Radified News for September, 2001
- Bernard Hopkins knocked out previously undefeated Felix 'Tito' Trinidad, a 3-to-1 favorite, in the 12th & final round, with the only
knockdown of the fight. He fought what everyone agrees was a brilliantly
Hopkins was full of antics during the weeks leading up to the fight. For example, during one of the pre-fight media events, Hopkins grabbed Tito's Puerto Rican flag and thru it on the ground. Ultra-patriotic Trinidad was infuriated, saying, "I'm gonna make him pay."
But Bernard was all-business once the opening bell rang. Some in the boxing world gave him no chance with Trinidad, a devastating puncher. But Hopkins, from Philadelphia, neutralized Trinidad's left hook, his biggest weapon, and scored more punches each & every round.
Trinidad kept looking to load up on that one, big punch. But it never came and Trinidad looked increasingly frustrated as the fight wore on. The fight reminded me of the bowl game back in the 80's where Penn State & Joe Paterno beat the Miami powerhouse by neutralizing their best weapon (the long bomb) & playing a smart, cagey game.
Announcer George Foreman, who predicted a Trinidad victory, said things like, "I can't believe what I'm seeing," and "I guess I'll have to eat my words. Yum, yum." Wendy always feels sorry for the loser. =)
Trinidad trains in the off-season by running marathons & is much younger than Hopkins, so I expected him to dominate the later rounds. Not so. The fight should air on HBO next weekend.
- Yesterday we motored down to San Diego, about an hour south of where we live
to catch Al
Jarreau in concert at Humphrey's-by-the-Bay.
About half way thru the show, he broke into his own soulful rendition of God Bless America.
First one person stood up & put their hand over their heart. Then another & another. Next thing you know everybody stood up and began signing along. People starting crying.
Only minutes before, everyone seemed happy & was having a great time. It's obvious that there's a lot of pent up emotion over the terrorist attacks in NYC & DC, even 3000 miles away here on the West Coast.
Humphrey's in the best place I know of to see a concert. This link here will show you why.
28sep2001 - Boxing fans should be aware that a Middleweight title match is scheduled for tomorrow evening. Felix 'Tito' Trinidad will face Bernard 'The Executioner' Hopkins (39-2-1, 28 KO's) at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It's being billed as the best non-heavyweight title match in the last decade.
fight was originally
scheduled for the weekend following the WTC attacks. More info here
Hopkins is the defending champ, but Trinidad, from Puerto Rico, with a flawless 40-0
record, is a 3-to-1 favorite.
The two fighters are ranked numbers 2 & 3 as the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today, so there promises to be plenty of talent on display. The winner will hold the first unified Middleweight title since Marvelous Marvin Hagler held it 14 years ago.
I've never seen Hopkins fight, but Tito is impressive, with a vicious left hook. He's willing to do whatever it takes to win, even fight dirty. These guys do not like each other.
- Here on the West Coast, in Southern
California, 3000 miles from the still-smoldering
of NYC & DC, we're somewhat removed from
the crisis. But the attacks still had a major psychological impact.
The #1 thing people want here is no more attacks. Even more than killing Osama bin Laden, people want freedom from further attacks. In other words, we'd rather leave bin Laden be if we could be assured that there would be no more attacks .. rather than take him out & continue suffering terrorist attacks.
We can't undo what has already happened, so we should focus on preventing a recurrence. It does no good if we take him out & lose the country doing it.
To put it still another way: military retaliation in the Afghanistan is not our #1 priority. Most agree that killing bin Laden will not eliminate the threat of more attacks. In fact, it may even exasperate the situation. I still feel we should go after him, but I think there are more important things that need our attention.
Sadly, most experts feel that, either way, further attacks are inevitable .. which leads to my next point: preparation.
If a free society like ours can't prevent terrorist attacks from occurring, then, far as humanly possible, we need to be prepared for them when they come. From what I've read, the nation is woefully unprepared for future terrorist attacks, with several long-term studies all coming to the same conclusion.
