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Ripped from wetlog, via Fairvue - Web elements! This can be enjoyed by chemistry geeks and web geeks alike.

I've added a POLL, to the left.


I've been to Web Pages That Suck several times, but for the first time noticed this quote in the Bad Navigation section:

Web design is not about art, it's about making money.

Ooops. Better not say that to Jeff Zeldman. He'll kick your ass.

I do believe that one of my other personalities (who, me? Yes, you!) is writing over at Absurdities Observed. Although he picked up the story today on Gore's attempt to take credit for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which I missed.

Gore actually said:

I was the author of that proposal. I wrote that, so I say, welcome aboard. That is something for which I have been the principal proponent for a long time.

The EITC was "authored" in 1975, one year before Gore got to Congress.


Ding, dong, the gender gap is dead - for now. According to an iVillage poll, George W. Bush beats both Gore and Bradley among women voters. Maybe they're secretly relieved to be able to get rid of the Harasser-in-Chief and his supporters...


The Supreme Court declined to review a school voucher case in which Vermont's Supreme Court ruled that providing money to religious schools would violate the state constitution. While this is a loss for the good citizens of Vermont, this case says absolutely nothing about whether vouchers are acceptable under the U.S. Constitution. Those interested in the issue should note the Everson v. Board of Education case, which allowed publily-funded transportation of children to religious schools, because it was "public welfare legislation" extended "to all its citizens without regard to their religious belief."

From A Connecticut judge throws out the the city of Bridgeport's suit against gun manufacturers:

The plaintiffs must have envisioned [the tobacco settlements] as the dawning of a new age of litigation during which the gun industry, liquor industry and purveyors of 'junk' food would follow the tobacco industry in reimbursing government expenditures and submitting to judicial regulation.

The judge opined that the suit had "no basis" in common law or statute, much like the opinion in the recent dismissal of Cinnicnati's lawsuit. I take back every joke I've ever made about judges' intellects.


I'm not the only one who thinks that regulation by litigation is a threat to freedom.

Why Time Magazine screwed up by picking FDR over Ronald Reagan as the Person of the Century.

If you like banner campaigns, try this one.

And finally, Lake Effect has spawned a new affiliate blog, Caption This Photo. I got a good solid belly laugh out of the first few - let's hope Dan keeps it up.


Wired has an article about the eToys ambush. I can't get straight just what is going on in this case, from a legal standpoint. is it in state or federeal court, and which one? Did the judge issue a temporary restraining order or a permanent injunction? All the articles have different takes on these issues. These points of fact are important because they would help us, the citizens, figure out what the heck is really going on for ourselves instead of relying on the media to make those calls for us. I'd love to, for example, read the judge's order. If anyone out there is aware of a legally accurate story, please let me know. Thanks!

Here's an interesting post on the Motley Fool about why eToys is a crappy company besides their Internet-bullying stance:

1) ETYS is incapable of delivering goods and services in a timely manner.
2) ETYS is creating a very large amount of customer ill will.

More on this as I find it.

New weblog out there: Dead@32. Defnitely worth a read - I think I'll be checking it out regularly.


When guns are outlawed, only the police will have guns... how do you folks in Seattle feel about that?

I think that if I ever make the Bloat list, I'm probably doing something horribly wrong.

OK, I know that we're all worried about troublemaking kids, but this is going too far. A 12-year old boy in Florida has been criminally charged with disruption of an educational institution for stomping in a puddle after ordered to stop. Deputies held the boy in jail for two hours. Maybe a simple spanking would have been more appropriate?

Got another virus hoax in the mailbox this morning. Kids, if someone sends you a virus warning that says IBM announced it yesterday - go to IBM's virus alert page and check it out. Not only is "How to give a cat a colonic" not a virus, it's not even new, according to the IBM Hoax Alert.


I redesigned the front page for a broader, more pretentious look.

I was flipping through some back issues of osil8 and realized that, once again, Jason is in need of serious legal help. He needs to sue the crap out of Dodge for ripping off his idea that Apple and Dodge are one and the same. Jason, if you decide you need a lawyer, let me know.

