tracking local concerts is pretty slick: they screen-scrape various event calendars, you tell them what bands you're interested in, and they mail you when they're coming to town.

But the cool part is that "give them your list of bands" is moderately painless: you can upload an iTunes playlist, and they pull the band names out of it. (There's a size limit, so I had to make a few passes to get everything in there, but it wasn't too hard.)

They also export an iCal feed of only your bands, which is awesome.

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Ministry of Love

Retroactive war crime protection drafted

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal.

"I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous," said attorney Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. Fidell said the initiative is "not just protection of political appointees, but also CIA personnel who led interrogations."

Interrogation practices "follow from policies that were formed at the highest levels of the administration," said attorney Scott Horton, who has followed detainee issues closely. "The administration is trying to insulate policymakers under the War Crimes Act."

Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director, said that "President Bush is looking to limit the War Crimes Act through legislation" now that the Supreme Court has embraced Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. In June, the court ruled that Bush's plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates Article 3.

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Terra! Terra! Terra!

Terra! Terra! Terra!

The alleged U.K. terror plot has been investigated for months by British intelligence, and the idea that the airliner attacks were planned for today seems to be nothing more than political fabrication and media hysteria.

Tony Blair and George W. Bush even planned the terror freakout in a series of phone calls that began last Friday and continued through the weekend. Blair and Bush put the finishing touches on their diabolical operation in a phone call early Wednesday, the Associated Press revealed today.

That's right: While millions of travelers are going through absolute hell today because of the sudden terror "news," it was last week when the U.S. president and U.K. prime minister began their cold calculations on how to get the maximum political benefit from the months-old investigation.

Wait, Aren't You Scared?

And now these guys. As the initial "OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD THEY CAN BLOW US UP WITH SNAPPLE BOTTLES!!" hysteria subsides, we discover that these guys had been under surveillance, completely penetrated, by no less than three major intelligence agencies. That they were planning on cell phones, and some of them openly travelled to Pakistan (way to keep the cover, Reilly, Ace of Spies). Hell, Chertoff knew about this two weeks ago, and the only reason that some people can scream this headline:

"The London Bombers were within DAYS of trying a dry run!!!"

-- was because MI-5, MI-6, and Scotland Yard let them get that close, so they could suck in the largest number of contacts (again, very spiffy police work). The fact that these wingnuts could have been rolled up, at will, at any time, seems to have competely escaped the media buzz.

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Top Ten Weirdest Cosmologies

They left out "turtles all the way down".
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Give my regards to 1983.

Who is this fabulous new hipster band I hear in the trailer for Marie Antoinette? Oh, it's Gang of Four, Natural's Not In It. Who's this next band? They sound very emo and modern. Oh, it's New Order, Ceremony.

It looks very pretty, but I do not think this will be a good film.

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