Milk Additive [OOPS! Fooled Again!]
The European Union has put laws into effect as of 2005-04-1, which prohibit
any showing of nipples or pudenda on web sites which can be accessed by minors
(meaning anybody under 22 in some countries
the union). The law was sneaked in as a sub-clause in a new law about labeling
of dairy products.
Sounds much like the way our Congress works. It's been tried here before.
Will the EU success be an inspiration for lawmakers here to take another stab at censoring US-based web sites, in this Post-Janet-Jackson
[4/2 update: Thinking better of it... This seems more like an April-fools' joke... Should have checked more sources before posting. I can be a bit gullible sometimes.]
“A lot of corporate America could take a lesson from Frank Perdue, a man who
started out selling chickens from an ice chest in the back of his truck. We
didn't always agree, but he was a good business man, he was fair, and he
was responsive to the needs of his growers.”
–John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, who
to Perdue for 13 years.
I liked Frank Perdue, one of the first CEOs to pitch his own product on TV. His on-screen persona was much more likeable and approachable than most of the other CEO/pitchmen who have tried to follow his example.
I liked his chickens, too. His
obit reads like a paean
to the puritan work ethic.
Frank had a bit of a dark side, too: In attempts to suppress
union building in his company, he approached a reputed NY crime family
(that's another way of saying Mafia) twice – unsuccessfully – for help.
Keep this in mind the next time you watch the corporate news:
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their
own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular
government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but
a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.
– James Madison
The DeLay Case File
Democrats have put together a guide to
the ‘ethics violations, abuses of power, and corruption’ of House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay. The document gives capsule descriptions of several scandals:
The Westar scandal, the House Medicare Vote Bribery scandal, the Texas redistricting
the K Street [lobbying]
scandal, the TRMPAC scandal, the Travel scandal, and the Ethics Committee
Icons visually denote influence peddling, partisan attacks, and investigations.
All of the scandals are being investigated. Five of the scandals involve partisan
attacks, and five involve influence peddling, while the K Street and TRMPAC
both. It will be interesting to see whether any of these has any legs.
Giving peace a chance
Terri Schiavo December 3, 1963 – March 31,
This morning, I heard bits and pieces about ‘islands of consciousness’ from
the talking heads. The armchair medical experts were debating whether Terri
was really in a vegetative state, as if that determination would justify another round of legal meddling and wishful thinking. Around 9 AM this morning, Terri finally died. Hopefully, the circus is over, though I doubt
we've heard the last of this sad case.
timeline, including some legal texts, is available on abstractappeal.com.
events in the case, along with details about wedding rings and what the bride
wore. It seems odd that all of the medical/legal case information is in the
If there are any lessons to be gleaned from this, it's that writing both a
will and a living will (while you can) are very good ideas.
I'm using a lot more CSS to build sites now. I'm finding that
I have to re-learn an appreciation for tables. I had used tables to completely
my layouts, and had thought that CSS positioning was a better way to go, now
that most browsers support it well.
However, I'm realizing that tables are precisely the way to go in a number
of situations. If your content looks tabular, tables are still the best way
to go. There's no way that I've been able to find, to make a <div> tag behave
So, as I edited an artist's resume yesterday, I quickly found myself inserting
<td>s into the code, but with a difference — I assigned classes to the cells
to manage all of the padding. That significantly simplified the process of
tweaking the design. At one point, I had to add more vertical whitespace between
the date and the
entries, and horizontal whitespace (essentially leading) between the entries.
It involved changes to two values in the stylesheet. Quickly and painlessly,
I had the look I wanted.
I got this tidbit in an e-mail from one of my local wine dealers.
Terroir plays no part in the production of great wines, say researchers
at the University of Reims and Université Libre de Bruxelles. They
collected data on environmental conditions and winemaking techniques across
the vineyards of the Haut-Médoc in 1990, including several first-growths.
The data was compared with the prices certain vintages fetched on the wine
market and the scores they received from tasters including Michael Broadbent
and Robert Parker. The study shows that winemaking techniques completely
overshadow the effect of terroir. And, another researcher found that Robert
Parker's scores can increase the price of Bordeaux by up to 15%.
Charles & Camilla will wed in a civil
ceremony followed by a blessing from their pastor, the Archbishop of Canterbury
A lot of people have an issue with that, especially because it puts both
Charles and Camilla in line for the throne of England.
The conservative wing
of the Anglican Church has a problem with Camilla, more than with Charles.
While they wouldn't approve of Charles remarrying after his divorce from Diana,
mitigates the issue. But Camilla's ex-husband is still very much alive, and
the church doesn't believe in annulments. Further, the church frowns on marriages
that ‘consummate infidelities.’
It's a bit ironic that the church now confronts
these issues with Charles. After all, the Anglican church was started in
16th century by King Henry VIII, in a break with the Vatican over his desire
his wife for his mistress.
Cochran Oct 2, 1937 – Mar 29, 2005
Died of an inoperable brain tumor, diagnosed December '03. His book, A
Lawyer's Life actually looks interesting. It's been said that he
hoped the phrase “If it doesn't fit, you must acquit” would not be his epitaph.