Charles Barkley's career ended where it started last night when he ruptured a tendon in his knee during a Rockets-Sixers game in Philadelphia.

Senator Strom Thurmond recently celebrated his 97th birthday. Rumors of an endorsement deal with Engergizer cannot be confirmed.

Praise the Lord and pass the streaming media! My ADSL line finally works!

An excellent article in the New York Times on the etoy embarassment. And of course, a parody of the eToys make-a-buck mentality.


The Clinton administration is prepared to join local governments' lawsuits, according to this article in the Washington Post, to force gun manufactures to concede to sweeping new regulations unauthorized by Congress and impermissible under our Constitution. From a legal standpoint, i think this tactic will backfire, since federal intervention in these suits will open the door for the defendants to remove the multiple suits from state to federal courts, and then unify them - in the process forcing the federal judiciary to finally stop dodging an interpretation of the Second Amendment.

To some degree, the threatened litigation could allow the Clinton administration to use the courts to achieve gun control measures that have failed in Congress. The architects of the current wave of litigation against gun manufacturers are openly seeking quasi-legislative remedies.

As a governmental issue, I think it's another national embarassment that the Executive Branch is trying to bypass the democratic process and regulate through litigation, when they lack the intestinal fortitude to pass laws through Congress, as the Founding Fathers intended. Let's try something else - give a handgun to every resident of a federal housing project, and I'll bet everything I own that crime there would drop.

First tobacco, then guns. What's next, meat and milk, the "deadly poison?

Rog at Unobserved Utterances has accepted my bet for the Sugar Bowl. If FSU wins, he will post this banner on his site for the month of January. If gravity reverses, water ceases to be wet, and the Hokies somehow eke out a win, I'll fly a Hokies banner here for the month. This should be lots of fun!

I just last night saw for the first time the CNET ads featuring geeky guys standing around in a yellow room modeling the consumer research & purchase process for digital cameras. Can you say subtext? I knew you could.


AOL still sucks. Duh. Their web servers have been up and down like the top of Monica's head for two days now, and they can't even have the courtesy to admit there's a problem. As of yesterday afternoon, their tech support people didn't even know that the servers had been down for hours. And here's the most "recent" network update:

Updated on November 17, 1999 at 6:40 P.M. ET
Nothing to report at this time.

That is way beyond suck. Between them and Flashcom, what the hell is the internet coming to?


Now that trashing Camworld has gone slightly out of vogue, Rog at Unobserved Utterances has served up some smack-talk about the Seminoles. I've e-mailed to see if he'll take me up on a wager for the Sugar Bowl. We'll see if he's got the courage to take me up on it.


In the most recent issue of Crack Aficianado: Robert Downey Jr., Darryl Strawberry, and "Where's Marion?"


Sloppy reporting like this makes me angry. It is clear that this reporter has no idea what hazing is, or how the fraternity system works. It is also quite clear that she is using this opportunity to take pot-shots at this particular chapter and at the fraternity system in general.

First, these foolish and reckless (albeit unintentional) acts of one individual don't constitute "hazing" just because the people involved happened to be fraternity members. That label necessarily implicates the entire chapter, and this reporter has presented woefully insufficient facts to justify tarring the rest of the group. In fact, the reporter candidly admits that most of the facts about the incident were not yet known or released by police. Third, dredging up the 1994 incident of another organization, in a clear attempt to paint them with the same brush, is simple propaganda mongering. The two incidents have very little in common, at least as this one has been reported.

That said, I am in favor of the modern trend of eliminating the pledge system in favor of other approaches. Not only does it prevent this kind of media attack when college boys, as they are wont to do, do something stupid, but more importantly, helps move every fraternity away from the Animal House mentality of the last few decades and closer to what they are supposed to be about.

What do you think about the story?


The recursive nature of the Scoop Index, as postulated on Wetlog, seems to be playing out. The Scoop Index lists itself in the number 2 position, presumably in some small part to links from Wetlog.