Our family is planning to purchase a supply a gas masks - the good ones. Like insurance policies, hopefully we'll never need them. But if we see a crop-duster swing low over Los Angeles, spewing a chromatic mist ...
We'd also like to see some kind of government plan. I know they don't want to
appear alarmist right now. But better a prepared alarmist than a dead denialist. The innocence is gone.
Our heads are out of the sand. We can stomach whatever scenarios they might want to prepare us for.
We promise not to freak out if a gas mask & bright orange bio suit arrives on the front porch with my next phone book .. which leads to my next point.
The biggest fear comes from chemical & biological weapons. All this talk of hijacking crop-dusters is most unnerving. And if you shoot them out of the sky, you only do them a favor. Even more disturbing than ramming a Boeing 767 into the nuclear plant dome down the road, biological weapons represent the worst scenario most people can imagine.
Coughing, gagging, spitting up blood, festering skin. It doesn't paint a pretty picture, and it no longer seems far fetched.
My Christian friends are convinced that the events of the last two weeks are a sign, confirming that were in what they call the last of the last days. The scenario unfolding in the world today plays right into their hand.
Last night I heard a news commentator discussing how one solution to our free-society woes might be to give everyone some sort of national ID, that they would use to purchase airline tickets, hand guns & weapons, chemicals, whatever.
My Christians friends claim that this sounds frighteningly similar to words found in the book of Revelation:
"And he causes all, the small & great, rich & poor, free & slaves, to be given a mark, on their right hand, or on their forehead, that no one should be able to buy or sell, except who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man: and his number is 666."
I wonder if fingerprint scans or facial recognition scans fit into their mark of the beast scenario. I have researched what is commonly referred to as biometerics. The technology is interesting. If I have to go down and get fingerprinted, I'll ask to have my left hand done. =)
The biggest change between today and pre-911 is that people no longer take safety & security for granted. The illusion
of invincibility was shattered. I can't imagine what it will be like for kids to
grow up in today's world. I'm glad I grew during a time when things weren't so
The ease with which a handful of terrorists were able to commandeer four jet liners was a huge wake up call - even for people who don't routinely fly the friendly skies.
No one is going to be in any big hurry to set foot in another airport until inept, minimum-wage airport security is replaced with something more formidable. It's difficult to put your heart into your job for $7.00 an hour.
There also won't be any rush to airports until cockpit doors are fortified, even if this means pilots enter thru an external door. Anything that makes the airliner less attractive to terrorists makes it more attractive to potential passengers.
Beyond getting folks to return to airports in droves, no one really expects the terrorists to repeat the same scenario. If they could outwit all of our security agencies, they're obviously more clever than that. More likely they'll attempt something we haven't yet thought of .. which leads to my next point.
We need smart people to anticipate their possible strategies and beat them to the punch. If we simply react to what they do, it's going to be a looong row to hoe. From what I've read, bin Laden telegraphed & announced each terrorist attack, and we *still* couldn't stop him.
We need people that are able to think like a terrorist thinks, to get inside their heads, and to view the world thru terrorist-colored glasses .. which leads to my next point.
Despite what government officials say, nobody really believes that terrorists,
and people around the globe, hate Americans because we live in a free society. I feel like my government isn't
leveling with me when I hear them say that. Terrorists will gladly tell you why they hate us, and
it ain't cuz we live in a free society.
When bombs go off in their neighborhoods, where ever that might be, they read the letters Made in USA on the scattered fragments. I'm not judging whether bombing whoever we bomb is right or wrong, only that the reason for the attacks is not cuz we live in a free society. I would feel much better if our government officials leveled with us.
Terrorists also don't like us having a military presence in Saudi Arabia. Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't be there. I also think that their beef about us being in the so-called holy land is more about oil & less about anything religious. Sadaam invaded Kuwait for the oil, not the mosques.
They also don't like our foreign policy, and our support of Israel. Admittedly, I don't know enuf about the politics of the region to comment with authority. But I do know that they hate America more for the reasons I mentioned than for anything to do with our free society. Every time I hear a 'they hate our free society' speech, it makes me feel like I'm being manipulated.
