits, men in full-on velvety white suits, and huge hair (for the women and men). The later the night got, the older the crowd got — and the more it turned into an out-and-out pickup scene. Scary, I tell you.

It’s been busy in Tampa, but today, I put a lot of digital pictures on my hard disk. Tomorrow, I’ll upload some of them; included are images of the B2 (stealth) bomber doing a practice flyby (as well as the same thing by the fighter jet formation team). Cooooool.

Okay, okay, for all you people lobbing partisan insults at the outgoing Clinton/Gore admininstration people for their now-notorious pranks, it turns out that the administration of pere Bush did the same damn thing. Thus, if it’s childish, it’s childish despite party affiliation.

In a web-based version of six degrees of separation, it turns out that the guy I mentioned yesterday, the one with one hand and a dozen nails sticking out of his forehead, went to high school with a weblogger, John Mulligan.

Here’s a great Windows 2000 tip on how you can access and prune almost every component of the operating system.

I finally found the weird piece of hardware I was looking for — a little box that takes serial input and translates it into keyboard output — but the damn thing didn’t come with one lick of documentation. And given that the company’s in England and tomorrow’s Saturday, I doubt that I’m going to solve this in time for the Super Bowl. Damn.

I’ve got to get some work done this morning, but I wanted to start it off with a doozy: Man accidentally saws off hand, then shoots nails into head. I can’t make this shit up.

And, in weirder news, “People have to understand that cold, stiff, blue people can be resuscitated.”. If I worked at CNN, I’d make damn sure that this made it to the pullquote level, big and bold and across the middle of the article.

Oh, and the digital cameras are here, and on top of that, the film processors are all set up, so I’ll post some pictures sometime soon.

Hello from chilly Tampa, Florida, home of Super Bowl 35. As soon as the Nikon D1s arrive from New York, there’ll be pictures…

The William P. Gottlieb Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz — a bookmark that I cannot lose.

Dr. Mike has a terrific rant on the new presidency; I chuckled for a while after reading it. An excerpt:

So President Cokehead, a uniter, not a divider, took the oath of office from the man who put him there, a man decked out in the same stylish Gilbert and Sullivan Theatrical Society robes he wore to Bill Clinton’s impeachment gala in the US Senate. Bravo!

VisiBone, maker of my favorite HTML color reference mousepads, now has an incredibly cool set of popups for HTML design, available from their website or for download to your very own home on the ‘net.

Those incredibly bright people who brought you the CueCat are at it again, this time with a Cross pen that doubles as a barcode scanner for those stupid little cues. I wonder how long this one will take to hack.

Does anyone remember the Sex in the City where Samantha is plagued by the bad taste of her playtoy’s… well, his spunk? Too bad she didn’t know about Semenex — apparently, the product of “research into the phallic-worshipping religions of the ancient world.”

There was a little blow-up on the Frontier-Server email list overnight, a blow-up which (typically) has led to its demise as a Userland-hosted thing. A poster brought up that he had been asking Userland to fix a bug for a while, one which he considered a showstopper for his work, and that Userland finally had responded that they weren’t going to be able to devote time to the fix. He then mentioned that he was disappointed that Userland was going the more-glamour-in-adding-features-than-fixing-bugs route, and the response was like a small bomb going off. Nonetheless, Frontier-Server will now live at eGroups; since I don’t like eGroups a whole lot, and don’t trust them anywhere close to enough to give them my main email address, I think I’ll be leaving the list.

TiVo (or T-bone, as I’ve named my particular TiVo), has started recording Sports Night for me, and I can’t understand why the show went off the air. It’s genius, and so much better than most of the crap that the networks are showing right now.

I just found out about a good little tool that throws a big confirmatory step in when you try to open Office documents in Internet Explorer. (Of course, I agree with the prevailing opinion that things like this shouldn’t be add-ons, but rather should be part and parcel of Internet Explorer.)

Honestly, I’m depressed by the inauguration of the 43rd President of the United States. George W. Bush is so offensive to me as to make me wonder if this country has begun its decline. He is a spoiled rich kid who has never, ever had to hold an honest job in his life, has succeeded in fleecing hardworking people time and time again, and yet the people of this country Florida elected him to the highest office in the land. Depressing. (Strangely, though, The Onion got it exactly right.)

