Vegetarian Glucosamine

Posted on: Wed, 08/31/2005 - 10:11 By: Tom Swiss

Things I didn't know were out there: I was under the impression that the only source for the popular supplement glucosamine (believed to support joint health) was shellfish. Turns out there are vegan sources. Deva makes a glucosamine with MSM and CMO supplement that's available at vegan specialty retailers; KAL makes a vegan glucosamine that you're more likely to find at your local store. I will probably add this to my regimen...maybe to Piccolo's too, she's been having some knee problems.

Big Brother is listening...through your cellphone

Posted on: Tue, 08/30/2005 - 23:43 By: Tom Swiss

This Guardian story mentions in passing:

Not only can operators pinpoint users to within yards of their location by "triangulating" the signals from three base stations, but - according to a report in the Financial Times - the operators (under instructions from the authorities) can remotely install software onto a handset to activate the microphone even when the user is not making a call. Who needs an ID card when they can do that already?

Coke adds...cadmium

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 16:56 By: Tom Swiss

So in 2001, Coca-Cola builds a bottling plant in Plachimada, India. And then a few months later, the local wells start running dry. And then it turns out that the "free fertilizer" they've been giving out to the locals is lead and cadmium-laden waste sludge from the plant - with no fertilizer value.

Said Veerendrakumar, member of parliament and editor of the influential 'Mathrubhumi' newspaper: ''The fact of the matter is that that water from underground sources is being pumped out free, bottled and sold to our people to make millions for cola companies while destroying the environment and damaging public health''.

The seeds Political Animals sow

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 16:24 By: Tom Swiss

Letter to the Editor, Baltimore City Paper, regarding Brian Morton's recent "Political Animal" column, Police State:

So Brian Morton is waking up to the fact that the U.S. is sliding into a police state ("Political Animal", Aug 24 2005). Great. The problem is that this is not a post-9/11 phenomenon, but a consequence of the "War on Drugs" that has been eroding American civil liberties for decades. And the irony is that Mr. Morton himself, in his previous position as spokesman for drug czar Barry McCaffrey, aided and abetted the process of increasing police power so the state could stick its nose into Americans' private choices.

Librarians in...Pornography

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 12:22 By: Tom Swiss

This is so bizarre, I had to share.

Librarians are always concerned about their image, and much attention has been paid to that image in novels, television programs, and advertising. However, there has been little attention paid to that image in pornography. I presented a paper on this topic at the 1990 Conference of the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in Toronto.

hardware lust: "Damn Small Machine"

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 10:30 By: Tom Swiss

Yummy. The Damn Small Machine is a Nano-ITX system that is 100% silent because it has no moving parts - no fan, no disk drive. Very low power consumption. Runs Damn Small Linux.

If and when the house gets sold and I put part of my share to a audio recording setup, this might end up part of it, if I could plug something like the Tascam US122 in to it. (Need to do more research about the Linux compatibility of that unit.)

Utah paramilitary blitzkrieg raid on dance party

Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2005 - 22:12 By: Tom Swiss

Remember the War on (Some) Drugs? It tends to get lost behind the ones we're fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan (or as The Daily Show likes to call the region, "Mess O' Potamia"). But the Wo(S)D is going every bit as well as the one in the Middle East, as shown by this recent raid by Utah stormtroopers on a rave: Daily Kos: UTAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS! (

The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.

Denver Airport's automated baggage system (finally!) shutting down

Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2005 - 16:18 By: Tom Swiss

Ah, Denver Airport. For many years - a decade, really - those of us in the computer field have read of delays and problems with their massive automated baggage handling system. Truly one of the great boondoggles of computer systems. They're finally pulling the plug - and replacing this failed hi-tech system with human baggage handlers.

Household battery recycling

Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2005 - 02:27 By: Tom Swiss
I hate throwing stuff away. Sustainability - i.e., the long term future of the human race - requires that we are able to recycle, reuse, or return to nature (compost or burn in a closed carbon cycle) just about everything we make. Being a techo-geek, the non-recyclable nature of most electronic gear nags at me.

Fortunately, things are getting better. Electronics recycling is starting, slowly, to gather momentum, though it's still something that is woefully underfunded and publicized given the toxic nature of electronics waste.

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