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May 2007 Archives

May 26, 2007

Why, yes, Pastor Jones, the Kool-Aid is delicious.

After years of cussedness, is experimenting with an automated publishing platform. Stay tuned for more details.

Unpleasant Movable Type surprise #6 (nos. 1-5 not shown)

Fun tip for those who've just installed the Movable Type software: write your first entry (your new weblog won't exist until you do!), spend half a day modifying the main index template (clicking the "save and rebuild" button zillions of times), then go back and modify the original entry. Ta-daaa! The template has automatically reverted to the default, destroying all your "saved" work! (The secret: you have to turn off a global setting that is "on" by default in order to instruct MT not to revert changes to the template when a new entry is posted.)
Wasn't the whole point of busting my balls with CSS supposed to be the total permanent separation of layout and content? Until now I had politely rejected that whole "CSS was created because anyone can write HTML and web developers were afraid of going the way of typists" conspiracy theory.

Let's try some sample content, shall we?

Some world-press items that didn't make the cut for my latest Western Standard column:
Denmark reacts to the disgrace of its greatest sports hero.
The winner takes it all as a site is chosen for the ABBA Museum.
Spider-Man in Bhojpuri: "[Mary Jane,] you are as good as the litchi (fruit) from Muzzaffarpur".
The Swiss president defies neo-Nazis with a pilgrimage to the nation's holiest of holies. [Wikipédia]

A note on that last item: it comes from the Tribune de Genève, traditionally one of Europe's most respected newspapers, which now has an "English Corner" that international news consumers will want to add to their bookmarks. Today's features include word of a Roger Federer stamp and various goings-on connected to the Hergé centenary (whose significance I think I appreciate, but I'm more of an Asterix man myself).

May 27, 2007

NP: A farewell to Dr. Frankenstein

In case you missed it, here's a link to my Friday Post column about Stanley Miller, the late biochemist who proved in 1953 that amino acids could form naturally under the conditions then thought to exist on the primordial Earth. Good luck and bad

More new Coshery at the Post's Full Comment site: some thoughts about basketball and comedy, and a remark on some oft-scorned children who will soon be running the world.

May 28, 2007

WS: Recent pieces of note

Thanks to everyone who has sent feedback and advice on the look and feel of this new front end over the past 24 hours. As Zero Hour for the changeover approaches, rest assured that suggestions are appreciated even if they're not immediately adopted.

Here's some of the most interesting stuff I've been producing for the Western Standard lately [registration required]: some excerpts from the oldest surviving hockey book, a rundown on a fascinating new idea in conservation biology, an account of baseball's most entertaining ongoing feud, and a look at the potentially controversial new direction in which one of Canada's most famous scientists is taking her work.

As a bonus, here's a new Hugo Chavez thread that I started today at; be sure and check out the comments.

More sample content: top 10 porn names amongst major-league ballplayers

10. Vinnie Chulk
9. Boof Bonser
8. Dave Bush
7. J.J. Putz
6. Ben Sheets
5. Rocky Cherry
4. Nook Logan
3. Jimmy Gobble
2. Jon Coutlangus
1. Ross Gload

May 29, 2007

Hmmm, what happens if I create an entry with nothing in the "title" field? Let's find out by linking to my latest brief cameo at Eric McErlain's

Live from Edmonton, it's Thursday night

Unless I'm much mistaken, visitors to are now being directed to this previously half-hidden Movable Type front end. I'd like to extend an apology to all those who regarded my old, ugly, 100% hand-coded site (permanently available as a warning to future generations here) as a gesture of individualism and humility in a world where new software is adopted solely for the sake of novelty. I am not a Luddite. I am just lazy and skeptical. I am sure that my many long-standing correspondents will immediately coalesce into an exciting new community-type thingy thanks to the introduction of comment threads. So, um, go to it.

May 30, 2007

You can't make a Bolivarian omelet without breaking a few fascist eggs

So how long did it take Hugo Chavez to embarrass his supporters this time? 36 hours, maybe? After shutting the doors on RCTV—for the crime, ultimately, of failing to help defend him from a "coup d'état" that technically took place after he submitted his resignation and then decided his position was strong enough to hold onto the presidency—Chavez turned viciously on Globovision, the last opposition broadcaster in the country, for using "subliminal messages" to advocate his assassination. The motives and common sense of those who wrote about how the Chavez-RCTV fight is really so much more complex than it looks could not possibly have been impeached more suddenly or with more ruthlessness. Chuck Liddell didn't get hit in the face this hard.

