Saturday, January 26, 2002

i changed the search (on the left) to google. it doesn't archive as frequently, but it gives more useful results.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

richard stevenson and elisabeth bumiller of the new york times writes "President Bush said today that he would seek $48 billion in additional spending on the military next year...They said Mr. Bush's plan would call for outright cuts in some domestic programs" (ie. education, health care, etc.)

the money "would not go so much to the direct operating costs of the conflict in Afghanistan and other places around the world as to beefing up the nation's military more generally...A large portion of the new spending would also go toward the procurement of such big-ticket items as warships, tanks and fighter jets."

these are purchases that presume an imminent major war with a known entity who has the capability to fight back. terrorists don't fight warships - they fight civilians.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

bookmarklet update: the blogger bookmarklet (upon which i based my bookmarklet) is different depending on your operating system (and browser?). i didn't realize this because blogger doesn't mention it. so i'm making browser-specific bookmarklets, starting with the browsers i've tested so far.
so upon further testing, the bookmarklet doesn't work on some (so far only blogspot.com) websites (including this one). or at least not on such websites using windows IE. anyway, the blogger.com bookmarklet doesn't work on the same websites, so i suspect the text selection part doesn't work with complex layouts or something. so it thinks you don't have anything selected.
i don't know that someone hasn't already done this (i didn't find it), but i combined the functionality of the dictionary.com bookmarklet and the blogger.com bookmarklet into a bookmarklet that will open a new window with the definition of whatever word is selected when the bookmarklet is clicked. you can test it out by selecting a word and clicking the link below corresponding to your browser. if you then drag the link into the links bar of your browser, you should be able to use this anywhere on the internet. enjoy.

Windows IE: Dictionary.com

Other Browsers: Dictionary.com

maybe i'll do one for thesaurus.com later. it would also be nice if it would prompt you for a word when you hadn't selected one already.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

if you go here and type in bill number HR3598, you'll find a bill in the us house of representatives stating:

"It is the obligation of every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 22 to receive basic military training and education as a member of the armed forces unless the citizen or person is exempted under the provisions of this Act."

that reminds me of something i read somewhere once:
"HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.
HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power."
good news: sarah left of the guardian writes "Donor nations closed a Tokyo conference on Afghanistan's future today by announcing $4.5bn in aid for a country still vulnerable after nearly three decades of war."

unfortunately, america is not taking a leading role in the rebuilding of afghanistan, despite having played a leading role in the destruction of afghanistan: "Some of the major donations included a pledge from Iran for $500m over the next five years, $500m from Japan over two-and-half years, another $500m from the EU for this year, and $220m from Saudi Arabia over three years. The United States total came in at only $296m of aid in the first year."
the guardian reports "Four die in attack on US centre": "Draped in shawls, four heavily armed men on motorcycles sprayed automatic gunfire at the police officers posted outside the building before making their escape at 6.30am local time (1am GMT)...A pool of blood could be seen outside the building. Spent AK-47 bullets littered the street, where several hundred police officers stood guard."

in related news, back in july of 2001, the us blocked a un resolution to control small arms (such as the AK-47). at that time, "The UN estimate[d] that Afghanistan [was] home to 10 million light weapons."
kmart follows enron: stephanie strom and leslie kaufman of the new york times write "the Kmart Corporation, the nation's third-largest discount retailer, is expected to seek bankruptcy protection as early as this morning."

Monday, January 21, 2002

it looks like the big liberal conspiracy theory for the next few months will bebush and enron, but as much as i love liberal conspiracy theory, this looks like mostly speculation so far.
right now i'm reading about japan during the taisho era (1912-1925). i'm doing this because i read an article about the high number (300+) of lesbian double suicides during the following decade, and the authors explanation of this phenomenon didn't strike me as satisfactory. so i'm reading about industrialization, women's liberation, and trying to track down a copy of the taisho civil code, thinking maybe those things will help better explain. i'm also looking for a similar or related phenomenon in china. i hope to combine all this in a "thesis."
i haven't been blogging much lately. this is because i haven't been reading much online. i've been reading books and journal articles. i've been avoiding writing about these things because of the background knowledge necessary to explain them. but maybe they'd be more interesting than the other things i write about. or at least writing would clarify my thoughts.

Sunday, January 20, 2002

one of my friends went crazy last week. i'm not sure how to better describe the situation. i suspect he'll get better. he's not a very close friend, so i don't really feel it's my place to do anything about his going crazy. but this is the second time this has happened to someone i know, and i wonder what i would do if it was someone i knew better. i think i have trouble accepting the overwhelming evidence that someone i know, who was previously not crazy, is now crazy. so in both situations, my reaction has been to generally ignore the craziness.
good news: thomas friedman of the new york times writes "The Pakistani president vowed to reform those madrasas, or Islamic schools, that teach only the Koran, and not science, math and literature. From bazaars to barbershops, Pakistan's silent majority responded: 'It's about time.'"