Eloquent words from the leader of our nation:

The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants.

As part of the inauguration, the White House website flipped over (with one of the most uninspired, blah designs I’ve seen online in a while), and Bill Clinton’s eight years’ worth of websites made their way into the National Archives.

Could the graphic which accompanies this CNN story be the worst online graphic ever? It honestly looks like they spent all of 14 seconds using Microsoft Paint to cut and paste the thing together. (I’ve archived a copy of the page here, so future web generations can bask in its glory ad infinitum.)

I’m on call one more time (tomorrow), and then I get a nice, two-week vacation. I’m headed down to Tampa for the Super Bowl, but won’t be out of touch — I’ll be very wired down there, and probably will be updating much more than I have been while on this past rotation.

One thing I gained from this Salon article about urban exploration is that I definitely need to putter about in New York more. One of my favorite personal finds is the phantom subway station, shorter than a modern train and now abandoned, at around 91st Street and Broadway; I haven’t figured out an above-ground entry to it yet. Any other New Yorkers want to explore with me?

Back in July, I pointed to what many were calling a mistake in J.K. Rowling’s fourth Harry Potter book; later in August, I surmised that it probably wasn’t a mistake, instead meant to introduce a twist into the plot. Well, I was wrong.

One alleged NFL murderer is currently sweating the jury deliberations in his capital trial; another alleged NFL murderer is eagerly anticipating the spotlight of next weekend’s Super Bowl. What a terrific place the National Football League is.

Remind me to return to Brent’s inessential entry from today regularly; it holds a lot of import for any regular Frontier developer.

William Saletan has penned a little look at one of the first possible instances where Dubya’s inability to string subjects and verbs together coherently is hurting his actual policies and plans.

John Ashcroft has gained even more print, this time about his hand-penned words of thanks to Larry Pratt, director of the ultra-conservative group Gun Owners of America. What a wonderful man to have representing law and order in the United States. (Oh, and thanks to Andre Radke for pointing out my typo in yesterday’s entry about Ashcroft.)

I just started playing with the outlining stuff that comes into Manila via Radio Userland, and I’ve got to say, it’s damn interesting, and pretty cool.

It appears that, no matter how much you practice, there’s no guaranteeing that you won’t accidentally pierce your wife’s skull with an arrow during your William Tell circus act.

Despite having a large mobile divison, British Telecom has launched an ad campaign urging the English to forego making that cellphone call, and use a payphone instead. No, seriously.

Each weekday, Jim Metzner and National Geographic release a new Pulse of the Planet feature, self-described as “a two-minute sound portrait of Earth.” Today’s feature is the mating call of the Bulwer’s pheasant, as recorded in the Bronx Zoo. I have to remember to check this out more often; I’ve added it to my bookmark bar over on the right.

Boooo hissssss — Princeton Video Image is back in the news, this time for planning to add advertising to the electronically-generated first-down line in foreign broadcasts of this year’s Super Bowl.

It appears that John Ashcroft is every bit a problem appointee for Dubya. In addition to being an evil arch-conservative, he used Missouri state employees to do campaign work in his 1984 campaign for governor; his nephew also got preferential treatment in a 1992 bust for growing 60 pot plants with the intent to sell. (Mind you, at the time of that 1992 sentence, Ashcroft had pushed through legislation that would trigger Federal charges in cases where more than 50 plants were involved, but despite this, Alex Ashcroft only faced state charges.)

When all is said and done, I agree with Edward Lazarus: “If the Senate does reject Ashcroft, no one should lose sleep over it. It would be poetic justice for a man who deprived so many others of confirmations they rightly deserved.”

Ugh — I now work (part-time) for AOL. I would have never guessed this day would come.

Jen Bolton has put together a page of all the storTroopers created by webloggers — and hell if we all aren’t a strange looking bunch! Remind me that I should run the other way if I run into Miss Chicky in a dark alley…

OK, so it doesn’t appear that Dean Kamen was all that able to conceal the supersecret project he’s working on; it appears to be a superscooter. (The link to the entire WIPO patent application is here.)

