Thursday, September 30, 2004

Color me happy...

Link - Ultimate Paint Chips in any of C2's 496 colors are poster size. AND they are coated with actual paint, not just ink simulations. Just tape it to the wall and stare at in the morning, afternoon and evening light and then decide if it really fits.

Tune in, log on.

whatsthedownload.com - Brush up on the dos and don'ts of downloading music

emusic.com - Choose from a range of plans, from basic ($9.99 a month for 40 songs) to premium ($19.99 for 90 songs).

napster.com - Features two services: Napster Light (99 cents a song, with albums starting at $9.95) and Napster ($9.95 a month plus 99 cents a song, or as little as 80 cents if you download a few at a time)

itunes.com - For iPods and MP3 players. Charges 99 cents a song, with albums starting below the $9.99 average of other places. (My personal favorite!)

rhapsody.com - $9.95 a month plus 99 cents per download

breakbeatscience.com - Find the right beat for your dance party

descarga.com - For a tropical twist

www.djangomusic.com and ejazzlines.com - Jazz and root fans can satisfy cravings

interpunk.com - Jump into the mosh pit

hiphopsite.com - Rap along to the rhymes

hepcatrecords.com - Party to rockabilly and swing

dustygroove.com - If your tastes run the gamut, like mine.

radiotower.com, live365.com or real.com - If you'd rather someone else play DJ.

Monkey Portraits

Link (click on Monkeys after you click on the initial page image) - Celebrity photographer Jill Greenberg became fascinated by simians (those appearing in movies and on TV). The neat results of her fascination are at LA's Pual Kopeikin Gallery, Oct. 23 through Dec. 11. For more information, call 323-937-0765.

Go online to get outside

www.trails.com - trail descriptions, maps and outdoor activities

www.audubon.org - links to National Audubon Society centers across the country

www.outdoorsclub.org - resource for finding and forming local hiking groups

www.gorp.com - adventure travel and recreation guide for all levels of experience

www.americanhiking.org - American Hiking Society news and advice

www.americantrails.org - National Trails Symposium Web site with links to trails across the country

www.outdoors.org - Appalachian Mountain Club Web site and guide to the great outdoors of the Northeast

www.nps.gov - links to all of America's national parks

Halloween heroes

In October, you can turn your family's trick-or-treating time into more than just a candy-gathering mission. Collect monetary donations for UNICEF and help provide clean water, nutrition, health and education to needy children in 158 countries around the globe. Go to www.unicefusa.org for more information. Or help give the gift of sight by collecting old eyeglasses for people in need in developing countries while you gather your goodies. Go to www.sightnight.org to learn more about the program and to download collection materials such as door hangers, brochures, flyers and stickers.

The trouble with pre-payment

For those in the 35 percent combined federal and state tax bracket, paying off a 6 percent mortgage early generates a return of 3.9 percent, according to Ann Perry in Thestreet.com. If you invest that cash in the stock market for the long term, more than 10 years, you should earn 10 percent pretax and 6.5 percent after taxes. Still can't resist? She says to use no more than 10 percent of your portfolio to trim your house note. Keep tax consequences in mind; making early payments will lower your mortgage interest deduction. To gauge how different prepayment scenarios will play out run the numbers at Jeacle.ie.

Thanks for fixing the signs, Miss

Link - One week after complaints were made about an unclear highway sign, state transportation officials have made it easier to understand by adding one punctuation mark.


When you look at your life in pictures, it looks messier. (I'm sure it's just the perspective from the floor!) What you see here: a picture of my best friend and I from a long, long time ago (in hats); my son's T-ball attitude picture; his fuzzy baseball chicken (more on that at a later date); PRism Awards from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi; various other pictures of my son; a picture of my husband with a mess of catfish we caught while camping on the Pearl River; a picture of Quentin and I after the Christmas fracas a few years ago; my ID badge from ASAE Hawaii last year; a fake fish tank that I don't run because it's too noisy (which was a not-well-thought-out gift from my husband to my son when he was too and thus ended up at my office) and extra lightbulbs on top of the fish tank because I cannot stand overhead fluorescent light and have lamps all over my office. Posted by Hello

Taking Economics At The Electoral College

Link - With the first presidential debate looming this evening and the election itself five weeks off, most polls show President George W. Bush with a five or more percentage point lead.

Mayor asks for Barrett rebuke

Link - The Mississippi Fair Commission should denounce the sentiments of the white supremacist Nationalist Movement, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said on Sept. 29.

Seven Tips To Retiring Securely

Link - Remember: You can't borrow for retirement. That means basic planning--and it never hurts to start early. (I must be feeling older as my 35th birthday nears...a lot of retirement stuff has caught my eye lately!)

Dilbert's Ultimate House

Link - Dilbert finally gets his dream house...

Earth scientists name that tune

Link - Seismologists believe they have pinpointed the source of a mysterious low-frequency "hum" that emanates from the Earth, the British science journal Nature reports.

Mars Express camera delves into Martian chasm

Link - The European Space Agency's Mars Express probe has sent back stunning images of a 5000-metre-deep chasm on the Martian surface, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) said.

Six Flags Unveils Plans For Fastest, Tallest Roller Coaster

Link - Six Flags Great Adventure is opening the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster this spring -- a thrill ride that accelerates to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and rises 456 feet off the ground. (Road trip, anyone?)

SpaceShipOne lands after heart-stopping ride

Link - One down for private manned spacecraft to win $10 million X Prize

Cruisin' on a Sunday afternoon ...

Link - The ninth annual Cruisin' the Coast, an eight-day extravaganza for car enthusiasts that kicks off Sunday, is all about the classics: classic cars, classic music and a classic good time.

Fanciful -- and pricey -- gifts featured in latest Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

Link - Here's the annual news story about Neiman Marcus' annual gift catalog

Poll: Americans Uninformed on Bush, Kerry

Link - If matching presidential candidates to their positions on basic issues were like a "Jeopardy!" category, most Americans wouldn't earn a single dollar.

Reheating Big Bang's Leftovers

Link - Astronomers studying images from the Hubble telescope have identified what they believe are the oldest galaxies yet detected, and the find suggests that early stars and galaxies took longer to form than previously thought.

Bush Team Prepares Net Assault

Link - For the millions of television viewers who tune in to the first presidential debate in Miami Thursday night, the event will probably seem scripted, familiar and maybe even cordial. And for good reason. The Republican and Democratic parties worked out detailed ground rules, all but promising that the televised debates will be uneventful. But both campaigns plan to take off their gloves on the internet. In some respects, the real debate, or a better semblance of one, will take place in cyberspace.

Yes, You Really Do Need That Coffee

Link - It's official -- you really do need that coffee in the morning and if you don't get it, you really are in withdrawal, researchers said on Sept. 29.

DIY radio with PODcasting

Link - Doc Searls overviews the concept of radio podcasts or podcasting.

Every Four Years Journalism

Link - "... The Every Four Years headset is like outdated software still running because it's an expensive decision and major disruption to replace a piece of press think so big, with so many parts. There is no agreement on a new 'think' system. And there is every incentive to keep the old program going for another election cycle, even though the world has moved on."

Hotels wire up for guests

Link - For executive travelers the hotel room is more than just a place to sleep at night; these days it is also a work zone where the businessperson can get connected to the office. (Article includes neat idea of hotels creating blogs for hotel guests to contribute to...now that would be interesting reading at the hotel when you accidentally leave your bedtime book behind.)

How the Blogs Saved CBS... and NPR

Link - The CBS mea culpa comes at a time when media scrutiny has never been more intense. CBS admits that it was duped by airing forged documents that claimed that, in 1972 a young George W. Bush did not fulfill his military obligations and was helped by his powerful family and political connections.

Geniuses of the year

Link - The MacArthur Foundation has announced this year's winners of the "Genius" grant for $500,000 for outstanding achievment. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Mayor Johnson Takes Stand In Fair Booth Controversy

Link - Their message spreads hate and is a danger to fairgoers, so the Mayor of Jackson doesn't want them around. Mayor Harvey Johnson wants the State Fair Commission not to allow the white supremacist group, Nationalist Movement, from setting up a booth at the fair this year.

New Host Slithers Onto Animal Planet

Link - The 54-year-old Austin Stevens is a photographer and herpetologist who's studied hundreds of species. In 1986, he spent 107 days in a glass cage with 36 deadly snakes to stimulate awareness on the plight of the African gorilla.

Ohr fest celebrates the crazy days of fall

Link - Art for all ages and appetites will be available for making, looking, hearing and buying during this weekend's George Ohr Fall Festival of Arts at Biloxi's Town Green.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Support a great cause with chocolate (or gift wrap or candles or stationery or picture frames and other neat stuff)

The Christmas season is coming and we will all be buying unique gifts and gift wrap for clients, friends and family members. Why not help out a deserving kindergarten at the same time?

