Saturday, March 05, 2005
posted by chriszanf , 9:54 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 1:13 PM Þ 

God, I feel small....

more pictures
posted by Alison , 11:42 AM Þ 
Friday, March 04, 2005
posted by Irdial , 10:58 PM Þ 

8200 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 0.
8201 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 1.
8202 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 2.
8203 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 3.
8204 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 4.
8205 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 5.
8206 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 6.
8207 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 7.
8208 = 84 + 24 + 04 + 84.
8209 = 8 + 213 + 0 + 9.
posted by Irdial , 10:53 PM Þ 

(Does it really exist? ) ...Perhaps she meant "light" cream as opposed to "heavy" cream? Although, you can now find low carb milk in the States,

they call it a "dairy beverage," I call it blasphemy.
posted by telle goode , 6:27 PM Þ 

Thats the second time I've deleted the multiple posts (which I only posted once).

Weird things are happening for me with Blogger. I have trouble logging in (it takes forever sometimes) and publishing even longer with bizarre results at times (as seen on tv).

Anyone else having these kinds of troubles or has the family curse returned?

I find synaesthesia interesting as only the person affected experiences it. Ultimately, we all experience this 'reality' differently but to have crossed wires like this must be both fascinating and disturbing and is a completely subjective experience.

I wonder what the chart would look like if the test subject was someone like Xenakis?
posted by chriszanf , 5:30 PM Þ 

You have to question the sensibilities of a person...

who knows what 'low-fat cream' tastes of. (Does it really exist? )
posted by meau meau , 4:52 PM Þ 

Minor second: Sour
Major second: Bitter
Minor third: Salty
Major third: Sweet
Fourth: Mown grass
Tritone: Disgust
Fifth: Pure water
Minor sixth: Cream
Major sixth: Low-fat cream
Minor seventh: Bitter
Major seventh: Sour
Octave: No taste

Am I the only one to notice that she thinks the minor second and major seventh BOTH taste sour?! This is quite the most ridiculous, cliched report! I take offense to this woman who clearly associates "dissonant" sounds with "bad" flavors. The tritone is a simple cream-puff pastry, and the minor seventh is a creme anglaise. (The sixths have more nuttiness then cream to them.) I do agree that the minor third is a bit salty, but only a fool would think the octave has no flavor, the octave is oaky smell, a broad charcoal-like bouquet, with a fruitiness that lingers in your mouth.... This article is another underhanded attack on the complex deliciousness that is dissonance. You have to question the sensibilities of a person who thinks a fourth tastes like "mown grass," she is clearly longing for something long since past, some romantic, inane innocence.
posted by telle goode , 4:18 PM Þ 

"A recorder player has fascinated neuroscientists with her ability to taste differences in the intervals between notes.

The condition in which the brain links two or more of the senses is known as synaesthesia, and some sense combinations are relatively common. But this is the first time that the ability has been found to help in performing a mental task, such as identifying a major third.

Elizabeth Sulston was at school when she first noticed that she saw colours while hearing music. She realized that the same was not true of her peers, although linkage of tone and colour is a known synaesthetic combination.

As she began to learn music more formally, she found that when hearing particular tone intervals she experienced a characteristic taste on her tongue. For example, a minor third tasted salty to her, whereas a minor sixth tasted like cream. She started to use the tastes to help her recognize different chords. [...]"
posted by chriszanf , 2:42 PM Þ 


Users of Transport for London's (TfL) Oyster card may soon be able to buy newspapers and milk and pay for car parking with their smartcard [...]

Hmm. They already know where you live and where you travel so why not what you buy? I wonder if they will ever have a list of proscribed magazines? Probably not more likely they'll sell your profile to these rats (bypassing the postal preference service)
posted by meau meau , 9:23 AM Þ 
Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gloved hand taking cash from safe, BBC
Identity theft could lead to theft from your bank account
A quarter of UK adults have had their identity stolen or know someone who has fallen victim to ID fraud, a Which? magazine survey has suggested.

So, UK adult blogdialians, which of us is it?
posted by Alun , 9:10 PM Þ 

The Grauniad reports...

Scientists have examined rates of autism among children in Japan, where the MMR vaccine was withdrawn in 1993. They found that the number of children with autism continued to rise after the MMR vaccine was replaced with single-shot vaccines.

