rr8 bent picture gallery
after i posted my picture gallery from rr8, EM asked me to photoshop them, to create something out of them. rather than make them into a collage i decided to "databend" some of the photos instead. i opened the jpgs in photoshop, saved them to an uncompressed format (most were PSD, a couple were TIF, & you can definitely tell the difference), opened the files in soundforge, edited them, & crossed my fingers that the edits wouldn't break the files (i have some experience tinkering with this, but i still have to "eyeball" edit & PSD files can be very fragile if you edit the header or layer information accidentally).
some files bent more easily (or more "beautifully") than others. i would keep editing until i found something i liked (often requiring many attempts, as a file would break or the image would become so corrupted i couldn't do anything more to it), or until it became apparent that image wasn't going to do anything interesting. a few times when the latter happened, i tried it with TIF, but i don't think bent TIFs are really as interesting... a couple of them really surprised me (i wish i knew ptbrr-6 & rr10 bent the way they did, i really wish i did).
anyway, here is the bent picture gallery
burn, baby, burn
connie mentioned this to me on the phone last night; i hadn't heard about it yet. since she's in california, maybe the news spread more quickly out there...
cbs has some very damning tapes of enron traders
revelling in the california energy crisis, swearing "like barnacle bill the sailor", & gloating about how they are profiting from reaming their customers in the ass. i mean, this is bad stuff:
When a forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports.
"Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing," a trader sang about the massive fire.
Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard – on audiotapes obtained by CBS News – gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.
hoo boy, that's a good lead. & just in case you forgot that bush had permanently camped out inside enron's pockets, there's stuff on the tapes about him too:
Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.
"It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy," says one Enron worker.
That didn't happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices.
"When this election comes Bush will f------g whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap b------t."
Crude, but true.
"We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps," said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.
be sure to read part 2 of the story
as well, and check out both the videos to get some soundbites. i would love to get my hands on an unbleeped, unedited copy of the tapes rather than making do with the soundbites in the cbs report, but this is pretty damning stuff: it basically proves that enron "fucks california" (& those aren't even my words!)
"He just f---s California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.
"If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?" an Enron worker is heard saying.
"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another says.
"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."
hmm... i'm not sure i'll ever get around to doing a proper writeup for rr8
. but at least i posted some pics from that weekend
after i went on my block quoting frenzy i kept on
tweaking out my css for another hour or so... once i'm in the zone i just want to keep on working & perfecting. so at around 1:30 i decided to hell with it... & i built a stylesheet for pirates of the internet
. it's the lamest & simplest of the styles on the site (since i didn't need to do much with it), but it's there, i think it looks okay, & i am going to bed now.
the hot news in south america is that venezuela is preparing to have a good old governator-style recall election!
the poor in venezuela love predident hugo chavez because he is progressive and actually gives a shit about the poor. the rich in venezuela hate him for the same reason. so they've taken a page from california gop's book & used it to collect some referendum signatures. on thursday, venezuela's national electoral council ruled that enough signatures had been collected for things to set in motion for a recall election.
the bush administration hates chavez too, but ironically, the gas price crisis caused by the iraq war might mean that a chavez recall could be bad for bush, according to this afp article
"If there is another disruption to Venezuelan oil exports, the US administration would this time use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve [SPR]," said Julian Lee, an analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London.
"They would have to do that in order to make sure that there wasn't a physical shortage of oil in the United States," he said referring to the SPR, an emergency US oil stockpile.
Venezuela exports 1.34 million barrels of oil a day to the US, some 13 percent of total US crude imports, according to a March estimate by Petroleum Supply Monthly.
Lee said past political instability in Venezuela has had a dramatic effect on oil prices, citing the oil workers' strike in 2002 and early last year that he said added US$6 to the price of a barrel.
"This would have serious consequences" if repeated, he stressed. Confirmation of the recall vote and subsequent events could be "very unsettling," said Fadel Gheit, a New York-based oil analyst with the Oppenheimer Fund.
If the recall vote results are contested by either side, "you are going to see demonstrations and probably another strike which could bring oil exports down and that could push prices higher," Gheit explained.
not that long ago it was hard to imagine that bush's downfall would come before it was too late... but everything has been catching up with him in the past couple months. they desperately try to spin vague economic factors like "less new people filing for unemployment" as evidence that the economy is improving but nobody is convinced, iraq looks worse every day, & enough scandals have hit that the press can no longer turn a blind eye. now even bush's enemies threaten to take him down with them...
anyway, as the miami herald mentions
, getting rid of chavez will not be easy.
The referendum will likely be a simple ballot on whether to end Chávez's presidency. Vote "Yes" to remove him, "No" to keep him. The opposition needs at least 3.7 million votes against Chávez to win the referendum, the amount he received when he was elected in 2000.
But nothing is so simple in Venezuela, a nation bitterly divided by Chávez's leftist populist rule. If Chávez were removed in a referendum before Aug. 19, a new election would be called to replace him within 30 days. It's still unclear if Chávez will be able to run as a candidate.
"It is not explicit in the constitution whether he can run again," said Pedro Nikken, a Venezuelan constitutional scholar who once sat on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. "That will have to be resolved by the Supreme Court, which is likely to say he can run again."
If Chávez does so and faces a splintered opposition, he could be swept right back into office. There are five opposition leaders who are considered front-runners to be candidates, a plethora of other names mentioned and little agreement. Some in the opposition say they may hold a straw poll or a primary to pick their leader.