My four-year-old son, Quentin, attends Madison Ridgeland Academy. When you place an order at SallyFoster.com, MRA gets 50% of the order cost and Quentin and his class will receive prize credits towards a Sundae Party. Sally Foster offers high quality gift wrap with coordinating ribbons, bows, tags, tissue and gift bags. They also carry candles, cards, stationery, picture frames and kid stuff. AND (my personal favorite, of course), they have fine chocolates, handmade confections and nuts in stylish gift tins.

Thanks for your consideration during this annual season of school begging. (Feel free to support viral marketing efforts and forward this on to all of your friends.)

P.S. If I have convinced you to order, visit www.sallyfoster.comand enter in Quentin’s student number of 153606 during the checkout process. Internet orders do have shipping and handling fees associated with them in addition to state sales tax.


From the state Capitol in Jackson - Justice is Blind Posted by Hello


One of my favorite sayings..."Do what you love and you'll never have to work again." (And in stressful times I sometimes need a reminder that I am able to do a job I love and should be very thanful for that.) Posted by Hello

Saving For Retirement At Any Age

Link - To everything there is a season...a time to rend and a time to, ahem, save. For retirement, that is.

Companies That Care

Link - In 2002 there were 2,362 corporate foundations and thousands of corporate giving programs in the U.S., according to the Foundation Center.

Famed mill a favorite stop in Arkansas

Thousands of visitors flock to the Old Mill park each year to snap photos and enjoy the gardens, but few know the site is famous for its spot in the opening credits of the 1939 film Gone With the Wind. The Old Mill was built in 1933 as a replica of an 1830s water-powered mill. It is surrounded by concrete sculptures and bridges. Inside are artifacts from the Trail of Tears, local plantations and passenger steamboats. An authentic 1828 grist mill sits on the first floor of the building and some of the stones in the walls on the second floor came from an Arkansas plantation. The Old Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

God Bless Our Corrupt Leaders

Link - Our founding fathers created a system that embraces self-interested hustling.

Mars orbiter photographs rovers, tracks from space

Link - A spacecraft orbiting Mars photographed one of NASA's rovers and its tracks on the surface, the space agency said on Sept. 27.

When Dixie brewed its own brand of rock music

Link - Former Rolling Stone writer and editor Mark Kemp, who grew up in Asheboro, has written a ramblin' man's history of Southern rock. A hybrid of memoir, journalism and scholarship, "Dixie Lullaby" is a compelling account of Kemp's search for the deeper meaning of Southern rock 'n' roll.

Asteroid to pass close to Earth today

Link - An asteroid will pass within 1 million miles of Earth today, making it the closest encounter with a major solar system object so far this century.

Broadband Wonderland

Link - Nearly everyone in South Korea has Internet access that puts Americans' to shame. Result: This little nation could have a giant influence on the digital future.

Mel Brooks Writing Spaceballs Sequel

Link - In a Q&A with Playbill magazine, Mel Brooks says that he's currently working on a Spaceballs sequel. Here's the clip from the interview which starts off by talking about the big screen adaptation of The Producers.

Marriage advice from a relationship expert...Gene Simmons

Link - He says, "Women are a different species. They have a biological clock, they want to nest. A man produces thousands of sperm every day and a woman thinks it's all for her, but it's not."

("Beth, I hear you calling, but I can't come home right now...") Sounds like the boys WERE playing all not, but not on the guitar silently weeping.



Whiskey Trail stops...it's your patriotic duty

Link - Some stops on the five-state Whiskey Trail - places where George Washington made or drank whiskey

How to tell if your wife is a porn star...

Link - Porn Stars are living among us -- and your wife could be one of them!

Highlights from the presidential debate rules

Link - "At no time during these debates shall either candidate move from their designated area behind their respective podiums." etc. etc.

Jack Daniel's - Lemonade Next?

Link - Jack Daniel's has sparked outrage among serious drinkers by unceremoniously lowering the proof of its famous Tennessee Whiskey from 86 to 80.

U.S. Beer Consumption on Decline

Link - The nation's beer market declined to 2.8 billion 2.25-gallon cases, having increased steadily for the past seven years.

Fly Business on Air France, get an iPod mini

Link - Air France is offering customers of its "l'Espace Affaires" business class service an opportunity to get a free iPod mini; all they have to do is purchase a ticket from now to Nov. 15, 2004. Tickets must originate from any Air France U.S. gateway for travel to any European destination, and travel must be completed by Jan. 15, 2005. Additional restrictions apply. Once travel is completed, passengers mail their information to an Air France address, and the airline then sends them an iPod mini within six to ten weeks.

Coast kicks off salute to military

The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be the keynote speaker 7 p.m. Oct. 18 when a Salute to the Military kicks off at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace will be joined by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss.; and Gov. Haley Barbour.

The event will include the presentation of the Thomas V. Fredian Community Service Award to an outstanding enlisted member serving at one of the south Mississippi military installations.

Transportation Futuristics

Link - Visionary designs in transportation engineering online exhibit

Retro Disney Resort logos

Link - Retro Disney World hotel matchbooks reproduced in Illustrator as vector art files for you to download.

The Henry Ford to Create Traveling Exhibit Celebrating 50 Years of Disneyland

Link - The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, will research and develop a traveling exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. The exhibit will be created by The Henry Ford in association with Walt Disney Imagineering and The Walt Disney Company.

Moving Business Cards from Desk to Desktop

Link - No matter how many paper records have been transformed into digital equivalents during the past 20 years, one remains unchanged, and widely used: the business card. Even the countless high-tech executives I encounter -- people bristling with PDAs, laptops and cellphones -- still whip out paper cards to identify themselves and their digital companies.

Places that viruses and trojans hide on start up

Link - A guide to all of the places in a Windows installation that a worm or virus can hide itself...

US Govt Details "Remains Handling" Procedures for Iraq War PR Agency

Link - The US Government is looking for a PR firm to promote the Iraq War to Iraqis because, according to the Request for Proposal, "recent polls suggest support for the Coalition is falling and more and more Iraqis are questioning Coalition resolve, intentions and effectiveness."

Dr. Phil's Advice To Candidates: Come on My Show

Link - Forget Iraq. Forget the economy. Forget those pesky National Guard records. Today on the "Dr. Phil" show, voters can find out all sorts of unusual tidbits about their president, such as: Did Papa Bush spank Jenna and Barbara when they were little? How did daddy feel when Jenna stuck out her tongue at reporters? And does Dr. Phil have any advice for the president on how to keep his "Family First" while on the campaign trail?

What Dr. Martin Luther King Can Teach Us About Business Change

Link - In the current edition of the Wharton Leadership Digest, Dave Holloman, change management practice leader for IBM Business Consulting Services considers the change management lessons offered by Martin Luther King's campaign in Birmingham.

Historic maps

Link - Historic images and maps

LifeChange Marathon Makeover

October 10 is the Chicago Marathon, which will complete this year's Marathon Makeover, but they'll soon be starting a 2005 Marathon Makeover. Check the Web site to register and for more info. You can also contact Mark Simpson at (601) 594-1486. Go, Susan! All of your bunko and PRAM buddies will be thinking of you...Run your heart out!

'Fiddler on the Roof'

Link - National touring cast includes Miss. native

Booths at fair to center on '64 slayings

Link - Two petitions at the Mississippi State Fair next month will compete on opposite sides of a 4-decade-old civil rights slayings case. Richard Barrett, the head of a white supremacist group, was allowed a booth and his petition at the fair on Sept. 28, the same day Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said he will counter with a different petition at his booth.

White supremacist says booth approved for Mississippi fair

Link - Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, accusing a Nationalist Movement official of trying "hijack" next month's state fair to promote its white supremacy message, urged Mississippians to attend the fair but ignore both Barrett and his cause.

Nissan may produce heavy-duty pickup truck in Mississippi

Link - A heavy-duty pickup truck with a diesel engine may be in the works for the Nissan Motor Co. plant in Mississippi.

CNN: Mississippi: Delta blues a lure for tourists?

Link - In the Mississippi Delta, life is never far from the blues -- a challenge and an opportunity for those promoting tourism here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Closer Look at Cosmetic Treatments – What American Adults are Having Done and Why

Link - Fourteen percent of American adults say they have had some type of cosmetic treatment or surgery, according to the results of a new Harris Interactive® poll of 2,719 U.S. adults conducted online between September 9 and 13, 2004 for the Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.


