This is what happens, Larry, when you find a stranger in the Alps.
Monthly Archives: April 2009
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center regarding torture… is kind of fucked up.
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.
So, people who follow the tenets of Christianity, with all of its lessons about being good to others, are most likely to think it’s acceptable to inflict harm on people, while soulless heathens are more likely to think that maybe you should be a little niceer. Excellent.
A few years ago, my friend Kevin got me into Thrice via their Vheissu album. On their previous three albums, Thrice definitely had a particular post-hardcore “sound” that was pretty good but not overly interesting, though definitely improving with each album. In the fall of 2005, Vheissu came out and told Thrice’s “sound” to take a hike. It was a very ambitious album, and the followup, The Alchemy Index, was even moreso: 4 six-song EPs, each revolving around one of the four classical elements; fire, water, air and earth. Each EP features not only lyrics that touch on its element, but also evokes it in the musical mood and tone. Personally, I’ve found Vheissu and The Alchemy Index (Volumes I & II, III & IV) to be amongst the most interesting and compelling works of the later half of this decade.
Thrice is currently working in a self-built studio, recording their next album, and documenting some of it on their website thrice.net. There’s some pretty good studio nerdery, including building their own microphone preamps and a mention of the ORTF stereo microphone technique.
Traffic on Ataxia has exploded in the last few days! Most of the traffic is coming from StumbleUpon, which is a service I am only marginally familiar with. I can’t really even tell what the links are in reference to, because the referrer field in my server logs is just “http://www.stumbleupon.com/refer.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ataxia.net%2F” for every hit.
I guess that’s sort of how StumbleUpon works, now that I look at it. You enter a search term and it gives you random web pages based on that term, and you click “stumble!” to go to the next random hit. They should at least pass on what the search term is.
Every time I read or watch another of these stories about innocent U.S. citizens being beaten, incarcerated or killed by agents of the state, especially when their fates befall them for merely exerting their most basic Constitutional rights, I fume in anger and weep for our country.
I’ve been planning to wait until June when the next-gen iPhone will most likely come out. I decided back in about November that I would definitely get one, and I had originally planned to upgrade the second that I was eligible, which is right about now.
A David Pogue semi-interview with Phil Schiller at MacWorld Expo back in January revealed that the iPhone’s product cycle was essentially “in June”, meaning that iPhone releases were likely to come annually every June, a pattern already forming with the original release and the release of the 3G. Apple has fallen into certain patterns with several of its products, such as new versions of iLife coming out in the spring, and iPods getting a reasonable amount of overhaul or update shortly after the August/early September back-to-school promotions end. After reading this, and confirming it with the existing pattern, and noticing the relative nearness of June to mid-April when my AT&T contract was “eligible” for an “upgrade”, I figured that I was already waiting 5-6 months from the time of my original decision, so what’s another month or two? And last week, when I checked my AT&T account online, it said I was eligible to upgrade to an iPhone if I was willing to shell out an extra $200 over the regular price of $199/$299 for the 8GB/16GB models.
But behold, I logged in today and I could get one at the regular price, right this second… and it’s hard to keep my self from clicking some website buttons and getting one shipped to me pronto. Or, better yet, hopping on the Green Line for 3 stops and getting one immediately.
There’s a set of three new ads for the Boston Bruins, two of which are patently awesome. The other is merely ok, even though it expresses an important sentiment: get off your phone and watch the fucking game.
Here are the two that are awesome, in descending order of awesome:
This video of Kevin Rose getting upset because some other site is framing one of his sites is dripping with hilarious hypocrisy. I love how he says “someone is stealing your shit” but defends the DiggBar to the ends of the Earth.
The Zimbabwean, a newspaper run by exiles and distributed in Zimbabwe, several neighboring countries and the U.K., is making billboards and posters out of Zimbabwean dollars, because it’s far cheaper to print on the worthless currency than on plain paper. Quite a statement. The billboards are primarily strewn about South Africa.
The second season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles aired friday night, and it was a great episode. (Joshua Malina also guest-starred, and any Sports Night cast member is always a welcome sight.) The series had a bit of a weak spot earlier in the second season, but the last 4-6 episodes really stepped it up. The show is really finally hitting its stride.
I’m going to be very disappointed if this ends up being the series finale, as the rumors are strong that Fox is planning to cancel the series… especially if they bring back that worthless crapfest Dollhouse and not T:TSCC.
As is pretty obvious, I made a few changes to Ataxia today. It was time for a visual change, and I had been working on some ideas for something a bit more flashy (or really the tiniest bit of flashy), but I stumbled upon the Carrington Text theme and I really loved how utterly simple it was, so I went with it. I made a couple of very minor additions (basically just adding the CSS for the inline tweets) and that was it.
Also, the other big change is to how my Twitter updates now display. This is really the single thing that drove all of the changes that went live today. I’ve wanted for a long time to ditch the daily Twitter update digest posts and instead have each individual tweet display inline in the main weblog post area in chronological order with the posts (plus or minus the few minutes that Twitter Tools takes to fetch the tweet). For what it’s worth, inspiration for this came from Rod Begbie, who has had this going on his site for some time now. I had come up with some really sucky PHP that did this, but I discovered the AsideShop plugin that handles everything in a much better manner than my craptacular code. I suck at coding.
Hopefully all of this backend-type stuff makes it easier for me to update more often.