Body count of journalists killed in Iraq now higher than World War II

With 2 More Journalists Dead in Iraq, Total Tops World War II

By E&P Staff

Published: May 29, 2006 11:00 PM ET

NEW YORK The deaths of two CBS journalists on Monday means the Iraq conflict is now the deadliest war for reporters in the past century.

Since 2003, 71 journalists have been killed in Iraq, more than the 63 killed in Vietnam, 17 killed in Korea — and now the 69 killed in World War II, according to Freedom Forum.

The Iraq numbers do not include the 26 members of media support staff who have also died, as counted by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

So much for “Mission Accomplished.” When are we finally going to pull the plug on Bush’s “Big Adventure?” And how long is the US going to be paying for it it in the world, even once we’re out?

(Lost track of who that was via, sorry.)

Dartmouth was never like this back in my day…

Internet celebrity, Playboy model Jenn Sterger to lecture at Psi U

By Matthew Abbott, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 19, 2006

Photo courtesy of Jenn Sterger
Model Jenn Sterger, a student at Florida State University with 95 Facebook.com friends at Dartmouth, will give a half-hour presentation on her life.

Model and Internet celebrity Jenn Sterger will make an appearance at Psi Upsilon fraternity this Saturday as part of a programming event to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Sterger, a fifth-year senior at Florida State University, was propelled to fame in Sept. 2005 when cameras from ABC News panned across the crowd at an FSU football game, pausing before the commercial break on a scantily-clad Sterger and two of her friends.

See also this photo:

Jenn Sterger, whose rise to fame was aided by the popular internet site Facebook.com, socializes with undergraduates and the College’s unofficial mascot, “Keggy the Keg,” on the lawn of Psi Upsilon fraternity Saturday evening. Sterger attracted a large crowd during the only day of Green Key weekend to avoid much rain.

Via DBA

For contrast, back when I was there two Dartmouth women were a the Playboy “Girls of the Ivy League” pictorial, and my recollection was despite both being fully dressed they got protested. The D described one as the “pose on a staircase reveals much of her backside and the profile of one breast” so my recollection is a little off, but *shrug*

It’s nice to see that some of the 1990s revival of puritanism has warn off…

Hybrid storage to hit the mass market…

While the news that Samsung announces PCs with Flash instead of a real HD is itself interesting, further down they note that:

As we reported last week, Samsung will also start shipping NAND-hard drive combos with 128MB and 256MB of NAND during the third quarter.

The authors go on to note that Intel is releasing it’s own Flash-caching technology, called Robson.

This is very much related to the MRAMFS work I did; I mean, I doubt they read my compression papers, but it’s all based on the same underlying concept. Very cool.

Think the “gay marriage” debate is just about gay people? Think again…

The American Taliban is no happier about straight people with untraditional families or lifestyle choices than it is about gay people:

Mo. Town Denies Unmarried Couple Permit

Wed May 17, 11:34 AM ET

BLACK JACK, Mo. – The city council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.

Via AmericaBLOG

Dan Savage’s ongoing notes about “Straight Rights are also very much apropos here.

Reminiscences about old computers… part 1

Inspired by a thread on RASFF (I think, might have been RASFC) here are the first in a set of reminiscences about computers I’ve owned. The lengthy bit will follow breaks, so that those of you who are here for humor and/or politics can ignore them.

I got my first computer, a Commodore 64 with tape drive, on Saturday 10/22/1983. My memory for a long time was ’82, but I distinctly remember it being a Saturday – earlier on the day of my birthday party, which was always on a weekend either before or after my birthday – and I eventually found the receipt in my father’s old papers.

Continues following the break…
Continue reading

Scooters on AmericaBlog…

Chris on AmericaBlog writes:
Scooter-mania hits the US

With the high cost of gas (though don’t worry, it just dropped under $73 today!) Americans are turning more and more to scooters. Over here in Europe, they’re everywhere and while I’ve always liked the look of a Vespa, there’s a price to pay for them. They always remind me of Rome, watching Quadrophenia or wading through piles of scooters in Saigon. The lawnmower whine is the most awful noise pollution that sort of blends in well enough in cities but in smaller towns is downright annoying as hell. I’ve always been told that scooters have limited emissions regulations which means they churn out plenty of traditional pollution as well. Besides that, what really scares me about them is the ugly accidents that I see all too often in Paris and let’s just say scooters and their drivers don’t hold up very well in those battles against cars and trucks.

