"Completely bulletproof. And machine washable, darling, that's a new feature."

Japan welcomes knife-proof kids' clothes

Madre, a Japanese security firm, said internet orders in Japan have been trickling in for knife-resistant sweatshirts and windbreakers it makes for children. Madre's president, Minoru Furuta, said many parents are taking extra precautions after a 2001 fatal stabbing attack at an elementary school in the western city of Osaka.

The clothes are made of fiberglass and Spectra -- a lightweight material made by Honeywell of the US that is 10 times stronger than steel and has been used in bulletproof vests for US soldiers and police as well as in military vehicles and aircraft.

Current Music: Lolo -- Don't Know ♬

fade to gray

Today is the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. And as of this morning, this is the view from my window:

So much for the dramatic scaffolding-front views! Now they've made the world go away via duct tape and dingy plastic. If the progress that has been made on the other side of the building is any indication, I can expect it to stay this way for six months. I am now having flashbacks to my childhood in the Blighted East, since the current view out the window is pretty much exactly what the sky looked like all year round.

See, apparently my building's roof leaks, and this was understandably upsetting to those people living on the top floor. So the condo association hired someone to fix the roof, and this contractor did that thing that happens in cartoons where the irises of their eyes turn into dollar signs and the musical cue goes "ka-ching!"

"Oh," they said, "we could just plug the leaks in the roof, but you know what would be cool? If instead, we stripped the entire coating off the exterior of the building, wrapped the whole thing in a giant building-shaped condom, and re-plastered it all." They went on to add, "Toxic mold! Asbestos! Lead! Dogs and cats, sleeping together!"

"Two weeks!", they presumably concluded, laughing hysterically.

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I, for one, welcome our new ballistic tentacled overlords

Octopus cannon targets McDonalds:

SETE, France - Armed with a high-pressure hose and a bucket of octopi, hundreds of protestors in this Mediterranean town pelted a McDonalds restaurant due to open this week with the slimy seafood.

Between 300 and 500 people gathered on the banks of the Sete canal, across from the fast-food outlet, playing music and yelling anti-junk-food slogans across the water, as police barred them from reaching the restaurant itself.

Aiming the hose across the water, they catapulted fresh octopi -- a local delicacy, known here as the "pouffre" -- towards the town's first McDonalds, which had been set to open on Saturday.

(The accompanying photo is worthless, as it includes neither cannon nor octopi.)

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anal leakage is good for you

The Olestra Detox Diet:

"The fake fat olestra spurs the excretion of toxins from the body, report researchers who have treated a PCB-laden woman with fat-free Pringles. Some studies have shown that olestra, used as a fat substitute in some foods, can help eliminate fat-soluble pollutants such as dioxin."
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Another fine find by fantasygoat:

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"wait for the BEEEEEP, haaaackers, wait for the. BEEEEeeeeeEEEEEP."

Associate Member Referral:

"For every three new members who name you as their inspiration for joining, your choice of FSF founder and president Richard Stallman or FSF counsel and scholar Eben Moglen will record a personalized greeting ready for use on your answering machine. Greet your callers with a prominent voice of software freedom."
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The Watercube:
"The building's skin, made from an innovative and lightweight transparent 'teflon', abbreviated as etfe, has been designed to react specifically to lighting and projection."

Saw it here, found some more pictures here.


history of suppression of dissent

Geof Stone has been posting some interesting historical/political stuff to Lessig's blog over the last few days:


now with extra "edgy"

Proof That Any Hackneyed Franchise Can Be Made Interesting; A Short Story

The Cubes

More fun than The Sims, I imagine:
"Finally, the drudgery of corporate life has been captured in a play set for adults! Bob, Joe, Ted, and Ann spend eight hours a day, five days a week, at tiny desks in tiny cubicles in a giant room packed with countless similar cubicles in a giant building filled with countless similar rooms."