Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Laura K. Krishna is a Plagiarist and Everyone Knows It

Boing Boing pointed me to this deliciously evil fun.

The story: Nate Kushner recieves an instant message from an unknown college student asking him to write her a paper on Hinduism, apparently because his AOL profile lists "Eating Hindu Sculpture" as a hobby. He leads her on, writes her a bogus paper, and proceeds to destroy her for trying to plagiarize. Amazing.
Nate Kushner: Yeah, that;s something we can talk about.
Laura K. Krishna: lets talk about it then
Nate Kushner: As long as you understand that plagiarism is not going to free you from the painful cycle of death and rebirth any quicker.
Laura K. Krishna: ok
Laura K. Krishna: so can u help me
Nate Kushner: I think I can. It is my duty, as we are all children in the arms of Chivas.
From the essay:
The second class is the Kshatriya, the warrior class, who acted as the protectors of the peace. I made a doody. Vaishya, the producing class, work as business people providing economic stability to the society.
Of course, this story has spread across the blogosphere like wildfire. Justice will be delivered.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Long Emergency

My friend Andrew Hitchcock has pointed me to an interesting article by James Howard Kunstler of Rolling Stone discussing the future of our world without fossil fuels, a period he calls the "Long Emergency."
The Long Emergency is going to be a tremendous trauma for the human race. We will not believe that this is happening to us, that 200 years of modernity can be brought to its knees by a world-wide power shortage. The survivors will have to cultivate a religion of hope -- that is, a deep and comprehensive belief that humanity is worth carrying on.
Scare tactics? Absolutely. However, I strongly feel that the article is worth a read. It offers some stark realities of the present day, most of which are rarely publicized. The fastest growing communities of the United States are simultaneously the most ridiculous: places like Las Vegas and Phoenix, where neighborhoods are yearly built in the dozens but life is entirely dependent on the bubble created by our fossil-fuelled economy. That is, they are spawns of the American Way. Las Vegas entertains the mindless bored. Neither city could exist without air conditioning.

Are we doomed to regress into the serfdom dark ages? Give the article a read, give Andrew's post a read, and then let me know what you think.

NYTimes Editorial Far From The Mark

This on the Grokster case makes many common mistakes. For example:
...individual creators of music, movies and books, who need to keep getting paid if they are going to keep creating. If their work is suddenly made "free," all of society is likely to suffer.
I refer the writer to a recently published article in the . It is in no way clear that illegal downloading hurts legal music or movie sales. If those industries are seeing sales declining, perhaps they should first look to the source and wonder whether their products are even worth buying. From another editorial by
There's just one eensy weensy problem here - NOBODY's livelihood is being stolen. It's just not happening. There were no WMD in Iraq, there was no cocaine on that boat (*), and music sharing does not cost artists money.
In addition to a lack of negative effects, the study argues, there is evidence for a positive correlation between sharing music and purchasing more new music.
He refers to this by Keio Universtity Economics professor Tatsuo Tanaka. See also this by Strumpf and Oberholtzer.

So, let's face it. p2p services are being wrongly blamed for dipping sales, while the true culprits are ignored: consumers have access to a wider range of media services than ever before, and have begun to realize that the top 40 RIAA titles are not worth their attention. Fat cats fear the but it's comin'. Time to switch business models or sink fast.

That said, should lose its court battle, I guess I'll be giving up the use of Xerox, VCRs, TCP/IP, blogs (sorry), e-mail, CD burners, silly putty, iPods, and tape decks, all of which have the potential to infringe copyright restrictions.

Actually no, I won't. So sue me.


Maybe it's because I'm sick, or because the dorms have been empty, or because the day is dreary, but regardless - I'm down and optimism is draining. My goal for this coming week: do things right and stop thinking so much. I need to make a few reconnections, too.