I find it interesting that Chavez's "social production" philosophy is so seductive to the red-diaper crowd that they can apparently no longer just read Chavez's own words and tell that he's completely out of control. Perhaps Anglo-Saxon newspapers aren't printing enough of them to help with the judgment. Choice Chavisms from today's edition of El Universal of Caracas:

"You, brother, up there in the hills on Caracas, in (low-income areas) Petare, Catia, 23 de enero, and even here in (coastal) Vargas state, listen up! If we had to launch another April 13, I will command it myself to defend our revolution from this renewed fascist assault! I am warning the people and the enemies of the motherland -those who are behind the scenes-, and I want to say their full name: Globovisión!

"Greetings, Globovisión, you will see where you will go... You may move forward, and you may continue to call people to disobedience and encouraging my assassination, like you did openly late Sunday (May 27), if you want to. But I am warning you in front of the country, take my advice, take a sedative and cool down. Otherwise, I will take care of Globovisión myself."

Chávez said he did care if the media reported that "the lieutenant colonel or the tyrant once again is attacking freedom of expression, Globovisión, these poor innocent people," adding he was ready to die "in order to defend dignity." He asked the Army Chiefs of Staff, intelligence bodies and his followers "not to disregard the enemy." Chávez instructed Minister of Telecommunications and IT Jesse Chacón to "monitor the media second by second. No State can accept calls to disregard the laws." He added that under such circumstances, "the institutions have an obligation to take actions, and I want to tell the people who are behind this conspiracy: 'do not say I did not warn you.'"

Regarding university students' demonstrations to support RCTV, Chávez declared. "Let us believe they are students. I cannot say they are not students, but they are so few they do not represent all of the Venezuelan students." He warned the protesting students: "Be careful, you are being used as a tool by some people who want you to get killed."

Er, threaten protesters with death much, Hugo?

It's hip to be square

I think it's a heck of a gesture for Post to support its aggressive marketing of delicious new Diamond Shreddies™ by making downloadable boxcover artwork available on the net.

May 31, 2007

Sweden's favourite Canadian

I never did find a way to make professional use of this story about a Canadian who gave up a "job for life" at the CBC (glad to see someone's admitting it) and eventually ended up as one of Sweden's most esteemed alternative musicians. Well, and also one of its most esteemed supermarket cashiers—I guess you can't have everything. But it's kind of a touching little tale. Divers matters of a sporting nature

Conspiracy theories about David Beckham for sale here. Piss taken out of Gary Bettman (it's a commodity Canadians never tire of) here.

Concerning that last FC entry, I did think it was a little strange that the authors of today's big Balsillie scoop in the Post chose to describe Southwestern Ontario as "a market that serves the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres." Usually we tend to speak of businesses serving the public, rather than the other way around. But given what I've seen of the arena debate in Edmonton over the past year or so, I'm inclined think Tedesco and Rook probably got it exactly the right way round. We, at least, are a market serving a hockey team...

Time to test the image-uploading function...

Riyo Mori...and who better to begin with than the life-alteringly hot 2007 Miss Universe, Riyo Mori, who attended Centennial Secondary School in Belleville, Ont.? Research by Japundit's Marie Mockett has uncovered the Svengali behind the Miss Universe Japan organization—a French consultant who decided that improving Japan's track record in beauty pageants required only the simple expedient of totally reversing modern Japanese standards of femininity.

[Ines] Ligron says Japanese girls are long-legged and slim with beautiful skin and can be very much like a chameleon—their look can change dramatically depending on the make-up and color of their hair. "The quality they need to acquire most of all is self-confidence concerning both their physical beauty and their mind. Articulating their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs is difficult for young women anywhere. But Japanese girls have to stop trying to be kawaii, and be more sensual," she suggests.

I don't really know if that was the secret to victory, of course, but I've been through Belleville and I can tell you that that old proverb about how "there must be something in the water" definitely doesn't apply.

[TECH NOTE: No, MT's image-uploading system doesn't work--the file I uploaded definitely didn't end up where MT promised me it would. Good old-fashioned FTP and HTML anchors, on the other hand, seem to do just fine. Once again Notepad saves the day.]

About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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