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Friday,  08/05/05  09:38 PM

What's happening?  Well, let's see, shall we...

Eric Raymond is blogging again, which is a good thing.  Check out Kurds in the Coal mine for an example of his insight.  "How will we know if the attempt to reconstruct Iraq is failing?  I was pondering this question the other day, and I realized that there is an excellent test for the state of Iraq.  When the Kurds start muttering about secession, then is the time to worry that matters are spinning out of control."  A litmus test is always helpful... 

This is pretty cool; artist Banksy has painted "holes" on the Israeli barrier wall protecting themselves from suicide bombers.  I'm sure it was intended as a political statement as well as an artistic one, but viewed purely as art they're awesome.  [ via Ann Althouse ]  (P.S. I'm not sure why anyone would object to this wall, but it seems "controversial"...) 

Omri Ceren notes some Stark Contrasts: "When a Jewish terrorist kills Arabs, Jews condemn him for it.  When an Arab terrorist kills Jews, Arabs celebrate.  When an Arab mob savagely lynches a Jew for killing Arabs, the world yawns.  When highly trained and disciplined Israeli operatives target a Palestinian terrorist who is literally in the act of terrorism, it’s highly 'controversial'."  Indeed.  [ via Charles Johnson

BTW, so far I haven't posted anything about John Bolton, but if you know me at all you know that 1) I like him, a lot, and 2) I totally support President Bush's recess appointment.  The Economist has a good survey of the situation.  "The man George Bush appointed this week to represent America at the UN isn’t boring, and he certainly isn’t bewildering.  What he thinks is never hard to guess, because he uses the bluntest, most vivid language available."  I look forward to some interesting fireworks at the U.N... 

Howtoons!  "Howtoons are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids 'How To' build things."  Excellent!  [ via Doc Searles

Do you drink bottled water?  Yes, I thought you did.  But did you know it is often worse than your local tap water?  No, I didn't think so.  Check out Tom Standage in the NYTimes: Bad to the Last Drop.  "Ounce for ounce, it costs more than gasoline, even at today's high gasoline prices; depending on the brand, it costs 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water.  Globally, bottled water is now a $46 billion industry.  Why has it become so popular?"  Beats me.  We drink bottled water, too - Shirley claims she can tell the difference - but I often wonder why...  [ via Jason Kottke

In this corner it's Chris "Long Tail" Anderson, and in this corner, Mark Cuban...  The battle over the future of broadcast television.  My take: What future? 

Check out Orb, "a free software-based place-shifting service that lets you access your media from anywhere over the internet.  Orb runs on computers with Windows XP or XP Media Center and provides streaming access to the audio and video on the computer.  It also can stream live TV if you have a tuner attached to your computer, and it provides TV listings and scheduled recordings."  This is the future of broadcast television :)  [ via George Hotelling ]

Finally; I have a confession to make: I am a faucet nerd.  Just check out these awesome fixtures from Marco Mammoliti.  Really a wonderful example of design, with a lower case "d".  [ via Gizmodo