Danny Yee >> Pathologically Polymathic (blog)

December 2003

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my "best books" read in 2003
Goytisolo - The Marx Family Saga
Karl Marx faces the failure of communism
Tufte - The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
the classic work on statistical graphics
Le Guin - The Earthsea Trilogy
A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore
Chatwin - The Viceroy of Ouidah
Calasso - Ka
a superb synthesis of Hindu mythology
Lindqvist - China: Empire of the Written Symbol

Bush's Desolate Imperium - Bernard Chazelle [via Atrios]
what is it about Princeton economists?
the CPA is spending Iraqi money with no oversight - Seattle
"oil revenue and seized assets from the Saddam era" are being used at whim
Israel uses its bargaining clout against Microsoft - Sheva [via /.]
an outcast writer becomes pope - Hadrian the Seventh [review]
academic literary criticism and the CIA - Boston [via AntiWar]
the longest and heaviest snake ever captured? - Guardian
the shortest day of the year in Reykjavik - Reyk
"I did not notice a day today, it was dark, and then it was a different shade of dark."
"stop-loss" orders prevent US soldiers retiring - WP [via AntiWar]
Iraq and the limits to American imperial power - Guardian
a US legal ban hasn't stopped junk faxes - IHT [via /.]
it's hard to see a law working against email spammers
attacks in Iraq: 50/day in September, 15/day in December - Guardian
but there were 33 coalition deaths in September, and there have been 46 so far in December...
the Bam earthquake is too terrible for words - Guardian
(I've been bushwalking, just got back today)
Google beats dictionaries for topical "mad cow" acronyms - Lang
a brief overview of Saudi politics - IHT [via Kos]
I'm an uncle! - LePeltier
another assassination attempt on Musharraf - UPI
an ethnohistorical overview - History of the Inca Realm [review]
varieties of insanity known to affect authors - MLite
the new generation in Poland may change the EU - IHT
banning headscarves in French schools: a debate - Crooked Timber
Iraq is not yet a recommended tourist destination for uni holidays - Guardian
first case of "mad cow" disease in the US - BBC
Juan Cole puts the case for a trial at the Hague rather than in Iraq - MLive
of course there's no way that's going to happen (unless the trial is delayed and there's a change of government in the US)
Atlantic salinity changes could freeze northern Europe - Globe+Mail [via ProRev]
Manuel Rivas' short stories from the Galician - Vermeer's Milkmaid [review]
why debt relief for Iraq but not Argentina? - Guardian
Atom Egoyan's film about the Armenian genocide - Ararat [brief review]
is a binational state the only solution for Israel? - EI
the only convincing alternative may be genocide
coffee-shops as 17th + 18th century information exchanges - Economist
Science Fiction and the Next Millenium - Envisioning the Future [review]
a mix of fiction and criticism
570 Israeli soldiers are refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories - Seruv
free software to help poor doctors - BBC [via OSAU]
"software developed to care for US Vietnam War vets could help healthcare in poor countries"
Robert Fisk on events in Samarra - CounterPunch [via AntiWar]
the US doesn't even pretend to care about dead Iraqis - BU [via Moor]
they're not even bothering to count them
a personal account of going to Mexico for major dental work - Kuro5hin
"it is possible for a US resident to save 75% or more"
thousands detained in Iraq without charge, trial, access, or rights - WildfireJo
schoolchildren arrested for demonstrating in support of Saddam - WildfireJo [via Raed]
Saddam Hussein and the United States - GWU [via Informed]
selected documents from 1969 to 1988
Berlusconi wants total control of Italian television - Guardian
"About 95% of television output in Italy is directly or indirectly controlled by Mr Berlusconi."
more on free software in Scottish libraries - Register
controversy about Vietnamese TV broadcasts in Australia - Age
Brazil nuts are being overharvested; a crash is imminent - New Scientist
American chief executives "post-Enron" - Economist
an update on Afghanistan's loya jirga - Economist
"The mood on the whole was upbeat and positive."
a referenced list of everything Tolkien wrote about elf sex - ansereg [via ProRev]
Saddam Hussein as a test-case for opposing the death penalty - Kos
Madeleine Albright thinks Bush is hiding bin Laden!? - WND [via AntiWar]
Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850 - Captives [review]
even if Linda Colley is Tony Blair's favourite historian...
