Today's entry's soundtrack (3.6MB) comes from Last Train to Lhasa, an album reminiscent of Future Sound of London, but with a "world" background, rather than a pure electronica heritage. As the reviews there suggest, it'd make a solid roadtrip album - plenty of clever percussion and bass, with no shortage of details for more considered headphone listening.
California's gender-neutral marriage bill AB849 is now headed to the Governor's office. Here's how to make your support known by said office. The LA Times notes, "In an unusually somber and long debate, 18 Democrats took the floor. They portrayed opening marriage to gays as the natural evolution of an institution that once was based on property and prohibited interracial unions. They noted that California's marriage law was neutral on gender from 1850 until 1977. 'Those of us who are heterosexual need to say this very clearly: It is not fair that we have given ourselves a privilege that we've denied to others.' said Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont)", and "Signaling a likely veto if it does pass, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman said he preferred to let judges sort out the legality of gay marriage; such a case is moving toward the state Supreme Court."
I'd love to see Servalan and Darth Vader get together. They'd be so good for each other.
Now this projector sounds very cute: 5.5x1.5x4", and driven by LEDs rather than a halogen bulb, for much longer life. No real specs, but those'll follow in due time.
Beware the cyber-apes! (The cyber-lemurs, though, they're cool)
So, the iTunes phone finally made it out.. nothing spectacular, just nice. Much as you'd expect, really - it's a mobile phone, with an iPod-like UI for the music side. It uses TransFlash cards, apparently available up to 512MB. The iPod family popped out another member, in the form of the iPod nano - a Flash-based replacement for the iPod mini, much like its bigger sibling, but smaller and thinner, in exchange for lower capacity: 2 or 4GB. Oh, and huskyteer? There's a Harry Potter iPod, with the Hogwarts coat of arms engraved, to go along with the official audiobooks. ^_^ So, could this be the precursor to the most blatant example of movie product placement in history? (Yes, I'm joking :)
The Bubble Chamber would make quite a beautiful screensaver..
BTW, I should note (although I suppose everyone knows anyway) - anything video bits I put up into the "misc" directory should only be considered temporary, available for maybe a week or two. Unfortunately, I just don't have the space to keep files available longer, though I can usually get anything popped back up on request.
Keith Olbermann: "And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.
It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water."
Meanwhile, the American Family Association continues their slide towards Phelps. As an atheist, I'm perhaps poorly qualified to take a stance, but I find it hard to believe their principles reflect those of a significant portion of Christians, within the US, or worldwide.
It appears the DHS has informally announced they'll be issuing $2,000 debit cards to each adult affected by Katrina. Details aren't available yet, as the program hasn't been officially launched, with the report claiming it'll begin today at evacuation locations such as the Houston Astrodome.
The UN "Oil for Food" corruption investigation's reached its (initial?) conclusions, unsurprisingly finding that bags of money left without adequate supervision or auditing are prone to go in seek of exercise. Gratifyingly, Kofi Annan has agreed he was at fault: '"The report is critical of me personally and I accept its criticism," he said, adding that the findings were "deeply embarrassing to us all"'. Hopefully it'll be able to pinpoint both those who personally benefitted from this, and be able to offer practical remedies to try to avoid such abuses in the future - in particular, whether there was ill intent in the very drafting of the rules. Anyone in reasonable suspicion should present themselves for criminal trial, in full transparency of law. (Would the Hague have jurisdiction, or would defrauding be a matter for member states? Or even some hybrid, given the combination of factors?) There is, needless to say, much yet to be uncovered, given the unusual circumstances in which Iraq has found itself in the past three years.
If only programmers were permitted to be honest..