Far be it for me to ignore one of the most fascinating über-forwards to be seen in a while. It was...

Far be it for me to ignore one of the most fascinating über-forwards to be seen in a while. It was written by Laurie Garrett, a respected author who is usually more concerned about covering AIDS in Africa. She is none too pleased that this e-mail is now everywhere. The content is verbatim, as far as I know, with some headers containing her personal details removed. All emphasis is mine. It doesn't get interesting until the bullet points begin; skip the first four or five paragraphs and read them afterwards. Hi Guys. OK, hard to believe, but true. Yours truely has been hobnobbing with the ruling class. I spent a week in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. I was awarded a special pass which allowed me full access to not only the entire official meeting, but also private dinners with the likes the head of the Saudi Secret Police, presidents of various insundry countries, your Fortune 500 CEOS and the leaders of the most important NGOs in the world. This was not typical press access....
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Oooh, retro futurism at its best.

Oooh, retro futurism at its best.
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The Glitter Ball 2003 was a great success, thanks to my friends, who are way cooler than anyone you...

The Glitter Ball 2003 was a great success, thanks to my friends, who are way cooler than anyone you know. Thanks to Will Abson for the video, although I'm pretty sure he's unaware that he's given it to me as of this posting... [For those of you in Trinidad who've never met them, and who almost certainly won't be reading this until after Carnival, people in the vid are: initially, Bob, Kim and Moz, left to right, then pan to James, and a final shift to Matt, who is taking the piss, with Danny in the background. I'm so glad this moment was caught on video...]
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Some random linkage for you, my all-time favourite random websurfer. First off, from a few days...

Some random linkage for you, my all-time favourite random websurfer. First off, from a few days ago, there's this controversy over the Atkins diet. Now, apart from pointing out the obvious flaw in the diet, there's the following little tidbit: The amount of fat consumed [by Americans] has been steadily climbing, as has consumption of all calories. Individual caloric consumption jumped from 3,300 calories per day in 1970–79 to 3,900 in 1997, an 18 percent increase. Per-person consumption of fat grams increased from 149 to 156, a 4.5 percent increase. And so, the "mystery" behind America's continuing weight gain (two thirds overweight, nearly one third clinically obese) is solved: hey, dumbasses! You eat too much! Hang back on the supersized tub of lard! Does it worry anyone else that the world is currently dominated by a nation of people who, goldfish-like, are unable to stop nibbling at the food around them even though it's killing them? More briefly: A complete waste of time does everything it...
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So, USA Today has an article about how Americans travelling abroad at the moment can avoid being...

So, USA Today has an article about how Americans travelling abroad at the moment can avoid being hassled about American foreign policy. This includes the following wonderful list of "tips to blend in" and avoid anti-Americanism: Avoid American fast-food restaurants and chains. Keep discussions of politics to private places, not rowdy bars. Take a rain check on wearing clothes featuring American flags or sports team logos. Keep your passport out of sight. Keep cameras, video equipment and maps tucked away. Soften your speech; Americans typically overshadow their hosts in the volume department. Now, a few things strike me about these tips: firstly, is this stuff really non-obvious? Before this article, were Americans under the impression that going into rowdy bars, talking loudly about bombing Iraq while wearing a stars and stripes t-shirt with a camera slung around their neck and their passport poking out their breast pocket was okay? (Thinking about London in July, this may actually be the case)....
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"When it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission." In other news, the UN...

"When it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission." In other news, the UN and NATO both disbanded, citing irrelevance. Everyone should read the Borowitz Report, even if he is a self-satisfied dickhead.
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Everybody else is doing it: 100 short things about me Finally, a meme that involves the creation...

Everybody else is doing it: 100 short things about me Finally, a meme that involves the creation of original content instead of just copying a link. I think I kinda blew the "short" requirement though. I'm doing this because I saw other people doing it first. It annoys me that I didn't think of doing it before then. That says lots about me. My full name is Laurie James Voss. I'm fine with James and like Voss, but hate Laurie because it's a girl's name. And I have enough trouble with people mistaking my gender as it is. I use the name Seldo instead. I spend far too much time thinking about my names, and the motivations behind them. There is a web page explaining where I came up with "Seldo". My website also has an unbelievable amount of information about me There's also a page explaining why I don't think this is too vain or egotistical. I spend far too much time thinking about, designing and writing stuff for my website Somewhere out there there's an e-commerce website that gives people order...
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3.5 hours in hair salon getting blue hair: £50 Blue lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner:...