During the study, the medical records of 31,426 children in the city of Yokohama were checked. Before the vaccine was withdrawn, between 48 and 86 children per 10,000 were diagnosed as autistic. After the vaccine was withdrawn, 97 to 161 children per 10,000 were diagnosed with the condition.

posted by Alun , 8:56 PM Þ 

dav, no.

And sadly. I had nothing to do with it except only to know that it was going on, and read about it. I have witnessed the people taking the photos and inputing the metadata for it though, which is quite an operation. The output of my daily work slowly finds its home here. I would love to see this display of finding aids get richer and more usable a la that image database.

My favorite part is in the Terms and Permissions, where it reads:

"NYPL makes no representations or warranties that it owns or licenses any such rights nor does NYPL grant you any rights including copyright, trademarks, or rights of publicity belonging to any person, place, property, or subject matter depicted in any image. Further NYPL makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of any information provided with the images. You are solely responsible for determining whether your use of any image requires the consent of any third party or the license of any additional rights, and you should not rely solely on the information provided by NYPL. If you are unsure of whether additional rights are needed for your use, you are responsible for consulting with competent legal counsel."
posted by telle goode , 8:49 PM Þ 

That's an incredible image archive Telle, both in content and execution. Did you work on it at all?
posted by captain davros , 7:41 PM Þ 

My employer just unveiled the NYPL Digital Gallery which provides access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.

There are some fine things to view on/in it, if given a moment of one's time. Such as; the Trouvelot astronomical drawings

This was the sort of thing that seemed a dream only 5 years ago, and now here it is... available.
posted by telle goode , 3:35 PM Þ 
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
posted by Irdial , 8:33 PM Þ 


download syncOtunes(Mac / PC*)

  • You have two Mac's...
  • You have two iTunes libraries...
  • You never have all your songs on each Mac...

    syncOtunes synchronizes your iTunes libraries

  • select the iTunes library file from your first Mac.
  • open the iTunes library of your second Mac through a network share.
  • syncOtunes compares the songlistes and creates a folder for each of your Mac's, containing the missing song files.
  • import that folder into iTunes with an applescript, not needed files are automatically trashed, and you're done.
posted by Irdial , 8:28 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 8:23 PM Þ


current 93

strawberry switchblade

Some links.

Boyd Rice, has a project that you need to see. You can be sure that Mr. Rice is on the list of 'people to be taken down at the first opportunity'.

posted by Irdial , 3:24 PM Þ 

Shame on Canada!

Political Prisoner Ernst Zundel Deported Secretly & Whisked by Chartered Plane to Germany

Word has just reached me that Ernst Zundel was taken in a special, chartered (?) plane to Germany, where he reportedly landed at 10 p.m., German time, in Frankfurt. There, he will be arrested for "Holocaust Denial" allegedly found on the Zundelsite - and taken to the Mannheim Prison. So, once again, this is a "cyber war" involving an American website? Blue Ribbons to the fore!

March 1: CAFE comments on the deportation of Ernst Zundel

Feb 27: Statement from Ernst Zundel's Lawyers on the deportation

Feb 26 - Update on Deportation

Entire Text of Justice Blais Decision (PDF Format)

Media articles on case


The judge presiding over his trial wrote: "Mr. Zundel has never advocated violence. This has been the basis of his position throughout the hearing. How can defending ideas, however unpopular or insulting, pose a safety concern for Canada?"

But Judge Blais eventually concluded that the secret evidence tipped the scales in the opposite direction. "The information made available to me paints an entirely different picture. Mr. Zundel is not the avuncular figure looking on with some indulgence on the wayward excesses of some misguided souls who fail to understand his message of non violence. The evidence points to his own direct involvement with groups he pretends to know very little about..."

There's a reason the ACLU famously defended the right of Nazis to march in Skokie: process is important. Denying one group, no matter how reprehensible, the right to speak paves the way to further abridgements (who decides what's reprehensible?). Relying on secret evidence is no way to run a free society, and punishing someone for even odious political views is wrong. (Remember this the next time Ottawa lectures Washington on human rights.)