They attacks may result in a less-free society, but that's not the reason for them. Knowing human nature, I have a sneaking suspicion that, underneath it all, it's all about oil.
Note that the fact that we send them millions of dollars worth of food & supplies every year apparently means very little to them.
Bush addressed members of the CIA
yesterday. He endorsed the spy agency & said they were doing a great job. Few civilians
like myself are in a position to know the intricacies of how the various security agencies
(CIA, FBI, NSA) operate, and whether or not they're doing a satisfactory job.
But if their job is to thwart terrorists attacks, it's pretty clear that somebody failed on a grand scale. Somebody dropped the ball big time. Perhaps it's not possible for them to know every little detail about every little thing, but they sure as hell need to find the big things.
They might not be able to find the proverbial needle in a haystack, but they need to be able to catch the convoy of tractor trailer trucks coming across the border. And a plot, two-years in the making, to crash four airliners into major US icons, involving over 20 people, all on the same day .. that, my friend, is what you call a big thing.
Something is very wrong if they're missing stuff like that. Finding the bad guys after the fact is nice, but too late. If someone asked me to evaluate the recent performance of our national security agencies, I'd have to say: Unsat.
One thing that bothers me about bin Laden is how soft spoken he is. I've never seen him in a wild rage. He seems almost apologetic about wanting to destroy America. Not sure why that bothers me. I'd be more comfortable if he were a wild-eyed madman. The soft spoken terrorist does not compute.
- If you haven't yet seen the photos that Telematx assembled at Ars, you won't
want to miss them. The pictorial tribute, titled Thank You, comprises 9
pages, each containing expressions of compassion for the US
from people all over the globe.
Links to each subsequent page can be found at the bottom of the current one. The first page is posted -> here. Better have a hanky handy.
25sep2001 - Posted another Film school update, third of the semester. See -> here.
24sep2001 - PGP, which stands for Pretty Good Privacy, is a freeware (for personal, non-profit use) program that will encrypt the emails you send & files of your choosing on your hard drive. If you're into James Bond, secret encoding stuff like me, you'll like this program.
You'll first have to answer 'Yes' to four questions before they'll let you download the program. The program's author discusses PGP's cryptographic integrity here, where he refutes rumors of government back-doors. The international home page is posted here (Norway).
PGP generates what they call a key-pair. The way it works: you give/send your public key to whoever you want to be able read your encrypted emails, and you keep the private key for yourself. Public key + private key = key pair. PGP claims over 40 million users.
During the set-up, the program will ask you for a code word of at least 8 characters, which should contains a combination of letters & numbers. This is the code that you'll use to unlock your encrypted files. They tell you not to write it down anywhere, but if you forget it, your screwed. So pick something you won't forget (or write it down).
The program is more involved than most. There is a good Help file, which can be accessed from the pad-lock icon that is installed to your system tray. There are also 3 pdf files listed under Documentation, which can be accessed from the Start menu -> Programs -> PGP. I've spent some time reading these documents during the last few days. Definitely Rad stuff.
For more info on other programs, see the guide to programs & applications.
23sep2001 - It's not possible to respond to each & every email I receive, but I do read them all. I have received plenty of suggestions, which I try to incorporate, but rarely anything I could characterize as a genuine complaint or critcism.
A web guru friend once reviewed my Accolades page and said, "These are great, but you'll never have a serious web site until you start getting serious criticism."
the time, I wasn't interested in a serious web site, and I didn't
entirely agree with him. But I still wanted some criticism, especially after
where he says: ..awards are less important than critics,
since you can better use the latter to ameliorate your work and develop.
I got the following letter today. It could almost be called a criticism. You decide. See here:
Is this the Complaint Department?
It's ten aay-emmish (*1) on a perfectly overcast Solday, and my hunting peckers just can't seem to break away from the frickin' flypaper-ness of this beige-buttoned keyboard.
Poop. While your site's many-n-varied links are like candy-diabetic dichotomous, a quick look-seek failed to net a certain first name. ("To whom it may concern:" How unsatisfying.)
