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Our Last 50 Referrers

« Evan Hunter | Main | Foie Gras »

July 07, 2005


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* An intriguing moral dilemma: Do we prosecute the teachers, or congratulate the student?

* Dell has just introduced a $99 black and white laser printer. 99 bucks! The Wife and I had to lay out $399 for a basic b&w laser printer only five years ago.

* The recent war in Congo may be the most destructive war the world has seen since World War II. Since fighting broke out in 1998, roughly 3.8 million Congolese have died out of a population of about 28 million. It has been a hard-to-understand and nightmarish mess, involving six national armies and dozens of rebel groups and militias, all them doing their best to plunder the country of its mineral wealth. Rape and cannibalism have accompanied some of the battles, and the effect of the war on the country's economy has been devastating. Average annual per capita income in Congo now runs at about $100 a year. The Christian Science Monitor asks why the world's press has made so little of the war in Congo.

* Dave Munger writes about how being a blogger has affected his reading habits. He also provides a snapshot of what it's like to work an entry-level job in the publishing business. In another posting, he asks the question many have asked on opening a delivery from Amazon.

* Hiromi and Brett try a Japanese love hotel on for size. I'm still readjusting my eyeglasses after reading their well-illustrated posting about booty-shaking. (Probably NSFW.)

* Liberal Holland? The country's Immigration and Integration Minister has ordered three Imams who have been preaching anti-Western dogma to leave the country.

* Thanks to Claire, who sent in this thoughtful comment about my recent posting about cellphones:

Though most people use a cell phone as a way to always be reached, I've found great liberation in turning it off in a way I probably wouldn't turn off a land line. If I want to make a call, I can, but if I'm enjoying dinner or conversation with friends, I turn it off. Other people's tactless cell usage continues to irk me.

As for film production, your observations are apt. When less technical skill is required for production, the end product can really suffer. Planning ahead is exchanged for a "we'll fix in post" attitude that's often more expensive than shooting on film would have been.

I was also pleased to catch up with Claire's blog. She writes about "Blink" and her fear of snakes, and -- being resourceful and young -- has put her talents to audioblogging too.

* Thanks to Eddie Thomas, who turned up this dismaying videotape of an Islamic sermon. The sermon's theme: Everything bad in the world is the fault of the Jews.

* Another landmark passed in the demise of traditional photography: Kodak has stopped making black and white photo paper.

* I enjoyed playing with this impossible-to-describe Flash whatsis. Click and drag on the main character, and you can fling her all over the place.

* Merlin has come up with an efficient and handy alternative to the electronic PDA. (Link thanks to the Communicatrix.)

* I don't get the impression that Colleen was thrilled by her recent trip to Vegas ...

* Tom Hunscher is a talented photographer who makes a living doing softcore erotica photography. He blogs about his enviable career here. I enjoy Tom's appreciations of his models. Of Tasha, he writes: "She also has a nice wild bush, which I like to see from time to time." That has a nice been-there-seen-that but also sincere tone.



posted by Michael at July 7, 2005


'Iron' Rita Verdonk is liberal in name only, and only tolerant of the sickening bureaucracy of her immigration officers who dearly fail in any humanity.

But, having said that. It has been a problem for many a Western European country that they have become a refuge for the fanatical imams and mullahs who were expelled from their home countries. Most Muslim countries who battle fundamentalism simply always have send the worst offenders away.

So, what did we got in the Netherlands? Spiritual leaders who hated the society they were forced to live in - also because they didn't know the language or mores - preaching what cannot be called anything other than hate.

But, last year, Verdonk wanted to talk to some imams about their role in Dutch society, knowing quite well beforehand some of them wouldn't shake her hand on the principle that she is a woman. Thus, an incident was provoked, when her outstretched hand was indeed ignored.

Posted by: ijsbrand on July 7, 2005 6:08 PM

About that laser printer. The worst thing about buying tech products during the last few years is that while you're buying it, you just know that by next week, there will be a better model for cheaper. Have you see those DVD players they sell now for $49 bucks? With big screen TVs becoming the norm, I wouldn't be surprised if you can get a 25 inch TV for $100 in three years. I wonder if this constant "upgrading" of electronic/computer products is helping or hurting electronic/computer companies. I know I'm still using a six year old computer and I don't see much need to buy the latest and greatest. Well, I actually do, but I'm just too cheap.

