URLs du Jour -- 12/28/2006

  • Andrew Sullivan gets a lot of grief here, but today totally redeems himself with the Moore Award Winners 2005.
    The award goes to those who best represent anti-Americanism, equation of the West with terrorists, fanatical Bush-hatred, and rhetoric that makes even Huffington Post readers raise their eyebrows.

    He catches Jane Smiley making an even bigger ass of herself than I did here; he credits her with "helping us better understand, several decades later, why so many Western lefties were once fans of Joseph Stalin." Amazingly, Ms. Smiley's effort is only good for an Honorable Mention.

    Next year, Andrew starts off with a clean slate here at Pun Salad. As if he cares.

  • Both Geek Press and Bruce Schneier point approvingly to this method of determining whether the NSA or anyone else is "snooping on your e-mail": briefly, set up two new e-mail accounts, one on a foreign provider; then send "interesting" mail from one to the other, containing an otherwise-unpublicized URL pointing to a web server to which you have log access. Then watch the logs.

    I'm not sure what this would actually prove about the privacy of your existing e-mail accounts. But it seems easy enough to do, if you're comfortable about adding to the wrong end of the signal/noise ratio of whatever monitoring is going on. (And I suppose if you're really of a certain worldview, you might also want to worry about whatever hassles you can get into as a result.)

  • My close personal friend Dave Barry won't be resuming his weekly column. A recent interview containing this news and more is right here. Fortunately, his blog is consistently funny, and he's apparently going to keep at it.
  • Protein Wisdom posts a high point of Jimmy Carter's presidency:
    Carter: … So the director of the CIA [Stansfield Turner] came and told me that he had contacted a woman in California that claimed to have supernatural capabilities. And she went in a trance, and she wrote down latitudes and longitudes, and we sent our satellites over that latitude and longitude, and there was the plane.
    How did this country survive even four years of this guy? I remember the brouhaha when it was revealed that Nancy Reagan consulted a psychic during Ronnie's presidency; I predict the outrage about this will be much less.
  • In the olden days, YAF used to be "Young Americans for Freedom;" nowadays they seem to have changed their moniker to "Young America's Foundation." WTF? Was being "for freedom" a little bit too controversial? Well, anyway: via Dartblog, the YAF has released a list of "America' s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses." We here at Pun Salad are deeply gratified that a UNH course didn't appear; no doubt some of our profs will want to try again next year.