We've got your rights in our sights. A little flash animation featuring Ashcroft. I give you: Guns, guns and more guns!


Ceci nest pas une toaster - Toaster made of toast.
Ender's Game film developing at Warner Brothers -
Orson Scott Card's website is confirming that Ender's Game is now under development at Waner Brothers. Wolfgang Petersen (Enemy Mine, Das Boot, Neverending Story and The Perfect Storm) to direct.

An appropriate story for today, considering the earlier news that the military will be recruiting with video games...
Fiona Apple "fansite"? - This is the very definition of too much time on one's hands. I can almost understand having one such altered picture of Fiona Apple... but 34? Must be seen to be understood.
Fiona Apple Gallery
Video Games to be used as Recruiting Tool for Military - It's a theme that has appeared in sci-fi literature. And many people have wondered whether video games have helped to prepare people for working in the kind of environment which exists inside the cockpit of a military vehicle. Aside from the weird distopia future possibilities, I wonder if computer games might also be used to prepare people for (or lure people into) other jobs. McDonalds "Back Room" simulator is calling.
Reuters: Army Turns to Computer Games to Woo Recruits


T.V. On the Rise - Something came to me while I was exercising this morning in front of the recorded season finale of "24" (which I thought was excellent, by the way). The season finales of "24" and (yes) of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" were better written and executed than SW -EpII : Attack of the Clones. And (horrors) perhaps even better than Spider-man (the movie).

Is it because TV has time to create characters we get invested in? There is also time to set up depth. For instance, (don't go away on me here, but there are spoilers) Buffy was resurrected at the beginning of this season and we learn that she was at peace while she was dead. She didn't really want to be back among the suffering living. At the end of this season finale, she and her sister climb out of a hole in a graveyard. She is climbing out of the grave metaphorically and physically because she has regained a will to participate in her life and the life of her sister. Previously, she was pulled out, this time it is a choice.

In a film, this detail would have to be pointed out to us because an action film can't afford to let that go to the viewer. Movie scripts want you to know right away that they are being clever. In the TV series, there is enough richness that the metaphor does not have to be spelled out for you to admire. The writers are willing to let you catch on or not, and enjoy it at your own level.
Runner's High / Administration of Fatalism - Is it real, or is it a myth? It turns out there is very little direct evidence to suggest that runner's endorphin high actually exists. Some scientists claim it does not. New York Times: Runner's High? Endorphins? Fiction, Some Scientists Say

Also in the NYT today: Maureen Dowd takes jabs at the fatalism of recent government pronouncements regarding the terrorist thread, and suggest we need colors to track the administration's incompetence rather than the threat level.

I can't claim to know how badly the government may have screwed up in the days leading up to the tragedy. In hindsight it seems like the signs were there, and these people are charged with reading the signs. When Daschle and others call for an investigation into how the government reacted to the warning signs of 9/11, I can't believe that I am hearing criticism from Bush supporters. Don't we want to know how these systems can go wrong so that we can possibly be forewarned next time? The only way to know what went wrong is to investigate. Sorry if it steps on the agenda of this country's dittoheads.


Missing Gould Already? I suggest you read:"The Median Isn't the Message" - an essay he penned right after being diagnosed with his cancer in '82. Gould found hope in the rational rather than the sentimental.


Stephen Jay Gould Dies - He made it to see the millennium, but his cancer finally caught up with him. This is very sad news. A giant in his field, and a skeptic of note. He'll be missed.
Boston.com has the story.
CNN also

Petition Update - It is, indeed, a hoax. This petition was suspiciopus from the git-go (as suggested in the comments the post "List of Idiots" below). Now I've found verification on the kuro5hin.org blog. The "troll" has fessed up (if we are to believe the discussion on kuro5hin). I choose to believe it. Notice that the troll elicited more "this is stupid" comments than signatures before it was shut down. Faith in humanity restored? Not by a longshot, but I am a little relieved.

I feel a little embarassed to have posted the troll here. While I did leave open the possibility it was a hoax, and mentioned it in the comments, I really should have either been more careful, or discussed the possibility in the post itself. Today's rapid communications allow for misinformation to travel faster than information. This story even ended up on MSNBC who were at least as credulous as I was. Heck, they tried to talk to New Line about it. But they didn't try to verify the petition. In fact, they have Peter Jackson commenting on thinking about a name change, but dismissing it. However, it appears he had not seen the petition at the time he made those comments.

This is what we have to look forward to. Online news travelling faster than verification. Verification coming on its heels. Invalidation of the original communication. Communication bandwidth being taken up more by meta-communication than about the original subject itself. We see this happening already on cable news whenever a big story hits. The rush to get some information - any information - for the talking heads to read turns reliability into roadkill.

Is it possible that the increased speed of communication will lead to the death of useful and reliable communication? (Getting a little philosophical here)