This is my 66 Mustang GT convertible (with a 289 engine). If my fun meter ever starts to go down, a little spin around town in this and it's right back at maximum again! Posted by Hello


We must all strive to keep our Fun Meters always set at maximum! It's the only way to live...she who has the most fun wins after all. Posted by Hello

Reduce energy use by putting computer to sleep

Link - How do you put your computer to sleep? Softly sing to it in DOS? Maybe. But there is an easier way that will save electricity — good for you and good for the environment.

Downsized dining

Link - Obviously, my friends and I are way ahead of the rest of the nation trendwise...we've been "small plate dining" for years. (Now if we could just find a way to help women convince the men in their lives to share their food too, we'd be national heroes.)

Miss. poverty level decreasing

Link - Mississippi was one of two states that saw a significant drop in its statewide poverty level in the past year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but the state's average income remains near the bottom of the 50 states.

Seventeen-foot fugitive found in Bay St. Louis

Link - The 17-foot Burmese python, missing since Thursday in Bay St. Louis, came out of hiding on Sept. 27 when the smell of dinner became too much to resist.

Fla. Cleanup Is Biggest in FEMA's History

Link - The havoc caused by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne have prompted the largest relief effort ever undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Going Way Off-Road

Link - Over the past few years, NASA has quietly shifted some of its attention from space exploration to the space right over our roofs. Not only is NASA developing its own flying cars, but it's also working on a collision-deterring navigation system that could make skyways safer than highways.

Paintings capture scenes of 1930s, 1940s America

Link - Coming Home: American Paintings 1930-1950 shares a stirring look at the country, the era and the national character, through Nov. 7. The show of 128 paintings from the Jason Schoen collection was co-organized by the Georgia Museum of Art and the Mobile Museum of Art. The $100,000 project budget for this traveling exhibition includes rental fee, advertising, events, shipping and installation, Mississippi Museum of Art Director Betsy Bradley said.

29 Miss. counties eligible for storm aid

Link - Twenty-nine of the state's 82 counties are eligible to receive about $16 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with Hurricane Ivan damage, state officials said on Sept. 27.

Photoshopped apocalypse cities

Link - Today's Worth1000 photoshopping challenge is to create the ruins of cities that are still standing. Some tasty post-apocalyptic visions here.

Mississippi Braves announce 2005 schedule

Link - The Mississippi Braves are scheduled to open in Pearl, MS on Monday, April 18, 2005 versus the Montgomery Biscuits. The Mississippi Braves season actually begins on the road on April 7 versus Montgomery. The Mississippi Braves will play a 70 game home schedule (140 total games), featuring 31 weekend (friday, saturday, sunday) home dates. Game times will be determined at a later date.

A History of Punctuation

Link - The first recognized formal system of punctuation was developed by the Greek scholar Aristophanes of Byzantium, librarian at Alexandria around 200 B.C. His system used only a set of three points of varying heights (distinctiones): media distinctio placed mid-level, serving the function of a comma (a short pause); subdistinctio level with the text, serving the function of a colon or semicolon (a longer pause); and distinctio placed near the top of a line of text, to mark a very long pause (though not necessarily the end of a sentence).

Blues museum hopes to keep exhibit longer

Link - The Delta Blues Museum's "Sweet Home Chicago" exhibit is scheduled to end on Oct. 15, but museum Executive Director Shelley Ritter said the exhibit has gone so well that she's hoping for an extension.

Activist Takes Controversial Fair Booth Issue To Court

Link - The man trying to set up a controversial booth at the Mississippi State Fair is taking his case to court.

Commission rejects Barrett's fair application

Link - The Mississippi State Fair Commission has rejected a white supremacist group's application for a booth at the fair, saying it was not properly filled out.

BrandCameo tracking product placements in movies

Link - Brandchannel recently launched Brandcameo, a new service that tracks product placements in new movies -- as well as films dating back two years. It's an interesting inside look at what movies might move what products -- and there are some interesting trivial highlights: Cap'n Crunch got placed in the Butterfly Effect, while Lucky Charms made Kill Bill Vol. 2.

All Aboard: Space-Tour Bandwagon

Link - Spaceflight fans everywhere are anticipating Wednesday's Ansari X Prize launch in the Southern California desert. But the question that hangs over the event is this: If aviation innovator Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne captures the $10 million jackpot with two launches over the next couple of weeks, what then?

Origins Traces Our Original Din

Link - Those fond of staring at the night sky and asking themselves where we came from might have a bit less to wonder about after this week. At least that's true for anyone who sets aside four hours for Origins, a PBS series that presents a dazzling range of information about the birth of our universe and planet.

ActBlue Lets Anyone Be PAC Man

Link - Political action committees wield a lot of power in politics these days. It's nearly impossible to get elected without raising huge sums of money, and to do so, candidates have little choice but to curry favor with myriad interest groups.

Survey Says: Cell Phones Left Out

Link - Telephone surveys are the meat and potatoes of political polling groups. But as more Americans switch from land lines to cell phones, a growing segment of the population may be left out of the equation. By Daniel Terdiman.

Bloglines and FeedDemon to hook up

Link - Here's the press release...

Yahoo officially launches RSS Reader

Link - Yahoo! has officially launched their online RSS reader, which has been in beta for several months now.

Confession: I failed the third grade

Link - I got the South and the West down, but the North and the East were pretty sad. Road trip, anyone? (We learn by doing, after all.)

Sound of Voice May Predict Sexual Behavior

Link - New research findings suggest that the sound of a person's voice may predict his or her level of sexual activity.

Scientist makes 3-D models of M.C Escher's "impossible" drawings

Link - These objects resemble the Escher drawing, of the same name, from a certain viewing direction. The work presents some of these three-dimensional models that were designed and built using geometric modeling and computer graphics tools.

Hurricane Season A Boon For Designers Of Storm-Proof Houses

Link - Three days after Hurricane Ivan, some of the one-story ranch houses in this neighborhood about a half-mile from the water have lost patches of shingles. There are a few piles of broken branches dotting the lanes and cul de sacs. But everybody's windows are intact, the spindly trees are upright and kids are playing in their yards.

Nice Ride: The Hydrogen Gremlin

Link - yellow hatchback was the group's entry in the 1972 Urban Vehicle Design Competition, a one-time event that brought together 64 North American universities in a contest to see who could build the most innovative vehicle. Over the preceding two years, the UCLA team had painstakingly replaced the Gremlin's engine with a Boss 351 engine from Ford that had been modified to burn hydrogen instead of gasoline. In the rear of the hatchback, they installed tanks to hold the hydrogen gas under high pressure. Then, for safety, they created some of the world's first low-speed bumpers by packing popcorn into the front and back of the car.

Vancouver hookers run book club, wonder why people think that's strange

Link - Women in the Downtown Eastside devoured their latest book club selection before meeting the author for a debate Tuesday. "A lot of people think working women can't read or aren't interested in things like literature," said Beverley Ranger, a prostitute peer councillor who has been making the flophouse rounds hooking girls up with books.

Mount St. Helens volcano-cam back up after a long absence

Link - The Observatory and VolcanoCam are located at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, about five miles from the volcano. The image updates about every five minutes.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Virgin Astronauts in Space

Link - British entrepreneur Richard Branson said Monday that his company plans to launch commercial space flights over the next few years.

Victorian sex cry generator

Link - Tired of all those boring, predictable shrieks and outbursts you keep using in bed? Wouldn't you like to be able to utter those moving, poetic love cries that you read in all those cheesy Victorian novels? The answer is at hand, if you have the wit to grasp it.


A must for comfortable office living...an electric cup warmer. Coffee in the morning and hot tea in the afternoon make for an enjoyable day. (And here I'm drinking one of my favorite teas, Stash's chai green tea.) Posted by Hello


Taken from the Waveland pier in Mississippi. Posted by Hello

Mississippi insurance claims may be in $50M range from Ivan, officials say

Link - Mississippi insurance claims could reach the $50 million range as companies tally up losses from Hurricane Ivan both on the Gulf Coast and along the eastern half of the state.

Mississippi Participating in Nationwide Discussion as part of “The People Speak”

As part of the nationwide effort to include all Americans in the discussion of America’s role in the world, interested citizens of Mississippi will gather to discuss Energy Choices and Environmental Challenges. Sponsored by the Mississippi Policy Forum, the event will be held on Monday, October 4 from 6:00 until 7:30 PM at the Eudora Welty Library, 300 North State Street in Jackson.

The program will feature guest panelists State Representative Jamie Franks, Chairman of the Conservation and Water Resources Committee in the Mississippi House of Representatives; Mr. Louie Miller, State Director of the Sierra Club; and Ms. Vicky Sullivan, Environmental Issues Manager for the Southern Company. The panel discussion will last thirty minutes, followed by approximately one hour reserved for audience interaction. The event is free and open to the general public. All Mississippians concerned about energy and environmental policies should attend and voice their opinions. For a background overview on the topic, click here. (Link will open an Acrobat file.)

