stAllio!'s way
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 
i'm on vacation starting tomorrow for about a week. during that time i will only have sporadic internet access; i'll be able to check email occasionally, but i definitely won't have time for bloggin'.

so that's that. see ya next week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 
the indianapolis smoking ban has passed:

Put it out: Starting March 1, 2006, smoking would be banned in workplaces, Laundromats, lobbies, restrooms and other public areas. Restaurants and bars are covered by the ban unless they prohibit customers younger than 18, in which case they are exempted.

Go ahead, light up: Excused from the ban: bowling alleys, private clubs, cigar bars, retail tobacco stores, designated hotel smoking rooms, and family-owned businesses in which all employees are related and the business is closed to the public.

the obvious argument about smoking bans is that they aren't--or shouldn't be--truly necessary. if the general public is really that upset about public smoking, then those people will (or logically should) naturally try to frequent places that are non-smoking. we have a few non-smoking bars, and it already seems like most of the best restaurants (the smaller, neighborhood-type ethnic restaurants, etc) are already non-smoking. that way the nonsmokers have places they can go to hang out and avoid smokers; the smokers have places they can go to smoke; everyone in theory should be happy. but of course, the nonsmoking lobby doesn't seem to want people to be allowed to smoke anywhere. that "i should be able to go anywhere i want and not deal with any smokers" attitude that a lot of them seem to have really bugs me.

but a ban in restaurants doesn't bother me too much. as i said, most of the best restaurants are already non-smoking, so i'm not sure how much i'd really notice the difference.

but banning smoking in bars doesn't make any sense to me. drinking makes you smoke! smoking and drinking go hand in hand; if you're a smoker, it's virtually impossible to drink any significant amount of alcohol without smoking. you just can't do it. so on that level at least, passing a smoking ban in bars makes about as much sense as passing a law barring drunken people from fucking each other. it's not like bars are otherwise clean and wholesome: everyone knows that they are essentially dirty, sinful places, so the argument that bar patrons require clean air rings false. (and laws that ban smoking outdoors strike me as ludicrous... if people can't smoke outside, where there is a naturally-occurring air current known as "wind" to keep smoke out of people's faces, then where the hell can people smoke?)

this law exempts normal bars that don't allow patrons under the age of 18. so "true" bars can keep on smokin', and restaurant bars etc go smoke-free. on one level it sounds like the perfect compromise: the smokers can still smoke in their bars, and the nonsmokers have hundreds of restaurant bars where they can indulge their alcholism in a smoke-free environment. but a lot of restaurant owners are pissed over this, convinced they will lose business (and i have yet to see any actual evidence that they won't... anecdotal tales about people standing outside bars in california are insufficient).

another complaint i've heard relates to underage musicians. frankly, there are very few all-age performance venues for musicians in indy. there are a few all-ages places, but generally, if you want to perform in front of an audience in indy, you probably need to play in a bar. currently, the bars can make exceptions for underage performers: they shouldn't hang out in the bar, but they can wait outside and come in when it's time to set up and play. under the new law, bars that permit smoking cannot allow people under 18 to enter at all, no exceptions. so effectively musicians under 18 years old will not be able to perform in bars that allow smoking.

this is definitely a valid criticism. having a set-in-stone no-under-18 rule does seem a little excessive, for that and other reasons. but let's be honest: this is really a problem with the music scene (and the city's support for the music scene), not with the smoking ban per se. if we had a bunch of decent all-ages venues available, it wouldn't really matter. the new law will tangibly hurt underage performers, but those performers still lack a place to play where kids their own age can attend. and honestly, now many musicians that young are really worth hearing?

how to deal
seemingly at the last minute, yesterday 14 senators announced that they had made a deal on the "nuclear option" in the senate. three appointments (including brown and owen, possibly two of the worst nominees) will go through to the floor of the senate for up-or-down vote. some other appointments will not go through. democrats agreed only to filibuster nominations "in extreme circumstances" and republicans have agreed, at least for the moment, not to set off the nuclear option.

some democrats/liberals/progressives are understandably upset about the compromise. but the right wing is going totally insane with rage! they would not have been satisfied with anything less than the nuclear option. their mantra that "every nominee deserves an up-or-down vote" was complete bullshit, an argument full of lies and demonstrably false statements. but they didn't want to settle for anything less... and now that the party has indeed settled for something less, they are pissed off!

this dailykos thread has all the pertinent info: a pdf of the deal, and links to right-wingers who are totally freaking out. and if you go to the dkos front page, you'll find other "deal" threads such as this, this, that, and t'other.

freedom of speech...just watch what you say
these days, it seems like you can judge how true bill maher's statements are by how many people demand that his show be taken off the year.

a couple years ago, shortly after 9/11, maher lost his cushy job on abc's politically incorrect (which abc had snatched away from comedy central) for making a comment that was too true for some people to handle. when someone made a comment that the 9/11 hijackers were "cowards", maher put them in their place by saying "We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

some americans (generally right-wingers) did not like bill pointing out that their war machine is bullshit, and the show was quickly canceled.

now, three years later, people are again calling for bill maher to be pulled off the air, so clearly he must've said something a little too "correct" for right-wingers to handle.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.

"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."

Army Reserve Pfc. England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."

so bill maher, who is a tv comedian made a smart, informed comment, pointing out that recruitment is in shambles and that our military needs qualified people, not the kinds of "bad apples" that have been responsible for torturing people in places like abu ghraib, afghanistan, guantanamo, or anyplace else we keep prisoners in the "war on terror" (because wherever we put 'em, we end up torturin' 'em). it's hard to argue with that.

and then rep. bachus, a congressman who's named after the roman god of getting drunk and acting stupid, takes a page from ann coulter's book (literally; he could practically be reading aloud from her book treason) and demands for maher to be pulled off the air. which is more than a little ironic, considering that maher and coulter are supposedly close friends.

i'm sure that if/when bill goes back to cheerleading for bush's "war on terra", the calls for his cancelation will subside.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 
the bollywood bends
it's the hot new sensation! everyone is bending the bollywood vanilla coke ad!

syntax provides us with these four new bends. some pretty cool effects here. sez syntax: "everything was done using cool edit pro 2, using random copying, pasting, and effecting of single frames (interpreted as 16-bit mono 44100 sample rate)."

update: these are the actual bent files. they look different on different systems, or when using different applications. syntax has posted some side-by-side comparisons here


mp3s ofs thes weeks
since i won't be around next sunday/monday to post an mp3, this week i'm giving you two mp3s! just pace them out and don't overdose!

this week's mp3s are "arcology" and "wrong of way", from perpetual emotion machine, two of the last tracks i ever composed with a tracker program. enjoy!

and now for something tangential
this has nothing really to do with the image-bending experiment, except that the same source material was used... but faithful reader/awia member rizzia has either bent or rebent the bollywood coke ad into this

i believe he used wordpad to bend it. not bad.

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