Archive for February 8th, 2004

StrongBad in my Video Aggregator


have just discovered, thanks to Jay
, StrongBad,
a hero of mythic proportions. How we ever got along without him we’ll
never know! Actually, he is one of a number of histerical characters,
games and videos over at

The Dowbrigade is definitely putting StongBad, created by the Chaps
Brothers, into our Video Aggregator, which we are thinking of programming
to collect an hour of animation and an hour of video-blog news every
night, and hold them for viewing on the 48-inch Plasma Screen when ever
we have a break in our busy day. 

The video aggregator will get snippets, stories and animations as enclosures
in some future version of RSS, and will be assembled into a sort of newsreel
with titles and links created from fields in the feeds we subscribe to.
It will end up in our TiVo or whatever digital video content manager
manages our viewing habits. To be seen whenever.

the content is available, of course.  And
once we have created a video aggregator which can collect content over
the net and pipe it to our TV.  And once we get a Jumbotron Plasma
Screen. Yeah, right.  We’ll get plasma in a baggie before we get
it in a screen.  The rest of the stuff, though, could happen soon…..

from Homestarrunner

Texas Rules


(Reuters) – An East Texas woman struck oil a strange way when she came
home to find her toilet gushing with the bubblin’ crude.

Liela LeTourneau returned from her work as a nurse on Monday to find oil
gushing out of everything in her house connected to the water drainage
lines, including her kitchen sink and toilet.

The floor of her Longview residence was drenched with a thick coating of
what locals call "Texas Tea."

"There was this black (ooze) coming out from my house. I thought,
‘What have I left on? What has my son left on that’s spilled over?"’
LeTourneau told the local daily Longview News-Journal.

She had moved into
a rental
home due to the oil spill and was not immediately available for comment.

"I was always proud to have an oil derrick in my back yard. Every
Texan should have one," she told the paper. "Now, I don’t know."

from Reuters

Absolute Last Posting on Janet Jackson



Did anone else notice that they forced to take down the Money Shots of Janet Jackson’s breast. My God, woman, you bared that breast in front of the largest television audience of the year, 100,000 screaming fans live and 15,000 members of the Press and Photographers, and now you want to keep the pictures off the Internet? At 39, on the downside of a career that was derivative at best, you should be thankful that ANYONE wants to see your titties anymore!


Endangered Cultures


One of the “truisms” of Cultural Anthropology is that in an encounter between two cultures, the more “aggressive” and “dynamic” culture will inevitably swamp and dominate the more passive partner. Does this mean that smaller, pastoral or steady-state cultures are doomed to disappear from the human mosaic?

This is not a theoretical question. Cultures and languages around the globe are suffering survival crises as we speak, and in many cases it is already to late to do anything more than to try to preserve some relics and artifacts for future historians to mull over. Humanity’s heritage is impoverished each time one of these strands of human culture ends.

A perfect case in point is the spectacular and almost extinct culture which gave us the startling stone statuary staring out to sea on the Easter Islands, politically attached to Chile but culturally part of Polenesia. Check out the following analysis from the LA Times…

Often called the loneliest place on earth, Easter Island is now caught up in the swirling changes of globalization and is on the front line of a broader effort to preserve the world’s endangered languages.

Every year, more languages pass into extinction. In the Chilean archipelago north of the Strait of Magellan, the last dozen or so speakers of the Kawesqar Indian language are aged. Inevitably, Kawesqar will join Kunza and Selknam on the list of Chile’s dead languages.

Only an end to “Chileanization,” local leaders here say, can rescue Rapa Nui — the term applies to the language, the 2,000 people who speak it and the island itself. Rapa Nui leaders want political autonomy from Chile or independence so they can control the migration of Spanish-speaking “Continentals” to the island.

“You realize something of your people is being lost, the spirit of our people,” said Virginia Haoa, who runs the immersion classes for students from kindergarten through fourth grade.

For Haoa and others, saving Rapa Nui means saving Easter Island’s uniqueness — “our culture, our cosmology, our way of being,” Haoa said. If Rapa Nui dies, so will a living connection to ancestors who built an exotic, mysterious civilization on an island just a few miles wide in a vast, otherwise empty stretch of the Pacific, 2,300 miles from the South American mainland.

from The Los Angeles Times

Swamp Buggy Nation


something else the Dowbrigade has always had a hankering to try…

It’s called swamp buggy racing, a fuel-powered homage to the days when
hunters prepared for the start of the fall season by showing off their
latest buggies, motorized contraptions with balloon tires and elevated
suspensions built to maneuver into the most remote recesses of the

Seventy years later, southwest Florida hunters continue to explore
what remains of the once-endless River of Grass with swamp buggies.
Since 1949,
those pioneers and their descendants — along with a few northern interlopers
— have carried on the tradition with state-of-the-art racing buggies that
can cost more than $60,000.

"The motors in some of these buggies cost as much as a Mercedes-Benz," said
Darryl Massey, 42, a former racer who plots his comeback in a machine shop
behind his home each night after work. Racers in seven classes, from four-cylinder
jeeps to modified high-performance monsters with 1,000-horsepower engines
and names such as "High-Tech Redneck," encircle a bog known as
the Mile of Mud, leaving behind 30-foot wakes of white foam as thick as
smoke. Top performers can exceed 90 miles per hour.

from the Boston Globe


Subway Attack Spooks Moscovites


Dowbrigade has always wanted to check out the Moscow subway system, which
has the coolest Subway Map we have seen. After last week’s subway terrorist
attack by Chechen separatists which killed 39, we’re not too sure…..

MOSCOW — As a subway train pulled into a station, the young Russian
woman on the platform peered inside the cars, scanning the faces of passengers
for signs of a threat. She stepped in just as the sliding doors were
about to close.

The deadly bombing in a packed train Friday has spread fear of Moscow’s
long-trusted transportation system, turning the daily routine of riding
the subway into a game of Russian roulette for many Muscovites.
I can’t help looking around to check for anybody suspicious," Marina
Shelestova, a 27-year-old office worker said yesterday. "Even though
I think that if I saw a real terrorist, I wouldn’t know it."

from the Boston Globe