Archive for February 14th, 2004

Nude Ski Races in Austria



from six nations – including Britain – swapped their ski gear for g-strings
in Austria’s first nude skiing competition.

Organisers said they were delighted after 84 skiiers braved temperatures
of 28 F to compete in the first Nude Ski Race, in Hochfuegen.

Competitors were asked to perform two jumps for the judges before downing
a glass of schnapps and finishing the race with a five-point pirouette.

Organiser Ernst Erlebach said: "Most of the skiers wore g-strings,
bikinis, swimming trunks or underwear. Five women even skied with bare

Authorities had threatened to pull the plug on the entire race unless
the skiers at least covered their private parts. Werner Kostenzer, head
of the local tourism board, said: "We need
to keep at least some decency. Nobody is allowed to ski naked."

from Ananova



Big Tent Movement


Over the past 9 months millions of people in America have become aware that
they can use their computers to access the political process that governs
their lives. They opened an electronic door which now cannot be shut.

Their candidates did not prevail, and the resident in the White House
during the next four years will not be a blogger, or even understand
what blogs represent. But a growing number of voices are calling for
some sort of ongoing effort to encourage and develop the awakening consciousness
of political empowerment stirring in the land.

Dave Winer suggests a “Rational People’s Party” which doesn’t nominate

Let’s call it the Rational People’s Party, or RPP. We’d meet every month
to talk about local and national politics, to start new weblogs and meetups,
to broadcast our ideas and invite political leaders to pitch themselves.
If they wandered off-topic we’d ask them to get back on track. If one
broke a campaign promise, this would appear on a public list, for every
local RPP chapter to access. Think of it as a nationwide caucus system,
that’s ongoing, and has a good database and lots of weblogs.

Hear, hear. However, calling it a “Party” starts out with the wrong
message and plays into the existing conventional terminology. People
will hear it and associate with “fringe party, green party, Black Panther
Party”. Plus, at least for us, there is the secondary association
of “Par-tay” and an unfortunate memory of once belonging to something
called the Party Party back in college.

So we favor “Movement”, which is what we want to see in the status quo,
in the political process, and in the information distribution business.
And of course we will not nominate candidates. But we reserve the right
to endorse, to advise, and to oppose candidates on a case by case basis.

However first comes a long and arduous look at ourselves, figuring out
if there are any principles worth fighting for universal enough
to attract the great masses of people needed to create real movement, followed
by the hard work of getting organized creating the analog and digital
infrastructure necessary to allow it to happen. Stay tuned…

Campaign Finance the Ebay Way


SACRAMENTO (AP) – A self-proclaimed carpetbagger who brought the Web savvy
from his surfside home south of San Francisco to take on a Central Valley
congressman has put his campaign on the virtual auction block.

Jeffrey Vance, a carpenter by trade and political neophyte, is selling out –
literally – offering shares in his fledgling campaign on eBay, the online marketplace.

The Web site boasts 20 million items for sale at a time, including scores of
political memorabilia, but no campaigns that eBay is aware of, said a company

Vance, 42, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to take on nine-term incumbent
Rep. Wally Herger, R-Rio Oso, said he realized about two weeks into the race
that he wasn’t going anywhere without money.

But his platform is also grounded in the belief that special interests are to
blame for some of the nation’s problems.

"Congress is pretty much bought and sold," Vance said. "If you
look at the funding sources you’ll see why we don’t have a utopia."

For believers in a future paradise, he is offering $20 certificates "of
Democratic freedom" that carry the following disclaimer: "No undue
rights or privileges or access or undue influence are accorded the bearer." But
Vance does promise he will be "unfettered by corporate and special interest

from the

Belgian Female Teen Hacker Breaks Molds


Police reportedly released the woman after 24 hours, confiscated her five computers
and shut down her Web site. She was arrested Monday in her home town of Mechelen,
30 kilometres north of Brussels.

"She was preparing to publish new viruses on this site," Inspector
Olivier Bogaert of the Belgium police was quoted as telling La Libre Belgique.

The Computer Crimes Unit inspector said Gigabyte was an extremely talented student. "I
told her it was a pity that she did not put her skills to a more positive use," he
told the paper.

Her youth and gender helped gain Gigabyte notoriety in the male-dominated world
of computer hackers. In a 2002 interview carried on the Web site,
Gigabyte defended her work, saying she herself never spread the viruses she created
and published on her Web site.

"When people make guns, can you blame them when somebody else kills with
them?" she was quoted asking. "I only write them. I don’t release them."

According to TechTV, Gigabyte began writing programs when she was just 6-years-old,
created her first computer worm at 14 and before turning 18 became only the second
person to write a virus in C-sharp, the language of Microsoft’s .Net platform.

from the AP

True Love is Hard to Find


The Cambridge/Montreal axis of the ‘Sphere is all aflutter
over the budding romance between the Redhead,
Berkman Babe Extraordinaire, and the
inimical and irrepressible Accordion
. In these cruel and cynical times, it is refreshing to
witness love blossoming once again, against all odds and rational expectations.
Luckily the lovebirds involved seem to have fully functioning gag reflexes
and enough self-awareness to realize when they are in danger of drifting
into the grotesquely goopy zone. Thus far their public appearances have
rather than "X" -rated.

Which is as it should be. The Dowbrigade is frankly uncomfortable
with ostentatious public displays of affection. These
days privacy is an exceptionally precious commodity, and it seems that
anyone aspiring
to fame or thrust by fate into the public spotlight must accept an almost
constant and microscopic examination by the forces of the Fifth Estate.

Today we are all waiting with baited breath for the results of tonight’s
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" dinner, as the Redhead presents her Philippino-Canadian,
Blogging, Accordian-Playing Man-About-Toronto Beau to her doting parents.  How
many questionable categories can one Suitor represent? Not to worry –
according to the ever-optimistic Accordion Guy, "Parents love me!"

We are all rooting for Amore and this star-crossed couple. Reports from
the dinner should be available sometime tonight. Even in the Blogosphere
celebrity involves a certain loss of privacy.

Which brings us, this cold and threadbare Valentine’s Day, to another,
less sanguine love story.  As reported here yesterday, after a torrid
41-year romance, America’s Sweethearts, Barbie and Ken, are calling it

News of show business breakups is hardly news at all, despite its
persistent appearance in our newspapers and other media, but sometimes
in the aftermath enterprising reporters dig deep and discover or invent
fascinating and engrossing tales of the depraved escapades which led
to the end of the relationship.

This sad, pathetic story is playing out again, as rumors of Barbie
Running Wild, gin-soaked vacations in Australia and on certain South
Sea Islands, participation in a Doll-swapping ring in an attempt to
breath a little life into their moribund relation, and a steamy sex
video involving the voluptuous 40-something articulated model and an
entire Welsh Rugby Team swirl around the respective camps.

Although we have not yet been able to get our sweaty hands on a copy
of the video, numerous still shots have started circulating on the
Internet, documenting a sick and twisted descent into perversion and
depravity, testifying once again to the seductive allure of the fast
lane and its ability to corrupt even the most wholesome of American

doing some research on the Net, the Dowbrigade is frankly aghast.  Who
knew? Photographic evidence of promiscuity, homosexuality, even bestiality
were everywhere! Barbie in a compromising position with with
Billy Bong, an Australian surfer, Barbie doing the nasty with GI Joe, Barbie
corrupting the adolescent Skipper, even Ken in some awful suspicious
positions himself.

We had to think long and hard before publishing these photos, but
in the end their value as authentic news and as a moral admonition
of the sins of success.  We all hope the rumors prove untrue and
Barbie and Ken kiss and make up soon.

Photos from I Love My Toys