If the coolest use for a 747 isn’t an airborne laser platform used to knock enemy missiles out of the sky, then I sure as hell don’t know what is.

Dahlia Lithwick has a good little reviewlet of the upcoming cases on the Supreme Court’s January docket. The Casey Martin and Kevin Murphy cases sound like they could be interesting.

I know, it gets tiresome when I link to the idiocies uttered by our new President-to-be, but I just can’t help it — he really is an idiot.

I want it to be said that the Bush administration was a results-oriented administration, because I believe the results of focusing our attention and energy on teaching children to read and having an education system that’s responsive to the child and to the parents, as opposed to mired in a system that refuses to change, will make America what we want it to be—a more literate country and a hopefuller country.

my storTrooper

Thanks to Cam, I decided to generate my very own alter ego — a MiniJason, if you will — over at the storTroopers site. Fun fun fun; imagine how happy the pediatrician in me was when I discovered that one of the “accessories” was a baby!

Wow! A new Volkswagon Microbus! (Although this highlights one of the things I hate about Flash-designed sites — I can’t bookmark a specific page within the site, nor can I avoid pointing you all to the Flash intro.)

If the first missive is at all representative, it looks like Salon is going to have a great round-up of Temptation Island every week. The classic excerpt from the premiere episode review:

In the good old days nobles and gentlemen settled disputes about women with glove-slaps to the face and duels, addressing each other as “Sir” all the while. The 21st century reality-TV version of this process involves the manager of an Athlete’s Foot shop dropping a Deadhead bracelet in front of a masseur on a Caribbean beach in an attempt to stop him from having on-camera monkey sex with his girlfriend.

The New York Supreme Court awarded exclusive custody of a surrogate child to the father last week, and if that isn’t rare enough, he’s gay. Most interesting, though, are the excerpts from the contract that the mother and father entered into; not exactly the most legal of language.

The new crazy, cop-hating freshman Representative in New Hampshire has resigned his seat, amid much concern that he didn’t properly inform the populace of his extreme anti-police opinions. Of course, we’ve come to expect the press to do that for us…

Dinkism of the Day:

I would have to ask the questioner. I haven’t had a chance to ask the questioners the question they’ve been questioning.

Interestingly, the class action bias suit against Microsoft is being tried in front of that self-same Judge Jackson. Don’t be too surprised if Microsoft requests a different judge. I think they can make a pretty solid case now that they can’t be guaranteed a fair trial in front of him.

I’m not completely sure of the process. I think that they would request that he remove himself from the case, and if he refuses then they’d appeal to the Circuit Court (the one which overturned him in ‘95 and probably will overturn much or most of his June decision), who probably would then order him off the case.

You have no clue how happy I am that all the SportsCenter commercials are now online. Even the oldies. Some of the best commercial ideas and scripts are in them thar archives…

I like this picture of the last eclipse of the second millennium. (The “home page” of the image is here.)

I understand that there’s generally a free pass given to the incoming President to name his cabinet members, but I really don’t think that it’s all that ludicrous to expect the Secretary of Labor nominee to have not violated fundamental U.S. labor laws.

You know why Microsoft’s going to win their appeals? Because Jackson, the judge in the inital trial, seems completely unable to hide his overwhelming, all-encompassing bias against the company, and there really is no way that an appeals court can ignore that. Jackson has now admitted that he has held a fundamental distrust of Microsoft since he was overturned in his 1995 decision that the company violated their consent decree. In addition, it’s funny that he feels Gates has a large ego — I really don’t know if I’ve ever come across a judge with as much of an ego as Jackson.

Wendell’s back, and we’re gonna be in trouble… (Hey na, hey na, Wendell’s back!)

If you live in New York, you benefit from a law passed by Governor Pataki last year which should make you happy. The “Do Not Call” law establishes a telemarketing registry which allows you to opt out of any and all telemarketing activities; companies which ignore your presence in the registry will be violating a law of New York. You can now get into the registry; the law takes effect on April 1 of this year.

