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February 09, 2004

NationStates An online nation simulation game. You create your own country, fashioned after your own political ideals, and care for its people. Either that or you deliberately torture them. It's really up to you. Created by the author of Jennifer Government, Max Barry. more inside
Kevin Drum May Have Broke the AWOL Story George W. Bush got 4 credit points (which are earned for retirement) for serving time on October 29, 1972. He received this on an ARF statement of points earned. What is an ARF statement? I let Drum answer that. The answer, as you can see from the top line, is that it is an ARF document, as is this record from 1973-74. So what is ARF? I asked Bob Rogers, a retired Air National Guard pilot who's been following this for some time, and what follows is his interpretation of what happened. ARF is the reserves, and among other things it's where members of the guard are sent for disciplinary reasons. As we all know, Bush failed to show up for his annual physical in July 1972, he was suspended in August, and the suspension was recorded on September 29. He was apparently transferred to ARF at that time and began accumulating ARF points in October. more inside
A survivor speaks. On July 20, 1944, a group of German army officers tried to change the world. Planting a bomb to kill Hitler, the had troops prepared to sieze key parts of Germany's governing apparatus and end the war in Europe; this highest profile of the attempts to kill Hitler was also famous for the thoroughness of the killing of those related to the plot, but one man survived.
Go on, be a punk! Okay, I have a new time waster, this little bit o' Flash silliness allows you to crank out a punk ditty of your own creation. Plus, as an added bonus, you get weird cut scenes with blue penguins. Perhaps I'm just having a slow day... WARNING: EXPLICIT LYRICS! NOT WORKSAFE WITHOUT HEADPHONES!
No longer do you need to have that awkward breakup talk. If you've had enough of your significant other, send them a DumpMonkey!
Will Hung is 2004's Bubb Rubb
I've watched American Idol once and found it repulsive (not in a "i don't own a tv" way, in a "I loathe 'reality' programming" way) but Will Hung has rapidly become my new hero. Geeky Civil Engineer student by day, international mega-celebrity by night. The petition to put him back on the show has almost garnered 23,000 signatures. He bangs.
50 Coolest Apes Ever! The latest in Year of the Monkey zippity-doo! (via Retrocrush via Fark, don't hate me because I'm a fan of the Boobies tag) You'd think that #48: Chim-Chim would have beaten out #39: Bear from BJ and the Bear, but perhaps this is more, in the Lettermanian tradition, exhibition than competition. Nevertheless? Enlightening and uplifting.
The Catholic Encyclopedia Written in 1908 and hardly enlightened by today's standards, I still find this an interest resource to have around, whenever looking for the party line on issues like Angels, Demons, Transubstantiation, the Holy Sepulcre, and Masons. Also hosted (and not for the faint of heart) is the complete Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Dabbles in Sand. (direct Link to Windows Media video)
George W. Bush: The Plato of the White House William Saletan of the Slate compares President Bush to Greek philosopher Plato. Plato believed that what's real isn't the things you can touch and see: your computer, your desk, those empty barrels in Iraq that Bush thought were full of chemical weapons. What's real is the whole idea of these things. The idea of a computer. The idea of a desk. The idea of a grave threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Whether you have a computer or a desk, or whether Saddam had chemical weapons, doesn't really matter. What matters is the larger truth. The abstraction is the reality.
The Eyes Have It: photographer John Goto's digitized galleries kept me happily occupied for hours. There is fascination after fascination here, from the pastoral landscapes portrayed in 'High Summer' to the urban setting of 'Gilt City'.
Spot The Fake Smiles. Can you tell who is trying to play you? (blatantly stolen from MeFi, with a smile, of course...)
World of Illusion: Community Bridge, is not what it seems to be, but the creation of muralist William M. Cochran, who transformed a plain concrete bridge into an elaborate trompe l'oeil structure.