As the 2004 Presidential election approaches, American citizens are shaping the growing discourse on America’s leadership in the world. The People Speak series offers an opportunity for the citizens of Mississippi to get involved in the discussion of these critical issues, to explore how aspects of these policies affect their lives and communities, and to help guide the course of America’s role in the world.

The United Nations Foundation and a nonpartisan, broad-based coalition of concerned organizations created The People Speak in 2003 to provide forums for Americans to participate in the discussions of policies affecting their future. Building on the success of last year’s series, which culminated in over 2,000 discussions across the U.S., the 2004 initiative will engage universities, religious organizations, community groups, editorial writers, think tanks, concerned citizens and others to participate in a public discourse on U.S. foreign policy. For more information on how to join the dialogue, please visit the Web site at www.thepeoplespeak.org.

Rural Kids Print, Bind and Read

Link - Anywhere Books sets up digital bookmobiles in developing countries like Uganda, Ghana and Macedonia. The souped-up vans can print and bind books on the spot, and children get the fresh-made publications for free.

For those rainy Saturday afternoons when you don't know what to do with the kids...

Link - Build your own instruments!

If all stories were written like science fiction stories

Link - "Roger and Ann needed to meet Sergey in San Francisco. 'Should we take a train, or a steamship, or a plane?' asked Ann. 'Trains are too slow, and the trip by steamship around South America would take months,' replied Roger. 'We’ll take a plane.'"

Esquire's Brutally Honest Personals

Link - The singles below are real people with real issues. Some are overweight. Others are crippled by debt. Quite a few live with their parents. But they all have one thing in common: They are available. And they've put themselves out there with the hope of finding someone willing to accept them at face value. So, please, scan their profiles. You may not get exactly what you want, but at least you know exactly what you're getting.

Whitman: EBay Spares Half.com

Link - Who said e-retailers didn't have mercy? Half.com almost got axed, but in the end, the e-commerce site that gave its name to a town in Oregon survived, spared by hugely popular owner eBay.

What Does A Consumer Really Want?

Link - One of the hottest issues in the economics of happiness is whether people really want what they think they want. We might think that we want the new Volvo or the big house by the lake, but most purchases do not, in retrospect, cause as much happiness as the purchasers expect.

Genesis Mission Status Report

Link - The Genesis team has shipped its first scientific sample from the mission's specially constructed cleanroom at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Dugway, Utah. The sample, containing what are known as "lid foils," was attached to the interior lid of the Genesis sample return capsule.

Sinatra on Airplanes

Link - The long-lost record of "Strangers on My Flight"

Academy's 'Bring Me Men' Sign Replaced With 'Integrity First'

Link - Old Sign Had Been Around Since 1964

Pensacola newspaper offers $50,000 to help Ivan victims in three states

Link - To launch the Lend-A-Hand campaign, the Pensacola News Journal, through the resources of the Gannett Foundation, has contributed $50,000. (Also information on this page on how individuals can donate.)

Eat M&M's...help fight breast cancer

Link - M&M's has created a special pink and white package of M&M's in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The company will donate 50 cents of each package sold to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

De LaHoya and Roy Jones, Jr....in the same month

Link - Glen Johnson knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in the ninth round Saturday night to retain his IBF light heavyweight title and cast more doubt on the future of one of boxing's most storied fighters.

But on the other hand...Poll: Having Money Helps With Satisfaction

Link - Money may not buy happiness, but for many people it apparently puts a down payment on satisfaction.

Money can't buy happiness

Link - A new scientific study reveals that (shocker!) a nation's economic fortitude is not as tied to the well-being of its citizens as previous believed. The results of the study--prepared by researchers at the University of Illinois and University of Pennsylvania--appeared in the latest issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

Long Trip for Psychedelic Drugs

Link - Psychedelic drugs are inching their way slowly but surely toward prescription status in the United States, thanks to a group of persistent scientists who believe drugs like ecstasy and psilocybin can help people with terminal cancer, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a just a few.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Coffee and Cigarettes

I haven't seen this much coffee and cigarettes since grad school. These series of short films are strung together to show us all of the different permutations and variations of coffee and cigarettes. Though I enjoyed the movie, it seemed more of an intellectual excursion than a passionate venture. Some of the shorts were much better than the others, but the sound that keeps repeating endlessly throughout one of my favorite sounds...the delicate tinkling of the spoon on the edge of the cup after stirring in the creamer. Maybe that's why the movie kept making me think of my favorite poem by T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Secret Window

I think the critics were way too kind on this one. The actors all did a fair job and the writing was OK...it was the damn plot that was unbelievable.

First, I was mad about the John Turturro, over-the-top dairy farmer bit. Then when I found out the Mississippi "shit-spat" redneck was just a figment of a blocked writer's imagination, I was just mad. Turturro comes across as a retarded Faulkner a hoe-short of a row.

I was first on a rant about the always asinine portrayal of Mississippians in film...we're either ignorant or shoeless or prejudiced (and of course, ALWAYS, sweating). (Times have changed since air conditioners, folks, believe me.)

The irony lies in the fact that a movie that ends with the last lines saying it doesn't matter about the story, the beauty is always in the ending has an extremely sucky ending. Somehow we are to believe that Depp killed all of these people with nothing to trace him to the bodies whatsoever.

What I cooked today...

Pepper Steak

2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
1 c. bell pepper strips (about 3 bell peppers)
1/2 c. beef broth
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil

Heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over med-hi heat. Combine flour through steak, tossing to coat. Add beef mixture to pan; saute' 3 min. Add bell pepper and remaining ingredients to pan; cook and cover 7 min. or till the peppers are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice, if desired. Yield for meat dish only: serving size = 1 cup, cal = 197, fat = 6.2 g, fiber = 0.9 g.


And for a side dish to go along...

Corn and Zucchini Saute

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 tsp chopped minced garlic
2 cups fresh sweet corn (about 4 ears)
2 med. zucchini (1 lb total), quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook green onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 min. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 min. Add corn, zucchini, cumin, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, 4 to 6 min. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

I don't know where the top recipe is from. The side dish is from Gourmet, September 2004, p. 186. All were yummy!

HOWTO Handshadows from 1859

Link - Hand Shadows To Be Thrown Upon The Wall, originally published in 1859, is a lovely little Gutenberg Project book, illustrated with these great woodcuts of what passed for fun in the era of gaslight and corsets.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

17-foot python loose in Bay St. Louis

Link - A 17-foot fugitive is on the loose in Bay St. Louis, sending police and animal control officers combing through the 200 block of Union Street.

Film Fest rolls in Ocean Springs

Link - The weekend-long Ocean Springs Film Festival kicked off Friday, allowing South Mississippians a chance to see films that won't hit the screens of the neighborhood cineplex.

Delta tourism has planners singing the Blues

Link - In the Mississippi Delta, life is never far from the blues — a challenge and an opportunity for those promoting tourism here.

Guardian Angels set to recruit in Jackson

Link - Citizens dictate patrol areas, organizer says

Enter now and have lunch with Fabio...

Link - But hurry, you must enter by Sept. 28.

Keeping the dream alive...Twinkie maker to continue baking

Link - The ovens will keep the Twinkies coming for a while longer. A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $50 million loan to Interstate Bakeries. That'll let the maker of Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies keep operating for another month.

Chocolate's "squiggle code"

Link - Cecil uncovers the secret "squiggle code" used to identify chocolates as nougat, marshmallow, etc.

Why hope springs eternal

Link - Forbes magazine, which once adapted the old Marxist taunt "capitalist tool" as a slogan, has compiled a list of the 400 richest Americans that, in a curious way, is an encouragement to the rest of us.

Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

Link - The results of the second annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge are out and include some dazzling imagery of a feeding tick, a volcano, and movies of a bat in action, an overview of the 2002 European floods and a presentation on RNA interference.

Move over spam, make way for "spit"

Link - A new plague of unwanted messages threatens internet users, according to a US company. Spam and spim - spam by instant messenger – are about to be joined by "spit" - spam over internet telephony. Qovia, based in Frederick, Maryland, have recently filed two patent applications for technology to thwart spit.

Friday, September 24, 2004


This is a needlepoint I got at a second-hand store. As you can see, I need a lot of visual encouragement to keep my mouth shut and my ears open! ;) Posted by Hello

Damage at Ship Island minimal

Link - Fort Massachusetts - a dominating relic of Civil War-era brick and stone overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from West Ship Island - found itself 10 feet closer to the waters of the Mississippi Sound following Hurricane Ivan's forceful display.