Netdisaster: Burn One Down

Is there a particular website you'd like to see blown to Trampled by Infected with

I sure would. Now it's possible, thanks to the good folks at

My personal favorite is the It gives a truly apocalyptic feel. Try while listening to Neutral Milk Hotel's "Pree Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye" from

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Anatomy as Illuminated Manuscript

The Institute for the Future of the Book has a beautiful post up about the comparisons that can be made between the illuminated manuscripts of old and medical anatomy illustrations:
The text alone would have been less than useful to me and the illustration without the text would not been enough either.
Poster Kim White also provides insight into the digital future of such illumination. I love the drawings she provides, especially this one.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

It's Quiet... Too Damn Quiet

Everybody left for Easter! Me, Dan, Kartik, Laura, and Lex are all that's left of Molson 5 East, sadly.. it's like Canadian Thanksgiving all over again. Been finding a few things to do here and there - today was great - but why does it have to be this quiet? I feel so out of it.

Ah, not like you care though. Unless you happen to know me and want to do something tonight, in which case I urge you to CALL CALL CALL the cell. Please.

Sorry. There's not much else to write about today. I found a cool little deal called Clocky which I need considering how many alarms it takes to get my ass out of bed. Basically, it's fluffy and it rolls and when you click snooze, it rolls off your nightstand and finds a place to hide, forcing you to get up and find it. Apparently it finds new hiding places every morning. I'm impressed.

Oh, and is the Pope dead? Seems like we've seen little proof of life in the last week, and yet this would be such an unfortunate weekend to lose the Pope - maybe they're waiting to spread the news? You decide.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Still Searchin'

So, the apartment with the two guys was great, and they were chill and we all liked the same music, but they're living with a friend anyway. Go figure. Wow it's late. Watched Baraka tonight, after Old Dublin and sketchy pizza and long discussions about the differences in music taste between West coasters and East coasters and why I should be chastised for listening to Dave Matthews (I stick to my guns there, don't worry). Four day weekend coming up, but nobody's here save a few. I'll call some other people looking for roommates, and maybe I'll strike it lucky again.

Here's hoping. Good night!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Moonwalking Coconut Octopus

Nature reports the finding of Cal Berkeley scientists in Indonesia, who have recorded the incredible get-away movements of two small species of octopus.

Octopus marginatus, about the size of an apple, flees danger by shaping itself into a coconut and moonwalking backwards across the sand. Octopus aculeatus, on the other hand, raises its arms above its head to look like a clump of agae. Funny evolutionary tactics.

Amazon A9 Driver Caught In Photo

This guy's face pops up along Commonwealth ave in Boston. Could he be the A9 driver guy adjusting his camera pod? Wonder how much he gets paid to drive up and down the road taking pictures.

Transparent Powerbook

Today I tried a little trick with my laptop - I had a bit of spare time. Here are the results:

Transparent Powerbook #2Transparent Powerbook

See the Transparent Screens group on Flickr for a how-to. Let me know if you make your own!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Decemberists Turn To Bittorrent!

The Decemberists, one of my absolute favorite bands these days, has decided to skip all the MTV/VH1 bull (they're far too busy with the Ashlee Simpson Show to play music anyways) and release their new video Sixteen Military Wives across the net using Bittorrent. So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of Azureus and seed that shit!

For those of you who don't know the band, a quick intro: they remind me of Beck and Neutral Milk Hotel and the singer uses a vocabulary reminiscent of the mid-1800's. Sweet.

The video release today corresponds with the release of their new album Picaresque, which is just as wonderful as their previous albums.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps: We're All One or None! Exceptions Eternally? None!!

An absolute must see. Dr. Bronner, "third generation master soap-maker," produces soaps with a social message. So much message, in fact, that his labels are entirely filled with text, including gems like:
  • Absolute cleanliness is Godliness! Who else but God gave man Love that can spark mere dust to life! Poetry, uniting All-One! All brave! All life! Who else but God! "Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!"

  • Each swallow works hard to be perfect pilot-provider-builder-trainer-teacher-lover-mate, no half-true hate! So, each day like a bird, perfect thyself first!

  • Essene, Chinese, and other birth control methods must reduce birth or Easter Isle type overpoulation destroys God's Spaceship Earth!
Think that's nuts? It's only the beginning. Seems the man was placed against his will in an insane asylum, where for the six months before he escaped he endured electric shock therapy. He has since passed on, but his "message on the bottle" remains. The soap is all-natural and environmentally friendly. Just remember:

Warning! Keep Out of Eyes! Wash Out with Water! Don't Drink Soap! Dilute! Dilute! or Wet Skin Well! OK!

