Posts from November 2002

Guerilla privacy: Folks who hate

Guerilla privacy
: Folks who hate being spied upon by traffic cameras in England have taken revenge; see the photo evidence here. [via Buzz]

And in Canada, we call

And in Canada, we call that a Personorah
: Canada starts to sound like Berkeley, decreeing that “Christmas Tree” is politically incorrect [via Kitchen Cabinet]:

Christmas is becoming an endangered word in parts of Canada in a rash of politically correct behavior — such as renaming a Christmas tree a “holiday tree” — that even non-Christians dismiss as silly.

Toronto city officials began the flap last week when they called the 50-foot tree set up outside City Hall a “holiday tree.”…

Toronto is not alone in its efforts to stress a holiday spirit rather than talking about Christmas.

The Royal Canadian Mint has a commercial in which it changes the old holiday standard “Twelve Days of Christmas” to “Twelve Days of Giving.”

And so as to be inclusive of all genders and transgenders, we’re going to change the name of the Canadian holiday to Victor/Victoria Day.

Sex, sex, sex: Durex surveys

Sex, sex, sex
: Durex surveys the world re sex. Results:

: The French say they have sex more often than anybody. Quel surprise! That’s 167 times a year for the f’ing frogs vs. 138 for average Americans vs. 110 for the Singaporians, at the bottom of the list.

: Norwegians are the most likely to have sex on the first date (32%). To keep warm, I’m sure.

: Norwegians also win when it comes to one-night stands: 72% vs. 70% for South Africans vs. only 20% for Taiwanites (or whatever you call them).

: Stick to Norway; stay away from Sweden. Swedes have more unprotected sex: 61% admit to it (v. 35% of Americans and only 22% of the f’ing frogs).

Old media lives: Matt Welch

Old media lives
: Matt Welch predicts that L.A. will have two new papers before you know it (a post inspired by news that the Metro giveaway papers are profitable).

Human entropy: I’m not a

Human entropy
: I’m not a conspiracy theorist because I believe that people are rarely so well organized that they can conspire effectively.

I am also not a privacy paranoid because I don’t believe that data bases are so well constructed that they can aid conspirators against us.

Today’s hilarious Wall Street Journal story about TiVo and Amazon profiling gone haywire — mirroring experience we all have had (I don’t want to tell you what Amazon thought about my life) — is proof of the latter point:

Mr. Iwanyk, 32 years old, first suspected that his TiVo thought he was gay, since it inexplicably kept recording programs with gay themes. A film studio executive in Los Angeles and the self-described “straightest guy on earth,” he tried to tame TiVo’s gay fixation by recording war movies and other “guy stuff.”

“The problem was, I overcompensated,” he says. “It started giving me documentaries on Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Eichmann. It stopped thinking I was gay and decided I was a crazy guy reminiscing about the Third Reich.”

Take comfort in the knowledge that organizations and technology are still F’ed up.

Soprano’s aria: The fans are

Soprano’s aria
: The fans are fighting mad again. They loved last week’s episode: lots of death. They hated last night’s episode: lots of angst. From my Soprano’s forum:

This show is a disaster. It’s all about relationships, therapy and crying. Even Furio cries now. Put it on Lifetime !!!!!!!!!!

If I wrote the show, it would be called “Furio kills people” Each week Furio kills someone in new and interesting ways.

Would Jesus give a damn?:

Would Jesus give a damn?
: Tim Blair has the Jesus driving test.

Pizza is a guy thing.

Pizza is a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand.
: And boy, is Lileks’ wife in trouble.

: Pizza is also the perfect media topic. When in doubt, talk pizza. Long ago, when I used to appear on Ronn (two N’s) Owens’ show on KGO radio in San Francisco, I learned the pizza trick. If the lights on the phones were as dark as the Baghdad skyline in an air raid (translation: we were boring the audience), all I had to do was say, “Y’know, Ronn, you just can’t get a decent pizza in this town.” Suddenly the night lit up. Pizza is media.