If the police had evidence of criminal mischief, it should be presented in open court, not offered as innuendo. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association was correct to decry Canada's bizarre procedures and unseemly haste to be rid of a political problem.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Reporters Without Borders condemns "repressive" nations at U.N. Net-summit [fs]
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 23:49:58 -0500
From: Al Cabal
To: Declan McCullagh

...and Ernst Zundel is to be deported from Canada to Germany after 2 years
in solitary confinement with the fluorescent lights on 24/7 after having
been snatched from the arms of his American wife by jackbooted Feds before
lunch on a gorgeous winter's morning in their home in the mountains of

It all reminds me of that old Chicago song --- "Does anybody really know
what time it is? Does anybody really care?"

Where is Frank Zappa now that we really need him? Who are the Brain Police?

From Hell,
Alan Cabal

Snarfed from Politech.

On the one hand, they clamour for covert racist ID policy, on the other, they lock up overt racists for talking andwriting.

posted by Irdial , 3:14 PM Þ 

I see a cartoon!

Hardly the best drawn in the world, must be conceptual.
May be redone with photomontages.
posted by meau meau , 11:22 AM Þ 

Hazel Blears has said muslims should accept they will be increasingly stopped and searched. Surely she means people with mid-brown skin tones? After all unless muslims are made to wear identifying armbands or somesuch how on earth will the police be able to focus on muslims?
Caused by stupid, injust and counter-productive thinking. At least she gets near the truth of what the government's schemes actually involve.

Oh and remember that if ID cards are actually forced upon us these stop and searches WILL be logged and referenced for the rest of your life and death.


that was breathtaking.

You should try Sebald's writing without my elisions!
posted by meau meau , 9:46 AM Þ 

meau meau: that was breathtaking.
posted by Mess Noone , 9:30 AM Þ 
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The construction of fortifications, for instance - and Antwerp was an outstanding example of that craft - clearly showed how we feel obliged to keep surrounding ourselves with defences, built in successive phases as a precaution against any incursion by enemy powers, until the idea of concentric rings making their way steadily outward comes up against its natural limits. If we study the development of fortifications [...] it is amazing, said Austerlitz, to see the persistence with which generations of masters of the art of military architecture, [...] clung to what we can easily see today was a fundamentally wrong-headed idea: the notion that by designing an ideal tracé with blunt bastions and ravelins projecting well beyond it, allowing the cannon of the fortress to cover the entire operational area outside the walls, you could make a city as secure as anything in the world can ever be [..., S]tudy of the intricately sketched plans of such fortified complexes [...] immediately strikes the layman as an emblem both of absolute power and of the ingenuity the engineers put to the service of that power. In the practice of warfare, however, the star-shaped fortresses [...] did not answer their purpose, for intent as everyone was on that pattern, it had been forgotten that the largest fortifications will naturally attract the largest enemy forces, and that the more you entrench yourself the more you must remain on the defensive, so that in the end you might find yourself in a place fortified in every possible way, watching helplessly while the enemy troops, moving on to their own choice of terrain elsewhere [...]. The frequent result, said Austerlitz, of resorting to measures of fortification marked in general by a tendency towards paranoid elaboration was- that you drew attention to your weakest point, practically inviting the enemy to attack it, not to mention the fact that as architectural plans for fortifications became increasingly complex, the time it took to build them increased as well, and with it the probability that as soon as they were finished, if not before, they would have been overtaken by further developments, both in artillery and in strategic planning [...] And if the defensive power of a fortress really was put to the test, then as a rule, and after the squandering of enormous quantities of war material, the outcome remained more or less undecided There could not be a clearer illustration of this [...] than here in Antwerp where in 1832, [...] the citadel [...] was beseiged for three weeks by a French army of fifty thousand men In mid-December[...] The siege of Antwerp, which was unsurpassed in the, history of warfare, at least for some years, both in terms of expenditure and vehemence [...] destroying everything without trace except for a couple of casemates.
[T]he only conclusion anyone drew from it, incredibly, was that the defences surrounding the city must be rebuilt even more strongly than before, and moved further out. [... T]he old citadel and most of the outer forts were levelled and work began on the construction of a new enceinte ten miles long [...] a project which proved inadequate after less than twenty years because of the longer range of modern guns and the increasingly destructive power of explosives, so that, in obedience to the same old logic, construction now began on yet another ring [...] six to nine miles away from the enceinte. During the thirty years or more it took to build this complex the question arose [...] of whether the expansion of Antwerp [...] did not mean that the line of forts ought to be moved yet another three miles further out, which would actually have made it over thirty miles long, bringing it within sight of the outskirts of Mechelen, with the result that the entire Belgian army would have been insufficient to garrison the fortifications. So [...] they just went on working to complete the system already under construction, although they knew it was now far from being able to meet the actual requirements. The last link in the chain was the fortress of Breendonk, said Austerlitz, a fort completed just before the outbreak of the First World War in which, within a few months, it proved completely useless for the defence of the city and the country. Such complexes of fortifications [...] show us how, unlike birds, for instance, who keep building the same nest over thousands of years, we tend to forge ahead with our projects far beyond any reasonable bounds.

