Archive for March 11th, 2005




Once again, The
Washington Post
has published the winning
submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply
alternate meanings for
common words.

The winners are:

1. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

2. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run
over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignifie! d bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when
you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish

from the
Washington Post

The Blogs in the Machine


"Who in the White House knew that Jeff Gannon was
an assumed name, was not a legitimate journalist and was merely a shill
for the Administration, for more than two years, nearly three years?"
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

A very interesting article in today’s Financial Tiimes, titled "Blogs
in the machine
" concerning the topic of the week – the intersection between
blogging and mainstream media. It covers the ground well, but doesn’t
really go anywhere.

One of the main persecutors of John Kerry was a blog called,
whose editor also happens to run GOPUSA, described as a "conservative
news, information and design company, dedicated to promoting conservative

The Washington correspondent for Talon was a man named Jeff Gannon, who
made himself conspicuous during White House press conferences for deflecting
difficult questions from other reporters by asking the softest of questions.
Gannon was a welcome guest on such conservative MSM outlets as Fox News,
and he “reported” on his website that John Kerry might be gay. It took
another blogger,, to expose Gannon as a homosexual "escort"
named James Guckert, who had no journalistic credentials and advertised
his services on websites such as He had been refused
a press pass for Congress, but had no problem getting into the White

We remember seeing this story the first time it washed through the news
cycle, but it wasn’t even a blip on the radar screen until Markos Moulitsas
( caught the significance
of the story and held it up to the light of day.

from the Financial Times

original New Yorker article

Search Wars: Google Strikes Back


Wow! Not since the height of the browser wars has there been such
a lively new features face-off as is currently transpiring among the
established giants, and a few promising newcomers, in what will surely
come to be known as the Search Wars.

Without search engines, the Internet would be worthless. Searching for
information is the single most popular function of the internet, and
services offering to find what you need in cyberspace will be central
to the rest of all of our lives.

Partly in response to new
features added to MSN search, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves
, today Google has launched a very interesting user-customizable
news page
.  The page allows users to determine both what news goes
where, and the kind of stories you want given priority within each stream,
and create keyword streams.

With the new tools, users
of Google News can create customized pages on the
Web, the

Google News users can now prioritize existing news topics such
as top stories, health, entertainment or sports to change the
look of
site’s front page.
Users also can create new categories to capture news stories that contain
certain key words.

he catches wind of a breaking story or a juicy rumor, the
first two places the Dowbrigade checks for verification are
Google News and Feedster. The order depends on which
direction the story is coming from; bottom up (blogosphere)
or top down (mainstream media). We will definitely be checking
out this new Google Service. In fact, excuse us while
we configure it now….

from Yahoo News

Google News

The World’s Richest People


The new list of the richest people in the world just came out in Forbes
magazine.  As Robert Orben says, "Every day I get up and look through
the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I
to work."

rich had a very good year.

The collective net worth of the 691 billionaires we could find is $2.2
trillion, up $300 billion from the combined worth of the 587 people
listed last year.
Every region saw gains. The world’s richest moguls now hail from 47 countries,
including, for the first time, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine and even Iceland.
The newcomers include 69 Americans and 38 Europeans. More than half of
them are entirely self-made.

Bill Gates, of course, still holds down the top position ($49 billion)
but Warren Buffet is hot on his heels ($44 billion). The top ranking
women to make the list were the Walton Girls, tied at 13th ($18 billion).

from Forbes Magazine