Hey Steve Case! Burned by an inaccurate spell checker? Oh, yeah, how about those server errors this morning? Get it together, Steve! (see 11/30/99)

Ooops! Missed this one earlier in the week. Al Gore, the father of the Internet, claims to have discovered Love Canal. On Gore's schedule for next week: a press conference announcing that the Earth is round.

On the above, I notice that the Keys to the White House fail to account for an important factor: repeated colossal blunders by the incumbent party's candidate.

The case against Madonna: Brad Aisa says Madonna's monopoly is eerily similar to Microsoft's. So when does the antitrust trial begin?

Bad lawyer! Bad! Legal Writing Pet Peeves from Bad Hair Days.

I've got a new Epinion up - it's on {drum roll} salad dressing.


Sometimes I think the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) is overrated. Like for people who pour gasoline on passing children and set them on fire.

Recycled Link of the Day: Ripped from MetaFilter. According to this article on Slashdot, an award-winning artistic web site named, which has been online since the virtual prehistory of 1995, has been shut down by lawyers for the johnny-come-lately multi-billion dollar toy comany eToys. They found some clueless judge to issue a preliminary injunction this past Monday, which would have fined $10,000 per day they left the site running. Slashdot reports that a hearing - apparently an appeal - is scheduled for December 27. Until then, you can tell to go to hell and you can, as I will from here on out, take my toy shopping elsewhere on line. Try Yahoo's list for about a gazillion alternative worthy candidates for your money. Also, check out Toywar, the underground resistance against etoys. Also, here's a very thorough article in the Village Voice. Finally, the etoy group has an exile site. Beware annoying embedded music!

For the first time in several months, I visited Andy Art today. This site is one of the first comprehensive graphics sites I ran across and is the not-so-subtle inspiration for some of my current web graphics. Since I've been there, he has launched a new design company, Scream Design, is seems to be generally thriving. But I'll tell ya... the original site seems to get uglier and uglier every time I view it. I hate those white and gray wall-to wall tables he uses for layout. They are completely incompatible with the colorful and creative graphics interfaces he's created. I'm sure it's difficult to manage so much content, but the eye that could create those graphics surely must recoil at the overall effect.


Don has a new Ratbastard up. Sounds like he's a little bummed out.


Those of you (yeah, the two in the corner) who have been reading for more than two days may have noticed a little CSS tweaking. I've been trying to find the most legible line height for the Verdana font, but after seeing how good looked in Tahoma, I switched. (TM is also an excellent read for its content. Check it out.)

The state of Connecticut, currently joining in the wave of government-sponsored lawsuits against gun manufacturers, less than ten years ago subsidized Colt Manufacturing Co. to the tune of $25 million so that the company's Connecticut plant wouldn't shut down. Does the state plan to name itself as a defendant? Story on

"I'm very surprised that his tutors couldn't have come up with something better than this." - Presidential candidate Steve Forbes, on the tax cut proposed by Geroge W. Bush.

Most people don't want publicly financed elections, if you look at their IRS returns, according to commentator Lew Rockwell.

Yesterday a link on Linkwatcher caught my eye. The headline read "Clinton worse than Bush in prosecuting environmental offenders." The story, from the San Fransisco Bay Guardian, beat the same old mantra that is the folly of environmental activists in this country. Simply put, that folly is that prosecutions and convictions are the measure by which environmental progress should be measured. How ridiculous! Let's pick an easy target and suppose that the LAPD were to hold a press conference announcing that they had increased traffic stops, citations, and arrests 20% since 1998. How soon would the department have a new chief? (well, ok, but you know what I mean.)

By the same token, progress in fighting pollution should be measured by how clean our environment is, not by how big and intrusive government has gotten. To rip off old Ben Franklin, increase in envirnomental health purchased at the expense of liberty will result in us having neither.


You'll have to do without today. Try some of this instead.

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Disclaimer: All the ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are my own,
not those of anyone who employs me, begat me, lives with me, or otherwise could be
associated with me. My musings are often meant to be witty, so if you're offended,
you probably just don't get the joke.

If you found any original ideas, keep your hands off 'em.
Or at least give me credit. All rights reserved, copyright 1999, a Perpetual Beta production.