July 25, 2002


Beauty is: A thing in the place where it belongs.

Posted by wasylik at 04:19 PM

July 17, 2002

One Down, One to Go

WHOIS smug.com.

This one is a story of customer service done right - even for someone who's not a customer. When smug.com got lifted, the perpetrator used bulkregister.com as their registrar. When bulkregister.com got notice of the situation, company rep Donna made contact to say that she had attempted to verify the new "registrant" to no avail.

After a reasonable time for the "registrant" to reply to confirmation efforts, bulkregister.com agreed to return the domain. Donna, who had just gotten back from vacation, bumped this to high priority and handled the change in just a couple of days. Service like that builds tremendous goodwill and really isn't that much more difficult than the alternative. Kudos to bulkregister.com for having the good sense to hire folks like this and allowing them to do good work.

Posted by wasylik at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2002

Let's Get to the Bottom of This

A Connecticut court agreed with an insurance compnay who asserted that "The perverted act of intentionally fondling the bare bottoms of female clients cannot and is not part of the practice of law." The question came up when an attorney's client sued for malpractice because the lawyer had been convicted of spanking her in order to.. ahem.. prepare her for cross-examination on the witness stand. The court ruled that spanking was not covered by the malpractice insurance policy and so the insurance company could not be sued by the humiliated frmer client.

No word yet on whether spanking constitutes the practice of law in New York or Arkansas.

Posted by wasylik at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2002

Bookmark: ICANN watch

Bookmark: ICANNWatch

Posted by wasylik at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Financial Scandals Bite Dems

Whoops! Looks like in addition to Congressman Moran's cozy arrangement with MBNA, other Dems have some financial misdeeds of their own - like Dick Gephardt and pseudo-moralist Terry McAuliffe:

"It is hard to lead when you haven't done the things that you're asking others to do," Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said of President Bush's low-interest loans more than a decade ago from an oil company where he served as a director.
"It's time this CEO, President Bush, took responsibility for his actions as a private businessman and as President of the United States," Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe declared this week. ""President Bush likes to preach responsibility.... when it comes to his own records, the motto is: 'The buck stops over there.'"
Yet records show: A bank founded by DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe -- which federal regulators determined used unsafe and unsound banking practices -- awarded an "unusual and unsecured" loan to Gephardt in the late 1980s!

Like I said yesterday, if the Democrats want to make ethical and financial improprities a campaign issue....

Bring It On.

Posted by wasylik at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2002

Byron York Exposes the Harken Lie

Byron York delves deeper into the Bush-Harken issue, and finds that SEC documents available to the public show that the Bush stock sale was perfectly legitimate:

On the first question, whether Bush knew in advance about the losses, the SEC investigators found that "the evidence establishes that Bush was not aware of the majority of the items that comprised the loss Harken announced on August 20." Most of that loss, according to the SEC, resulted from write-downs and expenses that occurred after Bush sold his stock -- events that he did not know were coming.

Because Bush was only involved in a very limited way in the company, he did not have "insider information" about most of Harken's losses, and if he didn't have that information, then there was no reason preventing him from selling the stock at will.

On the second question, whether Bush sold the stock deliberately to avoid losing money before bad news was made public, the SEC found that Bush made the sale after being contacted by a stockbroker who had an institutional client who wanted to buy a large block of Harken stock. When Bush decided to sell, he checked with Harken's in-house counsel, as well as the company's chairman, plus another director, and, finally, the company's outside counsel, to see whether there were any reasons the sale could not go through. No one raised any objections.

That's important because Bush's knowledge and intent are important elements of any "insider trading" allegations. If he didn't know about the bulk of the losses, and cleared the stock sale through the lawyers first, then there's no way he could have had the evil intent his critics claim he had.

Even more itneresting, York tells us that Harken's stock price took a temporary dip, but within the next year, had rebounded to $8 - double the price Bush sold it for. If that's some kind of evil scheme, it's a pretty poor one, missing out on a 100% return in just over a year.

