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Sunday, December 21, 2003

The Death of Horatio Alger: "Let's talk first about the facts on income distribution. Thirty years ago we were a relatively middle-class nation. It had not always been thus: Gilded Age America was a highly unequal society, and it stayed that way through the 1920s. During the 1930s and '40s, however, America experienced what the economic historians Claudia Goldin and Robert Margo have dubbed the Great Compression: a drastic narrowing of income gaps, probably as a result of New Deal policies. And the new economic order persisted for more than a generation: Strong unions; taxes on inherited wealth, corporate profits and high incomes; close public scrutiny of corporate management--all helped to keep income gaps relatively small. The economy was hardly egalitarian, but a generation ago the gross inequalities of the 1920s seemed very distant.
Now they're back. According to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez--confirmed by data from the Congressional Budget Office--between 1973 and 2000 the average real income of the bottom 90 percent of American taxpayers actually fell by 7 percent. Meanwhile, the income of the top 1 percent rose by 148 percent, the income of the top 0.1 percent rose by 343 percent and the income of the top 0.01 percent rose 599 percent. (Those numbers exclude capital gains, so they're not an artifact of the stock-market bubble.) The distribution of income in the United States has gone right back to Gilded Age levels of inequality."

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Wired News: 'Running' Robot Gets Off Ground: "Welcome to Wired News. Skip directly to: Search Box, Section Navigation, Content.
Wired News Wire service news & photos Animations Wired Magazine HotBot (the Web)

'Running' Robot Gets Off Ground

Wired News Report Page 1 of 1

10:06 AM Dec. 18, 2003 PT
TOKYO -- Sony's walking robot already knows a few hip dance steps and can kick a miniature soccer ball. Now, it can jog -- a new trick that developers say is ingenious because it requires the machine to jump off the ground, if only for a fraction of a second.
The new skills of the humanoid, developed by the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant's robot unit that makes the dog-like Aibo, were demonstrated to reporters at a Tokyo hall Thursday.
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'Running' Robot Gets Off Ground
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never settle. When an upgrade of the 23-inch-tall, 15-pound robot was introduced last year, Sony executive Toshitada Doi said it might go on sale for the price of an expensive car. But now Sony has no plans to sell Qrio, which is short for 'quest for curiosity.'
Instead, the machine is being billed as an amusing 'corporate ambassador' that can highlight Sony's innovativeness. The company would not say how much it has cost.
'All around the world, universities and think tanks have been researching how to make robots run but we a"
States Try to Limit Drugs in Medicaid, but Makers Resist: "entucky's Medicaid program was $230 million in the red last year, and drastic cuts were on the table. A state panel proposed excluding Zyprexa, an antipsychotic medication that is the state's single biggest drug expense, from the Medicaid list of preferred medications.
That was when the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Kentucky Consumer Advocate Network swung into action"
Daily Kos || Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.: "Let see, steal their land, destroy their economy, kill their kids, bull doze their houses, cut off their water, surround them with barb wire and then condemn them as terrorists when they try to resist.
But, lets not forget, they are the chosen people! "
Israel prepares for mass move if road map fails - The Washington Times: World: "Driven by the fear that sticking to the dream of some Zionists of having a single state reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River would eventually make Jews a minority within their own state, Mr. Olmert has repeatedly called for redrawing the lines between Israelis and Palestinians.
In order to maximize the number of Jews and minimize the number of Palestinians, Mr. Olmert said, 'settlements will have to be removed into new locations within boundaries that will be set by this new line.' "
Albright's joke joins growing list of Bush theories - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics: " 'There's no way to get away from it. To say the CIA knew where the world's No. 1 terrorist is right now and won't bring him forward, that's immoral"
New Scientist: "The first piloted and rocket-powered craft to have been developed by a private company made its maiden flight on Wednesday, over the Mojave desert in California.
The craft, called Space Ship One (SS1), also become the first private craft to break the sound barrier, reaching a top speed of 930 mph (1490 km/h). The flight, exactly 100 years after the Wright brothers made their historic flight, marks a big step to winning the $10 million X Prize for private spaceflight.

SS1 soared to over 20 kilometres altitude (Image: Scaled Composites)
SS1 has been developed by Scaled Composites, an aerospace company run by famed airplane pioneer Burt Rutan. Wednesday's flight followed a four-month series of unpowered drop and land tests"

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Wired 11.12: WIRED TOOLS 2K3: "To map the peas' DNA, Dr. F needs to whip up a sort of conductive Jell-O made from TBE buffer and agarose powder. The gel goes into a battery-operated electrophoresis chamber, where it's poked with a tool to make divots for the harvested genes. The molecules are transferred with a pipette. A zap of electricity sends the molecules - which are negatively charged - moving through the gel"
Michael : Mike's Message : Messages: "We liked playing Dr. Frankenstein. We created a lot of monsters -- the Shah of Iran, Somoza of Nicaragua, Pinochet of Chile -- and then we expressed ignorance or shock when they ran amok and massacred people. We liked Saddam because he was willing to fight the Ayatollah. So we made sure that he got billions of dollars to purchase weapons. Weapons of mass destruction. That's right, he had them. We should know -- we gave them to him! "

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Boomerang Diplomacy ( "When told yesterday that Mr. Schroeder believed Mr. Bush's contract decision might violate international law, the president responded with a sarcastic gibe: 'International law? I better call my lawyer.' Like other puerile taunts delivered by administration officials, the president's words will merely serve to further erode support for his policies in countries that historically have stood with the United States. "
Dean’s Manager: Inside Savvy and Outsider Edge: "It is the story of the boxing glove — which Mr. Mondale used to show he was a fighter — that makes Mr. Trippi cry. He had told Mr. Mondale that his father, an Italian immigrant, thought him a bum for pursuing politics instead of taking over the family flower shop. After his Pennsylvania primary victory, Mr. Mondale autographed the gloves for the elder Mr. Trippi; one was buried with him when he died in 1998.
Now it is Mr. Trippi's autograph that is in demand as he works the rope line after a Detroit rally. He bearhugs people whose names he recognizes from the blogs. They pose for pictures. They bring him Diet Pepsi."
Likud Debates a Palestinian State to Save Israel: "'The dream of Greater Israel is no longer there. We have to adjust our sights.'
Palestinians argue that any unilateral withdrawal would be a cynical attempt to unload as many Palestinians as possible into as little territory as possible.
'All they're arguing is, how big a reservation do they want to give to the Palestinians,' said Michael Tarazi, a lawyer for the Palestine Liberation Organization. "

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Lovers Under the Skin: " blasphemy for defending vile behavior that they say God is on record as denouncing. Never mind that the Bible also advises that people who work on the Sabbath should be stoned to death (Numbers 15:35) and condones the beating of slaves 'since the slave is the owner's property' (Exodus 21:21). Somehow it's only the anti-gay bits that seem engraved in stone."

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eureka, California, United States
As Popeye once said,"I ams what I am." But then again maybe I'm not