It’s been a while, so let me take a stroll through the headlines from Guam.
- Rapists at large – The last couple months have shaken Guam’s parents, with a string of highly publicized abductions of little girls by rapists still at large. In September a 9 year old was kidnapped by a man still wanted by police, and last weekend another convicted felon and rapist sexually assaulted an 11 year old at a fiesta. That guy is known and police still haven’t found him either. Oh yeah, the public school system seems to harbor a boatload of child sex offenders too. But GovGuam says thats okay since they aren’t supposed to have any contact with children.
- Tommy Tanaka is a convicted felon – and he has to go around making speeches to people where he points out that fact. It’s part of his sentence. How about wandering the island in a sackcloth and ashes? I’m particular fond of putting him in the stocks.
- News flash: Max Havoc a scam – GovGuam senators are shocked and dismayed at the sudden disclosure that Max Havoc producer John Laing cannot pay off the loan that GEDA secured with $800,000 of the taxpayers money. In related news, GovGuam amazed that water gets people wet.
- Everybody’s talking about how the economy is heating up – So where the hell’re my tax refunds for 2003 and 2004? I guess that money is earmarked for another movie deal with John Laing.
- Auto insurance rates to rise 110% – Just what a booming economy needs.
- Cholera outbreak in Dededo – WHAT THE FUCK? Cholera? Cholera?? What’s next – bubonic plague? Leprosy?
- Gas drops to $2.86 a gallon – Damn that’s cheap. Time to buy me a big-ass SUV.
- Navy officer apologizes for 50 year old cover up – Can’t say I’m surprised that the Navy squelched reports that the island was covered with radioactive fallout from the Bikini nuclear bomb tests. Can’t have that kind of stuff common knowledge now, can we? If people knew our government poisoned its citizens and did nothing about it then the terrorists will have won.
Well, that was fun.
The New York Times has a scoop: Housing prices are ridiculously high in California and people are moving to other places across the nation were they can actually afford to own a home. Places like Kansas City, Missouri or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
All the cool kids are doing, so I will too: Check out this amazing video of a high speed dash through Paris, filmed in one, long unedited take. C’était un Rendezvous was filmed early one August morning in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, using a Ferrari 275 GTB and a friend who was a Formula 1 race driver. Nearly nine minutes of breakneck mayhem ensue, as the car blazes along the Champ Elysée at 140 KPH, blowing through red lights, dashing the wrong way up one way streets, narrowly avoiding pedestrians, commuters and dozens of frightened pigeons.
This movie got posted on Metafilter earlier this week, and it’s become quite popular. One guy even mapped out the course through Paris using the Google Maps API. Since the original site hosting the QuickTime movie buckled under the load, here’s a torrent file of C’était un Rendezvous you can download. And of course you are welcome to buy the DVD.
I was vaguely aware that the Internet Archive was digitizing books and making them publicly available. I knew they were doing the same for live music and webpages, so this is an important and valuable resource for the world.
There’s a good article over at Tech Central Station on the collapse of the UFO myth culture in recent years. Most of these UFO claims seem quaint, ridiculous and rather tired in 2005. Why? Because of the internet. Thanks to the ready access to reams of information and varied opinions, people have become skilled debunkers and skeptics of anything they read online. Look how quickly bloggers blew apart that CBS special about Bush’s military service last year. That took only a few days to expose the cracks in the journalists arguments. Nonsense like alien autopsy films and Roswell sightings simply cannot stand up to the persistent scrutiny of millions of people.
The Internet processes all truth and falsehood in just this fashion. Wild rumors and dubious pieces of evidence are quick to circulate, but quickly debunked. The Internet gives liars and rumor mongers a colossal space in which to bamboozle dolts of every stripe — but it also provides a forum for wise men from all across the world to speak the truth. Over the long run, the truth tends to win. This fact is lost on critics of the blogosphere, who can only see the exaggerated claims and gossip. These critics often fail to notice that, on the ‘net, the truth follows closely behind the lies. A great many of us accept Internet rumors and hoaxes in exchange for fast access to the truth.
Well, I’ve been busy. I try to post at least once per day, but I just haven’t had the time. Things are in high gear over at the office. Lot’s of late nights and weekends for the past couple months, but I am going to revel in two whole days off this weekend, and do stuff I enjoy. Like going for a nice long hike this morning, cleaning up around the house, and posting some interesting links on my blog. So without further ado:
- Literature Map – type in a favorite author, and a visual display of that author and similar writers appears. The idea is that writers located closer to the submitted author are probably more appealing to people who like the submitted author. No wait, that sounds clunky. Well, just try it and you’ll see.
- Robert Clark: Image America – Looks like a fancy advertising promotion, but it’s still worthwhile. Photojournalist Robert Clark set off on a journey around the United States, trying to capture the essence of America while on the road. It’s been done before, but he’s using a Sony Ericsson camera phone to record his images.
- Moby Lives – And he’s back with what appear to be podcasts this time around. Cool.
It’s good to be back. I’ve got a pile of stuff to post and comment about, so be prepared for a flurry of stories this weekend.