(Austerlitz, WG Sebald)
posted by meau meau , 10:44 PM Þ 

UK Archives Hub, Collections of the Month, March 2005: Botany

Dog Rose

Above: 'Wild Rose haups. Rosa Canina. Sidlaw Road, Strathmartine. September 1912'. Detail from Illustrations of Scottish Flora (1912-1913) by David R Robinson. From the Kinnear Collection, reference GB 0254 MS 103/3/5.
posted by telle goode , 3:26 PM Þ 

this word looks totally bananas:


all those curves and 3 es and 5 esses, amazing!


I wonder if you could sue someone for libel/slander if you were put under a control order.
posted by meau meau , 10:48 AM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 10:03 AM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 9:03 AM Þ 
Monday, February 28, 2005

On Channel 4's programme about Guantanamo, an Oxford student who volunteered to be tortured was shaved bald, stripped naked, and forced to listen to...


and...that was the point at which he broke.

This total moron (and another one who bottle out) thought that Guantanamo was needed 'to catch the bad guys'. After 40 hours and TG, he totally changed his mind. What a stupid idiot.

Will somebody please PLEASE wake me up!
posted by Irdial , 11:41 PM Þ 
posted by Claus Eggers , 8:50 PM Þ 
posted by Claus Eggers , 8:42 PM Þ 

The new EU ''constitution,'' for example, would be unrecognizable as such to any American. I had the opportunity to talk with former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing on a couple of occasions during his long labors as the self-declared and strictly single Founding Father. He called himself ''Europe's Jefferson,'' and I didn't like to quibble that, constitution-wise, Jefferson was Europe's Jefferson -- that's to say, at the time the U.S. Constitution was drawn up, Thomas Jefferson was living in France. Thus, for Giscard to be Europe's Jefferson, he'd have to be in Des Moines, where he'd be doing far less damage.

But, quibbles aside, President Giscard professed to be looking in the right direction. When I met him, he had an amiable riff on how he'd been in Washington and bought one of those compact copies of the U.S. Constitution on sale for a buck or two. Many Americans wander round with the constitution in their pocket so they can whip it out and chastise over-reaching congressmen and senators at a moment's notice. Try going round with the European Constitution in your pocket and you'll be walking with a limp after two hours: It's 511 pages, which is 500 longer than the U.S. version. It's full of stuff about European space policy, Slovakian nuclear plants, water resources, free expression for children, the right to housing assistance, preventive action on the environment, etc.

Most of the so-called constitution isn't in the least bit constitutional. That's to say, it's not content, as the U.S. Constitution is, to define the distribution and limitation of powers. Instead, it reads like a U.S. defense spending bill that's got porked up with a ton of miscellaneous expenditures for the ''mohair subsidy'' and other notorious Congressional boondoggles. President Ronald Reagan liked to say, ''We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around.'' If you want to know what it looks like the other way round, read Monsieur Giscard's constitution. [...]

The European constitution really is a pile of shite, that much is true.

