Chris Jefferies

Occasional ongoing jive…

Monthly Archives: March 2004

Kaleidoscope House

Saw this at the SF Museum of Modern Art today:

Kaleidoscope (Doll) House

This is not your ordinary doll house! This spectacular modern update of a classic toy is designed by internationally recognized artist Laurie Simmons and architect Peter Wheelwright. With sliding interchangeable color walls and an accessory line of modern furniture, artwork, and figures designed by today’s most well-respected designers, this 1:12 scale home can become your own work of art. Comes with kitchen set. Other accessory sets sold separately.


The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction

Reference to Glenn Smith’s Book from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction
Glenn Smith
ISBN: 0-471-66763-3
208 pages
July 2004
US $24.95Add to Cart

Today a sea of information and disinformation divides Americans from one another and their leaders. It is not by force of arms that American democracy drifts toward a new kind of tyranny. It is by the growing ease with which Americans are manipulated by advertising and the media, estranged from personal political involvement, and held captive by manufactured fears and enforced deprivations.

A look at the language of contemporary political dialogue reveals the shallowness of our reasoning. An examination of the overwhelming power of paid political advertising to determine election outcomes, and its role in the political addiction to money, will shed even more light. The trivialization of debate by celebrity pundits who promote themselves over the substance of political issues further estranges citizens from the political decisions that affect their everyday lives.

All of these issues will be illustrated in The Politics of Deceit by example: some involving American political celebrities, some behind-the-scenes, some humorous, and some alarming.

Bush’s Brain: The Documentary

Glenn Smith is in this documentary about Karl Rove; the political wiz behind George Bush’s ascendancy to the office of President of the United States of America.

From SXSW Film Festival:

Bush's Brain

One of the main focuses of the 2004 South by Southwest Film Festival will be political films with a range of premieres and retrospectives. Appropriate to this Festival from deep in the heart of the state that gave this country our current President, SXSW Film continues this tradition with the world premiere of Bush’s Brain, about President Bush’s advisor and electoral stategist Karl Rove. The film is directed by Michael Paradies Shoob and Joseph Mealey.

Based on the acclaimed nonfiction book by Wayne Slater and James Moore, this documentary examines Rove’s long and controversial political career in which he helped bolster Texas Republicans and eventually guide George W. Bush to the presidency. Through insightful interviews with the pundits and people he has affected through the years, the audience begins to learn about “the most powerful political figure America has never heard of, the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain of today’s Presidential politics.” 


Spring Begins on March 20th…or Is It the 19th?

…from Sky & Telescope, March 15, 2004

Equinoxes and Solstices

The coming of spring in 2004 will pose a bit of a quandary for weather announcers and others in the news media. Does it happen on March 19th or 20th?

It depends on what time zone you’re in. In the eastern half of the US, the March equinox happens at 1:49 a.m. Eastern Standard Time or 12:49 a.m. Central Time on Saturday morning, March 20th. But in the western half of the country, spring begins at 11:49 p.m. Mountain Time or 10:49 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday evening, March 19th.

Why the confusion? Why does spring start at such an odd time? And what is the equinox anyway?

Read more (at Sky & Telescope)…


Donald Rumsfeld got caught blatantly contradicting his past statements

from an email I got from

Dear MoveOn member,

A year ago today, the Bush Administration was making its final push toward war in Iraq. We know now that much of what we were told about the threat that Iraq posed was untrue. And rather than own up to their distortion of the facts, Bush administration officials are denying they ever said such things.

But this Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got caught blatantly contradicting his past statements, and we have the video clip. You can check it out at:


Mother is Online…

Last night I helped mother get on the internet and browse Elena’s blog.  If she can get on the internet…  anything is possible.

Go Mom!

Century City – New TV Series is coming

“Legal drama set in Los Angeles around the firm of Constable, Crane and Montero in 2030 that will speculate on how the legal system will change by then.”

I think this show poses a very interesting approach to the socialization of the American “viewing audience“.  Imagine the enlightened future where gay marriages are common, women’s choice is honored, equal education is a right and the repression of religious fundamentalism is long past…  What moral legal issues will we have to deal with?

We’ll sit in our 2004 living rooms and see our present future possibility and realize that our current issues pale in the face of the loss of personal privacy and human genetic engineering fiascoes.

I hope the program lives up to it’s potential…

Tuesday, March 16, 9PM ET/PT
A young boy’s father wants the right to use the boy’s genetic embryo clone to develop a baby who could donate a portion of his liver to save him.  The firm also takes on the case of a boy band that is suing its lead singer for not adhering to his contract to keep up his physical appearance.

Additional episode airs Saturday, March 20, 10PM ET/PT.
The firm argues that a young man with a bionic eye, who is being barred from playing baseball, should not be considered enhanced, but rather, disabled.   Meanwhile, a couple must redefine their marital contract regarding the “family” they pledged they’d never have.

Update – 05.05.2004: Show was cancelled. Dolt!

One miracle a month – that’s all we ask

From the The New York Review of Books 

Has an interesting theory on the frequency with which we might expect to experience a miracle; on average, it would be about one a month.  Based on that, and based on the fact that I don’t remember any “miracles“, it appears I’ve missed over 600.  Wow, pay attention, Chris.

One in a Million By Freeman J. Dyson 

Debunked! ESP, Telekinesis, Other Pseudoscience by Georges Charpak and Henri Broch, translated from the French by Bart K. Holland

Johns Hopkins University Press, 176 pp., $25.00

Debunked! is short and highly readable. It tells good stories about human foolishness masquerading as science. It offers useful assistance to citizens trying to tell the difference between sense and nonsense. When it was published in France, the title was Devenez sorciers, devenez savants, which means literally, “Become magicians, become experts,” or more freely translated, “Learn to do magic and learn to see through it.” The English title misses the point. The book is saying that the best way to avoid being deceived by magic tricks is to learn to do the tricks yourself.

… Littlewood’s Law of Miracles states that in the course of any normal person’s life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month. The proof of the law is simple. During the time that we are awake and actively engaged in living our lives, roughly for eight hours each day, we see and hear things happening at a rate of about one per second. So the total number of events that happen to us is about thirty thousand per day, or about a million per month. With few exceptions, these events are not miracles because they are insignificant. The chance of a miracle is about one per million events. Therefore we should expect about one miracle to happen, on the average, every month. Broch tells stories of some amazing coincidences that happened to him and his friends, all of them easily explained as consequences of Littlewood’s Law.

Elvis Costello on the Craig Kilborn Late Late Show

Elvis Costello was on the Craig Kilborn Late Late Show on Tuesday evening (03.09.2004).  Craig Kilborn is a putz, but Elvis suffered the fool anyway.  He wasn’t scheduled to actually perform, but he brought a ukulele and sang a song “Scarlet Tide” which he co-wrote with T-Bone Burnett for a movie “Cold Mountain“.  I think his wife, Allison Krauss, sings it on the movie soundtrack.

Update: Derek has corrected me.  Elvis is married to Diane Krall who has a new CD due in April.  They have co-written a half dozen tunes on that project.  He also said that she has recorded “Almost Blue”.


Do you ever get emails that are full of junk because of the multple forwards that they have passed through?  Looks like this handy utility will do the job of cleaning up all that clutter.

Check it out at:


Fish Decisions


With all the hullabaloo about fish; mercury in fish, fish farming, I did some looking around on the internet and found a resource that looks good:

Environmental Defense


Texas Legislature Mapping

Sean McCullough has a TouchGraph page that shows the relationships between the Texas legislature and financial contributors at:
From his blog:
banksean – asymptotically approaching an understanding of it all