Archive for July, 2007

 

Write Like An Egyptian

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Your Score: Hieroglyphics

You scored

You are Egyptian Hieroglyphics! Monumental, ornate and even in technicolour! Your users contributed virtually all ancient knowledge on inks, dyes and writing surfaces – to the point where the popular reed of Papyrus became the universal name for organic, manufactured writing surfaces in the western hemisphere for thousands of years. Proud, upstanding and dignified.

Link: The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

(via linear a)

 
 

Time

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Just realized that my posts were showing up with the wrong time stamp. Hopefully, this corrects it.

 
 

Giuliani Ahead

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

In New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina now.

Prediction: This will be a Giuliani/Clinton race, and Giuliani will clobber her. If it becomes a Giuliani/Obama race, the results will be harder to predict.

(links from Giulinani PR machine)

 
 

Ghost Bride

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

In China:

Parts of rural China are seeing a burgeoning market for female corpses, the result of the reappearance of a strange custom called “ghost marriages�. Chinese tradition demands that husbands and wives always share a grave. Sometimes, when a man died unmarried, his parents would procure the body of a woman, hold a “wedding� and bury the couple together.

I may have a better solution: bury them with real dolls.

Read more here.

(via boingboing)

 
 

No Arms To Saudi Arabia

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I’m just writing this to join what is sure to grow into a blogospheric cacophony, and say that selling $20 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia is incredibly stupid. In all likelihood, we are going to wind up at war with Saudi Arabia in the next decade. Arming them in the meantime only makes that inevitable war only harder to win.

Just my two cents.

 
 

Chicken & Pears

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Yes, that’s Christopher Walken.

(via slashfood)

 
 

Putin Youth

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I caught this article over on Drudge about Russia’s youth, going to teenage summer camp to be encouraged to have sex and procreate. It looked funny at first, but it’s actually scarier, much more like a fascist “Putin Youth”. Key passage:

Yet the truth is that Britain, like most Western countries, flagellates itself for the crimes of the past. Indeed, British schoolchildren rarely learn anything positive about their country’s empire. And, if Mr Putin has his way, Russian pupils will learn nothing bad about the Soviet empire, which was far bloodier, more brutal – and more recent.

It says as much about us as it says about them. Nature abhors a vacuum, including, apparently, intellectual ones. It remains to be seen whether enough of our history has been passed on to our younger generation accurately enough for them to be able to defend western history, to be able to discern right from wrong.

Read the whole thing here.

 
 

Contract Terms Changing

Monday, July 30th, 2007

The 9th Circuit gets one right, saying that one party cannot arbitrarily change contract terms without notifying the other party:

The case involved an AOL voice customer named Joe Douglas whose account was transferred to Talk America when Talk America purchased that segment of AOL’s business. Talk America changed the terms of Douglas’ contract, which he did not notice for a number of years because his service and billing continued on as expected. Upon discovering the change, however, Douglas filed a class action lawsuit against Talk America, but the company moved to compel arbitration—as per a change to the terms of service. Talk America argued that the updated terms of service was freely accessible via the company’s website and that Douglas could have checked it at any time. The District Court handling in the case ruled in favor of Talk America, but Douglas appealed the decision.

The Ninth Circuit disagreed heavily with the original ruling, saying that it was not reasonable to expect Douglas to check the company’s website every day just to see if the terms of service had changed. “Parties to a contract have no obligation to check the terms on a periodic basis to learn whether they have been changed by the other side,” wrote the judges. “Indeed, a party can’t unilaterally change the terms of a contract; it must obtain the other party’s consent before doing so… This is because a revised contract is merely an offer and does not bind the parties until accepted.”

That sounds like what I remember with regards to the Uniform Commercial Code. But I admit to being confused as to why such a case would be heard in Federal court, as the UCC is a state law.

Read the whole thing here.

 
 

Victorian Slap Game

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Waste the rest of your afternoon on the Victorian Slap Game, where you play one of two Victorian woman bitchslapping each other. Gobs of fun.

 
 

Another Possibility

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Some time ago, I wrote:

Sometime in my lifetime, I believe that either one of two things will happen. That the Democrats will wake up and eject the socialists from their ranks, or that they will die away, and the Republican Party will become top heavy, and the libertarians there will break away from the Christian conservatives to form a new two party system. I think that that debate will be more heated in social issues, but far less heated in foreign policy and economic policy. But it’s a long term development either way.

But there’s another possibility. The Democrats could decide to reject their secular roots and become a Christian-Socialist party as is common in democracies in so many parts of the world, leaving the Republicans to become the more secular libertarian party again.

Observe (via instapundit):

Sensing an opportunity to impress religious voters — and tip elections — Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail have begun to adopt some of the language and policy goals of the antiabortion movement.

For years, the liberal response to abortion has been to promote more accessible and affordable birth control as well as detailed sex education in public schools.

That’s still the foundation of Democratic policies. But in a striking shift, Democrats in the House last week promoted a grab bag of programs designed not only to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but also to encourage women who do conceive to carry to term.

With Obama and Hillary professing their faith all over the place, with Ron Paul becoming a credible second tier candidate among the Republicans and with the Republican front runner being a decidedly non-religious economic libertarian (or at least more so than any nominee in recent memory), the idea that the Republicans might lose the religious right to the Dems doesn’t seem all that far fetched.

I would rather see the idea of big government go away, rather than see it married to big religion. OTOH, we’d clearly be better off with at least one small government party, and if that is a way to achieve it, I’m game.

Read the whole article here.