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A rocket-powered sled that can reach speeds of approximately 10,300 km/h has broken the world land speed record.
The un-piloted monorail sled reached Mach 8.6 - about nine times the speed of sound - beating the previous record of Mach 8 (9,852 km/h) set in 1982.
Both records were broken at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Travelling down a 5 km straightway, the vehicle reached its target in around 6 seconds. Because of the sheer speed of the sled, observers heard only silence until a split second before it reached the end of the track.
"Psychologically, you think it's over", says Lt Col. Russ Kurtz, Director of Operations. "But then comes the sonic boom. I know it's coming. But I always jump a little".
"There were a lot of high-fives, hugs, handshakes all around," said Lt. Col. James Jolliffe, Commander of the 846th Test Squadron. "My hat's off to all the people that made it happen."
06/16/03: Musicians Labeled 'TRAITOR'
lifted from www.dotmusic.com/news/May2003/news29452.asp -
A number of stars including Madonna, Eddie Vedder, Dixie Chicks and Fred Durst have been singled out as "traitors" by right-wing website probush.com.
The site follows in the wake of widespread U.S. media coverage of a commercially available deck of cards depicting figures that have been outspoken in their criticism of the current American administration, called 'Deck of Weasels'.
The site also names Sheryl Crow, Barbara Streisand, Rage Against The Machine's Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello, Mos Def, Ani Di Franco, Michael Franti and a host of other musicians, writers and public figures.
Both the probush website and the 'Deck of Weasels' use the legal disclaimer that they are satirical, though the website reads: "Parody. Not to be taken seriously. These "traitors" are not legal "traitors" of the United States. Though we wish they were."
Speaking to daveyd.com, Iriscience of the hip hop act Dilated Peoples and one of the artists named by the site said: "Things like this are ridiculous and irresponsible especially in today's political and social climate where a handful of powerful people are trying to squash dissent.
"Most of the people on this list had an anti-war stance not an anti-American stance. It's ridiculous to equate anti-war sentiments with being Anti-American.
"What's ironic is the fact that I'm out here trying to promote peace and end violence so you would think I and others would have a bigger platform to speak out. Unfortunately, we have people trying to silence and ridicule us for promoting peace."
06/04/03: Beer ice cream goes on sale
from the BBC
The distinctive taste of Newcastle Brown Ale has become the latest ice cream flavour from a family-run Northumberland dairy
Newcastle Brown Ale flavoured ice cream was launched on Tuesday by Doddington Dairies, and will only be available during the summer months.
The makers say the handmade ice cream reflects the region's identity, and was even handed out to the European Capital of Culture 2008 judges on their last visit.
Newcastle Brown Ale has already been used as an ingredient in locally produced products, such as bread.
Although the ice cream is made using the ale, under licence from brewers Scottish and Newcastle, the cooking process means it contains less than 1% alcohol.
Jackie Maxwell, director of Doddington Dairy said: "We were looking for an ice cream flavour that was distinctive, and had a strong identity with the region.
"Newcastle Brown Ale has all of that.
"It has been a fantastic challenge working on a product like this, with one of the world's most famous brands.
"Every part of the process has been great for us - from the design of the cartons, through to testing the ale syrup for just the right flavour.
"The ice cream highlights Newcastle Brown's unique flavour characteristics."
Mrs Maxwell said the product had a caramel flavour with a "subtle" taste of Newcastle Brown and said it had gone down well with the Capital of Culture judges.
She added: "I think they liked it, they thought it was great. We got some feedback from the organisers and they said they had tasted it and enjoyed it."
Sharon Annette, of Scottish Courage, who brew Newcastle Brown Ale, said: "Doddington Dairy are an award winning North Eastern company, Newcastle Brown is an award winning North Eastern beer. It's a perfect partnership."
The Newcastle Brown Ale ice cream goes on sale at supermarkets and speciality shops across Newcastle and Northumberland from next week.