Jon Johansen to Apple: So Sue Me

Jon Johansen has re-opened the iTunes hole just recently blocked by Apple, making 3rd party access possible again. From his blog:
The iTunes Music Store recently stopped supporting iTunes versions below 4.7 in an attempt to shut out 3rd party clients. I have reverse engineered the iTMS 4.7 crypto which will once again enable 3rd party clients to communicate with the iTMS.

Greg Duffy Bakes Google's Cookies

Greg Duffy, a college student in Texas, has figured out how to read copyrighted Google Print books in their entirety by "baking" the cookies Google uses to restrict searches of protected material. Duffy hopes his bravery will result in a job with Google. I just hope it doesn't land him a lawsuit. During the commotion following his posts, his name mysteriously disappeared from Google's web search, to reappear only after Google Print fixed the vulnerability. Read his post on how he did it. Here's some:
So recently I wrote some software to grab and store up a bunch of cookies, keep them for more than 24 hours, and then automate searching for pages by this method. If I wanted to view page 100, the software would search for it and attempt to extract the image with a regular expression. If that doesn't work, it will search for page 99 and extract the "next page" link to get to page 100. It will continue doing this for page 101, 98, and 102 until it finds the correct page. Whenever a cookie would hit the hard limit, I'd replace it with a new cookie from the queue. By grabbing the "next" and "previous" links automatically in this "inductive" fashion and using the search for skipping, I could view an entire book on Google Print with one click every time. I later modified the software to spit out a PDF of the book. I used simple components like GoogleCookie (cookie with accessible properties), GoogleCookieOven (queue with "baking time", i.e. it only pops when the head of the queue is old enough to get the ability to search), and GoogleCookieBaker (thread that keeps the oven full of baking cookies by querying Google for new ones when the number drops below a certain threshold).
I love all the cookie-isms.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Thinking Jobs

Apartment searching has got me thinking about another decision/effort that has to be made soon - where oh where am I to work this summer? I need to get something fulltime, or at least a job that will fund my rent and random costs for next year. Nice on the resume would be good - you know, a job that uses all that "schooling" I've been having for the last million or so years. No more landscaping, although being outdoors is a plus. Number one candidate at the moment: spending one month on a UW research vessel in the Pacific, cooking and cleaning. I'd bank $5000 for a month's work. Not bad. Plus, who knows? I could meet some good scientists. And serve them their food.

Yahoo Acquired Flickr!

Internet giant Yahoo! today announced (finally) that they are acquiring the incredible online photosharing community Flickr. Fortunately, it sounds like any changes will be made in a good direction. Flickr will not merge with Yahoo! Photos (big sigh of relief there - no LOLLLZ!!).

From Flickr's announcement:
What is going to happen to Flickr?

Flickr will be continuing on the path it's on -- to Flickr 1.0 and beyond. We'll be working with a bunch of people that Totally Get Flickr and want to preserve the community and the flavor of what is here. We're going to grow and change, but we're in it for the long haul, with the same management and same team.

You're not going to become a bunch of suits?

No, no, no! The precious DNA we've got -- that of the Ludicrew -- is on side and revving up for building Flickr. Having the team building out the team's vision for Flickr has been stressed as our number one priority, and keeping us around -- in spite of our wiseassery, tomfoolery and tendency to hoot spontaneously -- is crucial for preserving the Flickrness that is Flickr.  They're not going to replace any of us with suits, nor induce us to wear them. Lapel? I don't know what you mean.
I <3 Flickr.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Alone Again

Well, looks like I may be living alone next year unless something comes up. I'm going to start looking at 3 1/2 apartments tomorrow. Hope I can afford what's available. This has not been a good process.

Looked at a 6 1/2 apartment on St. Denis tonight, but I didn't like the location (on top of a busy shopping street) and the landlord was a dick. Plus, it's too far away from campus. Oh yea, and I don't have two other people to live with at the moment.

Friday, March 18, 2005

McGill Srikes! Err, Strikes!

