You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for August, 2001.


August 28th, 2001

This is fascinating: The Bride, Off Duty. A woman dressed as a bride goes about the business of daily life alone, such as pumping gas, buying groceries, eating at a diner. A confidant watches and records the reactions of passersby. The results provide an interesting glimpse into the meaning of bridal finery and the symbolism of being a bride (warning: this site should probably not be viewed by anyone with an upcoming wedding on their schedules).

The wedding dress partly represents the wearer’s adherence to societal norms, exhibiting a desire to make continuing connections over time between families and within cultural traditions. It is expected that the bride will always be seen with and among those that she belongs to as well as with those whom she is connecting. But here is a visual investigation or proposition of The Bride as Loner, the antithesis of she-who-joins-together, she-who-belongs. To some, that made this solitary bride seem funny; to others, invisible; and to some, it made her suspect. Dressed for a moment of connection, she is here alone and doing what is necessary to provide for her individual, daily, ordinary, perhaps unconnected life.

Link via Girl Hacker.

Dave, you are wrong. In a well-written and well-intentioned essay, he argues that women are limited somehow and haven’t contibuted to programming yet.

But software comes from men with few exceptions. And I’m not saying anything should change there, there may be a reason why men’s minds are better suited to creating complex and dark caves and patiently retrying connections. Evolution created us differently from women.

Women have had a significant and important role in programming. In fact, women were the very first programmers. Subsequent developments cannot be attributed to innate abilities or evolutionary preferences. They are due to institutional sexism that guides women and men to make some decisions more often than others. That sexism may not be linked to specific individuals, but it is sexism nonetheless and should be changed.

Nifty redesign Steve. Someone suggested to me once that Mac users always put their sidebars on the right, while PC users always put theirs on the left, since that is the way their computers are set up. Hmmm….

I stumbled upon this Iron Chef USA page the other day. If you scroll down to the middle of the page, you’ll see a picture of the set, with William Shatner as the chairman. I think my fears have been realized — they spent too much money on the set, diminishing the program’s cheese factor and making it simply bad. I’ll have to wait until November when the two specials are aired to make sure though.

I have to order a new birth certificate for myself because I somehow managed to lose mine. I found this website that is packed with information about ordering birth, death, divorce and marriage certificates. I thought I’d pass it along in case someone else might find it useful.I will admit that I do not understand birth certificates. Since the certificate is the basis of all other forms of identification, including social security cards, drivers’ licenses, and passports, I would like to think that you somehow have to prove that you are YOU in order to get your hands on your birth certificate. But you don’t. You can just write and request it, usually paying a small fee. It seems that this would open the door to all kinds of chicanery, including identity theft, fraud and fake IDs. Maybe the powers that be are banking on most chicanerous types being too short-sighted to plan ahead far enough to obtain an alternative birth certificate. Or maybe there is no efficient, cost-effective way to secure identity. Either way, thinking about my birth certificate too hard makes my head hurt.

Some Fun

August 24th, 2001

I’ve had some fun lately at Absolute Facts. The site exhibits “true stories about people and events that changed the life of mankind.” I am currently in the throes of an obsession with classical music, so I found this story about Edvard Grieg fascinating. I don’t think it will help raise my score in the Fantasy Composer League though.

This rant about futurist architecture is intriguing. It was written by Antonio Sant’Elia in 1914, but as I look around at American cities today, I find his comments to be quite apt.

No architecture has existed since 1700. A moronic mixture of the most various stylistic elements used to mask the skeletons of modern houses is called modern architecture. The new beauty of cement and iron are profaned by the superimposition of motley decorative incrustations that cannot be justified either by constructive necessity or by our (modern) taste, and whose origins are in Egyptian, Indian or Byzantine antiquity and in that idiotic flowering of stupidity and impotence that took the name of neoclassicism.

Futurism was an international art movement that started in Italy in the first decade of the 20th century. While the politics of some of its adherents are objectionable, the artistic approach is refreashing.

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Cream of Tartar

August 22nd, 2001

Work is slow today, so I dug up a few links to share. We are busy trying to get our car registered this week. The requirements are very strict here. We had to have an inspection, and as a result have to remove the tinting from our car windows. What a pain. If everything goes as planned though, we will be in the line at the Motor Vehical Administration Saturday morning. What fun!

