Archive for November, 2003

But Will They Blog?


A remote tribe in the
Brazilian jungle are now online after a charity gave them five battery-powered
computers. The Guarani tribe who live deep in the Atlantic jungle, near Angra dos
Reis, have even come up with their own word for the internet.

The word they created, in their Tupi language, translates as "where
you can put words, documents and knowledge".

The natives learnt how to use the computers in a week long course run by
the charity which gave them the computers.Volunteer Lucas Benite told Jornal
Hoje: "Through the internet they
can connect with other tribes and learn about the world. That is very important
to them."

Tribe chief Veramirim, 92, commented: "I have always told my people
to learn how to write but I also want to see them value our culture."

The Dowbrigade, based on his extensive knowledge of the Guarani, hopes
these computers come equiped with DVD players and an extensive library
of Arnold Schwartznegger movies, if they want to hold the attention of
these jungle madmen. Have they planned what to do when the batteries
wear down?

from Ananova

League of Liberals Blog Count Scandal


From a Blogging galaxy far away, a hit-inflation scandal is brewing.  Seems
a bunch of bloggers who are part of the "League of Liberals" have each
put up site-counters for the others blogs, with the net result that anyone
who hits any one of the blogs gets counted as having visited all of them.
Some of the site-counters were hidden from visitor view, including a
counter fro the #1 blog on the League homepage itself.

Naturamente, the Liberal League honchos were horrified.  Serves
them right for adopting such a wimpy name.

Effective immediately, six weblogs are being put on notice that they
are about to be suspended from the Ecosystem. If suspended, their entries
will not be displayed on any Ecosystem pages (either by traffic ranking
or by links); their links will not count to other weblogs, and their
votes will not count in the New Weblog Showcase. The reason for these
suspensions is that it has come to my attention via the Commissar that
some weblogs are posting multiple SiteMeter counters
on their pages which point to otherweblogs. The result is that when a
visitor lands on their main page, the visit is not just counted for their
own blog, but is also double-, triple-, or in some cases quadruple-counted
as a visit to the other blogs.

Here’s the listing of the top-ranked weblogs in the League of Liberals

Rush Limbaughtomy (381 links) – 2311 visits/day V
Treason Online (76 links) – 2170 visits/day V
Savage Cruel Bigots (61 links) – 2170 visits/day V
The Mahablog (253 links) – 2170 visits/day
Hell on Halliburton (86 links) – 1645 visits/day V
League of Liberals (116 links) – 1486 visits/day V

And here’s the list of weblogs with multiple SiteMeter counters:

Treason Online: Counters for Hell on Halliburton, Treason Online, and
MahaBlog. Update: And a hidden one for Rush Limbaughtomy.

Savage Cruel Bigots: Counters for Savage Cruel Bigots, Hell on Halliburton,
and Treason Online. Update: And a hidden one for Rush Limbaughtomy.

Rush Limbaughtomy: Counters for Hell on Halliburton, Treason Online,
Savage Cruel Bigots, The League of Liberals, and Rush Limbaughtomy

The Mahablog: Counters for Mahablog, The League of Liberals, and
Treason Online.Update: And a hidden one for Rush Limbaughtomy.

Hell for Halliburton: Counters for Treason Online, Savage Cruel Bigots,
and Hell for Halliburton. Update: And a hidden one for Rush Limbaughtomy.

from The Truth Laid Bear

(bad liberals)

Tantric Religion Not Just About Sex


you hear the term "Tantric," what do you think of? C’mon guys,
fess up, it’s SEX, isn’t it? Well, in the interest of religious education
the Dowbrigade (an inveterate educator, after all) is pleased to inform
you that the modern Tantric religion isn’t all about Sex – it also has
a leg up in the growing field of – Human Sacrifice! And Cannibalism! Who
says religion’s no fun anymore?