a desktop reference - Python in a Nutshell [review]
Saudi Arabia bans female dolls and stuffed animals - Guardian [via Agonist]
11 Vietnam War lessons that are relevant to Iraq - Billmon
from Robert McNamara's 1995 memoirs
the cost of the 12 days of Christmas - PNCbank [via JWalk]
advances in understanding snake venom - Science Daily
"snake venom developed only once, about 60 million years ago"
an outbreak of "collective mania" among the Miskito in Nicaragua - Guardian
praise for me in Portuguese - criticanarede [via referers]
at least I think it's praise...
getting free software onto public library shelves in Scotland - NewsForge [via LWN]
no welcome for the Americans in Tikrit - Haaretz [via AntiWar]
"I told you many times not to attack the Americans now. ...organize and recruit... Don't do anything until we tell you"
Musharraf's near-assassination more important than Saddam's capture? - Billmon
New Zealand has its problems with racism too - Guardian
but it's still much better than Australia
did the MS Blaster worm cause the August 14th Blackout? - Bruce Schneier
a text "complexity" analyser - aellalei.com [via WMW]
calculates Flesch Reading Ease, Fog Scale Level, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
all some Iraqis want is democracy... - WP
a standard corporate Linux desktop? - TechWorld [on OSDL] - UserLinux [Bruce Perens]
unmanned aircraft and the future of aviation - Economist [via /.]
Juan Cole reflects on Hussain's capture - Informed
"A nigtmare has ended" but... "The Sunni Arab resisters to US occupation in the country's heartland have long since jettisoned Saddam and the Baath as symbols."
Brazil, India, South Africa and China lobby the UN on open source - IHT [via OSAU]
about time they found him - Guardian
will we see a Nuremberg-style trial?
genetically modified organisms will end world hunger, right? - USAToday [via MSpeak]
a railway tunnel from Africa to Europe - BBC [via Agonist]
I'd want more than $60/month to serve in the Iraqi army too - Guardian
the Golan Heights have a history - NewsDay [via AntiWar]
steal $60 million and you might have to pay it back - BBC
steal $60 and you'll face criminal prosecution
it seems everyone is in on this Google bomb - unelectable
now if only the right side of the blogosphere would target that same word on Howard Dean, we could have find out who has the Google clout...
talking about Google bombs... - Java books
I think this is futile, but it would be nice to get at least one page about the island into the top 100 results for "Java" or the top 10 for "Java books"!
language localisation of free software - Economist [via /.]
nanorod polymer composites may enable cheaper solar cells - Economist
two Economist stories on Afghanistan - the loya jirga meets - US military operations
a DVD praising the resistance is a hot seller in Baghdad - Salam Pax/Guardian
"Mary Sue" (sub)literary theme explained - MLite
the CPA keeps Saddam's anti-labour laws - Progressive [via RtoS]
Australian Capital Territory passes open source law - SMH
"public bodies should, as far as practicable, consider the use of open source software when procuring computer software"
an interview about Iraq with Canadian war reporter Scott Taylor - AntiWar
historical linguists skeptical about new glottochronology for IE - Lang
an Arab-American visits Iraq - H-Net [via Informed]
a useful collection of travelogues - Travel Library
(they've just listed several of mine)
poor people in the US are "pretty much fucked" - Onion [via Cosma]
just take away the euphemistic language...
the War on Children continues - Guardian
and these are just the ones that get reported on...
praise for Auerbach's Mimesis - Slate [via CR]
Coetzee's Nobel acceptance speech, "He and his man" - Nobel [via CR]
is the town of Samarra effectively under guerilla control? - FT [via AntiWar]
"The last major US incursion into the town required 8 M-1 main battle tanks, 4 Bradley armoured fighting vehicles, 6 Humvees and 93 troops. The two armoured columns were ambushed."
Lindows versus Windows in the Netherlands - OSnews [via LWN]
a special issue on Iraq - Arab Reform Bulletin [via Informed]
Israeli advisors are helping the US in Iraq - Guardian [via Informed]
Juan Cole: "I have a sinking feeling that Bush just lost the war on terror"
Australian weather is going to get hotter, more extreme - Australian
nine-part wanderings in Central Asia - Asia
I want to go! Istanbul to Beijing...