As I've said before and elsewhere, there's no scandal here, just a bunch of howling partisans eager to take a chunk out the President's popularity rating by lumping him in with a handful of bad corporate apples. I'm looking forward to the Dems trying to make an election year issue out of Harken, for two reasons - one, the SEC has already investigated and found actual proof of innocence, as distinguished from lack of proof of guilt; and second, unlike Enron and WorldCom, there are no victims here - because there's no crime. This will blow up in the Democrats' faces, because the percentage of the voting public that gets it will see that the accusers are essentially lying to them, and the portion of the public that doesn't get it simply won't care.

Posted by wasylik at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2002

Two in the Pocket

Rebecca observes two things. First, that "Bush violated security laws four times and the SEC chose to look the other way." Techincally correct, although Rebecca implies (or allows the reader to infer) that Bush got special favors that others didn't. That is false. The article she cites - from a "public interest" special interest group - notes that Bush's violations were that he was late filing required SEC disclosures; at the time, the SEC rarely prosecuted that kind of low-level infraction.

There is no allegation or even hint of one that Bush obtained any benefit from the delay in filing, and no suggestion of any quid-pro-quo. Contrast that with the recent case of Congressman Jim Moran obtaining a sweetheart loan from a credit card company with a serious stake in a "bankruptcy reform" bill Moran supports. (No word from the interest group on Moran's transgressions!)

Second, she notes the proposed creation of two new government agencies, and observes, "And I thought that throwing more goverment at problems was the hallmark of a Democrat administration. Just saying." Yes, that is typically true - although national defense has always been one area where Republicans make an exception. Bush's failure to adhere to conservative principles in his domestic policy - whether it be steel tariffs, the farm bill, his education package, or tomorrow's next Big Government Thing - has been noted by conservatives, who have objected strenuously. One wonders if Bush will cling more closely to his professed principles after his reelection is no longer at issue.

Posted by wasylik at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2002

Terminal Velocity, Bullets, and Bets

According to NASA, terminal velocity of a falling object is a function of air resistance, also known as drag:

We can determine the value of the terminal velocity by doing a little algebra and using the drag equation. Drag (D) depends on a drag coefficient, (Cd) the air density, (r) the square of the air velocity (V) and some reference area (A) of the object.

In addition, physics professor Louis Bloomfield of the University of Virginia tells us that different objects can have different terminal velocities based partly on their aerodynamic characteristics (and by extension, an object in a vacuum has no terminal veolicty whatsoever):

This terminal velocity is determined partly by the object's density and size and partly by its aerodynamics. Large, dense, and aerodynamic objects tend to have very large terminal velocities while small, low-density, non-aerodynamic objects tend to have very small terminal velocities.

He also tells us that firing bullets into the air is foolhardy, dangerous, and probably fatal if they hit a person on the way back own:

A bullet's terminal velocity is the downward speed at which the upward force of air resistance acting on it balances its downward weight. Once the falling bullet reaches this speed, it coasts downward at a steady rate. Because air resistance depends largely on surface area while weight depends on volume, larger bullets will drop faster than smaller bullets (just as a piece of chalk drops faster than chalk dust). While I am not sure of the exact speed of a dropping bullet, I expect it to be several hundred miles per hour. As to whether or not it can kill someone, the answer is most definitely yes. In fact, a distant cousin of mine was killed several years ago during Mardi Gras when a falling spent bullet pierced her brain. Firing bullets into the air is an extraordinarily foolish and inconsiderate action. In cultures where it's common to fire guns during celebrations, innocent people are frequently killed by these descending "party favors." If you ever see people shooting guns into the air, you should immediately seek cover in a basement. Their bullets will return to earth in less than thirty seconds and will be just as deadly when they arrive as if they had been shot right at you.

Just a gentleman's bet, no money involved.

Posted by wasylik at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

Not Your Average Webjacking

Pornographers jack Sheriff's domain name:

Aycock said the Sheriff's Office had owned the domain name since 1995, and that its registration is current. "When I was told about this, I thought they were kidding," he said.
"We dug out a receipt and we're paid up through November. When we find out who's responsible for this we're going to go after them. I am not very happy that this has happened."

