Thursday, June 30, 2005

you should have seen


the one that got away....


linky

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

jedi mp



Meet Jamie Reed. Jamie Reed represents the Labour Party (Copeland) in British Parliament. Jamie Reed also claims to be a Jedi.

Mr. Jamie Reed (Copeland) (Lab): I crave the indulgence of the House in interrupting such an important and enjoyable debate to deliver my maiden speech. Furthermore, as the first Jedi Member of this place, I look forward to the protection under the law that will be provided to me by the Bill. I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Malik) for his convincing and searing testimony in support of the proposed legislation. It will be a privilege to serve alongside him.


Yes, these words were actually uttered in the House of Commons.

linky

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

science

Anyone who has pursued any sort of advanced technical degree knows that Masters and PhD level papers are pretty much illegible. Especially in Computer Science. So along comes a group of MIT students that have written a program that will automatically generate research papers. Here's a sample:


ABSTRACT

Many physicists would agree that, had it not been for congestion control, the evaluation of web browsers might never have occurred. In fact, few hackers worldwide would disagree with the essential unification of voice-over-IP and public-private key pair. In order to solve this riddle, we confirm that SMPs can be made stochastic, cacheable, and interposable

1. INTRODUCTION

Many scholars would agree that, had it not been for active networks, the simulation of Lamport clocks might never have occurred. The notion that end-users synchronize with the investigation of Markov models is rarely outdated. A theo-retical grand challenge in theory is the important unification of virtual machines and real-time theory. To what extent can web browsers be constructed to achieve this purpose?




Logically then, the next step is to actually submit that crap for publication.

One useful purpose for such a program is to auto-generate submissions to conferences that you suspect might have very low submission standards. A prime example, which you may recognize from spam in your inbox, is SCI/IIIS and its dozens of co-located conferences (check out the very broad conference description on the WMSCI 2005 website). Using SCIgen to generate submissions for conferences like this gives us pleasure to no end. In fact, one of our papers was accepted to SCI 2005!


Funny stuff. Linky

britney and semiconductors




Britney. Semiconductors. Two words that you would never have thought you would hear in a sentence. Well, that day has come.

It is a little known fact, that Ms Spears is an expert in semiconductor physics. Not content with just singing and acting, in the following pages, she will guide you in the fundamentals of the vital laser components that have made it possible to hear her super music in a digital format.


linky

Brazil, again.

Brazilian Flag

The more I learn about Brazil, the more I like it.

"Brazil is concerned about doing a good job of treating those Brazilians who need it, with the proper medication, and with updated treatment measures. It is a matter of public interest," said Health Minister Humberto Costa.

The number of people taking anti-AIDS drugs in Brazil is increasing rapidly, from 36,000 in 1997 to 170,000 in 2004. The country provides 15 types of anti-AIDS drugs to its citizens for free, adding Abbott’s Kaletra to the list in 2002 for patients who had developed resistance to other treatments.


Obviously, this is expensive, especially since Big Pharma is doing what Big Pharma does. The solution ? Send a Big Fuck You to Big Pharma.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health has demanded that Abbott Laboratories cut the price of its AIDS drug Kaletra by 42 percent, threatening to break the company’s patent and produce generic versions of the drug if it does not comply.

The Abbott Park, Illinois-based company has 10 days from the time it received Friday’s ruling to agree to reduce Kaletra’s price to $0.68 per pill from $1.17. If Brazil follows through on its threat, the move would mark the first time the country has adopted compulsory licensing.

Under the World Trade Organization’s intellectual property agreement, known as TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), countries have the right to break patents and produce cheap generic versions of necessary medicines in periods of national health emergencies.


Go Brazil, Go !

Friday, June 17, 2005

conyers vs washington post

Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor
Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman
Mr. Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Sirs:

I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, "Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War," which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post's only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that "only one" member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline "Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight". Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats "pretended" a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event. First, let me be clear: I consider myself to be friend and supporter of Israel and there were a number of other staunchly pro-Israel members who were in attendance at the hearing. I do not agree with, support, or condone any comments asserting Israeli control over U.S. policy, and I find any allegation that Israel is trying to dominate the world or had anything to do with the September 11 tragedy disgusting and offensive.

That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me "Mr. Chairman" and says I liked it so much that I used "chairmanly phrases." Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I "was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides' entreaties to end the session." This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought - given that - the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not "fun."

By the way, the "Downing Street Memo" is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials - having just met with their American counterparts - describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank's article.

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn't make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

Sincerely,



John Conyers, Jr.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

downing street memo

If you are one of the 99% of Americans that has not heard of this memo because the MSM has no interest in covering the story, click here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

george galloway



George Galloway is a lefty MP from England, who was in front of the US Senate defending his name against accusations of profiteering in the Oil For Food program. He had some choice words for the Senate. (Full transcript here.)

On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false. I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his.


it gets better...


I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.


I wonder if the British would let us trade our George for theirs ?

word of the day

Talibaptist.