Paul Murray's weblog, with news you may have missed and my $0.02 worth on a number of topics.

"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it."
- Art Buchwald

I bet you don't have a friend who's an acupuncturist

E-mail me: pmurray [at]

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Friday, February 28, 2003
The Horror of Blimps. This is funny. (via Metafilter)

Thursday, February 27, 2003
Test. Have I finally solved the formatting issues that have been driving me nuts?

Wednesday, February 26, 2003
The party of appeasement. William Saletan provides some illuminating insight into foreign wars and their critics. Read the entire article.

MMM... D motors... It will be a shame if the post-Sept 11 rush to security kills off model rocketry. I had a ball making and flying model rockets when I was a kid. Someone gave me the wreckage of their Estes Saturn V (at 1:100 scale, it stood about 3.6 feet high!) and I rebuilt it; it lasted for two more flights, one perfect and one where I must have packed the insulation and chute too tight. It never looked this good, but I could imagine...

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
This law shouldn't apply to them, either. And who's trying to weaken Washington state's antispam law? Why, everyone's favorite monopolist -- at the very same time they brag about how one of their products stops spam.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Spoiler? A scientist has a new theory about the Mona Lisa's seemingly enigmatic smile.

Sunday, February 16, 2003
It's asking questions like this that won him the Pulitzer Prize. Dave Barry (yes, that Dave Barry) says:

What if, for the past year or so, terrorists, working in U.S. factories, have been putting lethal biochemical agents on... duct tape?

Resistance is futile. Google has purchased Pyra Labs, creator of the free Blogger and paid Blogger Pro services. I use Blogger Pro here. This will be reverberating for awhile on the net. (Metafilter thread) (Analysis/speculation by Cory Doctorow) (What's that "memex" thing he refers to? An information device proposed by Vannevar Bush in 1945.)

Saturday, February 15, 2003
Coming soon. I didn't realize Mad magazine could still produce funny things like this. (via TVBarn)

Thursday, February 13, 2003
I take out a lot of adjectives. Nice NYT article about Hal Holbrook's ongoing performance as Mark Twain, with more details and anecdotes. As I mentioned previously, I went to see this show last fall and enjoyed it immensely.
After Sept. 11, 2001, he began expanding a bit in which Twain dealt with religious fanaticism:

"Man is kind enough when he's not excited by religion," it begins, "but once the holy holies have got a grip on him he's capable of almost anything. When a disciple from the wildcat religious asylum comes marching forth, get under the bed. It doesn't matter whether he's a Christian, Hindu, Jew or Muslim. If he's made up his mind that you need reforming, he will do it with anything handy an ax, 800 years of witch burning or, if necessary, he'll blow you up.'

"Those last few words are mine," he admitted in an interview over lunch. "The references are oblique. By nature, the historical is oblique, but it's also kind of on the nose, isn't it?"

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
No time for the First Amendment. That's some kind of irony/hypocrisy/stupidity when a newspaper calls for antiwar protestors to be watched by the police for potential prosecution for treason. Fortunately there are people willing to explain how wrong said newspaper is, such as Spinsanity (and others listed at that site), and Slate.

But it's still scary that people talk like this ... and that it's a newspaper doing it. (via Boing Boing)

Saturday, February 01, 2003
Oh no. I slept in today, it being Saturday. When my alarm did go off, I turned on the all-news radio station, as I always do. I recognized the voices of CBS News correspondents talking about the space shuttle... apparently it was landing or something.

Then they said the space shuttle had apparently disintegrated over Texas on reentry. I said "Oh my God," and leapt for the tv. And NBC was airing footage of its pieces streaking across the sky. NASA was supposed to have a press conference, but it hasn't started yet.

Someone on Metafilter says that the Apollo 1, the Challenger and now Columbia disasters have all happened within the same week (during different years).

I don't know what else to add right now. How sad.