McGill Strikes

Today, Quebecer McGill students striked en masse in response to the Quebec government pulling some of their financial aid. Over 100,000 students across the province are already striking. Not sure how I feel about this: the rest of Canada already pays federal taxes that go towards the Quebec welfare system, and yet when students from anywhere else in Canada come to McGill, they pay over four times as much as the Quebec students. I don't hear any Quebecers mentioning that, of course. Nor the illegal raising of international student tuition, which I am of course paying. In the end, students here pay less for their education than any other student in North America. However, when you're founding your province on the principles of socialism, I can see where sentiments like this can come from.

For more info, see The McGill Daily.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

MOBA: Best of the Bad

At least they gave their all. The Museum of Bad Art claims to be the "world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms." Most of the art was found in dumpsters, yard sales, and thrift stores. $6.50 was the most ever paid for a piece. Wicked commentary on all of it. From grandma, above:
The motion, the chair, the sway of her breast, the subtle hues of the sky, the expression on her face -- every detail combines to create this transcendent and compelling portrait, every detail cries out "masterpiece."
"Art too bad to be ignored."

Generous While We're Watched

What drives human altruism? Is niceness a mirage?

Harvard scientists Terry Burnham and Brian Hare recently pit 96 volunteers against each other in an anonymous game where they can either donate money or withhold it. A community pot would yield more money for all, as long as everyone gave.

Half the subjects sat at a blank screen. The other half, however, sat at a screen with a big picture of kismet the cute robot. Interestingly, those staring at the nonhuman face donated 30% more than the others. Why?

Because we have evolved to assume that being cast as charitable will have favorable results in the long run. Even when it's only a fake human looking at us, one who really doesn't care. From the article:
Burnham believes that even though the parts of our brain that carry out decision-making know that the robot image is just that, Kismet's eyes trigger something more deep-seated. We can manipulate altruistic behaviour with a pair of fake eyeballs because ancient parts of our brain fail to recognise them as fake, he says.

Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, take note.

Neon Water

Woke up to this this morning. Yum.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bell Canada At Issue With Female Body, God

So, what am I supposed to take from this? Oh, right: ovaries are BAAD. Stop children, don't look! You might get educated. What kind of world is this, anyways?

Ah, right. Now I remember. This is the same world where people want to destory SpongeBob for rampant displays of respect and tolerance. What was I thinking?

Now, this isn't the first time Bell has portrayed women in a less than favorable manner. There was also the "overprotective mummy" TV ad for ISP service, and the "incompetent parents" ad for cable TV. So now, they're making women feel stupid, mentally unstable, and dirty all at the same time. Great PR guys, you'll go far.

Feel like complaining? Bitch at will.

Jay Dowling on Music Cognition

As I mentioned, today in Cognition we heard a guest lecture by Jay Dowling, apparently the world leader in the study of music cognition and perception (with over 1,400 publication referrals). While the concepts he covered were incredibly interesting, I felt a bit bad for the majority of students in the class with no musical background. He blew through discussions of key context and such without pausing to look back, and most had no idea what he was talking about.

Personally, I found the most interesting bit to be the divisions he makes of all sound pitch into a hierarchy, namely:
  • Psychophysical function - the infinitely divisible range of pitch we can hear

  • Tonal material - 5 to 9 basic tones defined by each culture

  • Tuning system - those tones that form the roots of scales or keys

  • Modal scale - do, ray, me, fa, so, etc.

The idea, basically, is that each and every culture has selected between five and nine specific tones out of the psycophysical function to serve as "correct notes." In the Western European tradition, of course, that is CDEFGAB. Each culture that chooses it's own scale conditions its citizens to adopt that scale as natural. Therefore, when we hear a note at 440hz it sounds perfectly in tune, while 444hz is sharp. 444hz in another culture, however, may be the center of a note. It's all relative. From those 5-9 notes, octaves can be reached according to a logarithmic scale. Every culture uses similar names for each note across the octaves. A is still A one octave up, for example.

That is about as much sense as I can make out of it. Music majors would probably laugh at me, but hey. I'm no music major.

Ah, and yesterday I participated in my first Psych experiment, testing my smelling abilities while sitting and lying down. It was fun, but they could have used a nicer smelling chemical. I had hoped it would be food. It wasn't. They confirmed, though, that I have a superior sense of smell!