3.5 hours in hair salon getting blue hair: £50 Blue lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner: £9.35 Blue meta8 official dancer's t-shirt, ticket and backstage pass: free ( Time spent not working on project: not yet determined ) METAMORPHOSIS 8 priceless (with thanks to Steve Spencer for the graphic and apologies for not asking permission to nick it) Huge props to Steve and the gang (inc. Giles), as well as Rik for the orgasmically good set. A totally selfish thank-you to TSG for clearing the stage for half an hour around 11 to give us dancers a little extra time to strut, even if it did piss off absolutely everyone. And finally a big, special thank-you to whoever thought of the idea of an 8-foot podium. I love you. I want to bear your children. Update 10.33pm Some pictures now available, courtesy PinkPieShop. The blue streaky shots are me waving glowsticks around, apparently.
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The sweetest, sickest, most disturbing thing I have read in a while: the Gashlycrumb Tinies. God...

The sweetest, sickest, most disturbing thing I have read in a while: the Gashlycrumb Tinies. God bless those twisted, twisted victorians.
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An insightful and worrying article about the new McCarthyism talks about America's growing habit of...

An insightful and worrying article about the new McCarthyism talks about America's growing habit of self-censorship in the name of patriotism, and the backlash faced by celebrities who attempt to speak out to compensate for the void of coverage anti-war protests have been getting. It claims that Americans have a reverence for their President, and that in times of war it just simply is not done to question the motives of the oval office. Is this true? What is the real explanation for America's enthusiasm for this war, given their more usual lack of enthusiasm for sending their troops out to be killed in foreign lands? More and more -- especially if Blix's new drone turns out to be real -- I believe that yes, we should probably attack Iraq and get rid of Saddam and his weapons. I wish we could sort out North Korea first, but dealing with Saddam before he has nukes is a lot easier than dealing with North Korea after it already has them. I worry about how Iraq will rule itself after the war, and whether the...
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Since he's very kindly gone and plugged Gay Geeks.org, I feel compelled to point out Moz's new...

Since he's very kindly gone and plugged Gay Geeks.org, I feel compelled to point out Moz's new site, Meaningless Artichoke, which I'm sure you'll agree is one of the better names for a website, even if it is rather agressively magenta at the moment. Meanwhile, in a move that echoes the renaming of sauerkraut to liberty cabbage during World War 2, french toast and french fries are now to be known as freedom toast and freedom fries in the House of Congress. But hey, at least they haven't actually declared war on France yet, right? And now, your quote of the day (thanks to Evil Dan).
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There is a drug that stops HIV completely. Really. It prevents the HIV virus getting into white...

There is a drug that stops HIV completely. Really. It prevents the HIV virus getting into white blood cells. HIV levels in people taking the drug drop below detectable levels. The catch? It costs US$20,000 annually -- it costs several hundred dollars per gram to produce, far less recouping the approximately $600m that it cost to develop and test the drug.
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How the passive mode in P2P programs like KaZaA and Gnutella works

I recently got a Very Clever™ friend of mine who works with networks to answer this question for me, and I thought since it was a very good explanation that I might as well post it here, so other people can find it, and gosh, maybe in some small way I'll actually have increased the information content of the Web. This text is an edited copy of a chat log. Firstly, "passive mode" is actually an FTP term really. One of the features of FTP is the fact that there are different ports used for control and data by default. This is so that clever things can be done. It is, for example, possible to use an ftp client to connect to a server and tell that server to transfer something from another server. When stateful firewalls were introduced - the kind that record outgoing sessions and allow the response traffic to come back in without needing rules to deal with it in both directions - they didn't start off terribly smart. These days, firewalls can look at the commands going over the FTP control port and open...
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Bring on the bombs, we're going to war. Like it or not, apparently.

Bring on the bombs, we're going to war. Like it or not, apparently.
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Well, tomorrow, we go to war it seems. And so I've been thinking about war, and my thoughts about...