Seymour Hersh on counter-insurgency plans in Iraq - NewYorker [via Agonist]
horizontal gene transfer from algae to sea slugs - NewsWire
"Sea slugs eat algae. The cells that line the digestive tract take up and save up the chloroplasts, [which] can still photosynthesize for up to four months."
the rise of the far-right threatens consensus politics in Switzerland - Guardian
evolution, ecology, behaviour - Australian Snakes [review]
MAD offers a George W. Bush G.I. Joke Action Figure - Atrios
Jorn Barger is alive and well! - Wired [via email]
skepticism about biometrics - Economist [via EFA]
I've finished it: 14,000 words and 180 photographs - Iceland travelogue
let me know if you spot any typos or errors, or have any suggestions for improvement
a "big dam" disaster in Iceland - Guardian [via Reykjavik, via referers]
a long article with good background on Icelandic politics
democratic reform by the Islamist government in Turkey - Prospect [via Cosma]
should users should be able to delete their old posts? - Kuro5hin
meet Richard Perle, Prince of Darkness - WarB
a billion dollar Iraq contract is awarded without competition - Guardian
a bombing attack on a "suspected" terrorist kills nine children - BBC
have a guess - is this Palestine, Afghanistan, or Iraq?
SCO's latest claims about the GPL - Infoworld [via LWN]
Linus: SCO "would probably make marriage unconstitutional too, since clearly it de-emphasizes the commercial nature of normal human interaction, and probably is a major impediment to the commercial growth of prostitution"
an interview with Arthur C Clarke - OneWorld [via /.]
on information pollution and the role of ICT in development
December's fungus of the month: the earthstar Astraeus hygrometricus - Wisc
the perfect addition to any Christmas tree
US scholarly journals can't edit articles from Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan - IEEE
providing editorial services violates sanctions
extraterritoriality and the American base in Okinawa - NationInst [via AntiWar]
"Okinawa is host to some 28,000 American troops plus an equal number of camp followers and Defense Department civilians"
life in an Indian call centre - Guardian
earning as little as £2.90 a day and working six night shifts a week
according to Chirac, veils are "aggressive" - Guardian
Aus government tries to smear new opposition leader - RtoS
a majority of both Israelis and Palestineans support the Geneva Accord - Haaretz
SuSE follows RedHat, drops support for old versions - LWN
an interview with an Iraqi guerilla - IHT
Raed and Salam are both posting, but they've lost G - Raed
Romila Thapar debunks Hindu nationalists on the Indus civilization - Dalitstan
summary of recent poll of Iraqi opinion - JustWorldNews [via Informed]
Rumsfeld's famous "known unknowns" quote makes perfect sense - Lang
I've thought that ever since I first read it, but Pullum explains it well
Canada and the United States: a widening social and cultural chasm - IHT
Gore Vidal's Inventing a Nation - NYROB
Melbourne cops 100mm of rain in two hours - BBC
"where the rivers run dry // or twenty foot high"
two US soldiers marry Iraqi women - news4jax [via Agonist]
a US soldier's report on Samarra - SFTT [via AntiWar]
and some Iraqi reports - Independent [via AntiWar]
"Iraqi officials say only eight people died, including a 71-year-old Iranian pilgrim"
Jorn Barger really is missing - Eric Wagoner [via emails - thanks for the pointer]
I'd hoped he was just taking a break like he did in June
Sharon's phony war - NYROB
"aimed not at the defeat of Palestinian terrorism but at the defeat of the Palestinian people and their aspirations for self-determination"
the Jakob Nielsen desktops - JuleN
"he knows if you've been bad or good"
some notes on the hiking gear I use - bushwalking equipment
US soldiers loot Christian church in Baghdad - IndCatholicNews [via WarB]
Eric S. Raymond's magnum opus - The Art of UNIX Programming [review]
Juan Goytisolo's superb novel - The Marx Family Saga [review]
Franco's legacy still divides Spain - Guardian
the governing People's party boycotts a homage to his victims
alternatives to corrupt Bechtel "reconstruction" in Iraq - WildfireJo [via Raed]
nearly 10,000 US casualties in Iraq - CentreDaily [via AntiWar]

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Pathologically Polymathic (blog) << Danny Yee