And yet, when any representative of a government can come out with an insanely wild statement like this:

Canada Has Given Up Control of its Airspace: US Ambassador
... Ottawa – Canada's announcement that it won't join the US missile shield provoked
an immediate warning that it has relinquished sovereignty over its airspace. ... - 44k - Cached - Similar pages

24 Hours - TopStory: Canada giving up sovereignty: US
... Canada's announcement that it won't join the US missile shield provoked an immediate
warning that it has relinquished sovereignty over its airspace. ... - 25k - 26 Feb 2005 - Cached - Similar pages - Divergent Paths: Canada Breaks With US Over ...
... budget.". Martin's announcement provoked a warning from Washington that
Canada had relinquished sovereignty over its airspace. Paul ... file=article&sid=14778 - 23k - 26 Feb 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

bankrupt artist v.3 » slime
... According to this piece of shit that is the American Ambassador to Canada, Canada
has "relinquished sovereignty over its airspace" since we will not allow the ... - 29k - 26 Feb 2005 - Cached - Similar pages - World
... - Canada's announcement that it won't join the US missile shield provoked
an immediate warning that it has relinquished sovereignty over its airspace ... - 73k - 26 Feb 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

"relinquished sovereignty over its airspace"

According to Google.

the reality is that a facist power annexing the skies of another country is a really bad thing. Best for people like Steyn to take care of (in writing) this sort of problem, rather than 'problems' like a European constitution that is rubbish and which, according to him, will not ever impact him in the slightlest since Europe is going to 'implode'.

I wonder what the Canadians think and are going to do about this outrageous statement? Perhaps they should build their own missile defence system to protect and maintain the soverinty of their airsopace; after all, if the facists launch an unprovoked misslie attack against another country through Canadian airspace, Canadians will be responsible for letting it happen unchecked.

Of course, this is the same Canada that will send back concientious objectors to the meat grinder should they turn up in 'Tabernacle City'.

All that being said, its a superb, bilious, barberous piece quoted above - the sort of talk Morton Downey Jr. used to spit out, but without the 'big words'.

posted by Irdial , 8:12 PM Þ 

Swoon is a paste up artist in NYC whose work always brings a smile or a pondering stare. The meticulous cut paper method which stresses positive and negative space is what drew my attention in the first place. But her characters seem to have a life of their own, and are asking for their stories to be heard.

You can see more of her work at Flickr: Photos tagged with swoon and Fotolog's swoon site.
posted by Josh Carr , 4:24 PM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 4:02 PM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 3:42 PM Þ 

Thanks Alex... I checked and Netinfo was unchecked.
Shame. I really don't want to do an archive/install. Ever!
posted by Alun , 2:27 PM Þ 

Recent Broadcast from Captain Davros:

Man with pipe graffiti - is it Bob?

If it is, see here for (a bit) more...

Bob Dodds

Had a blogdial dream last night...I was in a coffee shop and overheard
an American student-type woman talking about blogging on blogdial. As
I was trying to figure out who she might be there then followed a long
debate in my mind as to whether I should reveal myself as the captain,
and would she believe me anyway, and I think I woke up before anything
could be done about it.

I would blog this and the bob comment but I am at work and am not
blogging there right now.


Good work, Captain!
Claw-head hammer man, you will be MINE!
posted by Alun , 1:21 PM Þ 

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Biometric passports, described by some as a global identification card, are just around the corner -- and it could mean easier travel for business travelers or a hassle for others.

Viewed as an important tool for tracking potential terrorists and illegal immigrants, your personal data could soon be made available to authorities you are unaware of.

"[Travelers] will be surprised at how easily they can become the subject of a criminal investigation, just because they have left their fingerprints inside a bank that was robbed two hours later," Thilo Weichert of the German Data Protection Association told CNN.

"They would then have to prove their innocence, and the whole principle that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution could be turned upside down."[...]

Fingerprints at a bank or perhaps the fertiliser bags at a garden centre, soldering equipment at the electrical store, etc., etc.
posted by meau meau , 1:21 PM Þ 

And a 1930's/1940's era man's head smoking a pipe.

I've only seen one type of tag in Leeds that goes beyond proving they can spell their nickname, being a cigarette with a monocle. There is a craze for scratching initials into bus windows. A couple of paste-ups done well, usual content.
posted by meau meau , 11:30 AM Þ 

I was searching for something else to do with NetInfo/LDAP Auth and found this.

Slashdot | Dealing with Mac OS X and NetInfo Problems?

"OSX does use Netinfo by default for local login but the previous poster is quite correct in saying the Netinfo should not be selected in the Directory Access utility. This checkbox is for enabling authentication using a remote Netinfo server and can cause authentication problems including fantastically long timeouts with no on-screen error message when logging in."