Well, tomorrow, we go to war it seems. And so I've been thinking about war, and my thoughts about this war have crystallised, so I thought I'd write them down, since hey, it's my blog, I can write what I want. You want to read what everyone else thinks, go read Wabson or something. (Update: Cross-posted to Free Trinidad.org) This war is about humanitarian principles. This war is about revenge. This war is about containing threats. This war is about oil. This war is about money. This war is about a fundamental clash of ideologies. This war is about containing a mad dictator. This war is about all of those things. This war is justified, but that is not why this war is being fought. First, let me annoy you with some home-made political theory. We (the readers of Seldo.Com, such as you are) live in capitalist democracies. Both terms of that are open to debate sometimes, but that's generally what they are. What doesn't often come up is that a "capitalist democracy" is a contradiction in terms. In a...
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Blog backlog! A bunch of semi-random stuff that probably gives a good look into my thought...

Blog backlog! A bunch of semi-random stuff that probably gives a good look into my thought processes. Here's random for you: Which happy bunny are you? I am "cute but psycho bunny", as any of my exes will probably attest, when they're not busy calling me a slut behind my back, apparently. Feedster (briefly called Roogle before Google complained) is a clever implementation of the fairly obvious idea of a search engine for RSS feeds. RSS (for Really Simple Syndication) feeds allow others to grab the current contents of your website (usually just the headlines) in an automated way, which enables you to read news via news aggregators. The site explains how this is useful quite clearly. I have yet to start using a news aggregator -- Google news is pretty clever, and Phoenix's "open in tabs" feature allows me to open all 4 of my most-read news sites in a single click. Somewhat relatedly, has anybody else noticed how stroppy Google is getting about protecting its brand recently? They weren't too happy about...
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I get an entirely higher class of bizarre dream than most people, I think. Last night, I found...

I get an entirely higher class of bizarre dream than most people, I think. Last night, I found myself back in my secondary school (form 2, so I was 13 or 14) sitting a test. The test for the most part was an ordinary basic English test, but then things got weird: The numbering, placement and appearance of the question is as close to my dream as I could make it. I suspect the answer is the meaning of life. Answers on a postcard please, "42" and other smart-ass answers not accepted.
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Well, war is pretty much all I've been paying attention to recently, so a bunch of random links...

Well, war is pretty much all I've been paying attention to recently, so a bunch of random links vaguely related: Dear Raed is a blog, apparently from someone within Baghdad. Its authenticity has been doubted, but since it's suddenly stopped updating, coinciding with power supplies in Baghdad being knocked out, I think it's probably real. Robin Cook gave a hell of a speech in resigning from government over the war. He gives all the right reasons against war, but not show-stoppers. The pretty pictures painted by Boris Vallejo have absolutely nothing to do with war. Anti-French hysteria reaches its peak in America with campaigns to send back the statue of Liberty. In a St. Patrick's day parade, supporters of County Monaghan in Ireland abandoned their traditional banner since county Monaghan's outline, which was on their banner, looks similar to that of Iraq. I'm frankly impressed that Americans could recognize the outline of Iraq. Will the parodies of ready.gov never end? In a propaganda war, nothing...
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There's no way we can lose the war against Iraq. Everyone knows that. The US and the UK have more...

There's no way we can lose the war against Iraq. Everyone knows that. The US and the UK have more men, more firepower, better equipment, more money, better organization. "The outcome is certain," says Tommy Franks. Okay, so we're going to win. But what if we don't? It's a topic nobody has covered, it seems, simply because it's so inconceivable. How could we lose? Actually, it's surprisingly easy. Public support for the war -- above 50% in the US for a while now, and just hitting 54% in the UK over the weekend -- is very delicate. Guerilla fighting has started. Guerilla warfare is extraordinarily difficult to squash, which could stretch out the war and greatly increase the number of casualties; street fighting is messy. Stretch it too long, and you will lose public support, and you will be forced after a while to pull out the troops. It would have to stretch out a very long time given the determination of the Bush administration to fight this war, but it could happen eventually. And if it does? If a...
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Slate today accurately points out why Donald Rumsfeld shouldn't leture anybody about the Geneva...

Slate today accurately points out why Donald Rumsfeld shouldn't leture anybody about the Geneva Conventions. Did they think we'd just forgotten that Camp X-Ray exists?
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