On-page link, opens in this window 04/03/14 Madrid bombings, novel progress #31
On-page link, opens in this window 04/03/07 Current events, links, novel progress #30


I found this bit of news strangely cheering, possibly because it shows that life will always find a way.

After years of being the dumping place for polluted soil from the Rotterdam harbour De Esch, near Rotterdam, is one of the most polluted areas in the Netherlands. When investigating the area, ecologists were amazed to find forty-seven beetles of the extremely rare species Harpalus luteicornis. Since 1900 there have been only six sightings of this species, usually of only one beetle at a time. In fact the species is so rare that it isn't even on the Endangered Species list, since the probability of encountering it was considered close to zero.

But now we have a healthy Harpalus luteicornis population, its existence only threathened by - ironically - the long-standing plans to clean up the area. For now those plans are on hold, while the Rotterdam city council considers the situation.


Newspapers in Spain and other European countries are describing the devastating bomb attacks in Madrid as Europe's 11 September - or 11-M, standing for 11 March. America's war on terror has been seen differently on this side of the Atlantic. So how far will that change now?
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: Europe rethinks war on terror

Spanish authorities have arrested five suspects in connection with the Madrid blasts which killed 200 people. Interior Minister Angel Acebes told a news conference three Moroccans and two Indians were being held.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: Spain arrests five over bombings

This is a transcript of the videotaped message claiming al-Qaeda carried out the Madrid train bombings, as translated by the Associated Press.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: full text 'Al-Qaeda' Madrid claim

Thursday's bomb attacks in Madrid are roundly condemned in many Arabic language papers in the Middle East. But several editorial writers are concerned at what they see as an attempt to pin the blame on Arab terrorism before any hard evidence emerges about the identity of the perpetrators.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: Madrid attacks unsettle Arab press

The people of Spain are voting in a general election overshadowed by claims that al-Qaeda carried out Madrid's bomb attacks that killed 200 people.
Off-site link, opens in new window BBC: Al-Qaeda claim clouds Spanish vote

Novel progress #31

Reasonable progress in terms of notes and ideas, no new episode this week.


And the hits just keep on coming...

Beleaguered energy giant Royal Dutch/Shell is facing increased pressure from US investors following the resignation of its chairman Sir Philip Watts and fellow director Walter Van de Vijver last week. US legal experts acting for investors said that events surrounding the resignations, which followed the admission in January that the company had wrongly booked 3.9 billion barrels of oil as reserves, strengthened their multibillion-dollar case of alleged fraud against the company.
Off-site link, opens in new window The Observer: now Shell faces US legal storm


NetFuture is an electronic newsletter with postings every two-to-four weeks or so. It looks beyond the generally recognized "risks" of computer use such as privacy violations, unequal access, censorship, and dangerous computer glitches. It seeks especially to address those deep levels at which we half-consciously shape technology and are shaped by it. What is half-conscious can, after all, be made fully conscious, and we can take responsibility for it.
Off-site link, opens in new window Netfuture
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Metafilter)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Andrew D. Kirch, security administrator for AHBL, infiltrated several script kiddie groups and shared some of his findings with us via IRC. From the (edited) interview transcript, you'll learn that one of the "new waves" in DDoS coordination is hijacking corporate conference call facilities, which is really an update of good old '60s-style phone phreaking, plus some insight into why some DDoSers do what they do -- and some tips on how they might be stopped.
Off-site link, opens in new window Newsforge: a peek at script kiddie culture
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

After buying the Animatrix DVD and Princess Mononoke (and seeing Spirited Away some time last year) I'm becoming fascinated with anime. The visual style (that I tend to associate with the mass-produced children's cartoons that seemed to be used as filler material for daytime television for a while) still doesn't much for me, but I love the storytelling.

Off-site link, opens in new window The Right Stuff: an introduction to anime
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

During the 1990s, animation, spearheaded by the work of a few anime auteurs, emerged as the face of Japanese film, positioning Japan as the world's undisputed "anime superpower." And in 1997 - a full twenty years since anime took off - animation's preeminence over live-action films in Japan was more apparent than ever. In a matter of months after its release, Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke), Miyazaki's latest film to date which was then alleged to be his last directorial effort, broke every box-office record to become the biggest domestic movie hit of all time in Japan. In the languishing field of young adult anime, the avant garde sci-fi work Shin Seiki Evangerion (Neon Genesis Evangelion) scored a major box-office hit and won a huge cult following. Moreover, children's anime are as popular as ever. In all, it appears that anime has taken center stage in the Japanese film industry, pushing live-action movies into the wings.
Off-site link, opens in new window KJ: more animated than life
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Slashdot)

These links connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries (and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social and cultural history).
Off-site link, opens in new window Eurodocs
Off-site link, opens in new window (Via Metafilter)

Novel progress #30

One new episode in the past two weeks, 870 new words, 52,205 words total.
On-site link, opens in this window Introduction
On-site link, opens in this window Introduction and start of part 2
On-site link, opens in this window After the war (78)

Lessons learned while writing a novel.
04/02/28 Knowledge versus... what?

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