The Directory Access app is in /Applications/Utilities.
posted by alex_tea , 11:17 AM Þ 

"OTTAWA (CP) -- Canada's announcement that it won't join the U.S. missile shield provoked an immediate warning that it has relinquished sovereignty over its airspace.

From now on, the U.S. government will control any decision to fire at incoming missiles over Canadian territory, declared the top U.S. envoy to Canada.

"We will deploy. We will defend North America," said Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

"We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty -- its seat at the table -- to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada." [...]

How is opting out of joining an overly expensive white elephant giving up your sovereignty, especially when opting out only means you don't have a choice if the US fires missles? I bet opting in just means the same but with a multi-billion contribution to the scheme. Once again, it's more double speak from the forked tongues of the American military machine.
posted by chriszanf , 10:12 AM Þ 

I just picked up the "Government Commissions" 2LP by Mogwai today, which are Peel Session selections. The artwork is barely existant, but there is a prominent Memorial to John Peel inside. Very tasteful.
Are these the first Sessions to be released after Peel's death?
posted by Barrie , 4:20 AM Þ 
Sunday, February 27, 2005
posted by Claus Eggers , 7:49 PM Þ 

Additional grafitti thoughts.

There's someone who tags a claw-head hammer everywhere. Multiple sizes and colours, outline only. Hand drawn. Puzzling. Pointless?

And a 1930's/1940's era man's head smoking a pipe. Stencil. Predominantly black. Non-commital. Harmless.

I also love those rare and blessed surfaces chosen for communal 'naming'... sometimes hundreds of names, sets of initials, the equations of loves factual and fictional... x loves a + b + c +... i heart u 4 eva 2 b

I apologise for the lack of images. I don't have a digital camera, and they're not really the type of thing I usually photograph, unless as part of an overall image.

However, I have joined flickr and will post some scans of things there soon.
posted by Alun , 7:39 PM Þ 

Japanese Airport Hotel

One partner lies on his back. The other partner lies on top, feet by her partner's head.

Both partners hold each other's ankles and attempt to straighten their arms. The partner on top should end up in the air, with her arms in a straight push-up position.

Armpit Pose

One partner lies on her back. The other partner stands above, feet on either side of his partner's waist. The partner on the floor lifts her feet into her partner's armpits.

The standing partner squeezes his partner's feet with his armpits, and bends his knees until his feet lift off the floor.

Partner Yoga
posted by mary13 , 5:39 PM Þ 

the conet project -
... post to the conet project. Connected Tribes. ... dfilms (19 members). the
conet project. a tribe to discuss and learn about the fascinating conet project. ...
posted by Irdial , 4:45 PM Þ 

Thanks for the osx hints.


repaired/verified permissions
got rid of all startup items
checked it wasn't a font problem
done disk repair from startup CD

: and, unfortunately, still no joy.

But it's Sunday! Been out walking round Hackney, via Bethnal Green road down to Columbia Road flower market and bought us some 'kangeroo's paw' and pussy willow. (Cue East End barrow-boy shouts of 'look at my lovely pussy', 'who likes a bit of pussy, then?' and so on...) Have eaten salt beef bagels from Brick Lane with lots of sinus-clearing mustard. Walked home through London Fields, longing for the day we can have dogs (Sarah wants a Border Collie, I'd like a Springer Spaniel) and wondering how people in London can keep anything bigger than a mouse without breaking animal cruelty laws.

Now it's time for Green And Black's hot chocolate.

So it's not all bad, is it?

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
posted by Alun , 2:57 PM Þ 

SAN FRANCISCO -- John Gilmore's splendid isolation began July 4, 2002, when, with defiance aforethought, he strolled to the Southwest Airlines counter at Oakland Airport and presented his ticket.
The gate agent asked for his ID.
Gilmore asked her why.
It is the law, she said.
Gilmore asked to see the law.
Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is "Sensitive Security Information." The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection.
What started out as a weekend trip to Washington became a crawl through the courts in search of an answer to Gilmore's question: Why?
The elegance of Gilmore's thinking is that knowing someone's ID does not prevent the person from committing a terrorist act.
Post-Gazette, via boing boing

This is an example of a real man, a man's man, sticking it to THE man. I am thoroughly impressed and inspired.
posted by Barrie , 8:26 AM Þ 

