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Saturday, May 28, 2005
 
  • Happy not to live on Internment Avenue

    A new "Black Book" has just been released in Moscow identifying 122 communists, members of the secret police, and others whom the Soviets gave a kind of immortality to by putting their names on a variety of places and institutions in the Russian Federation. ... [Some of] those opposed to changing these names ... argue that "this is part of our history and we cannot wipe it out." But as the authors point out, slavery is part of the history of the United States and Hitler is part of the history of Germany, but no one thinks of naming streets or cities in their honor.
     

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2005
     
  • Ever since discovering PowerPoint a few months ago, I have been marvelling at its various absurdities. Today I discover that John Ralston Saul has been thinking along similar lines:
    They appear to provide a clear structure to any presentation. But PowerPoint presentations are designed entirely to discourage thought, questioning and doubt. They are designed to distract the audience from what the person who is speaking is actually saying. The person speaks. They point at something. The people listening can’t quite listen, and certainly not in a questioning manner, because they are being told to follow the linear path of summary points illustrated to the side of the actual speaker. So as he speaks, he directs our attention away from himself towards something that is presented ... as what? Truth? A child-like pattern to follow? PowerPoint presentations discourage thought and questioning and leave the impression that something relating to certainty has just been said.
     

  • Saturday, May 14, 2005
     
  • Uzbekistan:
    Some said they had seen at least 200 bodies.
     

  • Friday, May 13, 2005
     
  • Woody Allen:
    "It's a distraction. In my regular life, I'm consumed by depression, anxiety and terror. When I'm making a movie I get to live in a fantasy of beautiful women and charming men speaking amusing dialogue. Then when I return to real life, it's a terrible time."
     

  • Saturday, May 07, 2005
     
  • Chile's supreme court has ordered that a cat be executed. Officials are keen to carry out the sentence, but the cat in question, named Luz, has devilishly escaped police custody and is thought to be hiding out in the alleys of Santiago.
     

  • Wednesday, May 04, 2005
     
  • Saturn's got twelve new moons.
     

  • Tuesday, May 03, 2005
     
  • Killer Squid caught off BC coast.
    "I didn't know it was a Humboldt squid," he said. "A man-eater." For the first time in recorded history, a Dosidicus gigas had been captured for study from the temperate waters of the northeastern Pacific. The invertebrate had never been seen this far north until late last year.
     

  • Sunday, May 01, 2005
     
  • "The events you are going to read happened here, in Quebec, during the years 2000 and 2001."
    Thus writes Judge Michèle Pauzé of Quebec's Human Rights Tribunal regarding Centre Maraîcher Eugène Guinois Jr., one of Canada's largest commercial vegetable farms, located about 40 minutes southwest of Montreal.
    The four workers testified to conditions on the farm that wouldn't seem out of place in the segregation era of the U.S. South.

    It's easy to fall into the habit of thinking that Canada is free of this kind of crap. And for the most part it is. But small-minded and ignorant people crop up everywhere, and when they do it here, they make us all look bad.
     




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