Just like the movie

I caught some of the Westminster Dog Show on TV last night and it was just like the movie! Men in tuxes doing the commentary, ridiculous dogs being trotted around the ring, garish handlers and judges, etc. And yet, it was great. I watched the toy dog competition -- my God, I didn't even know dogs like that existed! It was like watching live ottomans run the floor. I want to watch the second day of competition tonight.

Faster! Better! Yippee!

There's a new book published by New Riders called Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization (accompanying website here) aimed at helping you "speed up your site from primarily a client-side perspective." My Dialup Revelations in France reinforced how critical page size and load time is for a good user experience. A review copy is on its way to me, once I've had a look-over, I'll post my thoughts. Based on the advanced praise (from Nielsen, Morville, and Rosenfeld), it looks promising.

The new 2

When it comes to having kids these days, 3 is the new 2.

A web home for James Kunstler

The good: James Howard Kunstler, the author of one of my favorite books Home From Nowhere, has a website.

The bad: He has a weblog type thing, but it was last updated May 10, 2002.

The ugly: The site's colors and layout is a mess. Like a city, a web page also needs planning: in terms of color, information architecture, and design. I think a site renovation is in order. [via Steven]

Another response to Clay

Shelley at Burningbird offers her response to Clay's essay on power laws and weblogs and Clay participates in the comment thread.

The true drink of love

If Champagne isn't your thing for Valentine's Day, why not try Madeira? "Madeira truly is the drink of love," writes Richard Ehrlich in the (UK) Independent.

We Must Drink Champagne. It Must Be Pink. This is the drink of love. Well, to hell with that. If I'm going to buy my true love something special for Valentine's Day, I want it to be something she'll remember. Which is why I'm proposing Madeira.

Props to viticulturally-inclined Nick for the tip. Perhaps I will revise my menu.

More on weblogs and power laws

Jason also has a piece on power laws and weblogs on his site and comments. Lots to think about here, reminds me again that I really should read Barabási's Linked: The New Science of Networks. It's even sitting in my pile of "to be read" books. And yet, all I want to read is Steingarten.

The only Michael Jackson

The only Michael Jackson related link and quote you will ever see on this site comes from Paul Ford's wonderful Selections from My Name is Blanket, © 2046 Blanket Jackson:

That day, as the robot surgeons transformed his flesh-and-blood body into the biomechanical Peter Pan construct he had so long coveted, with its promise of infinite power and eternal life, I hastily packed a bag and ran for the gate.

Ancient Greece was pro-choice

There's a book available in the UK which examines Abortion in the Ancient World by University of Floriday classics professor Konstantinos Kapparis. There's a UFL review here.

Worth thinking about

David Weinberger's reposted Questions for Conversations about Iraq, questions designed to start a real conversation about the Iraq issue. They also seem useful as an individual exercise to help you figure out why you feel and believe what you do.

Valentine's Day is coming

February 14th is right around the corner, and the restaurants (at least here in NYC) would have you believe that $75 is a perfectly reasonable price to pay for three-course meal if you really care about your special someone. But if you're really willing to throw-down that kind of cash on a meal, why not cook at home and do it up right? Let the web be your assistant as you plan the meal of your dreams.

Your fois gras questions can be answered here. Caviar tips and recipes are available here. Manhattan wine store Sherry-Lehmann can set you up with any number of exceptional wines (Champagne, amazing Bordeaux, etc.) and they'll deliver to most states. Buon Italia, in the Chelsea Market, currently has black winter truffles. At $35/oz. it's really a splurge, but they can overnight them to you wherever you are. I know Valentine's Day isn't supposed to be about economics, but you can eat much better food for the price if you stay home and make your own romantic dinner for two.

Power laws, weblogs, and inequality

Clay Shirky's got a new essay examining Shirky: Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality. I've only briefly skimmed it but it looks very interesting.

Sisters standing strong

Two Shoshone sisters in Nevada refuse to pay grazing fees for their horses and cattle on public land because they say the land was never ceded to the US government by the Shoshone.

[T]he Ruby Valley Treaty, reached by the government and the Western bands of the Shoshone Nation in 1863...granted white settlers access to Shoshone lands, but not title.

The federal Indian Claims Commission, however, decided in the 1970's that the Shoshones had lost the land through 'gradual encroachment' of the settlers. The commission awarded the Shoshones $26 million in compensation, and the Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that the tribe lost title when that money was deposited as payment, even though the Shoshones have never accepted it.

Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, introduced legislation last year that would distribute $20,000 to each member of the tribe, thus ending the matter as far as the government is concerned.

They have been fined $3 million "for willful trespass", had 232 head of cattle taken by armed federal agents and sold auction, and now ~800 horses have been rounded up by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The sisters say they will never pay.

Not another one

First Trent Lott pines for the days of segregation, now North Carolina's Republican congressman Howard Coble is saying he believes Roosevelt made the right decision to intern Japanese-Americans during WWII. Mr. Coble is chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and made his remarks on a radio call-in program. Tons of detail about Coblegate over at IsThatLegal?. Apparently Coble doesn't feel he's said anything that warrants an apology.

Big Bash

Tonight's the first Big Apple Blogger Bash of 2003. If you're a big appler and a blogger, tonight's your night to meet up. I've heard some strange tales about these events but I think I'll try to stop by nonetheless.

I top, you top, we all top for Hiptop!

Yippee! My Danger Hiptop (aka T-Mobile Sidekick) has finally arrived. As you can see, I've wasted no time (assuming stopping to take photos while walking to work is not wasting time) getting some photos posted from the handy-dandy camera that came with. It's snowing today in NYC and my neighborhood looks lovely blanketed in white fluff. Can you tell from the tiny pictures?

Cookies for your sweetie

Send cookies from the Lower East Side Girls Club for Valentine's Day! Your purchase "supports programs that teach inner-city girls ages 13-18 culinary arts and business skills." Unfortunately, delivery is limited to Manhattan. If you decide to order, please list "Nikia" as the salesperson when you place your order. I am now volunteering every week at the Girls' Club as a mentor and Nikia is my mentee. She will get $1 for every order of cookies I sell. Nikia and I both thank you for supporting the Lower East Side Girls' Club.

A lightbulb moment

Until a few moments ago, I didn't really get the recent outbreak of the link bar on the blog (e.g. Anil and Jason) but now I do. It allows one to link to crappy weblog articles without having to waste one's time responding to all the recycled dismissals and misobservations about blogging. [via Dave]

A dove's guide

Over the the (UK) Times A dove's guide: how to be an honest critic of the war by Matthew Parris makes some very good points about possible war with Iraq.

[T]o our doves' hearts' content, we may make sport with the arguments of Bush and Blair. But when the mockery dies away do we not have to ask ourselves one awkward little remaining question? What if the undeclared major premise is true? What if the weaponry is there, just as Washington and London believed all along?

[via Nick]

Not to be outdone by Daddy

A graph shows GW's record budget deficit

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