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November 30, 2004



This is the British Library's online collection, containing nearly 100,000 images, including maps, pictures, drawings, newspaper articles, advertising ephemera, dialect recordings, sheet music, and much else.


This is only a small portion of the library's holdings, most of which have yet to be digitized.

You could spend a lot of time here quite happily.

I have.

November 30, 2004 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TinkerTool for OS X


You know how, when an application crashes while you're running Apple's OS X, you get that little pop-up box asking you if you'd like to report the circumstances of the crash, or not?

It's not as if you're in the best mood ever at that moment: it's always struck me as a kind of savage, mean-spirited rubbing of salt in the wound by Apple's software engineers.

So it would seem obvious that the little box would also have an option that said, "Don't show me this box again," like lots of other things on OS X.

But it doesn't.

But it does.

I just was told of a little program for us OS X users that lets you have access to all manner of things that Apple has built into the OS but, for reasons of its own, not made easily accessible.

It's called TinkerTool, and was designed by one Marcel Bresnik.

I've just downloaded it, and I can't wait for a Safari crash to see if it really works.

There's tons of other little features you can activate as you like, each tailored to the four OS versions Apple's released to date.

[via TC]

November 30, 2004 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Money Soap


What's this?

Remember when mom would tell you how filthy money was?

Too bad you didn't have a bar of this soap at hand to show her.

It's real soap - but wait, there's more!

In the center is cold, hard - well, by the time you get to it it'll probably be warm, soft, and soapy, but no matter - cash.

Yes, there's a prize, "guaranteed to be one of the following: a real $1, $5, $10, $20, or even a $50 bill!"

Well, what's it gonna be?

Are you feeling lucky?

$10.98 here.

November 30, 2004 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'A creator is certainly a god if he brings the universe into existence from nothing'


This memorable sentence was uttered by renowned theologian Langdon Gilkey (above) at the historic 1981 Arkansas trial that struck down the required teaching of creationism in that state's schools.

All well and good - but today the great majority of cosmologists, astronomers and theoretical physicists studying the origin of our universe do indeed believe that it came "into existence from nothing."

To quote Stephen Hawking, from the final sentences of his memorable 1988 lecture, "Origin of the Universe": "Although Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, it can not answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist? Maybe only God can answer that."

So does this mean that Hawking and Davies and the rest are creationists who believe in God?


Call them what you will - if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, well....

Here's Margalit Fox's obituary from Friday's New York Times of Gilkey, who died on November 19 right here in Charlottesville.

    Langdon Gilkey, 85, Theorist on Nexus of Faith and Science, Dies

    Langdon Gilkey, a prominent Protestant theologian who argued for a rational, even satisfying, coexistence between science and faith in the modern, secular age, died on Nov. 19 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    He was 85.

    The cause was meningitis, according to the University of Chicago, where Dr. Gilkey taught at the divinity school from 1963 until his retirement in 1989.

    The author of more than a dozen books, Dr. Gilkey was considered a pre-eminent interpreter of the work of the theologians Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich.

    In his own writing, his concerns were ecumenical, ranging from interpretations of post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism to explorations of Protestant belief through the lens of autobiography.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Gilkey explored the often slippery terrain where religion, technology and culture converge.

    A Protestant of liberal social conscience, he often argued publicly against the initiatives of Christian fundamentalists, including school prayer and creationism.

    As an expert witness for the American Civil Liberties Union, he testified in a highly publicized 1981 case in which an Arkansas law requiring the teaching of creationism in public schools was struck down.

    "He was a leader in the generation that followed the 20th-century titans: Reinhold Niebuhr; H. Richard Niebuhr, his brother; and Paul Tillich," said Martin E. Marty, an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

    "The generation after them had a good, heavy dose of realism. They were the first American Protestant generation that could be really at home with Catholicism, and they had a more open embrace of popular culture."

    While some theologians approached faith as a rarefied abstraction, Dr. Gilkey tried to situate it in a going world that also contained science, secularism and an abundance of other faiths.

    Christian thought, he maintained, could profitably inform, and be informed by, all of the above.

    "The scientific community is as vulnerable as any other community to a spiritual takeover," he told The Chicago Tribune in 1986.

    "The history of science getting taken over and transformed by ideology in the 20th century is appalling. They've ended up as the handmaiden of every damn ideology around."

