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Here's one for the beautiful strangeness category. Henry Raddick writes reviews of books for Amazon.com, which, by all rights, shouldn't be that funny. Trust me, it is. If you know who T. Herman Zweibel is, you must read some of Raddick's reviews.

Mr. Gunn : 9:39 PM : Tuesday, November 25, 2003 :

City Pages: Cynical, Bitter, Jaded as Hell. Also Naked.

This is a story from citypages.com about a place where people can meet other people, hang out, make new friends, and be a liberated girl. They can also look damn sexy doing it. The article is a great intro to indie pr0n.

Mr. Gunn : 10:51 PM : Friday, November 14, 2003 :

I was just reading the Transcript of the Rock the Vote Democratic Presidential Debate (washingtonpost.com) and I remembered a lesson my dad taught me. The lesson was: "Find the Referent." It's from Stuart Chase's "The Tyranny of Words". In other words, think about what the words being used actually refer to, physically. Political speak is meticulously devoid of referents, except, of course, in the cases where the speakers abuse statistics. I want to see a debate where candidates aren't allowed to use the phrase, "the American people".

I was kinda enjoying the debate, and laughing about how all the other candidates, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, lord help us all, were trying to give Dean such a hard time for pointing out the unrequited loyalty of Southern white voters to the Republican Party. Bless 'im.

Mr. Gunn : 8:21 PM : Wednesday, November 05, 2003 :

Trent Lott loses his spot, Rush Limbaugh gets booted, Greg Easterbrook is fired. Each of them for making statements that could possibly have been misinterpreted, or could be seen in a more understanding light, about relatively benign issues. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, however, has made and, as far as we know, is continuing to make absolutely unambiguous statements about issues that are likely to precipitate immediate terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens, as well as to further the negative image Americans are getting in other countries. He still has his job.

I have to ask: Who would you rather piss off? The American Religious Right, or all Muslims worldwide? I guess all Muslims worldwide aren't going to be voting for Bush in the coming elections, are they?

Mr. Gunn : 7:54 AM : Wednesday, October 29, 2003 :

This story in the Asia Times is just really too good to pass up. Here's a quote:

The more commercial television news you watch, the more wrong you are likely to be about key elements of the Iraq War and its aftermath, according to a major new study released in Washington on Thursday.

And the more you watch the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News channel, in particular, the more likely it is that your perceptions about the war are wrong, adds the report by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

Based on several nationwide surveys it conducted with California-based Knowledge Networks since June, as well as the results of other polls, PIPA found that 48 percent of the public believe US troops found evidence of close pre-war links between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist group; 22 percent thought troops found weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq; and 25 percent believed that world public opinion favored Washington's going to war with Iraq. All three are misperceptions.

The report, Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War, also found that the more misperceptions held by the respondent, the more likely it was that s/he both supported the war and depended on commercial television for news about it.

Raw data is here.

Mr. Gunn : 6:04 PM : Tuesday, October 28, 2003 :

Wired News: The Great Library of Amazonia
Yet another way the web lowers the barriers to the presentation of your work. I wrote more about this in a previous posting. Link via Dashes sidebar.

Mr. Gunn : 10:39 AM : Sunday, October 26, 2003 :

Restaurants On the Fringe, And Thriving

For those who can't read the article, it's about underground dining. Some chefs retire, but then get back into cooking for people unofficially. Others can't get the large loans necessary to open and staff a new restaurant, but have a thriving home based business. The article, of course, didn't mention this, but I can see a scenario in New Orleans where perhaps a health inspector is corrupt and extorts money from restauranteurs under threat of closure of their business, so a small operation which can't or won't pay up simply goes underground, working out of their house or ever-changing rented facilities. It's only a small step from a dinner club, with invitation only coming by introduction from a current member. I would be interested if anyone knew of something like this in New Orleans, for personal culinary curiosity only, of course ;-)

Mr. Gunn : 9:35 PM : Tuesday, October 21, 2003 :

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