Every article I saw about him used the phrase, and many used it in the headline
announcing his death. Some things are simply out of your control.
I read a comment describing how some people despised Cochran. I think it's
largely because he was successful at what he did. Some of it had to do with
tactics like ‘playing the race card,’ but I think it's because many people
believe anyone accused of a crime is guilty (especially with the way TV news
plays court cases); so the defense attorney is seen as scum for getting the
guy off, usually on ‘technicalities.’ It reminds me of something an old school
buddy of mine said: ‘If you're good at what you do, you're going to piss some
Johnnie was charismatic, and he was good at what he did.
“The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms.
Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time
to speak is very telling.”
– David Wilkins, interim chairman of the
Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota
In the hours after the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999,
President Bill Clinton publicly expressed his condolences and followed up a
few days later with a radio address in which he proposed new gun control measures
and school safety projects.
– Washington Post article
Three days after the Red Lake tragedy, the best the White House had mustered
was an informal comment from Scott McClellan: ‘Our thoughts and prayers
are with the families
of those who were killed.’
Subject: Yahoo! News Story - Chocolate Crosses Move Into Mainstream
Date: March 25, 2005 3:46:48 PM EST
Russell Stover representatives mentioned that with sales meeting and perhaps
exceeding their expectations, next year they will be able to facilitate the
manufacture of chocolate nails, to be bundled with the chocolate cross.
There is no plan to develop a crown of chocolate thorns.
Riding on the PATH train yesterday, I saw two striking posters for Ashes
and Snow, an extraordinary exhibit of photographs by Gregory Colbert. I'm
reminded again that I have to see the show.
exceptional thing about the posters, was that the images, not the text, were
what grabbed and held the attention. They are the kind of images that provoke
the viewer to ask ‘what's going on here?,’ and to ask further whether the
scene depicted can even be possible.
One photo showed a young woman draped in white cloth facing sideways among
twin rows of columns, while an eagle
seems to fly just over her head
toward the camera, wings outstretched. The eagle's wings and the flowing cloth
of the young woman's sleeves visually echo each other. The other image appears
be a girl
crouched and perhaps dozing against the side of a cheetah. Both are perched
atop a round boulder. All of the images have a sepia-like tone, and evoke a
calm, reflective mood.
The show is housed in a set of storage containers on Pier 54, at West 13th
Having discovered that iframes are now supported by all the major browsers,
I've been experimenting with them. While I think that iframes have the same
indexing issues that framesets had, the design possibilities of building pages
with iframes makes them much more attractive than framesets.
So far, I've used them to implement a 'click to zoom' feature on a site that
I'm building, and to rewrite a frame-based photo gallery generated by iView.
The iView gallery turned out well enough, that I'm thinking I'll investigate
whether I can create a template for iView's gallery generator. I suspect it's
not documented, but it might be pretty easy to figure out.
There are some funky issues, like remembering that IE puts a 3-D border around
iframes by default, when Safari does not. Fortunately, it's simple enough to
declare no borders for iframes in CSS, to get IE onto the same
page (presentation-wise) with Safari. At some point, the folks that are still
running Mac IE will realize
no longer supports it, but Win IE still behaves that way, so the issue won't
I'm happy to hear that support for the initiative to privatize Social Security
is eroding. I'm also happy to see that some of the discussion of Social Security
is actually starting to focus on clearly defining what long-term issues
and problems with the Social Security system will need to be addressed.
A few days ago, I started seeing TV ads by the Bush-leaguers attempting to
slam the 'National Democrats' for bashing the Social Security plan, but not
offering a solution of their own. The implication is that the 'crisis' is real.
It's a clever turn of phrase, but for once, it seems it's not enough.
The 'American Public' are proving themselves to be wise, once again.
... Over a year ago, US Army personnel dropped off the body of Mohammad Munim
al-Izmerly at Baghdad's Al-Kharkh Hospital in February 2004. He'd been incarcerated
for over 10 months, and dead 17 days. The Americans
enclosed a death certificate saying he died of "brainstem compression," without
saying what caused it. The
US had not performed an autopsy, but his family had one done, and it was determined
The Army's Criminal Investigation Command lists al-Izmerly's death in an ‘undetermined
cause’ category because the body was released before Army investigators
learned of the case, and no U.S. autopsy was performed. After the body was
turned-over, the case was closed, but now it has been reopened.
Al-Izmerly's case is interesting for a few reasons, the first being that it
relates to a pattern of brutality that seems to be emerging: One-quarter
of the detainee deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have
been investigated as possible criminal homicides, according to U.S. government
data reported by AP last week. There may also be a smear campaign afoot: U.S.
weapons investigators now say al-Izmerly was an early leader of Iraq's effort
to make chemical arms, and an assassination specialist who once devised a ‘poison
I suppose there are a number of people who would say that under the circumstances,
beating the man to death was justifiable.
I was going to write something more extensive than this about the pathetic,
grandstanding behavior of Congress and the Bush Administration with regard
to the Schiavo
case. Then, I thought better of it.