June 13, 2004
This is the second and final day of Kisrael Held Hostage with your guest captor, LAN3.
AIM of the Moment
Last Saturday, I got this IM from kirk, out of the blue:
kirk: now they're gonna wanna put him on money
LAN3: What's that now?
kirk: sorry, wrong IM window. My response to someone asking if I heard Reagan died
LAN3:: Reagan died?
And that was how I got the bad news. But as much as it does a Republican (arguable) good to trump up the passing of that late great President, I really just wanted to mention that as the ...
Segue of the Moment
because this morning I heard, on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, a short thumb-sucking essay by host Scott Simon, which is a regular feature on the show. This week, Simon contemplated the alleged drive to add Reagan to money. I don't know if the drive is substantial, merely has a good media coverage, or just presumably exists, but considering what I now know about Andrew Jackson, I'd be happy to see him off the $20. However, Jackson had very big hair, and Reagan had a rather squared hairstyle that just won't fill the oval on the bill very well.
Radio of the Moment
That last link goes to a long-past episode of "This American Life," the WBEZ (Chicago)-based public radio show that gives a weekly hour of radio documentaries around a single theme.
Last week's episode was one I nagged Kirk to listen to. It spent the entire hour on a single general story, a look at private contractors in Iraq: "I'm From the Private Sector and I'm Here to Help" (RealAudio and Audible.com archives available)
It covers, in its various acts, some of the private soldier/mercenaries, the friction between the contractors and the military (including an argument near the beginning which is terrific radio), a contractor who is working on Baghdad's heavily-improvised power systems, a woman in a nearly-all-male niche, and even lets you witness, aurally, an ambush in traffic.
In other good radio: Scott Simon's thumb-sucker is at times cloying, but I'll give him credit-- he got Simon and Garfunkel in the same room.
Animal Science of the Moment
Science has confirmed what dog owners all know: Dogs understand language. I sent this to my sister, and she estimated that her golden retriever, Cider, can understand almost 40 words:
sit stay down wait here come outside leave-it kong swimming frisbee bo-bos (bedtime) puppy-chow good-girl greenie bone treat cookie go-hup paws-up kisses bath ears hot no-begging out go watch-me walk love who's-there speak find-it cat quiet as well as the names of 4-6 people she sees often.
Paranoia of the Moment
The Reproductive Cycle of Black Helicopters. This probably confirms everything you've ever suspected about their sinister origins.
Game of the Moment
N is an addictive game that runs on your PC or Mac using CPU-hungry Flash. The gameplay? "play as a ninja trapped in a world of well-meaning, inadvertently homicidal robots." Think Lode Runner with physics added.
The game is really fantastic, but I don't think I'll ever finish it-- to advance you take 5 levels per episode, and there appear to be 30 episodes. Watch the demos that autoplay on launch for a great look at the various inhabitants of the game, and read everything in the "help" and "story" -- there's a lot of hidden humor and classic gaming references.
1000 Thanks to Kirk for letting me cover his weekend. This was fun! LAN3 out.