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Day March 12, 2006

Journey into Kimland

A travel diary about one man’s trip to North Korea:

When was the last trip you took where:

* the guide wouldn’t allow you to keep your passport?
* you weren’t allowed to use the local currency?
* criticism of the place you traveled could get a guide into serious trouble?
* on your return you felt you had to be careful bringing back books, pins and T-shirts because they might be illegal?

All this and more can be yours with a trip to the DPRK, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Orwellian Country Names, better known as North Korea. In an age where you can get Starbucks on Thai islands, Baskin-Robbins in Saigon, Coke and McDonalds just about everywhere, it’s nice to finally visit a place lacking even the knowledge of such things.

The Axe Murders and Operation Paul Bunyan


Wikipedia’s entry on Operation Paul Bunyan:

On August 18, 1976, a group of United States soldiers and South Korean workers were sent out into the demilitarized zone to trim the tree, consisting of two US officers, an Republic of Korea officer and eight United Nations Command guards escorting the workforce. They met resistance from a North Korean patrol who attacked with blunt weapons, as firearms were banned in the JSA, resulting in the death of two U.S. soldiers, Capt. Arthur Bonifas and 1st Lt. Mark Barrett. A Corporal saw the attack from a nearby three-story pagoda and recorded the murders with a movie camera.

As a result, Operation Paul Bunyan was organized and carried out on August 21 involving members of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and supporting infantry which successfully cut down the tree. The troops responsible for cutting down the tree were backed up by a company of 200 US infantryman and protected by a fleet of 27 UH-1 Huey and AH-1 Cobra helicopters, B-52 bombers escorted by American and Korean fighters, and a fleet of F-111 fighter-bombers ready on the runway of Osan Air Base. About 150 North Korean troops were dispatched to the site in response, but kept their distance, thereby avoiding a violent confrontation.

Further reading along with pictures and maps found here:

Citizens’ Self Arrest Form

A helpful form if you need to arrest yourself.

A proposition has been announced recently to help reduce the deficit and to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime.” If you witness a crime, it is your civic duty to report the crime to the police. When a crime is committed, you have the right to make a “Citizen’s Arrest”. Thus, if YOU commit a crime, it would be extremely helpful for you to perform a Citizen’s Self-Arrest. Fill out the form, to complete your Citizen’s Self-Arrest.

More Juggling


Since we’re on the topic, here’s a great video (embedded .mov) of the Galchenko’s, probably the best team jugglers in the world today, at the World Juggling Federation Championship (apparently Chris Bliss lost his invitation).
(Thanks Tim)

Should Women Who Have Illegal Abortions Go To Prison?

I just saw this video today although from what I understand it has been around for awhile now. Somebody asks these pro-life demonstrators what should happen to women who have illegal abortions and the consensus seems to be “Umm. I dunno.”

Digby has a great post on this:

Picture if you will a poll in which Americans are asked if women should be jailed for murdering their unborn child with an illegal abortion. What do you think they would say? Considering the fact that even the anti-abortion picketers in that video don’t know what to say, I think it’s fair to assume that it would be rejected by more than 90 percent of the population.

That’s because it’s clear that there is almost nobody who believes that abortion is murder in the legal sense of the word. How can there be a law against “murder” where the main perpetrator is not punished? How can it be murder if these people don’t believe that the person who planned it, hired someone to do and paid for it is not legally culpable?

(via Shakespeare’s Sister)

Roulette Chocolate


Seated in individual compartments, twelve chocolate bullets lay waiting to be bitten into. Although eleven of the sweet little slugs contain delicious praline centres, one conceals a seriously red hot chilli that’s guaranteed to blow your head off – metaphorically, at least.


How to Make Your Own Waterproof Camera Enclosure


You need a waterproof enclosure to get close to the action without killing your camera. Here’s how to make one. This design will work with almost any camera, digital camera, or camcorder. It gives you access to all the camcorder’s features. You can either look throught the bag into the viewfinder or use the lcd, although most lcds aren’t any good in sunlight. I wanted mine for kitesurfing, but it’ll work underwater too.

(Thanks Greg)

Worst Web Design Techniques..

Featured on Web Pages That Suck in 2005.

After viewing the “winners” you’ll probably say to yourself, “I’ve seen worse web site car wrecks than what’s here.” Contrary to public perception, Web Pages That Suck (WPTS) does not just feature web design car-wrecks. If I just wanted car wrecks, I’d put up only sites created with Microsoft FrontPage. These sites have at least one major problem that’s seen over and over again. Now that you’ve seen them, don’t make the same mistakes.

(Thanks PVC)

The Observer on Sarah Silverman

If women aren’t funny, how come the world’s hottest, most controversial comedian is female?

Sarah Silverman tosses her long black hair and bares her perfect teeth. She steps up to the microphone, demure as a schoolgirl on the witness stand. The crowd tenses. ‘I don’t want to belittle the events of September 11 – they were devastating. They were beyond devastating….’ She stops; words can’t express her pain. ‘I don’t want to say especially for these people, or especially for those people but… especially for me.’

She lowers her sleek eyebrows. The audience in the little North Hollywood theatre takes a nervous breath. Her voice gets gritty: ‘Because it happened to be the same exact day that I found out that the soy chai latte was, like, 900 calories.’ There’s a titter. I’m thinking – you can’t do this in America? Can you? ‘I had been drinking them every day.’ She shakes her head. ‘You know, you hear soy, you think healthy… And it’s a lie.’ Words fail her. Pause. Regather. ‘It was also the day we were attacked…’ The audience pauses, on the brink: they could go one way or another.

History of Flight Recorders

Efforts to require crash-protected flFoil Recorderight recorders date back to the 1940s. The introduction of Flight Data Recorders (FDR), however, experienced many delays. That’s because technology could not match the design requirements of a unit that could survive the forces of an aircraft crash and the resulting fire exposure until 1958, when the world authorities approved a minimum operating requirements for an FDR. This was about the beginning of the so-called “Jet Age,” with the introduction of such aircraft as the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and the Caravelle. The initial requirement of these newly mandated data recorders was to record the actual flight conditions of the aircraft, i.e., heading, altitude, airspeed, vertical accelerations, and time.

(via Linkfilter)

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