Done! Just finished my last midterm of the semester, ending three weeks of virtually non-stop work since the end of break. Biology this morning, Cognition last week, and Linguistics the week before. I'm thinking they all went pretty well, but I haven't heard back about the grades yet. Things are looking up all over the place.

For the rest of the week, I think I'll spend some more time on the guitar, get back into my swimming routine, and go out a bit. The Sailing Team's having a party tonight at Cafe Campus. Beautiful.

Today in Cogntion we're to hear a guest lecture by one Jay Dowling from UT Dallas on the development of music perception and cognition. He's supposed to be a pretty big deal, and he's flying in just to give us the lecture (not bad for an intoductory psychology course, eh?). I'll try and talk a bit about it tonight.

Monday, March 14, 2005

You Found Me How?

End of the Free Newspaper?

These days, we're well accustomed to the wide availablity of newspapers and other media online, most of which we get to see for free. Today, however, The New York Times is running an article questioning the long term business validity of major newspapers offering their content free online. There are now more online readers than print readers. As a result (even though online advertising is their fastest growing source of revenue), newspapers are cannabilizing themselves. Could this be the end of our free lunch?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Gates: An Experiment in Collective Memory

The Institute for the Future of the Book has created The Gates: An Experiment in Collective Memory - a collection of photos shot of the artwork collected on the Flickr Network. Flickr has over 7000 photographs of The Gates to date. According to the Institute:
Now that the Gates are gone, we begin the process of remembering them. But it is not just the objects themselves that we recall. It is what happened while they were here: the conversations, the crowds, the impromptu visits, the unexpected snow, the long ambling walks, and the various artifacts - photographs, sketches, films, swatches of fabric - that we amassed. Memories often begin with an image, and the Gates project is almost certainly among the most photographed works of art in history. So it is with images that we will begin.

To submit your photos, simply upload them to Flickr with the tag "gates memory" and they will be assembled with the other submissions.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Giant Steps

Giant Step is a short (and light) film by designer Michael Levy exploring the aesthetics of art and structural design, all set to the famed Giant Steps by John Coltrane.

From his site:
I have chosen a short Jazz piece, which I have known for many years of my playing the saxophone: "Giant Steps" by John Coltraine. Coltraine made a major break through with his album "Giant Steps" in the year 1959. It was the first time in the history of Jazz music that someone based his music on symmetrical patterns, which stemmed from a mathematical division of the musical scale.

The structural approach of John Coltraineto music is associated with architectural thinking. The musical theme defines a space and the musical improvisation is like someone drifting in that imaginary space.

Wonderful. Check it out.

Cheers to Drawn! for this.

Hunter S. Thompson: Leaving Exactly As Planned

Thompson, gonzo journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, would have liked to have his ashes shot out of a cannon. Rather than let himself suffer the indignities of old age, Thompson shot himself late February, acting out a suicide plan he had been discussing for the last ten years. The man lived as he wanted, died as he wanted, and now his remains will be handled as he wanted. Shot into the sky and exploded.

Political Influence of the Blogosphere: Red vs. Blue

Researchers Natalie Glance and Lada Adamic (of BlogPulse and HP Labs, respectively) have written a fantastic paper documenting the degree of interaction and behavior among top conservative and liberal blogs in the months leading to November's election. They examine the posts of 40 "A-list" blogs, and provide a snapshot of 1000 political blogs on a single day.


  • Almost an equal number of influential liberal and conservative blogs.

  • Conservative blogs showed a greater tendency to link to other blogs (84% linking vs. 74% liberal linking).

  • Clear preference lines were drawn as to which news sources to cite (Fox News vs. Los Angeles Times, for example).

  • Liberal blogs referred to Bush more than conservative blogs, and conservative blogs referred more to Kerry than liberal blogs.

Hmm. I hate such stark divisions - red state vs. blue state and all that. Makes us all seem much more distant and different than we really are. Remember, we truly all live in a purple state.

Old Boy

I'm a big fan of indie movies, and this one called Old Boy looks particularly good. To my tastes, anyways. It doesn't hesitate to use action, while at the same time using poetic imagery to a depth never found in most movies. At least, that's what it looks like from the trailer. If it comes to Cinema du Parc, I'll see it.

Too Late You Down! Galang Galang Galang!