Jung display opens at Lewis Art Gallery

Link - The Lewis Art Gallery at Millsaps College will feature works by award-winning print artist Anita Jung.

Jazz family patriarch and Miss. native Marsalis Sr. dies at 96

Link - Ellis L. Marsalis Sr., the patriarch of a family of world famous jazz musicians, including grandson Wynton Marsalis, has died. He was 96.

Verdery to speak at Millsaps

The Millsaps College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will offer a free lecture with visiting scholar Katherine Verderyat 8 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Room 100 of Olin Hall.


Verdery, the Eric R. Wolf Collegiate Professor and acting chair of anthropology at the University of Michigan, studies the workings of socialism and its transformations after 1989.

Verdery will also take part in a brown bag luncheon discussion at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 28 in Room 111 of Murrah Hall. The discussion will involve themes from the lecture and will also pose the question, "Why didn't we predict the fall of Communism?"

For more information contact Laura Franey at franele@millsaps.edu or 1-601-974-1304.

CNN/SI Road Trip: University of Mississippi

Link - If you ever crash the Grove at Ole Miss, be sure to dress nicely and say "Hotty Toddy" -- and don't ogle

The Lounge List

Link - Current city happenings courtesy of Jackson Free Press

Tighter security at Mississippi State Fair discussed

Link - State and county officials met recently to discuss stepped-up security measures for October's Mississippi State Fair in response to concerns about the presence of a white supremacist group leader with the key suspect in the Klan's 1964 killings of three civil rights workers.

Repairs underway on Mississippi's barrier islands

Link - Mississippi's barrier islands have been temporarily closed by the National Park Service while damage caused by Hurricane Ivan is repaired.

Chili Cook-off set for Oct. 9

The Greater Belhaven Market will have its First Annual Chili Cookoff on Oct. 9. Registration forms can be picked up at the Market. Other events planned for the market include a pumpkin carving contest on Oct. 30 and Bring Your Dog to the Market Day on Nov. 6. The Market is open from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Saturdays at 750 E. Fortification Street.

Two Mississippi counties added to aid list

Clarke and Lauderdale counties on Sept. 22 were added to the federal disaster declaration for aid to help those suffering from Hurricane Ivan. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA)added the two counties to the Sept. 15 declaration by President Bush that gives federal aid to homeowners, renters and businesses affected by Ivan.

The assistance can include grants to pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other hurricane-related expenses not met by insurance or other aid programs. Low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Also, Jasper and Wayne counties were added to those eligible for public assistance. Their local governments will get help for the repair and replacement of damaged facilities and for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Clarke and Lauderdale county residents and business owners who sustained losses from the storm can begin the disaster application process by calling the toll-free registration number 1-800-621-3362, or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.

Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series Hams it Up with Southern Humorists

Link - The cornpone will be flying, and there'll be grins and giggles aplenty when the Millsaps College Arts & Lecture Series presents a tumultuous trio of Southern humorists in the first program of their 37th season.

Fugitive alligator back at Gulf Shores zoo

Chucky, the most wanted fugitive out of Gulf Shores, Ala. and a 12-foot long, 1,000-pound alligator, proved on Sept. 22 that you can go home again. After creating a national stir when he disappeared during Hurricane Ivan, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo's star attraction was spotted on Sept. 21 in a sludgy drainage ditch inside the zoo grounds. A team of gator trackers captured him with a noose and heavy duct tape. (It really can do everything!) State troopers and local police officers then helped haul him to a bear pen before returning him to the shallow pond where he has spent the last 15 years. Welcome home, Chucky!

Southern U.S. States Brace For More Stormy Weather

Link - Ivan's second foray into the U.S. came with little wind but plenty of the rain that became the three-week-old system's calling card as it raked the Caribbean and eastern U.S., while Floridians braced for another possible pounding as Hurricane Jeanne appeared to be gearing up for a weekend landing.

Glaciers Quicken Pace to Sea

Link - A number of massive glaciers in the West Antarctic are sliding into the ocean at an accelerating rate and raising sea levels, according to new data released on Sept. 23.

Shooting the War: Documentary

Link - Shooting the War, a 1999 Canadian documentary co-directed by Patrick Chauvel and Antoine Novet, explores, in cursory fashion, the subgroup of photojournalists who work and have worked in high-risk war zones.

More authors keeping blogs

Link - Blogging has caught on with everyone from high school students to journalists, and Weiner, Neil Gaiman and Claire Cook are among a growing number of authors who no longer confine private thoughts to private papers. Instead, they post weekly or even daily dispatches on the Internet that range from tour diaries to family updates.

(And I just can't believe they left off Dave Barry's blog! Shame, shame.)


RSS: why it's important

Link - CNET has an overview of what RSS is, its key benefits, how you can read feeds and links to some samples as well. It's a good primer on the basics.

Our Eyes photography

Link - Interesting photographs submitted from around the world using a left-right scroll layout of 10-15 shots with various themes.

Want blues? Head to Leland

On Sept. 25, Leland will host its annual Deer Creek Fall Festival. Started in 2002, the free event is sponsored by the Leland Chamber of Commerce and the Leland Blues Project.

The Leland Blues Project will host a Blues Block Party from 11 a.m. till 6 p.m., featuring T-Model Ford, Eddie Cusic, Pat Thomas, the Jay Kirgis Band, Bobby Rutledge, Doc B's, Cody and Casey Ruth, Speedy & The Amateurs, Moose Pass and John Horton and the Special Occasion Band with Mississippi Slim.

For more information, call 1-662-686-2687.

Happiness Is Mostly Genetic

Link - Unhappy? Blame biology. Then cheer yourself up by finding a job with a shorter commute.

Leadership lessons learned from SpongeBob Squarepants episodes

Link - This November, Nickelodeon's animated SpongeBob SquarePants makes his big-screen splash. He lives in a pineapple under the sea -- and he has spawned a host of fan sites, attracted a religious following, and been named TV Guide 's ninth-greatest cartoon character ever. We smell a leader!

I guess, alas, there really is no free lunch...or iPod

Link - A Web site that gives away free iPod Mini's to customers who participate in promotional offers is being criticized by its customers for failing to get them their promised portable music player and inundating them with additional spam e-mail. The company's owners are defending their service saying they are shipping mini iPods, but that they can't get enough to fill demand from Apple Computer.

Mummy Hair Reveals Drinking Habits

Link - Mummy hair has revealed the first direct evidence of alcohol consumption in ancient populations, according to new forensic research.

Now you have an official excuse to buy a horse...

Link - The state Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania's drunken driving law can't be enforced against people on horseback, a decision that inspired the dissenting justice to wax poetic.

Don't Touch My Internet!

Link - Cut off their connection to the Web and people have moments of "withdrawal and feelings of loss, frustration, and disconnectedness" according to a report released Sept. 22 by Yahoo. Dubbed the Internet Deprivation Study, the Yahoo-sponsored research tried to get a group of consumers to stay offline, then report back. Nearly half couldn't take the Web-less world for more than two weeks, and the median time participants could go without logging on was a measly five days.

Why Capital Spending—and Corporate Confidence—Are Low

Link - Technology buyers hit the brakes toward the end of the second quarter 2004 and it's worth asking whether spending on software and hardware—not to mention capital spending overall—is being hampered by gun-shy corporate executives.

Advertisers Beware: Blog-Fortified "Copy Cops" at Your Doorstep

Link - Blog and bloggers have made a huge mark in 2004, and this should give every major marketer and advertiser pause for deep reflection. Bloggers gave Howard Dean's campaign early, unexpected momentum. They fanned the flames of the Iraqi prison crisis with rapid distribution of photos, especially the most controversial ones. They catapulted into the mainstream Burger King's "Viral Chicken" campaign, as well as the controversial "Swift Boat Veteran for Truth" anti-Kerry video. More recently, blogs have showcased new and promising ways for brands like Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Sun, and HP to reach out to consumers and other stakeholders.

RSS Auction

Link - Custom eBay searches delivered by RSS

Bloglines aims for simplicity

Link - Free service brings content to one Web page for users

It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog

Link - Business embraces the new medium as executives read—and write—blogs.

Rands Management Glossary

Link - For those who need a refresher...

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Charlie Chaplin

Under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will open its 2004-2005 Pops Series at 7:30 pm on October 9 with “An Evening with Charlie Chaplin”, featuring silent-film legend Charlie Chaplin’s original scores to two of his classic films. The scores from “The Idle Class” and “The Kid” will be accompanied by the full-length, black and white films at Thalia Mara Hall in downtown Jackson. In previous seasons, the MSO has presented Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” and “City Lights” to nearly sold-out audiences. “We are excited to again bring cinema’s first king of comedy to the people of Mississippi,” says Beck.


