I feel very sorry for this horse

Ow, not the tail, Not the tail!

Vets from the Hospital Veterinario Sierra de Madrid for horses in Madrid prepare one of their patients for surgery. (AFP/Pedro Armestre)
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OMG it's coming right at us!

'Bubbles', a Manta Ray that has been part of the underwater exhibit at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas for almost two years, is hoisted away by helicopter and released to the open ocean Wednesday, September 24, 2003. The twelve foot animal, began to outgrow its viewing facility at the resort, which is the home for over 50,000 fish and marine life. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

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Current Music: Ministry -- Hero ♬

CIA seeks probe of White House

It's probably not good for an administration to piss off their own spies...

CIA seeks probe of White House:

The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman's husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush's since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa.

Joshua Marshall says:

The way this works is that the CIA does its own investigation to determine whether there is reason to believe laws were broken. But the CIA has no law enforcement powers itself. So it makes a referral to the Justice Department, which obviously does have law enforcement powers. If the folks at Justice concur in the Agency's determination that there is reason to believe that laws were broken, they then task the FBI with mounting a formal criminal investigation. [...]

On it's face, this news tonight almost certainly means that the CIA's internal investigation concluded that laws were broken or that there was sufficient evidence of wrong-doing for a criminal investigation to be undertaken. The decision on whether to task the FBI with investigating the White House is now in hands of John Ashcroft.

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MUNI Increases Fares; Adds Comfortable Bus Stops

MUNI Increases Fares; Adds Comfortable Bus Stops.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway announced today that along with fare increases, they have begun to make bus stops more comfortable for those long waits. William Nasalrod, MUNI Spokesman, said "Customer service has always been a defining moment for MUNI and the couches are just another way we're helping fellow San Franciscans. It came down that if we have to raise fares and reduce service, something must be added. The couches seemed like the way to go."
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DNA Lounge:

Last week, someone threw up in our office fan.

The airflow in the backstage area isn't very good, so we have usually a floor-fan sitting right outside the office door. Some time during the Mix Master Mike show, someone puked right outside the office door, and into the fan. (The office door was closed at the time, so it went un-observed and no righteous ass-kicking could be delivered.) Of course, this means it wasn't a customer: it was one of the promoters or their sycophants. Not that we hold them to a higher standard of behavior (they're just as bad, if not worse, than the customers when it comes to flagrant dumbassery) but, I dunno, I'd figure that if they had one thing going for them, it would be an ability to hold their liquor.

Another neighborhood casualty: Hamburger Mary's is closed (again.) Well, it hadn't been called Hamburger Mary's for a while now; it became "Harvey's", then "Mary's", then just "12th and Folsom", but now it's called "for lease."

There's been a lot of construction work going on inside the former 20 Tank space lately, but I've heard that they're just going to be a dance club, not a restaurant. It's like there's a conspiracy to deprive us of places to eat.


Lots of stuff this week! I've been spending most of my time sorting through the hundreds of pictures I took over the last few days...

Flying Tiger Circus photos.

    This show was fantastic, as it was last year. In addition to their usual set of geek tricks (a guy who shoved pins all the way through his arm, and the bait-and-tackle suspension show) they also had the plate-balancing Happy Chef, who is just hilarious; a pair of contortionists who did things that human bodies just cannot do; acrobats; and an aerial rope act. Fun stuff.

    Oh, and again they would cook a star-shaped brand onto the body of anyone who wanted it (which turned out to include three of our employees this time.) We turned up the exhaust fan for that part, so the the club wouldn't smell like pork.

    Tonight I'm giving away an absolutely free poke in the eye with a sharp stick! Just ask.

Crüxshadows + Sunshine Blind photos.

    Sunshine Blind were great, as always, and I think I finally got some decent pictures of them this time.

    I got a kick out of Crüxshadows, but it took a while for them to grow on me. When they came on stage, the singer made this speech in a fake English accent that at first I thought might have been directly from Spinal Tap: "In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, an ancient race of people... the Druids. No one knows who they were or what they were doing..." Except it was about Aphrodite or something instead of Stonehenge. I couldn't stop giggling.

    In addition to that, their music was, to my ears, mostly indistinguishable from VNV Nation (or any of the many progressive-house influenced neo-synthpop laptop bands who seem to be what most goths think "industrial" means these days.)

    So I should have hated the show, right? But I didn't, I enjoyed it! This was because of two things. First, there were actual musicians involved: they had live guitar, electric violin, and one, sometimes two, people playing keyboards. And second, they had a couple of dancers, doing a synchronized routine along with most of the songs.

    I think I've mentioned before that no matter what your band is like, it can always be improved by the addition of gogo dancers. Because then there's a performance on stage.

    I was never able to decide whether they were joking about the Stonehenge thing, or they really were Just That Silly. But either way, they put on a good show.

St. Vitus Dance + System Syn photos.

