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A while ago I heard of this book that correlated vibrant healthy
cities to the gay population, bohemian population and other factors
that wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. A little bit ago I was
looking at a Bruce Sterling talk from SXSW and I ran across this blog
with a transcript of Richard
Florida on healthy cities
. I want to read his book The
Rise of the Creative Class
, but this talk is interesting
stuff on the same subject.

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Here’s a freaking depressing bit of news for a geek developer like
me Wrox
Press closes
. Wrox are some of the books I really like to
get. They are a little less hoity-toity than some other
publishers. These are roll-up-the-sleeves-and-build-something books,
ones that get you up to speed by shooting you out of a cannon. Man
would it be nice of some white knight bought them and kept them in
business. My breath is not held, though.

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Here’s a little news to be positive about

Classic BLOOM COUNTY Strip Now Online.
Starting today’s subscribers to the MY COMICS PAGE
website will be able to view Berkeley Breathed’s
BLOOM COUNTY and OUTLAND comic strips.
The site plans to post six daily strips one day,
followed by a Sunday strip next day, every day of
the week, until the entire 1980-1995 run is online.
MY COMICS also plan to eventually re-publish
the full run of Breathed’s 1978-1979 college
strip ACADEMIC WALTZ.

I found this information on the ZENtertainment mailing list.

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One of the most hope inducing stories I’ve seen lately is this one
about New
Mexico voting to uphold the Constitution over the wishes of the
Feds.

The bill instructs state cops to refuse to cooperate in
unconstitutional searches and wiretaps, to abstain from assisting the
INS and to ignore TIPS snitches. Likewise, librarians are required to
post signs warning patrons that the FBI could be snooping on their
reading habits, and the state official in charge of homeland security
is required to get twice-annual disclosure from the Feds about the
names and dispositions of every victim of unconstitutional secret
arrest, detainment and surveillance.

It doesn’t prevent this crazy bullshit war, but I hope that the
signals are being received that our current administration has well
overplayed its hand. I found this story via Boing Boing.

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Happy St. Patricks day. Maybe someone could celebrate by driving the
snakes out of America. The ones I’m thinking of wear suits and ties.

TV TopicLast night I watched the story of Michael Larson, the guy who
cracked the Press Your Luck patterns
on the documentary “Big
Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal” on the Game Show Central. It was
pretty interesting viewing. The aired the entirety of the original
program including bits that had to be edited out of the broadcast
version because it didn’t fit, even in two episodes. One of the things
said in the interview segments with some of the show personel was that
they knew they were at risk with the relatively small number of
patterns. Larsen figured out the pattern and he also figured out there
were two squares that never got whammies, and so he went. Since those
two squares were heavily tilted towards large cash values and “plus a
spin” he just hit them over and over, racking up over $100,000 by the
time he was done. From what I gleaned from the show, he was kind of a
creepy scumbag.

He managed to blow the cash in less than two years,
including getting $40,000 of it stolen out of the house where he kept
it in cash. Here was apparently involved in various shaky investment
deals, and at the time he died was on the run from the IRS, the SEC
and the FBI. He was sort of an idiot savant on this topic. He was
proto-cipherpunk enough to recognize the patterns and once on that
game run it at will. He didn’t have much sense though. The reason that
he had all the cash in the house was to try to win a radio contest
where a $30,000 prize was available if you could match a dollar bill’s
serial number. He withdrew his entire Press Your Luck winnings in one
dollar bills to try to win that contest. I’m sure this made the
neighborhood thief very happy. All in all, it was fascinating
viewing.