[Rad note - The problem is that there are cyber-weirdos out there, something I learned not long after first publishing the site. I don't mind receiving bizarre emails, but I don't want anyone calling the house, which I why I omit my real name. I'm sure someone could find it if they really wanted to, but I honestly don't think it would be worth the trouble. In other words, call me Rad.]
I prob'ly could've/should've gotten off this Radified thing and on with to-daze demands, and then you go ahead and schtick me with the one about the two black guys on the bridge [of The City of this boar's birth], which I *haven't* heard -- so trust I must.
[Rad note: It's only funny after two glasses of Chianti. I didn't think anyone would be interested or I would've included it. The photo should give you some clues.]
And then you stick me again by dangling "Roadtrip" just out of sight. What's the deal? Was *that* the whole idea in the first place?
note: Roadtrip was a short story by the
that he wrote for a Writing class at Stanford. It was based on a true
story of how he helped a person for several months as part of an out-reach
program .. who eventually killed
himself. He invited the guy to live with him for a few months. Fascinating & tragic story, but the family somehow found the page and asked the
Dog to have it removed, which I did. We never did figure out how they found it.]
Exclamatory mouth-noise of frustration here. (One week, one day, eleven dollars and four-sixty-two shipping later, I'm still waiting.)
note: Clever reference to this
page, which indicates he ordered Norton System Works Pro (which comes with Norton
In the face of all this high-level accomplishment stuff, here I am, a runty little blues-collared ex-shipyard-boilermaker of a procrastinator, sitting here, stuck fast, molasses-slow, trying way too hard to be just a little clever.
[Rad note: You're doing great. I'd hire you if I was hiring. I used to work with boilermarkers. They are fine, hard-working people.]
it's just snot working. Nor me, neither. (Outside in Beater's trunk, one case of
oil and eight brand-new disc-brake pads are rapidly growing old.)
I mean, what a pisser! You and your site seem to put it all together - clever, lucid, eclectic, intelligent & *thoughtful*. I'll bet you just whip this stuff out in minutes!
[Rad note: Sometimes yes, but mostly not. For me, it's a form of therapy. Freud discovered that expression can be therapeutic and even curative. It's cheaper than paying a shrink.]
And here's me: Self-inflicting over subjects, objects, singulars, plurals, usage, propriety et al, and wondering whether or not using *asterisk-brackets* is accepted accentuation?
I'm almost getting used to the fact that verb-ized nouns surround us like brown air. Exposure to the word "content" still makes me feel like I've been laying fiberglass insulation.
Enough of I. You? All seriousness aside. It's time to get real.
PS - Come up with an emoticonic equivalent of a red-slashed circle super'd over that [semi]colonic parenthetical thingie and I'll... I'll...I'll... Anything! Just ask.
PPS - Curse you and your cuticles, whatever your name is. Thanks to that link to domaindiscover, I'm now pooer [sic/k] by the electronic equivalent of one Ben Franklin.
[Rad note: This would imply that Enzo purchased a domain name. Congrats!]
*1 - I'm [getting] too olde for this kind of stuff.
22sep2001 - First day of autumn today. Glorious day here in Southern California, as US reservists are called up and shipped out to the Middle East.
A former Navy Seal being interviewed on television today, said he has learned to think like a terrorist. He said, "Bin Laden is a Business major. He's probably looking to cripple America by going after its economy. Next on his list was probably to turn out the lights for a while."
On the same program they showed that people associated with the terrorists had in their possession plane tickets for a flight (for today!) from Texas to San Diego, via Denver. There's a nuclear power plant not far from San Diego. The flight has been canceled.
21sep2001 - Received a note from Intel today:
The Intel(R) Application Accelerator is available for download. This application upgrades the Intel(R) Ultra ATA Storage Driver, corrects known issues, and provides several enhancements. The Intel Application Accelerator is available for download here: http://support.intel.com/support/chipsets/iaa/
Thank you for your objective opinions presented on your web site.
Please feel free to reply with any questions or issues you may have regarding the Intel Application Accelerator.