    System Syn was yet another "Assemblage VNV" and did nothing for me, but again, they get some respect by actually having someone playing keyboards and guitar instead of having their entire act pre-sequenced.

    I really enjoyed St. Vitus Dance -- they played really hard, metal-influenced industrial, which has been sorely lacking in the world lately. Live drums, guitar, and occasional keyboards. Also they had a really good lightshow: nice, dramatic use of backlighting and fog.

Meat photos.

    Thursday was a dance night called Meat, which was fun, and had a pretty good turnout. Devon and John and crew put a ton of work into decorating the club with a slaughterhouse theme. Devon took one of my mannequins and painted musculature on it. Also there was some kind of visiting TV-claw-monster. They gave away home-made sausage.

    I'd like to make the painted mannequin a permanent fixture, but I'm not sure where to put it where it wouldn't get instantly destroyed.

For the tuesday show, we got around 50 people, and for the wednesday show, around 25, which is pretty sad. The turnout for the Circus was ok, though it was about half what it had been last year.

Still, I'm glad we did these shows. I'm bummed that more people didn't show up (that's kind of the point, after all) but I'd so much rather be bringing bands in than doing house every night.

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The Strange Case of the Gonzo Peacocks

Marauding Dogs Kill Thompson's Peacocks

WOODY CREEK, Colo. - Marauding dogs are being blamed for menacing people in this hamlet near Aspen and killing four peacocks owned by writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson said Sunday a pack of dogs killed the birds in one week.

"I found them half-eaten lying on the road. We have bodies down here," he said. "Anything that kills four animals, four people or four of anything on my property is going to die one way or another."

Colorado law allows people to kill dogs harassing livestock or wildlife. In 2000, Thompson fired a shotgun to scare a bear off his land and slightly wounded his assistant, who was sprayed by pellets ricocheting off the ground.

<LJ-CUT text="we can't stop here -- this is bat country">

Thompson's neighbor, Tom Klutznick, said several dogs went after him over the weekend as he was walking.

"They were ugly," Klutznick said. "They look like they're between 25 and 30 pounds. They just came charging down the road."

Pitkin County animal safety director ReRe Baker said it could be neighborhood dogs roving in a pack and chasing wildlife. She said the county can't intervene until a formal complaint is filed.

"It could be those dogs, but unless there's an eyewitness to it, all I can do is issue a ticket for dogs running at large," Baker said.

Thompson, who has raised birds for decades, said he was disturbed by losing four of his prized peacocks. He has given several as gifts to friends and the birds' plumes are in high demand among his friends.

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I, for one, welcome our parthenogenetic hybrid masters

Chimaerism and Mosaicism

[...] The boy, who was otherwise healthy, is one of only a handful of known true human chimaeras - people carrying tissues that originated in two separate embryos. More common are mosaics, who have patches of tissue that differ genetically from the rest of their body, thanks to a mutation or chromosomal anomaly that arose early in embryological development. [...]

Chimaerism affecting a variety of tissues can also result from other events. In 1995, for instance, Bonthron described another boy who was partially parthenogenetic: cells from his blood and certain other tissues contained none of his father's chromosomes; instead, they featured a duplicated set of one half of his mother's. Although it is not unknown for an egg to start developing without being fertilized, fully parthenogenetic human embryos cannot develop to term. Bonthron believes that the partially parthenogenetic boy owed his unusual genetic constitution to an egg that spontaneously divided into two cells, one of which was fertilized. The second cell then copied its maternal chromosomes, allowing the resulting chimaera to form a viable embryo.

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Diebold, Champions of Democracy

blackboxvoting.org, the site that has been publishing evidence that Diebold's election machines are trivially riggable, has been shut down, Scientology-style:
NOTICE

Due to a dispute with Diebold, Incorporated, and its wholly owned subsidiary Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (collectively "Diebold"), which is claiming links to certain materials that do not reside on the blackboxvoting.org website constitute copyright infringement, blackboxvoting.org has been temporarily disabled.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause visitors and journalists to the blackboxvoting.org site and hope to have this matter resolved shortly.

Google has a cache. The Wayback Machine does not.

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um, I uh, err, uh...

The Language Removal project: MP3 speeches of prospective governors with all the actual words removed.
Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.
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Underworld micro-review

I liked Underworld. It was not great, but it was good looking, full of teh hotness, and had an unexpectedly twisty and detailed backstory. I'd say it had a more interesting plot than Blade, but less good acting.

The thousand-round pistols were irritating, especially when they made a point of showing you the ~10 round clip.

Have you heard about the lawsuit? It's comical. (White Wolf Sues Sony: "We Ripped Off Anne Rice First!") I've read a few of Nancy Collins's books, and they were fun, but seriously derivative of every previous vampire story that tried to be "edgy" and "modern." Dear Nancy, stop believing your sycophants, kthx.

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