Wesley Willis, Alternative Tentacle's Rock Star, had to undergo emergency surgery on June 2nd at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois to identify the source of, and to suppress internal bleeding.
On Sunday, June 1st, Wesley was at a physical therapy appointment when he started bleeding. He was rushed back to the hospital where doctors tried to determine the source of his bleeding. Despite exhaustive attempts to locate the source of his bleeding via non-intrusive methods, doctors decided that they had to operate. So, on Monday, June 2nd, at around 1pm CST, Wesley was in surgery for 6 1/2 hours. They were able to locate the source of the bleeding and suppress it. Tissue has been sent off for tests to see if his leukemia has spread to other regions.
Wesley Willis, who has released over 50 albums - 3 of which on Alternative Tentacles - was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) at the end of 2002. It is not clear if this bleeding was related to his leukemia. This form of leukemia is treatable. Wesley has been undergoing care for his leukemia, and his doctors are very hopeful that the treatment will be successful. Prior to this incident, he has responded well to treatments. But this will be an ongoing battle. Wesley is clearly not out of the woods yet.
For more information on this type of leukemia, you can visit http://leukemia-lymphoma.org and we will have updates of his condition on our website.
All touring plans for the rest of the year have been cancelled.
Wesley celebrated his 40th Birthday on Saturday, May 31st.
Well-wishers are encouraged to send Get Well cards to Wesley care of the following address :
06/03/03: Alternative Tentacles Release Schedule - NEW!
June 09, 2003 :
July 07, 2003 :
August 4th, 2003 :
September 8th, 2003 :
Recent Releases :Virus 299 VIC BONDI / ARTICLES OF FAITH Fortunate Son CD EP
Virus 298 WARD CHURCHILL Pacifism as Pathology CD
Virus 297 FLESHIES The Sicilian LP/CD
Virus 295 CHRISTIAN PARENTI Taking Liberties: Prisons, Policing and Surveillance in an Age of Crisis CD
Virus 296 JIM HIGHTOWERThe People Are Revolting (in the very best sense of that word) CD
Virus 294 JFA We Know You Suck CD
Virus 290 JELLO BIAFRA Machine Gun In The Clown's Hand - Spoken Word Album #7 3xLP/3xCD
Virus 292 HOWARD ZINN Artists In A Time Of War CD
Virus 293 NOAM CHOMSKY The "New War On Terrorism" CD
Virus 291 RATOS DE PORAO onisciente coletivo LP/CD
Virus 284 ALEXANDER COCKBURN Beating The Devil: The Incendiary Rants Of Alexander Cockburn CD
Virus 287 ARTICLES OF FAITH Complete, Vol. 1 LP/CD
Virus 288 ARTICLES OF FAITH Complete, Vol 2 LP/CD
Virus 286 The FLAMING STARS Sunset & Void CD
Virus 289 DARRYL CHERNEY and the CHERNOBLES Bush It! / Send George Bush a Pretzel CDS
05/21/03: Oakland Declares Judi Bari day!
The city of Oakland has gone from proclaiming Judi Bari to be a terrorist to honoring her with her own official city day. This remarkable turnaround was proclaimed yesterday, May 20, in the chambers of the Oakland City Council nearly a year after a jury award Bari's estate along with fellow activist Darryl Cherney $4.4 million for violations of their civil rights committed by Oakland Police and FBI agents thirteen years ago. Bari and Cherney were falsely accused of car-bombing themselves while on a musical organizing tour for Redwood Summer 1990. The First Annual Judi Bari Day of Oakland will take place this Sat., May 24 at 11:30 am and consist of a quiet anniversary gathering at the site of the bombing at Park Blvd. nd MacArthur in Oakland, in front of Oakland High School. The public and media are inviated to attend. The resolution follows below this release.
