After the [training] session in Little Rock, two newly initiated Highway Watch members sat down for the catered barbecue lunch. The truckers, who haul hazardous material across 48 states, explained how easy it is to spot "Islamics" on the road: just look for their turbans. Quite a few of them are truck drivers, says William Westfall of Van Buren, Ark. "I'll be honest. They know they're not welcome at truck stops. There's still a lot of animosity toward Islamics." Eddie Dean of Fort Smith, Ark., also has little doubt about his ability to identify Muslims: "You can tell where they're from. You can hear their accents. They're not real clean people."Link
That kind of prejudice is hard to undo, but it's a shame Beatty's slide show did not mention that in the U.S., it's almost always Sikhs who wear turbans, not Muslims. Last year a Sikh truck driver who was wearing a turban was shot twice while standing near his tractor trailer in Phoenix, Ariz. He survived the attack, which police are investigating as a hate crime.
As you probably know, Thomas Kinkade, the famous "Painter of Light," has made millions of dollars with his customized prints of day-glo cottages against backdrops of enchanted forests. He has a team of "Kinkade-trained Master Highlighters" who go over reproductions of his work with oil paint. For this show, artists Jim Blanchard, Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley, Robert Hardgrave, Claire Johnson, Charles Krafft, Pat Moriarity, Erin Norlin, Marion Peck, Benton Peugh, Robert Rini, Bonni Reid, Mark Ryden and Kipling West have highlighted pages from the Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light with Scripture: 2004 Deluxe Wall Calendar, in their own distinct styles.
And Jack T. Chick is the famous artist-publisher of a series of incendiary 3" x 5", 24-page religious comic book tracts. Loaded with scare tactics and jabs at "enemies" of Christianity, Chick's comics vividly depict the horrors of Hell for anyone who neglects to convert to Christianity. Since 1961 Chick has created 175 proselytizing tracts, which have had more than 500,000,000 copies published in over 100 languages worldwide. Artists Tom Bagley, David R. Drake, Jed Dunkerly, Nathan Eyring, Rod Filbrandt, Cliff Hare, David Lasky, Deborah F Lawrence, Eric Reynolds, Johnny Ryan and Kamilla White have each created work inspired by Chick. In contrast to the Kinkade artists, they worked with no specific assignment, and came up with equally diverse outcomes: David R. Drake reduced an entire tract to its minimum visual information, creating 23 individual tiles still closely correlated with the original, Eric Reynolds has painted an original portrait of the reclusive Jack T. Chick, and David Lasky will display the original art for an entire tract written by Jim Woodring intended to be traded for unwanted religious pamphlets.
No link, but you can find out more about Roq la Rue here.
"The new method records through multiple microphones (eight for voice, 16 for music) spaced around a head-sized ball or cylinder. The sound is played back through headphones with a small tracking device attached to the top to follow head movements. As you turn your head while listening, the system mixes sound from different microphones, reproducing what you would hear if you were in the room."Link
In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the court ruled that although ISPs provide the hardware and technology, they aren't responsible for what people download. The court ruled that companies providing wide access to the web are "intermediaries" who are not bound by federal copyright legislation.Link (Thanks, Michael)
Update: BB reader Mike says that Chuck Palahniuk's non-fiction book Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon "covers the tunnels and a bunch of other cool stuff to be found in, around, and under Portland."
Update: BB reader Jeff says "several people have called the tunnel tour operators written about in Fugitives and Refugees, and the conclusion is that the tours are not currently in operation because the building they used to use to enter the tunnels has been renovated and bought by somebody tunnel-unfriendly. They're looking for a new entrance."
In Tokyo alone, the number of shops registered to rent out pets grew to 115 as of March, up from 17 just three years earlier.Link
Each person who rents a dog by the hour is given a leash, some tissues and a plastic bag - in case the pooch has to answer the call of nature. They also get strict instructions not to let the dogs run free, to keep them in the shade on hot summer days and refrain from giving them snacks.
The area has undergone something of a makeover recently with posters and figures of animated beautiful girls plastered all over the place and the emergence of cafes and restaurants devoted to "cosplay," featuring girls dressed as animated heroes, maids, etc. Even a public area, such as the floor space of JR Akihabara station, has got into the act, with a 3-meter-round poster of the face of a beautiful girl appearing in an animation video. Kiichiro Morikawa, a professor at the Kuwasawa Design Research Institute, said, "An increasing number of animation goods and game shops have opened their doors and changed the area into an 'otaku' (geek) Mecca." Psychologists say these "otaku" or geeks are regressive, have poor social ability, and have never fully matured as adults. "Therefore, they are not good at communicating with others, cannot date real human beings, and instead adore an imaginary character," said one.Link (Thanks, Steve)
[S]oldiers aren't the only ones in danger. Civilian employees of Kellog. Brown and Root -- which provide many of the civilian services on base -- are also at risk. Many of the food service employees, mostly foreign workers from poor nations like the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh; say theyre very frightened by the mortars. One says he sleeps on the ground pulling sandbags around him, but while the mortars haven't got him yet, the sand fleas have. He shows me the red bites on arms.Link
Four Philippine workers were killed at the largest Army supply base in Iraq last April when insurgent rockets hit their living quarters at Camp Anaconda. But those inside the camp aren't completely surrounded by hostility. At dusk in Guard Tower 7, soldiers watch Iraqi boys play soccer not more than a hundred yards away. Some Iraqi civilians even live in shacks right next to the massive walls surrounding the base.
"Hi Nora," one of the soldiers says, waving to a shy ten year old Iraqi girl popping her head out from behind a sheet that covers the opening to the mud and clapboard shack. "Hi Michael," she says in a high-pitched voice, waving then quickly ducking back inside.