Nice. Sri Lankan pop star can neither sing nor dance. But her backgrounds are pretty sweet. Check out the nuclear weapons and fighter jets.

Here's her video, Galang Galang. Worth a laugh.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Week

One of those I can't quite wrap my mind around. Full of much work stress and emotional rollercoasting. One day I feel perfectly happy with my world and people seem happy with me, the next I'm disconnected and alone and there's nobody. Except for Kalei, of course: she's always there for me. The endless string of tests, projects, papers, and appointments doesn't help. Neither do some people. Sometimes I don't understand people. Actually, I rarely understand people.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Montreal Shows Forum + Archive Project

Finally on the recovery after a hacker attack forced the deletion of their forum (and many valuable anecdotes about Montreal musicians no longer with us), Montreal Shows is back with another forum ready to be filled. Cuz remember, we're cool now, right?



At the same time, they're creating a "Montreal-area gigposter, flyer, handbill archiving project." So, if you have any lying around, from any period or any band as long as they played in Montreal, scan and send them here.

Ned Kahn

Check out Ned Kahn, an artist who uses scientific principles to design incredible interactive sculptures. Chances are you've seen some of his stuff.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Snow Blind


Monday, March 07, 2005


What this big machine shred just about anything incuding concrete, a washing machine, and a boat.

Careful, you should have a good ten minutes free time on your hands.

Fargo, anyone?

Uh Oh

There's a blizzard. More later, if I can make it up the hill. Don't know if I can make the summit. May have to send for help.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Bagels, the Montreal way

If you're American (or really, live anywhere in North America outside of Quebec), chances are you think of New York when you think of bagels. Noah's. Thick, warm fluffy bagels with a savory yeasty taste, topped with lox, cream cheese, and the works.

There is, however, another world of bagels, nestled within the second largest population of Hasidic Jews in North America: the Plateau/Outremont area, Montreal. And it's another thing altogether.

These bagels rarely come in more than four or five varieties, and you can for the most part forget about those three inch bagel sandwiches. These are made for munching: thinner and with a slightly sweet taste, you buy them out of massive baskets set at the end of a conveyor belt leading to the oven, from where they emerge in rows like something out of Willy Wonka. Imagine a bagel with the flair of a Polish donut. They're cheap - I believe ours were around fifty cents.
For the best, try:

The Bagel Shop 263 Rue Saint-Viateur Ouest
Fairmount Bagel Bakery 74 Avenue Fairmount Ouest

Unauthorized Linking

So this blog first created by the people who watched Fox News to gather information for Outfoxed posted an entire copy of a Bill O'Reilly column, and soon recieved a letter from the company syndicating the column telling them to take it down. They did, and linked to the column instead. This company persisted, accusing them of "unauthorized linking."

As far as anyone knows, there is no such thing as unauthorized linking. So, from those who still believe in free linking, here's the link.

Post this on your site if you believe the same. Should keep those lawyers busy.

Cheers to Lessig Blog for this.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

New York Public Library Opens Digital Gallery

The New York Public Library has just released some 250,000 (soon to be 500,000) of its archived images in digital form in an online gallery. It's an incredibly interesting reference tool to surf.

Within three minutes, I found the placard of a popular Yiddish theater in Buenos Aires:


Today, I found this must-read article by Tristram Hunt of The Observer

Some excerpts:

"This is the cultural landscape of modern America: not the downtown conviviality of Cheers, but the soulless anomie of Desperate Housewives; not the urban chic of Friends, but the sprawling southern California of The OC."

"Aided by a welter of federal subsidies securing investors against depreciation, developers find it far more profitable to commission an entirely new mall than to renovate the present. In 2002 alone, half a billion square feet of retail space - the equivalent of some 4,000 dead malls - were left empty."

"A study by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 97 of the 100 fastest-growing counties in the US supported President Bush, providing him with a decisive 1.72m vote advantage over John Kerry."

Interesting stuff. Entirely visible, of course - take a drive ten miles out of any urban center in the States and you'll see it. Scary to think of the implications: sprawl means driving means fuel means oil wars and fossil fuel depletion, for example. Half a million dead in Iraq, for example.

The world is going downhill. There must be other ways.