After a rash of similar killings in the area — according to an unofficial
tally in the English-language Hindustan Times, there have been 25 human
sacrifices in western Uttar Pradesh in the last six months alone — police
have cracked down against tantriks, jailing four and forcing scores of
others to close their businesses and pull their ads from newspapers and
television stations.

Perhaps the biggest danger posed by tantrism stems from the difficulty
of defining it. “No one really knows what it is,” said Sudhir Kakkar,
a psychoanalyst who has written widely on Indian mysticism. Some tantriks,
for example, believe the path to salvation lies in shattering taboos —
involving sex, diet, and other forms of behavior — to “uncondition yourself
from all the conditioning you have had,” Kakkar said. Followers of one
tantrik cult near the Hindu holy city of Varanasi are said to eat charred
human flesh pilfered from cremation grounds.

Leftovers, anyone?

from the Boston Globe

God Squad Meets in Secret Summit


John Paul met the Dalai Lama on Thursday but the Vatican, which has very
thorny relations with China, gave the visit a low profile. The name of
the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet did not appear on the list of people
received by the Pope in the Vatican’s daily bulletin.

A spokesman said this was because it was a brief courtesy visit and the
content was exclusively religious, although other such visits with religious
leaders have been listed. The Dalai Lama later said he had no problem
with the Vatican’s attitude.

“That’s the right description. It was a short visit,” he said. “My main
purpose [was] my expression of admiration and appreciation for what [the
Pope] has done and his dream. In spite of his age and difficult physical
condition he’s really determined for peace and religious understanding.”
The Vatican has difficult ties with Beijing. Chinese Catholics are not
allowed to recognise the Pope’s authority and must join a state-backed
“patriotic church”. Relations between China and the Dalai Lama have appeared
to thaw in the past 18 months, but China still objects to governments
talking to him.

Unconfirmed reports suggest they were conferring on the ecumenical
implications of the upcoming nuptial between polytheistic golf superstar
Tiger Woods and his Swedish ego-masseuse. Early reports have the Dalai
Lama in favor, while the Pope is not too sure……

“Despite the elegantly elucidated position of the Dow Brigade, we are
unsure if God intended that the sacred sacrament of marriage be extended
to people who want to marry Tigers," according to a Vatican spokesman.

from the Sydney Sun Herald

Cutting Down the Family Tree


so soon after the tragic death of Snowflake, the world’s only albino gorilla,
this news story out of the AP really puts a chill into animal lovers hearts.
There are only five species of great apes in the world; gorillas, chimpanzees,
bonobos, orangutans – and us! Ok, so maybe technically we aren’t Apes,
but we’re awful close, like 96% genetically.

Human poaching, smuggling,
deforestation and regional wars are close to insuring that soon there
will only be one kind of Great Ape left on the planet – the aforementioned
us. We will all be immeasurably poorer should that happen…

"If we can’t save these species which are so close to us … do
we have very much hope with some of the other particularly threatened
species and ecosystems?” Hepworth said.

Today, there are believed to be about 400,000 great apes in Africa and
Asia, compared to many million in the 19th century, the U.N. says. Each
of the species is at “high risk” of extinction, some soon, others within
50 years, organizers said.

“The writing is very much on the wall: We have within the next 15 to
20 years to halt that decline,” said Ian Redmond, head of the technical
support team for the U.N.’s Great Apes Survival Project.


Chilly Chile Protest Violence Against Women


have paraded through Santiago wearing only body paint in a protest against
domestic violence.

About 20 women began the demonstration at Plaza de Armas square in the
Chilean capital to commemorate No Violence Against Women Day.

Passer-by Alex Bustamante told Las Ultimas Noticias online: “It is a good
way to attract attention. It starts off with nudity but then you become
aware of the reality of abused women.” Protester Amanda Valdes said: “We
were afraid of people’s reactions, but they were all very respectful.
They heard our message and we are happy.”

from Ananova

Eat Your Vegetables, and Be Thankful


Thanksgiving with Mom is a great way to feel young again – like 12, and constantly castigated for NOT EATING YOUR VEGETABLES. One of the very rare downsides to having a master-chef for a mother is that she insists on coming up with arty alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving spread.