Activist Darryl Cherney, who was riding with Judi Bari the day a car bomb almost killed her noted that in these days of the war on terror, "The government can not be trusted to decide who is a terrorist and who is not in many cases." Cherney said, "There is a political agenda that the federal government follows in declaring peaceful activists to be terrorists while anti-abortion groups and the Ku Klux Klan remain unscathed. Thankfully, the City of Oakland has righted a wrong. They should do this more often, like in the case of the activists who were shot by police at the port of Oakland during a peaceful anti-war rally. It's OK to admit you're wrong and make amends."
Cherney presented the Oakland City Council with a statue of "Gaia," the ancient Greek Goddess representation of the living, breathing Mother Earth. He said that she would be watching over them as they make their decisions about school closures and police brutality. The statue is the work of Oberon Ravenheart of Mythic Images in Sonoma County.
websites to check out: To hear "Bush It" CD single by Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles (lyrics included): http://indybay.org/news/2002/03/117811.php On the bombing and attempted frame up by FBI of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney: http://www.judibari.org $50,000 Reward for info leading to incarceration of Charles Hurwitz: http://www.jailhurwitz.com/ Darryl Cherney's music homepage: http://www.darrylcherney.com/
05/16/03: U.S. Army video game to train soldiers
By Reed Stevenson
For the past year, the Army has been handing out free games as part of its recruiting efforts, but in the coming months it will also turn to a video game to train squad leaders in real-life combat tactics.
"If you enrol in the army of the future, you'll get your helmet, your gun and one of these discs," said Wil Stahl, a game designer at Pandemic Studios who led the three-year project to develop the game based on the Army's requirements.
"You have an Xbox -- they assume -- at home," he said.
The combat simulator, which Santa Monica, California-based Pandemic showed off for reporters at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week, puts players at the head of two light-infantry teams locked in a running firefight in a vaguely Middle Eastern city.
The "bad guys" pop out from behind walls and pull up in pickup trucks with automatic-weapons mounted on the beds. When shot, they fall with a burst of blood from the head.
In developing the game, which is now being spun off as a mass-market release titled "Full Spectrum Warrior, Pandemic said it was careful to fictionalise details of the game's setting and to make sure that the U.S. soldiers acted with discipline and professionalism.
As for the digital battleground, the look shifted from Bosnia-like terrain to a more Arab-looking street during the course of development, he said.
"We can't ignore the fact that we are in Afghanistan. We are in Iraq," said Stahl.
The commercial version of "Full Spectrum Warrior" will be published by Calabasas, California-based THQ in early 2004 for Microsoft's Xbox game console.
The project is not without its critics, especially among experts who question the relationship between video games and violence among children.
"It seems to me that they're using the Army's involvement to legitimise the violence," said Joanne Cantor, a professor who researches issues concerning violent games at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Separately, the U.S. Army said that more than 1.1 million people have gone through "basic training" in its "America's Army" personal computer game, which debuted at the Expo in Los Angeles last year.
05/07/03: Hearing on Media Consolidation With FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
Monday, May 12th, 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Shield Room, Caleruega Hall, Dominican University of California, San Rafael.
Congresswoman Woolsey and Commissioner Copps invite you to a discussion on proposed new FCC rules which would lift limits on media ownership and enable large conglomerates to own multiple broadcast outlets and newspapers in local markets. This important issue will affect how all of us receive news, information and entertainment.
Panelists: Orville Schell, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, U.C. Berkeley; Peter Phillips, Ph.D., Project Censored, Sonoma State University; Kim Spencer, President, Worldlink TV; Roger Grossman, Publisher, Marin Independent Journal; John Burgess, General Manager, KFTY Channel 50. Public testimony will follow the panel.
Parking is available at Conlon Recreation Center on Grand Avenue with signs to the Caleruega Hall on Magnolia. For a campus map and directions, go to http://www.dominican.edu.
05/06/03: Lydia Lunch Launches Literary e-zine, WIDOWSPEAK
Lydia Lunch has launched a new literary e-zine, WIDOWSPEAK. (http://www.widowspeak.org) Updated monthly, WIDOWSPEAK.ORG strives to serve as an outpost for writers who war with words, not only as a method to ensure survival, but because they truly understand that although we all stand alone, we are united in our strengths. The strength to not merely overcome adversity, addiction, trauma, and abuse, but to truly rebel against their life killing constraints.
