Stargate in Lego

Nerdgasm!

This rotating Stargate is 19 inches tall with light-up chevrons. An RCX drives a treadmill, which spins the inner ring randomly for x seconds, then reverses direction, seven times. Won best medium space award and best brick mod at BrickFest 2005.
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Olbermann again

"Your words are lies, Sir. They are lies, that imperil us all."

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens "Unlawful Enemy Combatants" and ship them somewhere - anywhere - but may now, if he so decides, declare you an "Unlawful Enemy Combatant" and ship you somewhere - anywhere.

And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria... ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was President, or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was President, or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was President.

And if you somehow think Habeas Corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: if you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an "unlawful enemy combatant" -- exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this Attorney General is going to help you?

This President now has his blank check. He lied to get it. He lied as he received it. Is there any reason to even hope, he has not lied about how he intends to use it, nor who he intends to use it against?

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mark your calendars

You are hereby advised:

Sat, Oct 21:   Bohemian Carnival @ DNA Lounge 
Mon, Oct 23:   Veruca Salt @ Cafe Du Nord 
One of my favorite bands, and they are great live. Go.
Fri, Oct 27:   ESG / Cansei de Ser Sexy @ Mezzanine 
CSS put on a really fun live show (I just saw them open for Ladytron).
Fri, Oct 27:   Kristin Hersh @ Swedish American Hall 
She's doing solo versions of the first Throwing Muses album, for its 20th anniversary.
Sat, Oct 28:   Pop Roxx @ DNA Lounge 
Sun, Oct 29:   Regina Spektor @ The Fillmore 
She's good live, but I dunno, I think this is too big a room for her...
Tue, Oct 31:   Our World-Famous Halloween Party @ DNA Lounge 
Fri, Nov 03:   The Knife @ Mezzanine 
Thu, Nov 16:   Bawdy Island Burlesque Hullabaloo @ DNA Lounge 
Fri, Nov 17-  
Sun, Nov 19:  
Horror Fest @ Metreon 
They're showing a bunch of recent independent horror flicks.
Sat, Dec 02:   Wall of Voodoo @ Slim's 
It's not Wall of Voodoo without Stan Ridgway, but I may go anyway.
Tue, Dec 19,  
Wed Dec 20:  
Lisa Germano @ Hemlock Tavern 
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DNA Lounge: Wherein we're all left blinded by the backlight.

Photos are up of the Covenant + Imperative Reaction + Rotersand show.

They brought a truly gargantuan set of lights with them: they hung a truss on the back wall of the stage, and hooked their lighting controller into our lights plus theirs. It looked fantastic! (Doubling the number of intelligent lights in the room will do that...)

That made it pretty hard to photograph, though: the show was heavily backlit, and their lighting guy was, like all lighting guys, obsessed with using solid reds. As you know if you've ever taken a picture in a nightclub, solid red light usually means "don't even bother trying to take a picture". Cameras, especially digital cameras, have very little dynamic range in red. Neither does the human eye, but cameras are a lot worse. I think I got some decent shots, though.

We finally passed our last inspection for the kitchen! That means that we're technically allowed to serve food from it. Just as soon as we have the money to buy some stuff like a microwave, a hotplate, and... food. Which we don't. Stay tuned.

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Worst Congress Ever

Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever

There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?

These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.

To be sure, Congress has always been a kind of muddy ideological cemetery, a place where good ideas go to die in a maelstrom of bureaucratic hedging and rank favor-trading. [...] But the 109th Congress is no mild departure from the norm, no slight deviation in an already-underwhelming history. No, this is nothing less than a historic shift in how our democracy is run. The Republicans who control this Congress are revolutionaries, and they have brought their revolutionary vision for the House and Senate quite unpleasantly to fruition. In the past six years they have castrated the political minority, abdicated their oversight responsibilities mandated by the Constitution, enacted a conscious policy of massive borrowing and unrestrained spending, and installed a host of semipermanent mechanisms for transferring legislative power to commercial interests. They aimed far lower than any other Congress has ever aimed, and they nailed their target.

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R.I.P. Habeus Corpus, 1215 - 2006.

Washington Post:
President Bush this morning proudly signed into law a bill that critics consider one of the most un-American in the nation's long history.

The new law vaguely bans torture -- but makes the administration the arbiter of what is torture and what isn't. It allows the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant. It suspends the Great Writ of habeas corpus for detainees. It allows coerced testimony at trial. It immunizes retroactively interrogators who may have engaged in torture.

ACLU:

The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act.
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gimme RAM

Dear Lazyweb, the machine running the DNA kiosks needs more RAM. (Running six copies of Firefox will do that.)

The mobo has three slots, and currently has one stick of 256MB PC-133. Yeah, that's old. That means you probably have a drawer full of this RAM lying around, because it doesn't work with your new motherboard, right? So give it to me. 3 sticks of 500MB would be nice, or bigger if you've got it.

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Oh, I'm sure it's all just some paranoid fantasy. Go back to sleep.

Clinton Curtis:



"And [US Representative Tom Feeney] asked you to design a program to rig an election."

"Yes."

"While he was the speaker of the Florida House."

"Yes."

[...] "And [Mrs. Yang] said, 'you don't understand, we need you to hide the fraud in the source code, not reveal it. We need to control the vote in South Florida.'"

[audience hisses]

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Finally! Google Maps for Treo!

This is amazingly good! Instead of a web page using JavaScript tricks, it's a native app, so you can scroll around and all the magic popups and stuff work. And it doesn't require you to install half a gigabyte of Java VM first.
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I, for one, welcome our old Sleestak overlords

Lost city 'could rewrite history'

Marine scientists say archaeological remains discovered 120 feet underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India could be over 9,000 years old. The vast city - which is five miles long and two miles wide - is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.

Marine archaeologists have used a technique known as sub-bottom profiling to show that the buildings remains stand on enormous foundations.

"Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in Mesopotamia. "Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as we are today from the pyramids of Egypt," he said.

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