An icon of the silent film era, Chaplin wrote, directed, produced and stars in both films. He also wrote the scores to both films, after having taught himself to play the violin and cello. Each score was written down with the help of a musical arranger, since Chaplin knew exactly what he wanted to hear but lacked the ability to write it down. “Although untrained in traditional western musical notation, Chaplin was a gifted musician with an instinctive sense of melody and harmony, and an ability to perfectly accompany the action in his films. Like his famous film character, his scores employ a wonderful equilibrium of comedy, tragedy and skill,” says Beck.


After more than 80 years, the films of Charlie Chaplin continue to inspire and entertain a new generation of fans. “’The Idle Class’ and ‘The Kid’ are two of Chaplin’s best films,” says Anita Modak-Truran, local filmmaker and critic. “They both seamlessly weave meticulously engineered schtick and gags, a theme of unfailing hope, and a tear of bittersweet into enduring works of art.” Gale Sisulak, long-time MSO supporter and season ticket holder, attended both previous Chaplin concerts. “We had such fun; it introduced us to a whole new idea of live music with visual entertainment,” she says.


Tickets for “An Evening with Charlie Chaplin” range from $15 to $30 for adults, $10 to $25 for seniors 65 and over, and $5 for students 18 and under. College students are also eligible for $5 tickets upon presenting valid ID at the box office. The box office will open at the event at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the MSO office at (601) 960-1565.

Now you officially have an excuse to test drive a new Volvo...

Paul Moak Volvo on Oct. 9 and 11 will conduct a fund drive for the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The retailer is participating in Volvo Drive for Life Days, a weekend-long effort by nearly 300 Volvo retailers in cities nationwide to raise money for their local charities.

Paul Moak Volvo will be raising funds for UMC Candlelighters, an organization that provides both supportive services and financial resources for families of children with cancer who are receiving treatment at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Paul Moak Volvo is calling on people to visit their facility this weekend and test drive any 2005 model Volvo car. For each test-drive taken, the retailer will donate $10 to UMC Candlelighters.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Also On-site to Raise Funds to Fight Pediatric Cancer

In addition to its local fund raiser, Paul Moak Volvo will be joining Volvo retailers nationwide in holding “Alex’s Lemonade Stands” in honor of Alexandra Scott, a young cancer patient from Philadelphia who gained national attention for her efforts to raise money for pediatric cancer by holding annual lemonade stands. Sadly, Scott passed away on Aug. 1 at age eight, three-fourths of her way toward her goal of raising $1 million to fight cancer.

Volvo retailers nationwide, including the Jackson, Miss. retailer, will be conducting lemonade stands at their facilities to achieve Volvo’s pledge to help the Scott family reach Alex’s $1 million goal. In 2003, Scott was named one of the nation’s top 10 heroes in the Volvo for life Awards, the nation’s largest annual search for and celebration of everyday heroes.

Paul Moak Volvo is located at 980 South State Street, Jackson, MS 39201. For more information contact Jeanne Moak Scarbrough at (601) 360-2110 or jscarbrough@paulmoak.com or visit www.paulmoakvolvo.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


This is the three monkeys statue that I have sitting on the edge of my desk. This is to remind myself to ignore the lure of the gossipmongers and just concentrate on the work at hand. (And I just love monkeys too, I will admit.) I bought this a few years ago from a vendor at MSH Day at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield. I think I paid $6 for it. (It's the cheap resin material - not as heavy as it looks.) Posted by Hello

A New Reason to Love Star Wars

Link - The production of the original Star Wars was a disaster. But as the riveting documentary Empire of Dreams shows, underdog director George Lucas somehow pulled it off, which makes you appreciate it even more.

An American Idol hopeful blogs

Link - Marisa Olson is blogging about her efforts to prepare for her upcoming audition for the television show "American Idol." She plans to attend an open audition on Oct. 5 in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives.

Because smart is sexy...

Link - Human Intelligence is a good site from Indiana University that looks at historical influences and current controversies surrounding the study of intelligence.

And They Lived Happily Ever After

Link - When it comes to creating happiness, being married is worth $100,000 per year. That was the conclusion of a recent paper by economists David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald.

Naked Yoga Guy can stay au naturel in San Francisco

Link - "Being naked in San Francisco is not a crime,'' explained D.A. spokeswoman Debbie Mesloh, "unless the gentleman had lewd conduct or was obstructing traffic.''

When I was in San Francisco, it was so damn cold I had no desire to run through the streets naked. Maybe next time... ;)

26 minutes of love for a slice of pizza

Link - And it takes 87 calories for a guy to undo a woman's bra.

E-bay Therapy

Link - When selling your pen on eBay be sure to mention how fat your ex-wife is... E-bay needs to start charging for this stuff. First a wedding dress, now a stupid pen! (I guess the pen is mightier than the sword, after all.) But at least it has a happy ending - he's married to a gorgeous, smart, witty girl now and that's all that matters.

Cigar Rolling Class Offered At Jamaican Hotel

Link - The Jamaicans at a hotel in Ocho Rios are lending their paper-rolling expertise to tourists who crave a buzz.

23rd Annual Chefs of the Coast Food & Wine Festival in Biloxi on Sept. 26

Link - A host of chefs from various South Mississippi restaurants will display their culinary skills Sunday at the 23rd Annual Chefs of the Coast Food & Wine Festival at the Coliseum. The theme of the evening is "Halfway to Mardi Gras," and the event includes a silent auction.

Kevin Sites blog from Iraq

Link - NBC combat correspondent and blogger Kevin Sites is back in Iraq and posts some amazing photos on his blog.

He's back: Ivan may drench La. coast

Link - It's like something out of a bad cloning experiment. Mother Nature sliced off a patch of low pressure that used to belong to Hurricane Ivan, dumped it into the petri dish known as the Atlantic Ocean, and let it escape across Florida into the warm Gulf of Mexico, where its thunderstorms threaten to multiply into a new tropical system named... Ivan.

Morphine Apparently in Your Head

Link - Several persistent researchers finally have proof for a theory they have held for more than a decade, despite dissent from the larger scientific community: Morphine occurs naturally in the human brain.

WellsFest aids shelter

Link - Proceeds from WellsFest will benefit Our House in Jackson, a 24-hour emergency shelter for runaway, homeless and abused youth.

The Origami Art of Robert Lang

Link - Robert J. Lang has been an avid student of origami for over 30 years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 400 designs catalogued and diagrammed. (The site also touches on the science of the art...very interesting.)

Quest woes boost warranty

Link - The Quest, which was launched in May 2003 in Canton, has had two voluntary recalls this year. It also had a dismal ranking — along with the Mississippi-made Armada and Titan — on the consumer research firm J.D. Power and Associates' April 2004 Initial Quality Survey. The automaker began mailing scores of letters on Sept. 10, notifying customers about the free warranty extension. The original warranty was three years or 36,000 miles.

A visual history of spam (and virus) email

Link - Raymond Chen has kept every single piece of spam and every virus-laden email which he has received while at Microsoft since 1997. He then took the data and plotted it out on a graph. It's definitely easy to see how bad it's gotten of late!

Life-sized model railroads

Link - Live Steam enthuthiasts are guys who build large working models of steam and diesel trains and then ride them around gigantic layouts in their yards or in parks. I'm NOT showing this to my four-year-old son or his father...something tells me this would be my backyard by next weekend! ;)

Hurricane Party at Hal & Mal's

River Oaks is sponsoring a "Hurricane Party" at Hal and Mal's on September 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Soulshine Pizza Factory. The proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple. Ticket price includes food and a free drink. T-shirts are $10 each. For more information, contact Julie Jackson at River Oaks at (601) 933-5508 or julie.jackson@roh.hma-corp.com.

Hurricane, the Game of Storm Cliches

Link - This is a new game that makes fun of TV reporters covering hurricanes. If hearing the same six clichés used by every reporter is about to drive you to drinking, then you need to buy Hurricane, the Game of Storm Clichés. For adults, Hurricane, the Game of Storm Clichés is a drinking game that comes with rules to help you weather the news reports. If you don’t like to drink, or you have evacuated and the kids are driving you nuts, Hurricane, the Game of Storm Clichés also comes with a set of rules for kids to play (and of course, no booze is involved).

A portion of the proceeds will immediately go to help the victims of Hurricane Ivan. The company's first goal is to send an 18-wheeler of water to areas in Pensacola and Gulf Shores most in need.