Intel Customer Support
Everyone I talked to today was impressed with the President's speech last night. Even people who didn't like GWB before were impressed. Of course, those were just words, and the hard part will be backing them with action.
Most people here are confident with the proven military leaders that the President has surrounded himself with (Cheney, Powell, etc.). We know a couple Marines at the Camp Pendleton Marine base, right down the road. They are eager to fight in Afghanistan. The wives are the ones who don't want them to go.
20sep2001 - The stock markets are getting slaughtered. Studies of the days immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf War, indicate that the markets have a history of trending downward for two months afterwards. It probably takes this long for people to become comfortable with the idea of war.
History shows repeatedly that the best time to buy is when the outlook is the grimmest (and that the best time to sell is when everything looks rosiest). This is exactly opposite of human emotion, which feels most comfortable buying when the market is doing great, and selling when things look bad.
I am no investment expert, but I feel that the upcoming months offer rare buying opportunities for those with the stomach for volatility. Most investors would do better to buy when they feel most like selling, and sell when they feel most like buying. Key word = 'feel'.
Our strategy is not to try and pick the bottom, but rather the trend is my friend. We are going to let the market tell us when things have turned around. The trend is still negative. We will be watching closely, especially so 60 days after September 11th. My investment gurus says that no one should invest in stocks if they can't leave the securities alone for at least five years.
- We begin to grow weary of bad news. Even tho the world is forever
changed (and not for the better), we crave some semblance of normalcy.
I want to spent a day at Disneyland, to escape the terror of the television, and hang out with Mickey Mouse & Goofey. I heard that attendance is down, so maybe I'll have the place to myself. I want to eat a carmel apple and catch a sugar buzz while I ride the rides 'til I puke.
Web site traffic has almost returned to normal. I'm still looking for the day when I break 1000 unique visitors. The day before the terrorist attack, I broke 900 for the first time. After the attack, traffic dropped by a third.
continues to be the site's most popular reader destination. Both the ASPI
& the Guide
to Ripping CD audio & MP3 encoding
continue to be strong draws. The Guide
to the Best Programs & Applications
has been growing the fastest, so I probably should spend some time cleaning it
up. I have given up trying to figure out what drives readers to the various
guides & articles.
The reference I linked to on 14sep2001, about a possible prediction to the terrorist attacks, has been written up in an article in the New York Times. See here (registration req'd, free). The original post is here (Google newsgroups). Notice the date it was posted: 31aug, and the subject: 911.
On the 4th, he says, "Wait 7 days, and then maybe I'll answer this post. You see, I am going away in seven days, and you will not hear from me again." Did this person have fore-knowledge of the attack? An interview with him is posted here (Van's).
- One week since the largest terrorist attack in the history of the
Even tho the US stock market sustained its largest ever 1-day point drop yesterday, percentage-wise losses were only ~7%. People I talked to were only interested in buying if the market sank 12%, but it never got that low .. perhaps cuz the Fed cut rates another half point an hour before the market opened.
the sauna last night, sweaty guys discussed what the new world order meant to
them. For example, no one plans to attend large sporting events, like a pro
football game, where up to 100,000 people clustered together would make for a
tempting terrorist target.
Others countered that, if terrorists wanted to maximize the body-count, they could have done much better than the WTC & the Pentagon. Some proposed that future terrorist targets could be predicted best by tracing the flow of money & arms to Israel. "Find the source," they say, "and you find a prime target."
Most felt that facilities manufacturing military-type weapons will be choice terrorist targets. One guy mentioned how drug people typically have their own planes, that could be loaded with high-explosives & aimed almost anywhere.
All agree that more attacks are inevitable and that nuclear plants are at risk. Attacks using biological weapons are most feared. One religious person said that this was a sign that we're in the last days.
17sep2001 - The US stock market opens today, after its longest closure since the Great Depression. Opportunistic friends claim they will be watching to take advantage of bargain prices if panic-selling sets in. Might be able to pick up quality stocks at discount prices. Talk about hard core capitalists ...