Hugh Pearman’s article about Cleopatra is fascinating. He discusses her famed beauty, imagines what she might really have looked like, and gives an overview of her innovative politics.

I’m currently reading Midnight’s Children, by Salmon Rushdie, and having mixed experiences with it. I can’t decide if I should finish it or not. However, it has definately awakened me to the fact that I know very little about Indian history. So I dug up a few links: Itihaas and History of India both have short, informative sketches of India’s history.

I was inspired by my friend ASH to examine exactly what cream of tartar is. It turns out to be an interesting substance. Its chemical name is potassium hydrogen tartrate, and it is “an acid compound, chiefly potassium bitartrate, found in the juice of grapes and deposited on the sides of casks during winemaking“. It is cheifly used to make frostings creamier, stabilize beaten eggs and is one of the main ingredients of baking powder. That certainly explain’s ASH’s use for it: she puts it in homemade playdoh. It probably makes the playdoh smoother and easier to mold. The acid may even preserve it a bit and make it last longer. Here’s a recipe for homemade playdoh that uses cream of tartar. I don’t know if this is the one my friend uses, but it is very similar to this one, this one, this one, and this one (but not this one).

F Scott

August 18th, 2001

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are burried in the town I live in (well, actually the next town over, but I can’t tell where one starts and the next starts). My husband and I have been discussing whether or not we should go look at their graves, and the propriety of making a rubbing or taking a photograph. I did some research, and I found that there is quite a lot of controversy about rubbings and graveyard tourism in general.


How rubbings cause damage explains the basic problems involved.

CGN’s how to clean a gravestone page offers tips on safe ways to clean and view stones.How-to

Section 289:22 of the State of New Hampshire Revised Statutes requires that written permission be obtained before taking a rubbing at any publicly owned graveyard. Many sites reccomend obtaining permission no matter where you are.

How to do rubbings explains some safe methods that will preserve the stone.

ASG’s Rubbings Do’s and Don’ts practical advice for doing a rubbing. They also offer guidebooks for sale. The guides sound useful; we may have to buy them if we pursue this.

Historical Gravestones is an exhibit of rubbings made in Rehoboth, Massachusttes in 1991. My favorite part of this site is the epitaph at the top of this page.Related links

SavingGraves.Com is dedicated to preserving graveyards everywhere.

Cemetary Culture: City of the Silent examines the symbols found in graveyards.

The Association for Gravestone Studies is an academic assocation that promotes the study of gravestones as historic artifacts.

The Epitaph Browser. Epitaphs from the famous and not-so-famous.

The Tombstone Transcription Project. Transcribes information from old, deteriorating tombstones.


August 17th, 2001

*none today*

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Cube zoo

August 3rd, 2001

Last night we visited the Phillips Collection, which bills itself as the first modern art museum in the country, since it opened several years before MOMA. We saw an exhibit of Jacob Lawrence’s work. Lawrence learned to paint as part of a WPA project in Harlem using poster paints, and he continued to use those paints throughout his life. I will admit here that I usually do not like paintings. I appreciate music, sculpture, cultural artifacts and photography much more. However, I liked the Lawrence exhibit because of the history it told. Not only were the paintings evocative, but the museum has done an excellent job providing a narration (via a headset) that grounds Lawrence’s art in his life and times. Very good stuff.Some links about Lawrence:

Jacob Lawrence Virtual Archive and Education Center. Photos, biography and Lawrence interviews.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault interview with Lawrence, originally broadcast on PBS in 1995.

October Gallery’s Jacob Lawrence Page. An excellent biography and some pictures.Being a good American, I visited the museum shop on my way out, where I bought a Cube Zoo which I plan to use as a pencil holder in my office. It’s very cool.

This is too funny

August 2nd, 2001

I don’t like posting from work, and I never, ever, ever would have imagined myself posting a link to something in the The National Review, but this is funny –In Bradshaw v. Unity Marine, June 26 2001, the Judge Samuel Kent had some choice words to say about the lawyers involved:

Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact — complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words — to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor’s edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins.

Found via Overlawyered.