National Dog Week

(From Mental Floss magazine e-mail) - September 19-25 is National Dog Week, so munch a Milk Bone while you enjoy some dog facts:

* The star of 2004's "Benji: Off the Leash" is not a descendant of the original Benji. Back in the 1960s, a pup rescued from the pound was named Higgins and landed a recurring role on TV's "Petticoat Junction." So popular was the pooch that he landed a starring role in the 1974 film "Benji." The movie was a huge hit, but poor Higgins passed away at the ripe old age of 15. When Benji sequels were called for, it was Higgins' daughter who starred in "For the Love of Benji," "Benji the Hunted," and the 1980 Chevy Chase vehicle "Oh! Heavenly Dog." The 2004 Benji is a look-alike pooch who was rescued from an animal shelter in Mississippi. And the 2004 film's world debut took place in Jackson, Mississippi! (The director is from Mississippi.)

* Today, the Lions Club has become synonymous with the support of Leader Dogs for the Blind. Interestingly enough, they report that the ideal breed for a guide dog, as far as temperament and intelligence, is the Boxer. Time proved, however, that the breed's fierce appearance was detrimental for blind folks trying to mingle unobtrusively. The next best-suited breed was the German Shepard, which was used for many years, until inbreeding made hip dysplasia a vital health concern. As of this writing, Labrador Retrievers are the prime candidates for Leader Dogs.

* Protecting U.S. agriculture, Beagle by Beagle: the Beagle Brigade is the USDA's first line of defense at 22 stateside international airports. The Beagle's acute sense of smell and its gentle nature make it ideal for sniffing out illegal plants and vegetables at our nation's airports. Besides the breed's sensitive nose, its willingness to work for treats and its ability to remain calm in airports teeming with noisy travelers, the pooches are also covered under the "Barney Bill" -- named after a pup that was maliciously kicked by a tourist. Thanks to Barney, under the law, anyone harming or interfering with one of the APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) beagles faces up to a $10,000 fine.

* Would you like to become a Fast Friend? Every state that has legalized greyhound racing tracks also offers adoption services for retired racing dogs. Greyhounds are often called "45 mph Couch Potatoes," since once they're taken into a home, they basically become overgrown cats. They enjoy their walks, like any other dog, but they are most content to stretch out comfortably on a cushy doggy bed. Their low dander level makes them ideal for folks with fur allergies. Interested folks should Google "greyhound adoption" for more information.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Delta State dishes up "Food Traditions" exhibit, tour

Link - Inspired by an upcoming Smithsonian Institute exhibit, Delta State University is embarking on a new project to capture the diverse food traditions of the Mississippi Delta.

As part of the project, officials from DSU's Capps & Archives Museum in Cleveland will unveil Delta Food Traditionson Sept. 23. The exhibit features a collection of recipes, stories, photographs and other kitchen memorabilia that capture the tradition of Delta-style dining. It is free and open to the public.

Operation Homecoming

Link - The National Endowment for the Arts is sponsoring a series of workshops at about 20 military bases to help service members returning from duty chronicle their experiences. Various authors, including Tom Clancy, are leading the workshops which are also open to military spouses.

Each work submitted to the NEA through the program will be placed in a government archive and the best will be published in an anthology.

About 140 people signed up to get writing advice from Tom Clancy, who said in a speech that "a novel is a very long bar story," which sailors know a lot about. So now writing about wartime experiences is just a matter of turning the computer on and doing it.

Former Iraq hostage to sign, read book

Thomas Hamill, the truck driver who escaped his Iraqi captors in May, will sign and read Escape in Iraqon Oct. 11 at Lemuria Book Store at 4465 I-55 North in Jackson. Hamill, 44, was driving a fuel truck in Iraq for a Halliburton subsidiary when his convoy was ambushed April 9. He was kidnapped and imprisoned in a farmhouse 50 miles north of Baghdad until he escaped on May 2. For more information, call 1-601-366-7619.

Couple photographs parts of Pensacola that residents still can't get to

Link - Local Pensacola photographer Bryan Adams and his girlfriend flew over parts of Pensacola that are still closed to residents and snapped 511 photos that are now posted on Pensacolabeachliving.com. He has received over 800 e-mails from residents thanking him for the photos - for some it was the first information they had about whether their houses were still standing or not.

Women don't "buy" for power on Oct. 19...I guess

Link - What would happen to America's economy if women stopped shopping for a day?
Well, 85 Broads, a network of former women investment bankers (whose old
address was 85 Broad Street), wants to know. So they're encouraging women
across the country to keep their pocketbooks closed on October 19th (four
weeks from today, still plenty of time to stock up!) to illustrate how the
purchasing power of women doesn't reflect the representation of women in
the workplace. The call-to-action is underscored by some of these
economy-driving statistics:


* Women control $3.3 trillion in annual consumer spending
* Women make 62% of all car purchases
* Women take more than 50% of all business trips
* Women control more than 50% of all the personal wealth in this
country.


And yet:
* Only 6% of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women
* Only 12.4% of board directors are women
* Only 5.2% of women are among the top earners in the country.
(Source: Catalyst)


A statue from my parents' old house in Gulfport. (They now live in Waveland.) I'm still on my statue/black and white kick - don't know what's triggering it. Posted by Hello


My office door: My favorite cartoons from The Onion and Marshall Ramsey, I think the Warholesque Arnold came from a Wired magazine (and I have added the caption, "Don't be economic, girlie-men!"), my sign that says "The buck doesn't even slow down here," a card I received from a co-worker after a promotion that says "Any idiot can learn to juggle chainsaws. It's the day-to-day balloon animal making that wears you out." and, finally, my "I heart my job" self-made bumper sticker (and I swear I'm not brown-nosing...I really do love my job). Posted by Hello

Newspaper's Hurricane Blog Reaches Out to Readers

Link - The Pensacola News Journal has a great blog that is tracking the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.

In search of the elusive "triple triple" in Scrabble...

Link - I just hope my mom never reads my blog. It's hard enough to beat her in Scrabble as it is. I want to keep this craziest thing up my sleeve for Christmas!

Let your children play with the common cold...

Link - Introducing giant microbe plush toys...

JPG Magazine

Link - JPG Magazine is accepting submissions until October 4.

Methane on Mars causes controversy

Link - Methane and water vapour are concentrated in the same regions of the Martian atmosphere, say scientists studying data from Europe's Mars Express orbiter. They say the link may point to a common source - possibly life - but others remain sceptical about the detection.

Naked Wookiees and broken R2-D2s

Link - Tales from making the 'Star Wars' trilogy

Twinkies' maker files bankruptcy

Link - Interstate Bakeries, hit by accounting and low-carb woes, seeks Chapter 11 protection.

(This Atkins crap has just gone way too far when it starts to affect my Twinkies! What's next? No Krispy Kreme...)

Frozen sugar at centre of Milky Way

Link - Astronomers have found a cloud of frozen sugar near the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The discovery heightens the possibility of early building blocks of life originating in interstellar space.

Part of Brain That Extinguishes Fears Found

Link - The areas of the brain involved in learning fears have been known, but new research now identifies the areas involved in extinguishing those fears.

Money is best gift, relief agencies say

Link - Red Cross nationally started the storm season with a depleted National Disaster Relief Fund of about $1 million, Barnes said. With the onslaught of Bonnie, Charley, Frances and Ivan, the agency is seeking at least $75 million in donations to cover its costs for shelter, housing assistance, clothing, food and other services.

Marine general will give keynote speech

Link - U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace will serve as the keynote speaker Oct. 18 when the Salute to the Military kicks off at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.

Going, going ... gone. RIP THE DOCK

Link - The total liquidation of that popular nightspot on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and neighboring Bermuda Beach Club and Island Grill, happens live and online at 10 a.m. Saturday, by McCool Auctions, a division of Mike Jones Auction Group Inc. Boat Works will be auctioned Sunday.

Alas, no more dock rockers, no more hopping off the boat to get a burger on a sunny Saturday afternoon, no more begging drunk friends to reconsider before committing adultery! I saw Prince there. Loverboy let me sing "Hot Girls in Love" with them there. All of the grand memories of my 20s will be going down with The Dock! ;)

Former Iraq hostage to sign, read book

Thomas Hamill, the truck driver who escaped his Iraqi captors in May, will sign and read Escape in Iraqon Oct. 11 at Lemuria Book Store at 4465 I-55 North in Jackson. Hamill, 44, was driving a fuel truck in Iraq for a Halliburton subsidiary when his convoy was ambushed April 9. He was kidnapped and imprisoned in a farmhouse 50 miles north of Baghdad until he escaped on May 2. For more information, call 1-601-366-7619.

FEMA Relief Centers Open In Mississippi

Link - FEMA official have logged more than 2,000 calls from Mississippians since the storm hit. And though not everyone will qualify for federal help, the disaster team will be in place until Ivan's impact is tallied and the people get the help they need.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I read somewhere recently that blogging is the ultimate form of egocentricity...so I'm going to relish in my egocentricity and attempt to add a picture a day from my everyday life (on the days that I can blog anyway). I'm going to start with the office and move to the house. Let's all celebrate our intrinsic egocentricity! ;) Posted by Hello

Space O2 Generator Fails Again

Link - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are again without a working oxygen generator on Monday after a backup component failed over the weekend, said a NASA spokeswoman.

