Archive for January 14th, 2004

And You Think You’re Cold?


Currrent conditions atop Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire

Temp: -45 F (at that temp a glass of water thrown into the air will hit the ground solid)

Wind chill: -103 F (at that temp your eyeball will freeze in 4 minutes unless covered)

Paris Hilton Pushes Princess from Blackwell List


ANGELES (Reuters) – Paris Hilton, the 22-year-old socialite whose
unclothed exploits made headlines last year, found new, fully-dressed
fame on Tuesday.

The hotel heiress was named worst dressed woman of 2003 by Hollywood’s
self-appointed fashion guru Mr. Blackwell, topping a list that included
singers Britney Spears, Madonna, Shania Twain and Courtney Love.

"Grab the blinders, here comes Paris. From cyber disgrace to red carpet
chills — she’s the vapid Venus of Beverly Hills!" quipped Blackwell.

Second place on the closely-followed annual list went to Madonna and Britney
Spears, who Blackwell dubbed the "Kissin Cousins of Couture Crimes" after
their much publicized smooch on a music awards show last year.

Many of his perennial victims — Cher, Barbra Streisand and various members
of the British royal family — failed to make it to the list.

The worst-dressed list was rounded out by pop star Jessica Simpson (5th), singer Celine Dion (6th) “a half-sequined scarecrow, half-gaudy acrobat,” rap star Missy Elliott (7th), actress Melanie Griffith (8th), singer Courtney Love (9th), and actress Lara Flynn Boyle, who was derided for turning up to an awards show dressed as a ballerina.

from Reuters

NYC Wildlife – Badger? Gopher? Ferret? Raccoon? Rat?


A hedgehog? A rat? No, the creature on the ledge at East 35th Street was
an opossum, not such a rarity in New York.

What was that furry creature parked yesterday
on a ledge at 135 East 35th Street? A big rat? A cat? A small bear? For
nearly eight hours, a quiet corner in Murray Hill was transformed into
a kind of temporary zoo, as passers-by stopped to gawk and guess the
identity of the long-snouted cat-size animal that paced along a narrow
stone ledge about nine feet over a brownstone garden, sniffing, shaking
and yawning.

"I was thinking it was a badger, in honor of Operation Badger," said
Jennifer Gould, who may have been the first to spot it, at 7:30 a.m. (see
following story)

"I thought someone had put a giant statue of a rat in front of the
building," said
Lynn Peraza, owner of the topless club Flashdancers, who wore a multicolored
fur coat. The animal was, in fact, an opossum – and not entirely an alien
in Manhattan.."

from the New York Times

Bush Leaks on Operation Badger


Monday about former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill’s allegation that
the administration was preparing to attack Iraq from its first days in
office,President Bush told reporters that "we were dealing with Desert
Badger or flyovers and fly-betweens and looks, and we were fashioning
policy along those lines."

Desert Badger? This led to some head scratching around town. A Nexis search
reveals no public mention of a recent operation called Desert Badger,
although there are references to the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

So it seemed we’re left with several alternatives:

1. Bush has revealed a heretofore undisclosed Pentagon name for some campaign
in Iraq, maybe to enforce the "no-fly" zones or to suppress
antiaircraft operations.

2. He’s thinking of the famous Project Badger, a biological warfare vaccine

3. He was recalling those Iraqi TU-16 "Badger" bombers.

4. He’s confusing his foxes and his badgers — Operation Desert Fox was
the name for a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq in December 1998.

from the
Washington Post

Sim Sopranos Shakedown for Simoleans


a tough town, the sort of place where even the street-smart are rarely
safe and newcomers are often eaten alive. You can call the
cops, but they usually don’t arrive in time. That’s why so many Alphaville
residents seek justice by hiring guys like Jeremy Chase.

He runs a
band of thugs who’ll gladly deal out ugly punishments for the right
price. Chase, a 26-year-old resident of Sacramento, runs the Sim Mafia, a gang of digital enforcers for a digital world. They
lay down the law inside the Sims Online, a multiplayer computer game
run by Electronic Arts. "Our job is to basically take those complaints
from the normal citizens of the game, who can’t go to EA because EA won’t
do anything about it, and do an eye-for-an-eye for them," Chase

If a player feels his character, or Sim, is being ill treated and can
get no justice from the game operators at EA, he can arrange to have
bad things happen to rival players, by approaching a local Mafia and
ponying up some of the game’s currency, called simoleons.

by Hiawatha Bray in the Boston Globe