Featured writers include Ms. Lunch, Erika Wear, Rachel Resnick, John Evans, Mike Ryan, Stephen Elliott and Chris Campion. In addition, they welcome submissions for inclusion on WIDOWSPEAK, if you would like to submit writing for consideration, please send your pieces to email@example.com .
05/06/03: Major Labels To Mess With Your Computers?
May 5, 2003, 4:48 AM PT
Some of the world's largest record labels are quietly financing the creation of programs by small software firms that, if deployed, would sabotage the computers and Internet connections of people who download pirated music, according to a published report.
Citing industry executives, The New York Times reported in an article that appeared on its Web site on Saturday, that the efforts bear varying degrees of legality including attacking a computer's Internet connection to slow or halt downloads and overwhelming distribution networks with programs that masquerade as music files.
"There are a lot of things you can do--some quite nasty," the Times quoted Marc Morgenstern, chief executive of software company Overpeer, as saying. The company receives support from several large media companies, it said.
If large record labels roll out the programs, it would be the most aggressive tactic yet in the music piracy wars by the recording industry, which has claimed that music piracy costs it more than $4 billion in annual sales worldwide.
Last month a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that file-sharing services Grokster and Morpheus were not guilty of copyright infringement.
The Times said approaches under development range from relatively modest in degree to quite severe.
One method is a "Trojan horse" program that simply redirects users to Web sites where they can legitimately buy the songs they had tried to download.
Another locks up a computer for a certain amount of time, minutes or hours, risking the loss of data that was not saved if the user restarts the computer, the paper reported.
The industry's big five labels--Vivendi's Universal Music Group, AOL Time Warner's Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann's BMG and EMI Group--have all backed the development of counterpiracy programs, according the industry executives, but none would discuss details publicly, the paper reported.
05/01/03: Wanted: 2 new Mac's for Trade
Cash-strapped Alternative Tentacles needs 2 new Apple computers. We would happily swap AT CDs, LPs, merchandise and books (or partial with $) for 2 new computers.
We would like a flat-panel iMac or a G4 iMac or an eMac or iBook. All need to be less than 16 months old and of course in excellent shape.
If you are interested or have more questions or have some suggestions, please get in touch at the following email address.Thanks!
04/17/03: Missing Arms Cast Doubt on War
by Scott Ritter (former weapons inspector!!!)
The remarkable images of the fall of Baghdad, while not signaling the end of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," do bring to an end a critical phase of the military operation - that in which coalition forces wore special protective equipment in anticipation of the use by Iraq of chemical and/or biological weapons.
The orders to strip down to regular battle dress reflect not only the advance stage of the campaign to liberate Iraq, but also the recognition by coalition commanders that the threat from Iraqi chemical and biological weapons has been all but eliminated.
The fact that these protective suits were not needed by coalition forces is a cause for celebration. But the total lack of chemical weapons on the battlefield, combined with the inability of the coalition, to date, to uncover any of the massive stockpiles of prohibited weapons or weapons-manufacturing capability, raises disturbing questions about what was supposed to be the main justification for the American-led military action: disarming a recalcitrant dictator.
While the days to come may bring with them the uncovering of weapons of mass destruction and/or associated production facilities, the inescapable fact is the allegations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction used by the Bush administration to sustain the legitimacy of its Iraq intervention remain, as of this point, unsustained.
This uncomfortable fact must be addressed. It is not that anyone should shed tears for the demise of Saddam Hussein.The world will be a better place without him and his regime. But the world should be concerned about the damage the American military incursion did to the credibility and viability of the United Nations, especially given the dangerous world we all live in today.
Now, more than ever, the world needs a sound strategy for non-proliferation and disarmament. The United Nations had been, until recently, the accepted forum for dealing with such issues.
