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January 13, 2006

diy superherodom

There is part of me that knew this day would come.  Some instinctual part, some part that was supressed by fanboy paranoia.  In fact, maybe the day is a few years overdue.

What day?

The day the superheroes arrived.  [Via Warren Ellis, of course.]

Which of course portends the arrival of the super-villians.

Have some future, everyone.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:15 PM

January 12, 2006

everyone loves posts about stats

I'm not quite sure how it works, but the spammers have escalated.  For those of you with little online ventures like this, perhaps you've noticed the same thing I have -- spammers have figured out how to stuff the "referring links" section of your stats with websites that obviously have no link to your site.  For example, a referring link from an Australian webhost concern, or from an obscure search engine.  The idea being, I guess, that when you, proprietor of the little online venture, see the link from the obscure search engine, you will wonder, "Why are they linking me?" and then click to find out, and then be immediately dazzled by the obscure search engine and provide them with years of patronage and valuable hits.  Or something like that.

This statspam is no new thing -- I can remember it happening for years -- but the prevalence just jumped by an order of magnitude in the past two months.  For the month of January up to now, over twenty online casinos and seven online pharmacies have "linked" to me.  Which makes me very popular, among gamblers and pharmacists, I suppose.

Plus also I'd like to thank all the statspammers for assuming that, yes, I am that stupid.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:20 AM

January 11, 2006

the iranians are revolting

It is probably less than patriotic for me to do so, but I must take exception with the phrasing of the following Yahoo! Box of Headlines headline:
• Iran scoffs at nuclear sanction threat

My first instinct is that to attribute "scoffing" to a sovereign nation is to take a wee tad of an editorial stance.  Not that Iran isn't a buncha freedom-hatin' evil-axoisie; unfortunately, as a good guy, I like even news I agree with to be right down the middle.  I'd go further and say that unless the sovereign nation uses the word "scoff" (or some word idiomatically in the same zip code as the English "scoff"), then it's not so fair to say that they scoff, even if the sum of the actions of such sovereign nation give the greater impression of scoffing.

And further, after having read the story linked to the headline, I conclude that there's not a whole lotta scoffing going on -- a little breast-beating, a little hand-wringing, a little sabre-rattling.  Nothing like, "We impugn the accusations of the United States, Europe, Russia and China!  In fact, we make fun of and deride this nuclear sanction threat, until it cries!"

No, not so much.

I can't figure out if the moral simplification of the anonymous Yahoo! headline-writing copy editor is the result of the fix already being in from the Administration, or if he/she is only acting prophylactically, so as not to raise the attention from anyone from the nice Administration, the good and pure Administration.

You wouldn't hurt a poor humble Yahoo! copy editor, would you, Administration?

Posted by mrbrent at 10:00 AM

January 10, 2006

the coming economic crisis v6.3

You might not think that I'd follow economics at all.  Neither would I.  But just when I think I know all the answers, I go and change the questions.

A Dailykos diary extracts a Washington Post story on how China is considering moving its considerable investments from US currency to Euros or Yen.  As you may or may not be aware, China and other non-European nations have been investing their oil/manufacturing profits in US assets, which is one of the reasons our economy has been more impervious than usual.  Of course, the implication is that if China pulls its investments, then the US will slowly learn the meaning of "China pwns you".

Of course, it's also important ot keep in mind that this would be only the most recent iteration of "Economic Armaggedon Approacheth" to play in the past decade or so.  If you can remember Japan's little market correction in the ate 90s, and then the pop of the Internet Bubble, and then 9-11, then the One Trillion Dollar invasion of Iraq, then Katrina, well, those are only the first Omens of Falling Sky that come to mind.  And none of us are wearing barrels yet.

Though, if you think about it, despite the fact that we are generally barrel-less, I can say on an anecdotal level that just about everyone I know, myself included, is scraping by in a way unfamiliar to previous generations, when a single earner could afford to buy a house, provide for family, send kids to college, etc.  Of course, that was a time when those pinko laborers would get insidious things like "pensions" and "health care", which was naturally disasterous to the industries and blocked CEOs from making the real long green, like they do today.

So, yes, maybe now China calls in their chits and laughs as American Exceptionalism takes one below the water line.  Or maybe the Free Market finally achieves sentience and continues to refuse to tank, no matter the impetus.  Either way, the intellectual disconnect between fellow citizens and the economy is something I'd like to spend some free time understanding.

Heh.  "Free time."

Posted by mrbrent at 10:37 AM

January 9, 2006

qualified: shortly

Oddly, "imminent" and "eminent" are my favorite two words to confuse. too.

It's rough when the Administration has to solidly stand behind its faulty Spellcheck.

"Heck of a job."

Posted by mrbrent at 2:57 PM

jt leroy

If your name is JT Leroy, then today is probably not the best day you've had in a while.  Why?  The NYTimes sez there is no JT Leroy.

It may be debated that revealing the hands up JT Leroy's ass is akin to unveiling the identity of Thomas Pynchon.  On the other hand, Pynchon never cashed in on claims that he was a transgendered former child prostitute diagnosed with AIDS, so the safer argument is probably, "Leroy: have some."

Let me also add that perhaps the NYTimes national desk could take a lesson or two in reporting from the Arts desk.  [Full disclosure: if the two desks had volleyball teams that played each other, I would root for the Arts desk volleyball team.]

Posted by mrbrent at 9:08 AM