I’m looking for an unusual piece of hardware, and am wondering if anyone out there can help. I want a box that has a serial input and a keyboard output; I send a serial signal in from my computer, and out come valid keyboard codes, so that I can control the keyboard-in port of another computer. I’ve found a single option, from a British company; are there any others? (Mail me…)

Car thieves drink HIV-infected blood; it really shouldn’t be all that shocking how often it’s proven that Darwin was right.

Wow — Fox is shuttering all of their websites. What I can’t tell from this article is whether the sites will continue to operate, just under their parent company’s banner, or if they will truly be shut down; nonetheless, I figured that the media sites would survive the year, but I guess I was wrong.

This promises to be interesting, for sure… (Oh, and I’m not the Jason referenced therein.)

OK, this is pretty damn funny (found via Alwin).

Clinton continues to use is end-of-term status to push the nominations of Federal judges through to the bench. One of the highly-unrecognized travesties of the last eight years is how Republican leaders in Congress sat on most of these nominations, not approving them but also not rejecting them, leaving enormous holes in the Federal judicial pool.

Jeb Bush has been subpoenaed to appear before the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights, in its inquiry into the Florida election. Interesting.

This is a tough one for me: Pyra is asking for donations to cover new servers for their bang-up web app, Blogger. I have a Blogger account, but don’t use it at all; that being said, I really do believe that they have added something truly significant to the web, and that supporting that is something that I should do. Time to think a little bit… I’ll decide by bedtime.

Awesome — it appears that the upcoming Microsoft X-Box will have an ethernet port built-in. How awesome will it be for people to be able to hook this puppy right up to their broadband connections? I wonder how long it will take broadband ISPs to ban connecting it to their networks, what with the bandwidth it will consume.

From the What-The-Hell-Is-He-Talking-About department comes one of the latest quotes from the man that a minority of the country elected to be President:

Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.

A Michigan local police department has removed rainbow stickers from all of its police cars after learning that they represent tolerance for homosexuals. My two thoughts on this: first, how much more clueless could they possibly be, not knowing what the rainbow symbol generally means? Second (and more importantly), though, what if they had put stickers on the cars which (unknown to them) represented tolerance for blacks? Would they have removed the stickers then? I can’t imagine that they would have; removing the rainbow stickers smacks of intolerance for gay issues.

Hey — there’s a new service pack for Microsoft Office 2000. I cannot stand, though, that you have to have your original installation media around in order to install the service pack; it’s one of the most poorly-designed updaters around.

Best wishes to Greg, his wife, and their families.

There’s no way I could make this one up: a man pled guilty today to attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault after attacking his son with a crowbar when he discovered the lad having sex with the family dog. Wait, let me clarify that — the son was in “an ongoing sexual liason with the dog.”

(And I just discovered that one no longer has any chance of beating a MetaFilter poster; I posted the above link, and then wandered over to MF just to see that someone got it up there yesterday. Damn.)

“Many of my friends lived like this; it was temporary, we thought, part of being young. One day we’d get real jobs and move into real apartments with leases and airtight windows and nothing that crumbled when we touched it.” For those of you who have heard about the New York City housing crunch, here’s a great article from the Times that explains just how bad it’s getting. (I, on the other hand, lucked out almost six years ago by falling into a rent-stabilized two-bedroom, before the crunch was that bad and before the rent stabilization laws were drastically changed.)

I had no idea that the Times Metropolitan Diary column archives were online — it’s my favorite column of the paper, yet I rarely remember to read it on Mondays. Now I can read it anytime!

William Rehnquist, in a prime example of stating the obvious, told Congress today that the U.S. court system was “severely tested” by the 2000 Presidential election. Of course, Bill ain’t a stranger to getting involved in Presidential elections; there’s decent evidence that he participated in efforts in Phoenix years ago to intimidate immigrant voters out of the voting lines.

(Has anyone else noticed that if you bookmark a page in Internet Explorer 5, you end up with the Netscape icon next to the bookmark in your Favorites menu? Why would they use the Netscape icon as their favicon.ico?)