mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Thursday, 22 April 2004
Here’s an interesting Freedom of Information Act case, courtesy of The Memory Hole:
… I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the following: All photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB. This would include, but not be limited to, caskets arriving, caskets departing, and any funerary rites/rituals being performed… . The Air Force then sent me a CD containing 361 photographs of flag-draped coffins and the services welcoming the deceased soldiers.
posted to /news at 2:22pm :: 1 response
Monday, 23 February 2004
The subway map you take with you every time you visit New York is no good anymore: As of yesterday, many lines were permanently rerouted to take advantage of additional tracks now running across the Manhattan Bridge for the first time in twenty years. One result: The very last Q-diamond train made its final run Saturday night, and it was quite a party. I so wish I could have been there.

[use gatsby/daisy as a user/pass pair for the NYT link if you need to]
posted to /news at 10:23am :: 0 responses
Friday, 20 February 2004
Our eejit governor wants it to stop immediately, but the gay marriage train has been rolling for about a week now, right across the bay from me, in the city where I work and sometimes play. Two people I know have married their longtime partners thanks to Mayor Gavin Newsom. These are beautiful, loving people I’m talking about — people who treat others one hell of a lot better than plenty of straight people I’ve known. People who would probably make much better parents than plenty of parents I’ve known.

I mean, just look at these loving people. Counterarguments hold no water: “Equality” means marriage cannot be a reward for having been born heterosexual.

[Besides, the king of Cambodia thinks it’s a great idea!]
posted to /news at 11:20pm :: 1 response
Monday, 02 February 2004
Monsanto, which makes a strong showing annually in the “Most Evil Corporation of the Year” competition, has been awarded a patent on the wheat that northern Indians grow to make chapati, the flat bread so common in that part of the world. Monsanto didn’t engineer some new strain of wheat or anything like that. They simply identified the gene sequence inherent in wheat that Indian farmers had crossbred into perfection over the centuries. Now they own it. The world has gone mad. If this keeps up, greedy, balding white men are going to own the very air we breathe.
posted to /news at 4:02pm :: 2 responses
Some of our soldiers are using some of our money to create an Exorcist theme park in Iraq. I ain’t kidding. You know, I’ve seen The Exorcist two or three times, and I don’t recall the desert scenes at the beginning. I guess once Linda Blair starts projectile vomiting and doing naughty things with a crucifix, it kinda makes you forget what came before.
posted to /news at 11:02am :: 1 response
Monday, 19 January 2004
For decades, a hooded man has left cognac and roses at the grave of Edgar Allen Poe each January 19, thus marking the macabre writer’s birthday. In 1993, the visitor left a note that read, “The torch will be passed.” And passed it was, apparently to the visitor’s sons. All we know about them is that they’ve mucked up a tradition with lame notes they leave behind. This year, we learn that they are anti-French louts who cannot proofread. Listen carefully: I think I hear Poe rolling down there.
posted to /news at 6:19pm :: 1 response
Tuesday, 16 December 2003
(As if you needed another?) “A Texas housewife is in big trouble with the law for selling a vibrator to a pair of undercover cops.” She could go to jail for a year.
posted to /news at 1:16pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 10 December 2003
This is ironic. (Doncha think?)
posted to /news at 4:10pm :: 5 responses
Tuesday, 25 November 2003
We got ourselves an old Indian dude here. Lives in a cave most of the time. Has a following. No biggie; this sort of thing happens in India. But: Dude sez he ain’t eaten for decades. Doesn’t need to drink water, either. Shows up at a hospital to be observed by science.

Ten days of constant observation, and our man eats nothing, drinks nothing, and, you’ll be keen to know, “neither did he pass urine or stool.” Someone at the BBC deserves a sound beatdown for the headline on this article, but I enjoyed meeting Prahlad Jani.
posted to /news at 11:25pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 21 November 2003
Is there any doubt left that Big Media is perhaps the most harmful of the various cancers afflicting this country?
“This is Laci Peterson and shark attacks and Kobe Bryant put together,” said Martin Kaplan, professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications. “It’s a miraculous combination of sex and taboos and pop music and plastic surgery.”
Get. Me. Off. This. Train.
posted to /news at 12:21am :: 1 response
Monday, 27 October 2003

Yesterday, my grandmother was evacuated from her house in San Diego and told to flee the oncoming brush fire. So far, her house remains standing. The rest of my family is just trying to cope with the unbreathable air and the miserable heat. My mother took the preceding picture from her backyard yesterday morning, before the last bits of blue sky disappeared. She says that ash has been falling like snow for nearly 24 hours now. It is not unusual for me to feel glad that I am not in San Diego, but today, whoa Nellie am I ever glad I’m not in San Diego.
posted to /news at 11:27am :: 4 responses
Tuesday, 07 October 2003
I voted this morning, but after reading this article by an ex-coworker of mine, I am not at all convinced that my vote will be counted. There could be all sorts of shenanigans afoot, and we’d never, ever know.
posted to /news at 10:07am :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 23 September 2003
We got rid of DDT, and we’ve banned PCBs, but the “better living through chemistry” folks have another acronym up their sleeve. And it’s everywhere.
When Oakland resident Katrina Friedman, 31, agreed to join the study, she assumed that her healthy diet, yoga and a clean job at Hot Studio, a small San Francisco design firm, was producing chemical-free milk for her baby daughter, Ruby.

But Friedman had PBDE levels in her milk at 79 parts per billion, higher than the number that triggered a ban of the flame retardants in Europe.

“I love my child more than anything. I want to protect her from broken glass, bullies at school and invisible poisons like this one. But I’m powerless. These chemicals aren’t banned in the United States, and we’re just continuing to add them in the environment,” Friedman said.
posted to /news at 10:23am :: 1 response
Thursday, 07 August 2003
John Ashcroft just called to say “I told you so.” (I mentioned Mr. Hawash a while back).
posted to /news at 9:07am :: 1 response
Sunday, 03 August 2003
The Boy Scouts are in trouble in my hometown. Their 18-acre camp and council headquarters facility in Balboa Park is leased to them by the city for a buck a year, and that preferential treatment is now under fire in the courts due to the BSA’s official policies that exclude gays and atheists from the organization. more...
posted to /news at 3:03pm :: 2 responses
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