The most striking thing from the AP article (linked inline above) to me are the sales figures:

A scooter boom has been under way over the last few years as the vehicles came back into fashion. Retail sales in the U.S. have shot up from 12,000 scooters in 1997 to 113,000 in 2005, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, a promotional trade organization. But this spring, the boom has turned into a bonanza, with more and more people realizing that scooters can get up to 100 miles per gallon and can weave around traffic jams.

Chris’s points about safety inspired me to write the following as a comment, though:


I have a ~8 mile round trip to work. I scooter most days when the weather is good. Thanks to easier parking at the work end, and lane sharing (legal in California, possibly not elsewhere) if traffic is heavy, I get there in closer to 10 minutes than the 15 that it takes in my car.

My Honda Aero 50, 'Bob the Angry Lawnmower'Scooters aren’t so bad; first, the noise level and emmisions problems are limited to the cheapest, 50cc 2-stroke varieties. OK, both of the scooters I’ve owned (since 2001) have been 50cc two-strokes, but I’m cheap; the first was an actual Honda (1987 Aero 50) and relatively emmisions-clean, which I can’t say about the rather smokey MZI own now. Newer Honda 50cc ones are 4-stroke, and cleaner, and I imagine that Yamaha may well be going in that direction… and pretty much everything bigger than 50cc is 4-stroke these days.

My MZ Moskito Classico, 'Scooty-puff Jr.' 50cc 4-stroke, sadly, is too weak for even much city traffic here in the states (even the 2-strokes, which are more powerful, are pretty much red lined at ~35-40mph with this 235lb guy on ‘em), but there are some great 125cc or similar 4-stroke ones which can keep up with pretty much any non-freeway traffic.

Yes, safety is a concern, but the easiest way here in California to get a motorcycle license (necessary to ride a scooter, at least here) is to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. With decent safety gear, and good driving on scooterists’ part, the only really dangerous variable is car and truck drivers – and there, more scooters and more visibility will help (as would adequate enforcemnt on drivers who DO carelessly put us in danger.)

The biggest downside to scooters, really, is the perception that they’re easier to ride than a motorcycle (they’re harder) or safer or to be taken less seriously.

But very generally, anything that gets more people into light, fuel-efficient two wheelers, and out of vehicles larger than they need (in many cases, that’s ANY car) is a good thing.

Star Wars vs. Spaceballs, it’s all the same…

Fox will release the original version of the trilogy on dvd this fall.

Die-hard Star Wars fans soon can see the original theatrical versions of the first three Star Wars films on DVD.

Even though George Lucas adamantly declared 2004’s digitally restored Star Wars Trilogy DVDs the definitive versions of his movies, fans have held out hope for DVDs of the originals.

Their wishes will be granted Sept. 12 when Fox releases new two-disc DVDs ($30 each) of Star Wars (since retitled as Episode IV: A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi that include the films as they first appeared in theaters, along with the new, restored versions (now available in the four-disc $70 Star Wars Trilogy).

Fox and Lucas are simply taking a page from their old playbook, as expressed by Mel Brooks: “Who knows? God willing, we’ll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money.” Wait for the EXTRA Special Edition, perhaps?

OK, Greedyo shooting first was not an improvement, but overall I’m not bothered by the changes made to the new Special Editions (and a few of the changes to the DVD versions specifically, like the new Emperor scene in ESB, are actually minor improvements in my opinion). And I have the 1993 VHS boxed set (purchased new) … all told, I’m going to wait for cheap used copies, if I pick up the “original version” DVDs at all. Which, I suppose, still makes me a big dork. (Or more likely, I’ll get them on HD-DVD or something. New medium? Must get Star Wars again…)

via DBA

More human cost of Wilson’s folly…

The Montana Sedition Project

Imagine going down to your local brewpub or coffee shop. You meet some friends. The talk turns to the war. You criticize the President and his wealthy supporters. Next thing you know, a couple of husky fellows at the next table grab you, hustle you out the door and down to the local police station. You are arrested on a charge of sedition. Within months you are indicted, tried and convicted. The judge sentences you to 5-10 years in prison — and off you go! Think this could never happen? Well, it happened not that long ago — during World War I — to scores of ordinary people in Montana. They discovered very painfully that their free speech rights had been stripped away by the state legislature.

via BoingBoing.