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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Oklahoma highway blocked by 800 baby pigs

It's raining pigs:

Interstate 40, the main east-west highway in Oklahoma, was closed for several hours Thursday when about 800 baby pigs spilled on to the road after the truck transporting them overturned, police said Friday.

Several pigs were killed when their vented livestock truck overturned just east of Oklahoma City. And the pigs, all of which were under a year old, had little idea what to do with their first taste of freedom.

The freeway was closed in both directions as state troopers, firemen and ambulance workers doubled as farm hands in a bid to prevent the pigs from running amok in the Oklahoma City suburbs and return them to a pig farm, police said.

Some of the pigs plunged to their deaths when they jumped off a highway bridge near the wreckage as law enforcement officials were closing in for their capture.

James Watson, an Oklahoma state trooper, said the situation would have been much worse if the pigs had been adults. "If these had been full-grown hogs, they would have gone ballistic," Watson said. "We would of had to shoot them."

Several motorists who stopped at the scene asked if they could take home a pig or two in their pickup trucks, Watson said. He added he thinks all of the surviving pigs were captured and being held at a livestock pen in Oklahoma City.


if voting could change anything, it wouldn't be legal

I've posted about the deplorable, hackable state of electronic voting machines before. Well, today, you may have already noticed that every blog you read is pointing you at the EFF page on the new IEEE standard committee for voting machines. IEEE set up this standards committee as a reaction to the recent (cough) "irregularities", and what it should be doing is describing a way to make voting machines safe. Instead, it apparently has been co-opted by the voting machine manufacturers, who are codifying their current behavior: making the standard say that they should continue doing exactly what they're doing today.

Cory says:

The standard this committee produces will likely form the basis of the US goverment's voting-machine purchases (as well as those of governments abroad), and if there are holes in the standard today, they will be biting our democracies on the ass for decades. There's never been a clearer demonstration that "architecture is politics."

So go there and fill out EFF's petition.

Relatedly, here's another article about the current state of voting machines. It's somewhat more shrill than other articles on the topic I've read, but it covers exactly the same ground.

The American vote-count is controlled by three major corporate players -- Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia -- with a fourth, Science Applications International Corporation, coming on strong. These companies have been given billions of dollars by the Bush Regime to complete a sweeping computerization of voting machines nationwide by the 2004 election. These glitch-riddled systems -- many using "touch-screen" technology that leaves no paper trail at all -- are almost laughably open to manipulation, according to corporate whistleblowers and computer scientists at Stanford, Johns Hopkins and other universities.

The technology had a trial run in the 2002 midterm elections. [...] A Florida Democrat who lost a similarly "glitched" local election went to court to have the computers examined -- but the case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the innards of America's voting machines are the "trade secrets" of the private companies who make them.

Does it seem like a good idea to you that the very mechanism of democracy be controlled by a "trade secret" funded by the controlling presidential administration? Me neither.

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