16sep2001 - The Dog was in the air Tuesday, on his way back from Dublin, after spending a few months in Ireland, en route to Newark, New Jersey, when the World Trade Towers were attacked. His flight was diverted to Newfoundland (town of Gander), located at the eastern most tip of Canada.
While there he stayed with the mayor and wrote about his experience. His article was published in The Telgram. It's posted here. He finally got home yesterday. The Dog's dad is a retired NYC fireman.
While in Ireland the Dog met with members of the IRA & like-minded political groups, as research for his upcoming (yet untitled) book. Consequently he has a good understanding of the terrorist mindset. He says that terrorism results when people feel oppressed and do not have the military means to combat their oppressor directly.
15sep2001 - Wendy screened the 16mm film that she made during the 508 semester at USC Film School, titled Liliana, at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival yesterday. And international it was as she competed against films from all over the world.
She thinks one film, made by a man from Germany, made on a US$75,000 budget, will win the category. It's hard to compete with that kind of backing. Schmoozing galore afterwards. This is a big thing for her and she's very proud to be showing her film at a festival the caliber of Big Bear Lake. Mom & Sidney also went along.
many 508-level films make it into festivals.
It was good for her to get away from all the news of the terrorist attacks.
She doesn't have a stomach for that kind of stuff, and starts crying whenever
she watches the news on TV.
False Nostradamus predictions have been circulating about the recent collapse of the twin Trade towers. See here (Urban Legends) for details.
- Couldn't sleep. This terrorist thing has me wired. (I live on the Wear Coast
now, but grew up in Connecticut, an hour north of the city.) Fortunately there's a gym
up the street that's open 24-hours, where I was able to work out a lot of
frustration (at 2AM). Some guy there was blasting some trance music by
who many claim is the world's hottest DJ. Great work-out music.
The most disturbing thing about the terrorist strike is not that those responsible are still walking around, or that we don't even know for sure who did it .. but that there appears to be a terrorist network in place that seems capable of striking at will, and there's nothing we can do about it.
If we had no way of knowing about Tuesday's huge strike, what makes us think we have any way of learning about future strikes? They have already shown that they mean business, and are willing to not only sacrifice themselves, but also kill innocent women & children.
I find it interesting that they went after American icons. The WTC is the icon for American financial might, and the Pentagon is the icon for American military might. I have no doubt but that the forth plane was bound for the White House, because it's the icon for American political might.
saw a great special on TV today about Osama bin Laden. Bill Moyers spoke for the
last few minutes, altho I don't think it was a Bill Moyer's
special. Anyway, this hour-long program beautifully sized up bin Laden - who he
is, where he came from, what motivates him.
After the Soviet Red Army went home in 1989, bin Laden & crew felt invincible. They'd just defeated one of the world's most powerful military machines. When Sadaam invaded Kuwait, bin Laden went to King Fahd and told him that he & his crew could take out Sadaam.
But Fahd told Osama to get lost & looked to the US to protect its oil interests. Osama is still pissed about that. Most people agree that the US didn't go to Kuwait to rescue the people, but rather to protect their interest in oil.
After the war, the US didn't go home. We still have a military presence in Saudi Arabia and that irritates the camel snot out of Osama. He thinks the ruling Saudi government is a puppet for the US. He'd love to replace them.
And don't forget that it was President Bush's father who sent troops to the Middle East. I'd venture to guess that Osama & others have a personal dislike for GWB Jr because of what his father did. They might feel like they can exact a type of revenge on GWB Sr by going after his son.
I am far from an expert, but it certainly appears that when you put one and one together, it all boils down to *oil*, which, of course, boils down to *money*. That's why Sadaam invaded Kuwait. That's why we kicked Sadaam out. Everybody wants the oil, and is willing to go to great lengths to get it.
Has anyone seen this yet? It's a post to the Google newsgroup alt.prophecies.nostradamus, titled *911* (the day of the attack). It was posted August 31st, and some feel it may've been one of the terrorists telegraphing the attack. Decide for yourself.