The Sheriff may discover that precious few laws protect him and that prosectuing a Canadian company could be tricky.

Link from Delaware Law Office.

UPDATE: The porn appears to be gone from http://www.osceolasheriff.org/, the domain in question.

Posted by wasylik at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2002

Low Carb vs. Low Fat


This long, in-depth article from the NYT looks at the alternative hypothesis of weight-gain and weight-loss. Americans eat "better" (i.e., lower-fat) than they have since the 50s, they exercise as much as they have since the workout boom of the 70s, and they are fatter than ever. A long-discredited hypothesis to explain this holds that substituting carbs and sugar for fat is a bad trade-off. For twenty years, we've been consuming "healthy," fat-free, sugar-rich foods as a way to get skinny, with dismal results.
I'm not a dietician, but after reading this article, I thought back to all the people I know who've been successful at losing weight in the past five or six years, and all the people I know who haven't been. Universally, the crazy guys who ordered triple-cheeseburgers but eschewed the buns are the ones who can see their toes today, while the fat-free miseries that the rest of us endured have come to nowt but extra rolls.

The consensus is building.

Posted by wasylik at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2002


Tom's LiveJournal.

Posted by wasylik at 11:01 PM

July 05, 2002

Bush's Little Lie

Steve is right when he asks, "If you openly, repeatedly lie about little things, why should you be believed about bigger things?"

This was always one of the biggest criticisms against Al Gore - he consistently and habitually lied about a seemingly endless series of things. That undermined his credibility and was probably the single biggest cause for him losing the Presidential election. (I know, I know... but if Gore hadn't "lost" the debates, Florida would never have mattered.) Gore's falsehoods - and Bush's promises of truthfullness - mattered all the more because of Clinton's perjured testimony.

Now more than ever the President needs to shore up, not undermine, his credibility. I think there's less culpability in this one - he may not have said what he claims to during the campaign, but I'm fairly confident I remember him saying it in one of his addresses to Congress. He may even have discussed it in private during the campaign, rather than making any public statement (hence the Lindsey statement). Even so, as Steve calls it, a "little" lie, but an important one.

Bush needs to come clean now: admit that he never said it during the campaign - at least not on the record - and absolutely stop joking about it. We need leadership now, not shoulder-slapping.

Posted by wasylik at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

Love, Exciting and New...

I swear, it's not the water. There must be something in the data packets.

Posted by wasylik at 06:39 PM | Comments (0)

Bucs and Steelers?

ESPN predicts the next Superbowl match-up will be the Bucs and the Steelers, based on historical accomplishments by teams with easy schedules.

Link from Krempasky.

Posted by wasylik at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2002

Happy Birthday, America

Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave,
o'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave

Happy 226th birthday, America.

Posted by wasylik at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2002

One Nation Under Judges

George Will explains the folly of electing judges, and gets it largely right.

The dissenters emphasize—as do supporters of the new federal regulations on campaigns for nonjudicial offices—”appearances.” They say Minnesota’s abridgment of judicial candidates’ freedom of speech is necessary because due process appears to be violated when a judge ruling one way or another can affect his prospects for re-election. But that, says Scalia, means that judicial elections themselves violate due process.

Link from VodkaPundit.

Posted by wasylik at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam

Spam - a sign of respect.

It's a sign of respect that someone sends you an electric business card. It means he wants you as a customer," said Zhao Peng, owner of a computer store in Hong Kong.

According to Wired, this kind of "respect" breeds more respect.

Posted by wasylik at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Just about on schedule to hit 200 by the end of August, I stepped on the scale last night (before dinner) and saw that I had broken throught the 210 pound barrier, 208.5, to be precise. Of course, with the heat, I'm sure a few pounds of that drop are lost water weight, but I can now fit my formerly 42-inch-pant-wearing ass into size 36 shorts.

Posted by wasylik at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)