    Langdon Brown Gilkey was born on Feb. 9, 1919, in Chicago, where his father was the University of Chicago chaplain.

    He earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1940, and a Ph.D., in 1954, from Union Theological Seminary, where he was a student of Reinhold Niebuhr.

    Dr. Gilkey's first marriage ended in divorce.

    He is survived by his wife, the former Sonja Weber, whom he married in 1963; their son, Amos Welcome Gilkey, and daughter, Frouwkje Gilkey Pagani; a grandson; and a son from his first marriage, Mark Whitney Gilkey.

    After graduating from Harvard, Dr. Gilkey traveled to China to teach English at Yenching University.

    China was then under Japanese occupation, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he was interned with other Allied civilians in a camp at Shantung, where he remained until the end of the war.

    In his memoir "Shantung Compound: The Story of Men and Women Under Pressure" (1966), Dr. Gilkey discussed the effect of his captivity, during which he was crowded in with almost 2,000 other prisoners, on his later beliefs.

    "This internment camp reduced society, ordinarily large and complex, to viewable sizes," he wrote, "and by subjecting life to greatly increased tension laid bare its essential structures."

    It was a view of the human condition that would shape much of his later work, as he tried to root Christian belief in a deeply flawed, even barbarous world.

    His other books include "Naming the Whirlwind" (1969), "Reaping the Whirlwind" (1976), "Message and Existence" (1979), "On Niebuhr" (2001) and "Catholicism Confronts Modernity" (1975).

    In "Creationism on Trial: Evolution and God at Little Rock" (1985), Dr. Gilkey recounted his experience in the Arkansas case, which successfully challenged a state law requiring schools that taught evolution to give "creation science" equal time.

    The authors of the law had been careful not to couch their intent in religious terms, but Dr. Gilkey remained unpersuaded.

    "A creator is certainly a god," he said in court, "if he brings the universe into existence from nothing."

    When he was asked to testify, Dr. Gilkey, whose interests by this time took in tantric yoga, Sikhism and Buddhism, did not quite look the part of the distinguished academic theologian.

    This concerned his colleagues.

    "Before he left, we made him cut his hair, put on a tie and get rid of the beads and earrings," Dr. Marty said.

    "Because there was no way he could have survived in an Arkansas courtroom."

November 30, 2004 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

STABILicers - Yaktrax on steroids


A joehead who'd been less than completely satisfied with his Yaktrax-like ice-walkers last winter (they broke soon after he started using them) sent me a heads-up re: STABILicers, which he's just purchased ($49.95) to help him get through yet another in an endless series of cold, slippery winters.

They look ferocious, these things do.

From the website:

    Relied upon by hundreds of thousands of postal letter carriers, police and rescue crews, hikers, dog walkers, and many others, STABILicers help provide non-slip traction to keep you mobile in icy and snowy conditions.

    Long-lasting VIBRAM soles with 17 case-hardened steel cleats with threaded metal receptacles bite into the slickest ice and snow.

    VELCRO straps fit snugly with easy on/off design to fit virtually any size shoe or boot.

In my HUMBLE opinion the use of all-caps for EMPHASIS adds to the general aura of HUMVEE surrounding this product.

Hope it's not all HYPE.

[via MP]

November 30, 2004 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack



John Hare "started this site as an intellectual challenge," he told New York Times columnist Lisa Napoli.

He proceeded to scan and post the contents of more than 1,000 books on religion, folklore, and mythology, all in the public domain, including scriptures from the world's major religions as well as many minor ones.

Hare said that after 9/11 his site's traffic grew geometrically, particularly because he has the complete works of Nostradamus and several translations of the Koran.


Since losing his job as a software engineer for a dot-com, Hare has survived by selling copies of the accumulated texts - yes, all 1,000+ of them on 1 $49.95 CD-ROM.

November 30, 2004 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NFL Team Monopoly


Are you ready for some football?

The newest new thing for the pigskinheads among you is this new version of the venerable game, in your choice of eight team-specific versions.

Choose from the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, or New England Patriots.

You can be the football, ref's whistle, helmet, cheerleader, quarterback, or linebacker as you make your way to the red zone/Illinois Avenue.

$38.98 here.

November 30, 2004 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack








November 30, 2004 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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