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Yahoo's front page

4 headlines on Yahoo's front page: 1; 2; 3; 4

These headlines were on Yahoo's front page at 2:15 AM. Some quick responses:

As for the first story: terrorists attack people, not landmarks. Bridges are worth guarding, but terrorists generally look for very well populated areas. Felling Lady Liberty would be a symbolic victory, but I dunno, doesn't killing large numbers of people interest terrorists more?

Second story: Man, I don't think anybody saw that coming.

Third story: Just too funny.

Fourth story: well duh.

When words fail

"When words fail" by Scott Feschuk

YES! I couldn't agree more! When I was watching the Montreal-Boston game on the French channel, I saw the elbow by Kyle McLaren as it happened without any commentary. Just the sound of the crowd gasping as Zednik went down. Down with hockey announcers! Well, except for analysis in between plays (not just between periods as Feschuk suggests). There are times when former hockey-players analyze a play or compare set plays to those of previous nights. But yeah. Just have the sounds of the game, as if we were actually there.

The Secret meaning of baseball hats

Adam Sternbergh: “[T]he hat's story might have ended here, were it not for the intercession of a group of people who have, throughout the 20th century, tirelessly and selflessly led the way in determining all that is cool. I am speaking, of course, of black people.”

I remember wearing a baseball cap all through junior high school. First it was a Duke Blue Devils hat, then a black Toronto Blue Jays cap. I can't remember the reason, but half-way through grade 9 (which for me was part of the senior secondary school, the junior school being overcrowded). I just decided one day to stop wearing one. Since then, I haven't worn a cap, and never really had any desire. Maybe Sternbergh was right: after the mid-90s, it was no longer really that cool to wear a cap.

Chen Shui-bian

"Chen Shui-bian Claims Taiwan as De Facto Independent Country" CND news report

This is huge news. Is Asia so off my radar that I missed a conservative daily newspaper reporting this in the headline above the fold? (Which isn't to say they did: it's just that something like this seems pretty juicy for a newspaper that stands up for Taiwan to not to run with it as la Une.)

The relevant quote from President Chen: “Taiwan is fit to be an independent country, that's the truth. And no matter if you agree or not, whether you accept it or not, Taiwan is an independent country.”

If he indeed did say that, it doesn't fully represent the views of the majority of Taiwanese. The Newsweek interview in question publishes the quote, but also reports the following: “Nearly 80 percent of Taiwanese [...] say they prefer the ambiguous status quo to either full-fledged independence or reunification with the mainland.”

I know that President Chen is fairly pro-independence, but this strikes me as awfully stupid politically, to say nothing of the military implications for the whole region of South-East Asia.

Stuck in a Rut

Rosalie Garrett: “Every job has its good and bad points, no job is perfect and sometimes you may feel trapped in a situation that you think there is no way out of. However, these individual experiences illustrate that there can be a way out of any situation. Plodding on in a career you are not happy with is unhealthy, it’s not good for you and it’s not good for any company. For many making a move can be a daunting prospect, yet there is no reason for you to spend another day unhappy. Life is far too short and seeing that we spend most of our life working, it is imperative that each day is a good one. Be positive and be proactive, think about what would make you happy.”

Building a Better Bomb

"Building a Better Bomb" by Michael Scherer

This is wrongheaded. If you're against nukes in principle, that conclusion is obvious. But even if you are pro-nuclear weapons, these small, low-yield, "bunker-busting" nuclear bombs blur the line between conventional and nuclear weaponry, with the result of any nuclear deterrence (if you believe in that sort of thing) losing its effect.

Hirsute of happiness

Bruce Arthur: “Some are old -- the parade around the ice with the Stanley Cup, for instance, which evolved from a brief ceremony where the Cup was simply handed to the team's captain to a full-blown carnival of joy. As well, the post-series handshake line, a picture of sportsmanship, extends back into the mists of hockey. But while handshakes and Cup-raising are lovable symbols, more recent traditions can be a little distasteful to the average fan. From playoff beards to hails of dead rats, traditions have grown slightly less gentlemanly as time has skated by.”

Nice use of the oxymoron sans irony (“Instant playoff tradition”), and how the best tradition (towel waving) was a Vancouver Canucks original. I'm also quite the fan of the Winnepeg Jets' "Whiteout", and thought the Phoenix Coyotes fans displayed a level of class when the tradition continued after the franchise moved there.

If you build it green, they will come

"If you build it green, they will come" by Monte Hummel

Hummel goes from quoting a percentage (just 10 leading forest products companies, and one-fifth of the world's forests, could provide the industrial wood and wood fibre necessary to meet projected future needs") to using absolute figures ("Over 50 million acres of forest in 35 countries have been certified around the world to the FSC standard, but, so far, less than 3 million acres are Canadian"). Sticking with relative figures would have been preferable (the absolute figures don't tell you how much of the forests are FSC certified) and a trend over time would have been preferable to a snapshot of the current situation.

How can you tell I'm currently reading Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist?

Adulthood Without Sex

"Adulthood Without Sex" by Phillip D. Harvey

"It is wrong to expect young people to be sexually abstinent until they are more than half way through their twenties."

But what if...oh, nevermind.

"Sexual relations are an important component of human happiness, and there is no moral purpose served by abstaining from sex if two people are mature and responsible."

No argument here.

"Why should they be deprived of sex?"

You tell me!

Attack of the Clones review

Review of Star Wars-- Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones by Roger Ebert

For those actually surfing in, I won't reveal what Ebert thinks of the movie. However, this quote was interesting, keeping with his disdain for digital video projection: "Digital images contain less information than 35mm film images, and the more you test their limits, the more you see that. Two weeks ago I saw "Patton" shown in 70mm Dimension 150, and it was the most astonishing projection I had ever seen--absolute detail on a giant screen, which was 6,000 times larger than a frame of the 70mm film. That's what large-format film can do, but it's a standard Hollywood has abandoned (except for IMAX), and we are being asked to forget how good screen images can look--to accept the compromises."

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