People the world over are debating the terrorist attack all over the Internet. See here for one such spirited thread.
13sep2001 - I can't get over how much damage was inflicted by such a small group terrorists.
Using ultra low-tech weapons, with
nothing more than knives & box-cutters, and with as few as three people, they were able to
march right on and, within a matter of minutes, commandeer our own planes. Less
than two hours later the towering epicenter of the world's financial markets was
reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble.
Our inept airport security was unable to thwart even a single hijacking. I guess that's expecting a bit much from minimum-wage workers.
The plane that was flown into the Pentagon, the very symbol of American military might, could have just as easily been flown into the White House - or where ever else they wanted to aim it. They had their pick of targets in our nation's capital. Eanie, meanie, miney, moe. Such easy successes can only encourage more suicide fanatics to die for the glory of allah.
I thought we were supposed to be the world's only remaining superpower? How the hell could this have happened? I can't help but feel that we wouldn't be in this mess if the Intelligence agencies were doing their job. Conspiracy theorists must be having a field day. At least the bureaucrats will now get their much-needed economic stimulus.
Now our only option is to escalate. We will bomb them and they will retaliate by blowing up even more buildings, killing even more innocent Americans. Welcome to the 21st century. It wasn't that long ago that the mighty Soviet war machine marched into Afghanistan. Ten years later they hobbled back home with their tails between their legs, toting a massive pile of bulging body bags.
Numerous studies, one that lasted three years, warned that these types of attacks were inevitable if we didn't change the way we did business. Their recommendations were dismissed as inconvenient.
Why are we wasting taxpayer dollars on terrorism studies if the findings will be ignored? What is the NSA doing with the $30,000,000,000 a year we pay them? How could they know absolutely nothing about something this big? Hard to imagine. Doesn't seem like we're getting a satisfactory return on that investment.
Osama bin Laden is a wealthy man. He's worth an estimated one third of a billion dollars. He could've very easily led a life of luxury, sitting by a pool in Southern France all day long, sipping Mai Tai's with pink umbrellas, and being hand-fed peeled grapes by virgins.
Instead he wages war on innocent US citizens from Afghanistan, a country the size of Texas. I can't get over how easy they made it look. Don't we have anyone that's supposed to look into these things and evaluate the risk? What if he decided to use biological weapons?
I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm smart enough to know that something is not right. I'm most impressed with the dedication & camaraderie of the Firemen. I'm most surprised that even pacifists seem to demand bloody revenge.
12sep2001 - Osama bin Laden is suspected of coordinating yesterday's attack. You can read about the man here (BBC), and his beef with America here (PBS), and a profile of the man as terrorist here (ABC News). The few outsiders who have met the man describe him as modest, almost shy.
In 1979 he left Saudi Arabia and went to Afghanistan and helped the Afghans fight their war with the Soviet 'infidels,' which is why the government there has a soft place in their heart for him. He emerged from those 10 years of war, where he was backed by the US government and trained by the CIA, as a leader of battle-hardened veterans.
In the PBS interview, where the interviewer asked him about killing innocent civilians, he replied that it was America who dropped the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, which didn't differentiate between military & civilian, women & children.
11sep2001 - We woke to a different world today. 9-11-2001. The worst terrorists strike in the history of the planet. Seems surreal, like a bad dream that won't quit. No group claims responsibility.
It's hard to imagine people willing to sacrifice themselves like that. And how about all those people jumping to their certain death from the 85th floor? Roast alive or jump. What a decision to have to make.
I heard the terrorists on the planes made passengers call their families on cel phones and tell them that they were about to die. I don't understand how 3 people with knives can take over a whole plane full of people, like 85 passengers.
What happened to Intelligence? Either they knew & did nothing, or they didn't know. Either way, they failed. Let's put someone else in charge who will do a better job. Even the most exacting retaliation is not going to bring back those who perished.
Out prayers are with the survivors, and with the families of the victims.
- I found a page that outlines how the Google
search engine ranks web pages (see here),
and learned that I've been doing some things right, and some things wrong. For
example, I learned that Google
likes lots of text (content), and many of my pages contain plenty of text (like this
This may be why, if you search for fdisk guide, you find that I have a good ranking.