For example, this year, as usual, the Dowbrigade was looking forward to an all-American feed heavy on the stale-bread stuffing, mashed potatos and a big garden salad. What Mom perversely prepared was a medly of elgant side dishes including “Holiday Sweet Potatos” (potatos aren’t SUPPOSED to be sweet, in our book), creamed onions (Yucky), a strange stuffing featuring chestnuts, sausage and kumquat, huge Brussel sprouts the size of golf balls, and peas. To drink – grapefruit juice cocktail and Cranberry juice champaign.

We subsisted on a big slab of bird (excellent) and a smattering of crudit

Remember Afganistan? Hillary Does


In what
WOULD have been the top international story of the day, Democratic non-candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Aghanistan for Thanksgiving, giving thanks no doubt for the opportunity to visit an ally on the verge of falling victem AGAIN to American short-sightedness and the present administration’s
fixation on the Bad Boys in Iraq.

Clinton said in the AP interview that more troops are needed to defeat
insurgents and to provide the security needed for Afghans to rebuild.
Taliban and al-Qaida forces are trying “to wear down our staying power,”
she said. “I believe we need more troops to be able to provide that

the AP

The President, not about to let the easily distracted national attention
wander from his pet war front, responded with a secret lightning strike into the
heart of Iraq, at least if you consider the George Bush Bagdad International airport the heart of
Iraq. (see following story) So which story is the Major Media paying attention
to? How about you?

Top Turkey in Iraq


Bush helped serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Bush made a surprise visit to Baghdad to mark America’s Thanksgiving holiday. The event was kept secret until Mr Bush was in the Iraqi capital because of security concerns. Had word of the trip leaked it would have been cancelled.

Mr Bush spent two hours having dinner with about 600 stunned US troops at Baghdad airport before leaving Iraq.No one had been told in advance that Mr Bush was coming on the visit, the first to Iraq by a US president.

"I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere,"said Mr. Bush,
"Thanks for inviting me to dinner."

From The

Massachusetts Institute of Turkeys


Mass. — Cambridge residents had an early Thanksgiving surprise Wednesday
when a wild turkey took to the city’s streets during the morning commute.
Kelley Tuthill reported that area residents believe the brave turkey lives
in a wooded area near Kendall Square in Cambridge.

People were stunned to see a turkey brazen enough to take a stroll on
Thanksgiving eve. “He should have stayed hidden for another day or two,”
said a passer-by. The turkey seemed a little vain as he looked at himself
in a mirror and not too bright as he wandered in and out of traffic on
Broadway Street during the morning commute. “It just made my day — that
turkey crossing the street,” said another passer-by.

The Dowbrigade wonders of this is in fact "Mr. Gobbles",
reported here back in June
. If it is, Mr. Gobbles has his
own Blog.


Petite Champ Outeats Fatties


(Reuters) – Petite former Burger King manager Sonya Thomas wolfed down
7-3/4 pounds of holiday food in 12 minutes on Wednesday to defeat a pair
of 400-pound rivals and win the Thanksgiving Invitational eating contest.

The 106-pound Thomas of Alexandria, Virginia, devoured massive helpings
of yams, green beans, cranberry sauce and turducken, a turkey stuffed
with duck, chicken and sausage, to win the International Federation of
Competitive Eating (IFOCE) event.

The IFOCE hosts official eating contests and tracks the world’s top
eaters, like record-holder Oleg Zhornitskiy, who downed four 32-ounce
bowls of mayonnaise in 8 minutes.

Asked her plans for Thanksgiving, Thomas replied, “I’m going to eat more


for Turducken
(“This is a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with
a chicken stuffed with dressing. You will need toothpicks and kitchen
string for this recipe.” )

Quote of the Day


“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)