Posted by: Neil on July 7, 2005 6:08 PM

And if the world's press made MORE of the war in Congo?..what then? A little guilt money squeezed out of the 1st world?..the killing ever so slightly deflected (if that)?..some half hearted attempts to battle the inevitable outbreaks of killer diseases? It's the utter futility of the whole business that makes the world turn away.

Posted by: ricpic on July 7, 2005 6:14 PM

I actually think the real issue in Africa is that it doesn't fit into the news media's very limited conceptual framework. Hmm, let's's not a Cold War story, it's not a U.S. imperialism story, it's not a Vietnam-redux story, it's not a freak natural disaster its NOT A STORY. The notion of third-world denizens fighting amongst themselves in a way that doesn't lead to reflexive navel gazing on the part of the First World amounts to a news media conceptual no-man's land. They literally don't know what to think about it. (Pssst. A little secret: They're not very bright.)

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 7, 2005 6:22 PM

Oh, yeah, by the way...

It should be, prosecute the teachers, and really congratulate the student. Unless I'm misreading, the young man in question apparently had his way with two teachers, which somehow seems like too much wish fulfillment for any single student.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 7, 2005 6:48 PM

Men are different from women. We'd prosecute if this were a girl. And it would be the right thing to do. It's also the right thing not to prosecute since this is a boy.

I have heard people arguing for prosecution in this sort of situation, and they usually manage to articulate the idea that people should be sent to jail so that the law doesn't have to come to terms with the idea that boys and girls are different.

Posted by: Thrasymachus on July 7, 2005 7:32 PM

so little?

Posted by: georgio on July 7, 2005 10:15 PM

Amazon might find it cheaper to use shipping boxes in only a limited number of sizes, even if this practice occasionally leads to the use of too-large boxes.

Posted by: Peter on July 7, 2005 10:34 PM

Thanks for mentioning my blog. I really do enjoy the models I work with, who are nothing like people imagine (wanton hookers, etc.). Most of them are just smart, open-minded college girls or girls with everyday jobs as cashiers or waitresses.

Posted by: Tom Hunscher on July 8, 2005 3:37 AM

Yes, the war in the Congo is heartbreaking...just as Rwanda was ten years ago. And I do think if the world's press was banging the drum harder, people would be "demanding action" and "having fundraisers" and the like. Look how much attention people have actually paid to the missing girl in Aruba, and nobody even knows she didn't just wander into the ocean drunk and drown!

I also agree with Friedrich--it just doesn't "fit" into what the press seems to want to talk about. Or anything our politicians want to talk about. As a friend said--"If there had been oil in Rwanda, think we would have intervened?"

However, Mia Farrow was on a show recently and has recently been to the Congo in her role with Unicef. Does it seem to anyone but me that she is sort of the real-life Forrest Gump---she was in India with the Beatles, in Mailbu with Roman and Sharon, in Vegas with Frank, in Manhatten with Woody, now she's in the Congo?? What a cool life.

Posted by: annette on July 8, 2005 10:17 AM

Annette, that is hysterical. She's probably met a president or two along the way, as well.

Posted by: missgrundy on July 8, 2005 10:26 AM

Regarding "media coverage of stories"--see below.

In a recent on-air segment featuring viewer e-mails, Katie Barnett of Great Neck, N.Y., wrote Fox News cable giant Bill O'Reilly that she had turned off his program because of the 'incessant' coverage of the Natalee Holloway story," Jeffrey M. McCall writes in today's Indianapolis Star. "Barnett asked O'Reilly to poll viewers to check their interest level for this story. In his usual, direct fashion, O'Reilly responded by saying, 'Our ratings are huge. That's the poll.' That's the way it is in the world of television news. News executives check the ratings of every program segment. Topics that get ratings traction will be covered again and again until the ratings dip."

missgrundy---Yes, I'm sure Mia has met Presidents and Kings, and talked of many things. However, even neater---she's probably confabbing with Bono as we speak!

Posted by: annette on July 8, 2005 11:26 AM

fuck natalee holloway

Posted by: georgio on July 8, 2005 7:40 PM

Regarding Amazon:

Standard size boxes beget wholesale discounts on boxes and assembly line packing.

Transport companies charge by weight, not size. Hence, no charge for shipping air. There is money to be made if some cleaver chap can figure out how to economically get a helium rich air mix into the little cushion packets.

Posted by: mawado on July 11, 2005 1:41 PM

The pretty girl in that Flash Whatsis is as limp as a dead rabbit. No offense, but are you a necrophile?

Posted by: Chris on July 12, 2005 8:38 AM

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