the whole world burns

Archive for May 2006

New Yorker review of The Da Vinci Code

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I love the phrase "half-eaten power lunch".

[free (and good!)] CSS navigation menu designs


Links to more under "possibly related entries".

random articles found on Wikipedia part #4543: "Professional farter"


There are a number of scattered references to ancient and medieval professional farters (flatulists), who could produce various rhythms and pitches with their intestinal wind. ...

"They Want Us to Look" -- the culture of 80s teen sex comedies


The Porky's shower peep is to the teen sex comedy what the graceful airborne duels in The Matrix are to modern movie fights; they both set examples for their medium. In the Porky's peep, the boys are voyeurs, crouched in darkness, and the girls snap each other with towels and do nude shower-room calisthenics ("Up! Down! 1-2-3-4 Up! Down!"). And when they realize they're being watched, instead of feeling violated, the girls wrap towels around themselves and start flirting with their secret admirers. As Pee Wee, the antsiest scopophiliac of the bunch, declares, "They’re hot! They’re hot! They want us to look! They want us to look!" Thus any compunction about unauthorized looking is washed away. Women feed off the male gaze.

Translator on trial for... translating

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[W]hen NYU graduate student Mohammed Yousry took on the job of translating Arabic for lawyers representing Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring to bomb several bridges and tunnels around Manhattan, Yousry agreed, like any good translator, to follow his lawyers' lead. For doing his job, he now faces the possibility of twenty years in prison as a supporter of terrorism.



Very entertaining unpublished action-SF novel about human resistance on an alien-occupied Earth. Open to all the criticisms one would expect of a novel with a handsome genius of a protagonist fighting a race of gorgeous and sexually open alien warrior-women, but it's better than it sounds.

Can bad men make good brains do bad things?

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A somewhat harder moral problem:

On the right side of the track there is a single railroad worker, Jones, who will definitely be killed if the brain steers the trolley to the right. If the railman on the right lives, he will go on to kill five men for the sake of killing them, but in doing so will inadvertently save the lives of thirty orphans (one of the five men he will kill is planning to destroy a bridge that the orphans' bus will be crossing later that night). One of the orphans that will be killed would have grown up to become a tyrant who would make good utilitarian men do bad things. Another of the orphans would grow up to become G.E.M. Anscombe, while a third would invent the pop-top can. [...]

ASCII map proxy for Google Maps

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Lazyweb request: Nethack Maps.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.