The weather is here...

It's so beautiful in Jackson this morning that even the metereologists are waxing poetic. Official forecast: "Another sublimely beautifuly day...not too hot, not too cold." I'm off to take in this sublimely beautiful day! ;)

Robot Telescopes Comb the Skies

Link - British astronomers have just begun to operate RoboNet-1.0, a global network of the world's biggest robotic telescopes, controlled by intelligent software to effectively act as one giant eye that can be focused anywhere in the sky within a minute.

Absolutely no word is sacred when it comes to the izzle

Link - William Safire reminds us we have the musical rappers to thank for the izzle phenomenon, whether it's used as an affix, prefix, suffix or infix.

Belgravia Gallery

Link - Art by Nelson Mandela and others...

Think Wasabi Clears Your Sinuses? Think Again

Link - Many people believe the sushi-seasoner wasabi clears their sinuses, but new research presented this week suggests that the spicy green paste may do the opposite.

What's next? Uzi Bourbon?

Link - The creator of one of the world's most famous guns, the AK-47 assault rifle, launched another weapon in Britain on Sept. 20 -- Kalashnikov vodka.

Study reveals why some paintings' eyes seem to follow you across the room

Link - All it takes for the effect to work is to have the person in the painting, or photograph, look straight ahead, said James Todd, co-author of the study and a professor of psychology at Ohio State University. Our visual perception takes care of the rest.

Spacecrafts powered by thunder

Link - Thunderous sound waves could one day propel spacecraft to the edge of the solar system, say engineers who have developed a new type of acoustic engine.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Create the Medici Effect

Link - A new book looks at creativity at the intersections of fields, disciplines, and cultures. An excerpt from The Medici Effect explores the far-flung food ideas of chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Cleaning tip that actually works

I read this cleaning tip somewhere recently and tried it this weekend and it actually works. To make cleaning your microwave early, nuke a microwave-safe glass of water for about three minutes. The steam loosens up the microwave gunks and makes it easy to wipe off. (Not, of course, that my microwave is ever anything but pristine at all times. I was just doing this in the name of science.)

Unused phones to help abused

People with unused cell phones are being asked to donate them to The Save A Life Give A Phone Program, which helps domestic violence victims. The program gets 911 access cell phones in the hands of women who need them. Phones can be dropped off at Wireless, Inc. at 311 W. Northside Drive in Jackson. For more information, call the store at (601) 982-4686 or call 1-888-448-2366.


I've been on a statue kick lately. This is a picture I took at the Ag & Forestry Museum in Jackson. Posted by Hello

Saving the Artistic Orphans

Link - Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, sues the federal government to help 'orphan works' return to the public domain. Pieces of history and culture are caught in a morass of far-reaching copyright laws.

Free Content Still Sells

Link - Books containing material available online for free, like the 9/11 Commission Report, are still managing to rack up good, and in some cases very impressive, sales.

Toddler's Fame Grows with Blog Boost

Link - OK, what's your kid's blog strategy? ;)

Software programs called RSS readers creating a blog jam

Link - The uptick in visits is a side effect of RSS readers, a familiar technology in the world of blogs, but one that is just starting to catch on with mainstream Web users. And some experts say that Web sites may not be prepared to handle the massive amount of traffic the readers are expected to generate as they become more popular.

Chronicling Blogs' Political Impact

Link - David Sifry from Technorati has started a wiki-enabled timeline that chronicles real, concrete events where blogging had a significant effect on political events. For now it includes Trent Lott, Ed Schrock and Dan Rather.

Star Wars vs Star Trek in Five Minutes

Link - Welcome to Geek Nirvana...

Blue Note: Over 1000 great jazz album covers

Link - The covers are as great as the music...

CoolGov

Link - Weblog on interesting stuff from the .GOV domain.

New Gadgets For The Wireless Workplace

Link - The networks are pervasive. To use them well, employers should stock up on the appropriate hardware.

Multiplayer Games Coming to Cell Phones

Link - As millions buy increasingly powerful cell phones, many companies are racing to develop video games to take advantage of the newfound portability.

Spinach to power green computers, phones

Link - Scientists have proved what Popeye always knew: spinach is an excellent energy source.

The Guys Guide to Talking Like a Pirate

Link - For those days when you're looking at 40 with a bottle of rum...

ORNL microscope pushes back barrier of 'how small'

Link - Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers, using a state- of-the-art microscope and new computerized imaging technology, have pushed back the barrier of how small we can see--to a record, atom-scale 0.6 angstrom. ORNL, a Department of Energy national laboratory, also held the previous record, at 0.7 angstrom.

Pushing Boundaries in Search of Vision

Link - Margo Jefferson, the NYT's Pulitzer-winning culture critic, has launched a new occasional column dedicated to "avant-garde" art.

Virtual autopsies

Link - Forensic scientists in Switzerland are pioneering a whole new way to do autopsies. No scalpel required.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Top student volunteers sought

Mississippi's top student volunteers in middle and high schools are invited to apply for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The application deadline is Oct. 29. The awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc., in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honor outstanding community service by young people in grades 5-12. Applications are available online or by calling 1-888-450-9961.

"Magic School Bus" exhibit explains storms

Misssippi children can mix up their own weather and learn how to measure lightning during a visit to The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm traveling exhibit in Gulfport. The 2,500-square-foot exhibit will hold its grand opening on Sept. 25 at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport. The exhibit will continue through Dec. 18.

The bilingual exhibit, based on the best-selling Scholastic Books and the popular television series on The Learning Channel, was created by the Children's Museum of Houston and is traveling to 36 cities.

Admission to the Discovery Center and the exhibit is $6. During the exhibit, the public can visit free each Friday from 5-8 p.m. For more information, call (228) 897-6039.

University works on hurricane knowledge

Link - As director of the LSU Hurricane Center, Marc Levitan gets lots of questions about the path a hurricane will take, but he's quick to point out he's an engineer, not a meteorologist.

Art draws hundreds of visitors to the 'shoe lady's' home

Link - Each week dozens of out-of-state travelers do, breaking away from the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway just to meet the woman known for her trademark folk art painted in a rainbow-colored pattern of polka dots and swirls. In Kosciusko, she's nicknamed the "shoe lady," for the abundance of shoes in her yard at 123 Allen St.

Airport ABCs: An Explanation of Airport Identifier Codes

Link - If, like me, you've ever wondered where all those codes come from and what they mean...

A home computer in the year 2004...

Link - ...as envisioned in 1954.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Mississippi islands display little damage after Ivan

Link - At 2,000 feet, most of Mississippi's barrier islands appear hardly fazed by Ivan's 65 mph winds and rushing surf.

Zookeepers 'fish' for 12-foot alligator after Hurricane Ivan

Link - The 12-foot, 1,000 pound alligator is the focus of an intensive hunting expedition after Hurricane Ivan's fury sent him swimming from his confines at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.

Structure of chocolate unravelled by synchrotron radiation

Link - Think about a piece of chocolate. Imagine it melting in your mouth. The sensation is delicious. Now think of the same image, but this time the chocolate is covered by a white film on its surface. This white film is produced when chocolate is poorly crystallised or when it is stored under the wrong conditions. We ’eat’ also with our eyes, so such bad-looking chocolate seems less nice to the palate. Here is where scientists come into the picture. Researchers from The Netherlands working at the ESRF try to avoid this white layer, called fat bloom, by studying the structure of chocolate. Their aim is to optimise the pleasure of eating it. They publish this week in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B the structure of a component of cocoa butter and also the crystal structure of the most common form of cocoa butter in chocolate, a result that is of great importance for chocolate production. The ESRF synchrotron light was essential for this research.

Green Chile Stew

This fed all of my evacuees for two nights...It's a great fall stew! And best of all, if you get home at 5:40 it can be on the table by 7.

Green Chile Stew

1 lb chicken breast, cut up
1/2 c. onion (1 medium) ...or you can cheat like I do and use a bag of frozen diced onions
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 can chicken broth
1 lb red potatotes, cubed
4 med. carrots, sliced
1 can diced green chilies (just the regular small can they usually come in)
1 can diced tomatoes (can use Ro-Tel if you like spicy food)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil
Salt
Pepper
Cilantro (optional)

In a large pot, cook chicken, onion and garlic in oil until the chicken is tender and brown. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, water, green chilies, chili powder, basil, salt and pepper. Bring stew to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. If desired, top with cilantro