But Google also uses the text contained *in* links to characterize the content of the destination page. Too often I simply use non-descriptive words like *here* or *this* when dropping a link.
Or I use obscure terms, like The Behemoth, that are irrelevant to search engines (no one looking for info about how to build a PC designed to edit digital video is going to search using the word behemoth).
So I've been going thru the site, trying to change the text used for links to more meaningful & descriptive terms .. at least for those that point to pages on my site. A web guru buddy says this will help Radified score higher on search engine queries.
I found the page-ranking link that I mentioned above while perusing a discussion forum for the Google search engine (see here), in this thread here. Before reading these threads, I knew jack about how search engines work. Most of my traffic comes from Referrals like these .. oops, uh, I mean Referrals like these.
As you can see, using non-descriptive words like *here* & *these* for links is a difficult habit to break. =/
- Last night
premiere screening of
and three other 546-level
student films at USC.
came along with us. She's driving back to UC Santa Cruz tomorrow.
The film that Wendy edited, titled Echo, was saved for last. Traditionally, faculty saves the best for last. Of the four films we saw, I'd say that the first was fair, the second was okay, the third was very good, and the last (Echo) was impressive.
Wendy is still basking in the glow of all the kudos she got last night. Her head got so big that I had to take the door off its hinges to fit her into the house when we got home. =)
The screening was scheduled at the same time a USC football game was getting out, so traffic was horrible - as if LA traffic is ever good. I'll try to post more in an USC Film school update later this week.
Boxing fans should be aware that there will be a great fight this weekend, Saturday the 15th, pitting Felix 'Tito' Trinidad against Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins has been the middle-weight champ for 9 years. Read about the match up here.
I have never seen Hopkins (the Executioner) fight, but Tito, from Puerto Rico, has a perfect record at 40-0, with 33 KOs. He is willing to do whatever it takes to win, even get nasty & fight dirty. He has already defeated three Olympics Gold medallists.
They're fighting at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Trinidad is a 3-to-1 favorite, but it could easily be one of the great fights of the decade. I can hardly wait for Saturday. "And in this corner, weighing in at..."
06sep2001 - Posted another Film school update, second of the semester. Radified readers can now view these updates on a real-time basis. Previously this was only possible for family & friends.
It's actually easier to write & post the updates as web pages, and simply send a link to family & friends. The old way was to send them as emails. Later, during the summer months, I would convert all the emails (2 semester's worth) to web pages for public viewing. This took some time, and was rather tedious.
Real-time communication is one of the Internet's most immediate benefits. This is something that wasn't possible 10 years ago, when hardly anyone had an Internet connection. Now everybody can keep up to the minute with Wendy's latest escapades at the world's most prestigious Film school.
See here -> USC Film school update #2.
- September already. Where did the summer go? I hope everyone enjoyed the Labor day
Posted a Rad Tips page. These are ideas I've thought up myself, things that can make your life a little easier. This will be an on-going project. I have many such tips. I plan to post one new tip each week. The first one, which outlines my strategy for managing downloads, is posted here -> Managing Downloads.
I recently ran across a little program called Atomica. It's a dictionary on steroids, married to a search engine. They bill themselves as The leading provider of Answer Delivery solutions.
Atomica installs a small toolbar in the lower-right corner of your desktop. I usually don't like any program installing anything on my desktop, but I actually find this toolbar helpful. If you rarely use a dictionary or thesaurus, you may not.
You can also ALT-click on any word, and Atomica will automatically bring up its definition. Very cool feature. For pure searches, I prefer Google, but for dictionary and thesaurus purposes I prefer Atomica to either dictionary.com or Miriam-Webster.
Atomica is free for personal use. I've been using it for about a week now and find it worthwhile. The Atomica theme naturally goes well with the Radified theme. Their About/FAQ page is here. Download -> here. If you know of something better, let me know.
Linkage to -> News for August, 2001
Linkage to -> News for October, 2001