News & Politics

NetNomad 16

This week from the NetNomad: Elian Flash Animation ... Irish Curse Engine ... Wiccan, Witch, Pagan Search Engine ... and more.
Elian Flash Animation(www.geocities.com/elian_true)

It began as a simple prank when two Playboy.com employees created a very funny Flash animated "Wazzup!" spoof using photos taken at The Elian Gonzales Incident. Word of the site spread like wildfire as bored employees everywhere caught wind of the animation, and within hours hundreds of thousands of people had viewed the site. When someone at Associated Press caught wind of the story (a bored employee, perhaps?) they forced the site to close on the grounds of copyright infringement. But by then it was too late. The animation had been replicated on dozens of sites and now, thanks in large part to AP, the story of the story has become the main story. Or something like that. At any rate, the original creator's site is back up and it now includes full details on the story as well as various links to the animation.

Irish Curse Engine(hermes.lincolnu.edu/~focal/scripts/mallacht.htm)

If you believe -- as many people do -- that learning how to speak another language requires little more than knowing how to curse in that language, you might enjoy using An tInneal Mallachtai (The Curse Engine) to learn a few choice curse phrases in Irish. You can not only create your own special insult (using a handy drop-down menu) but it will even tell you how to pronounce it. We chose: May a pitiless bureaucrat satirize your manly part. Okay, so it's not likely to stop anyone dead in their tracks, but what the hell... heck. The phrase in Irish translates into: Go n-aora maorlathai mithrocaireach do bhall fearga. The phonetic translation is: guh NEE-ruh MWEER-lah-hee MEE-hro-kwih-ruhkh duh WAHL FA-ruh-guh. So there.

Wiccan, Witch, Pagan Search Engine(www.ariadnespider.com/)

Yes, it is what you think it is: a search engine for the "pagan" niche market. In other words, witches and the like. Seems that just about everyone needs there own search engine these days, so why not the pagans. Once a closed society, the Wiccan community seems poised to enter the mainstream with this interesting introduction to the Internet. Visitors to the site, whether pagan or not, can search by topic or browse the database by subject, including Art, Music, Buddhism, Druid, Witchcraft and Taoism. The site also includes a link for free Web pages (called Pagan Villages) and free email account (satan@witchcraft.i-p.com).

Vietnam War Declassification Project
(www.ford.utexas.edu/library/exhibits/vietnam/vietnam.htm)

It was 25 years ago that the so-called Secret/Sensitive "Ominous Developments in Vietnam" memo was sent to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Over the next few months "edgy" cables were exchanged between Washington and its embassies in Cambodia and South Vietnam. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon, the staff at the Gerald R. Ford Library sorted through 40,000 pages of National Security Adviser files with an eye on declassification. Many of those files were posted online on April 10, 2000. Titles include "President Nixon's Pentagon meeting on returning prisoners of war," "Kissinger cables to Saigon the President's evacuation decision" and "Ambassador Dean's cable on a Cambodian settlement."

Yo La Tengo (www.matador.recs.com/bands/ylt/)

Trying to explain the music of Yo La Tengo to a newcomer is much like trying to start a fire with wet matches. Can't be done. Their music is neither here nor there, rock or jazz, new or old. Sprung full-blown from Hoboken NJ, Yo La Tengo (which is Spanish for "I've got it") have released a half dozen classics that have earned them a loyal and faithful following. They may never hit the "big time" in record sales, but you have the distinct impression that they don't care very much about such things. You'll find a complete discography here, along with "What's Your Worst Memory of Playing with Yo La Tengo?" and a 50-minute RealAudio show that was recorded at the Cat's Cradle in 1997. This is a great place to start an exploration of the band and their music.