See rest of article here :
04/16/03: (hoax) WORKER DEAD AT DESK FOR 5 DAYS
(of course we put this story up on our site and then found it wasn't true. Good story nonetheless in this day and age.)
WORKER DEAD AT DESK FOR 5 DAYS (New York Times)
George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proof-reader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend.
His boss Elliot Wachiaski said: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself."
A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. Ironically, George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died.
You may want to give your co-workers a nudge occasionally.
Moral of the story: Don't work too hard. Nobody notices anyway.
04/16/03: Why The Anti-War Movement Was Right
Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 by Arianna Huffington
Why The Anti-War Movement Was Right
by Arianna Huffington
The Bible tells us that pride goeth before the fall. In Iraq, it cameth right after it. From the moment that statue of Saddam hit the ground, the mood around the Rumsfeld campfire has been all high-fives, I-told-you-sos, and endless smug prattling about how the speedy fall of Baghdad is proof positive that those who opposed the invasion of Iraq were dead wrong.
What utter nonsense. In fact, the speedy fall of Baghdad proves the anti-war movement was dead right.
The whole pretext for our unilateral charge into Iraq was that the American people were in imminent danger from Saddam and his mighty war machine. The threat was so clear and present that we couldn't even give inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction -- hey, remember those? -- another 30 days, as France had wanted.
Well, it turns out that, far from being on the verge of destroying Western civilization, Saddam and his 21st century Gestapo couldn't even muster a half-hearted defense of their own capital. The hawks' cakewalk disproves their own dire warnings. They can't have it both ways. The invasion has proved wildly successful in one other regard: It has unified most of the world -- especially the Arab world -- against us.
Back in 1991, more than half-a-dozen Arab nations were part of our Desert Storm coalition. Operation Iraqi Freedom's "coalition of the willing" had zero. Not even the polygamous potentates of Kuwait -- whose butts we saved last time out and who were most threatened by whatever threat Iraq still presented -- would join us. And, I'm sorry, but substituting Bulgaria and the island of Tonga for Egypt and Oman is just not going to cut it when it comes to winning hearts and minds on the Arab street.
In fact, almost everything about the invasion -- from the go-it-alone build-up to the mayhem the fall of Saddam has unleashed -- has played right into the hands of those intent on demonizing our country. Islamic extremists must be having a field day signing up recruits for the holy war they're preparing to wage against us. Instead of Uncle Sam wants you, their recruiting posters feature a different kind of patriotic image: an American soldier ill-advisedly draping the American flag over Saddam's face.
The anti-war movement did not oppose the war out of fear that America was going to lose. It was the Bush administration's pathological and frantic obsession with an immediate, damn-the-consequences invasion that fueled the protests.
And please don't point to jubilant Iraqis dancing in the streets to validate the case for "pre-emptive liberation." You'd be doing the Baghdad Bugaloo too if the murderous tyrant who'd been eating off golden plates while your family starved finally got what was coming to him. It in no way proves that running roughshod over international law and pouring Iraqi oil -- now brought to you by the good folks at Halliburton -- onto the flames of anti-American hatred was a good idea. It wasn't before the war, and it still isn't now. The unintended consequences have barely begun to unfold.
And the idea that our slamdunk of Saddam actually proves the White House was right is particularly dangerous because it encourages the Wolfowitzes and the Perles and the Cheneys to argue that we should be invading Syria or Iran or North Korea or Cuba as soon as we catch our breath. They've tasted blood.
It's important to remember that the Arab world has seen a very different war than we have. They are seeing babies with limbs blown off, children wailing beside their dead mothers, Arab journalists killed by American tanks and bombers, holy men hacked to death and dragged through the streets. They are seeing American forces leaving behind a wake of destruction, looting, hunger, humiliation, and chaos.See the whole story at :
04/04/03: Soldiers To Pray For Bush
They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.
Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.
"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.
The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.
Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding". Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".