Background Information on the Proposal
The new paper proposes that the next General Conference on Weights and Measures adopt either one of two definitions for the kilogram to effectively fix its value by selecting a specific value for either the Planck constant or the Avogadro constant. Two types of experiments are leading the effort to realize either of these definitions. The first one measures a kilogram against the amount of magnetic force required to balance a 1-kilogram mass against the pull of Earth’s gravity. The experimental apparatus used to make the measurement is called a watt balance. A kilogram mass is placed on a balance plate that is surrounded by a coil of copper wire, which in turn is surrounded by a coil of superconducting wire. Magnetic fields produced by sending electricity through the coils push on the balance plate to offset the artifact's weight. The amount of electric current and its voltage then is used in defining a kilogram. Electrical power can be related to the Planck constant, defined as the ratio between the frequency of an electromagnetic particle such as a photon of light and its energy. This experimental method of defining the kilogram relies on selecting a fixed value for the Planck constant, which is currently determined experimentally based on the fixed value of the kilogram artifact.

The second proposed way to re-define the kilogram involves counting the number of atoms of a specific atomic mass that equal the mass of 1 kilogram. This method involves using X-rays to measure the spacing between atoms in a perfect crystal to estimate the volume of each atom, and measuring the density of the crystal and weight of the atoms, to arrive at a number of atoms equivalent to 1 kilogram. This experimental method for defining the kilogram depends on selecting a fixed value for the Avogadro constant, which describes the number of atoms or molecules in a specified amount of a substance.

Either method for redefining the kilogram would have positive ripple effects on many other physical constants such as the charge and mass of the electron. The specifics would depend on which definition is chosen. Either way, the uncertainties of some constants would be reduced to 0, while others would be reduced by factors ranging from about 7 to over 1,300, according to the paper.

Physical constants are used by scientists and engineers to make innumerable types of calculations, and also are used in designing and calibrating quantum-based measurement systems. Such systems are becoming more important in technology development and the growth of trade that relies increasingly on electronic testing, quality control and environmental monitoring. Reduced uncertainty in the values of many quantum-based constants also may stimulate new experimental and theoretical work aimed at testing fundamental theories of physics.

The last time a base unit of the SI was redefined was in 1983, when the meter was formally redefined in terms of a new value for the speed of light. In this case, the scientific community decided to fix the value for a physical constant—the speed of light—at a specific value so that length measurements could be made with greater precision. The speed of light is equal to the wavelength multiplied by its frequency. The meter previously was defined by wavelength only; the new definition was made possible by more precise frequency measurements. By redefining the meter to equal the distance light travels in a vacuum in a specific time, scientists were able to determine distance by measuring time and frequency, the two quantities of nature that can be measured experimentally with the greatest precision.

In a similar way, redefinition of the kilogram by assigning a specific value to the Planck constant or to the Avogadro constant will allow scientists to make mass calculations for a wide range of quantum physics problems much more precisely than previously possible.

The authors stress that regardless of which redefinition of the kilogram is chosen, efforts should continue to reduce the measurement uncertainty of both the watt balance and X-ray crystal experiments. Currently, both methods are 10 to 100 times less precise than the measurement uncertainty produced when comparing the kilogram artifact to national standards. What’s more, the results of the two approaches disagree by nearly 1 part per million. Eventually, when uncertainties of experiments with the watt balance or X-ray crystal density method reach a sufficiently low level, the cylinder artifact would no longer be needed. [...]

7 to over 1300?!

What I now wonder is, why during all of this time, no scientist has devised her own definition of a kilogram for use in a calculaton only. This would allow her to take advantage of this greater resolution immediately instead of having to wait...for what exactly? The sort of maths that is done by string theorists and that sort is purely theoretical; surely they are already using these natural effect only definitions for mass? Chemists in every school world wide titrate in examinatoins using the mole - in fact, you can do a calculation for a theoritcal titration on paper thanks to the mole (or NO THANKS if you are a student that hasnt revised---har har!)

Its simply odd that a Kilogram...that there is 'The Kilogram' in a jar in France, and that this is what defines a Kilogram. Its rather like the foot of the king defining the length of the foot, as they used to do it in England, only worse, because the nature of the universe is being spelled out to everyone based on measurements and inferences drawn from this example mass.

And this is REAL!
posted by Irdial , 2:25 AM Þ 

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