July 2007


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Wired – February 2002

Seventeen miles off the coast of Kauai lies the small island of Niihau. Like the rest of Hawaii, the Forbidden Island, as it has come to be known, is part of the United States. Its roughly 200 residents pay taxes and vote in elections; some serve in the US military. But there integration ends: Niihau has no telephones, no running water, no paved roads, and only four cars. The islanders have radios and some own TVs and VCRs, but even then connection to the outside world is difficult. The island has no electrical grid. Residents rely on gas generators and solar power.

There is one explanation for how Niihau has remained isolated from modern society. For nearly 150 years, it has been under the private ownership of a single family, the Robinsons, descendants of Scottish settlers who bought the island from King Kamehameha IV in 1863 for $10,000 in gold. An intensely private family of strict Calvinist Christians, the Robinsons established the social and moral rules that all Niihauans agree to abide by if they want to stay. There is no smoking, no drinking, no adultery. Most important is a rule that’s proved to be Niihau’s most effective defense – no outsiders can visit Niihau without the Robinsons’ permission. — Matthew Yeomans, “Unplugged”

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Pictures from Saturday night are available here.

No, James’ hat was not really on fire.

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Hey, it’s been a long time since we’ve done this. Let’s get it started again!

What are the five wisest lines you’ve ever heard in a song?

Straight-out advice, keen insights, whatever. Anything from “If you wanna know if he love you so, it’s in his kiss” to “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Enlighten me.

Move over, “¿Quién Es Más Macho?”

Tune in tomorrow night for CNN’s “¿Quién Es Más Máquina?”

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I know, I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. So before we get back in the routine, let’s sum up this summer’s blockbuster releases. As these are blockbusters we’re talking about, we’ll keep with the spirit of excess by citing two sentences instead of just one. Enjoy!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Umbrige showed up and it turned into a portal of death! she changed the school with 100 laws (litterally!). — Star Point Mansion

Live Free or Die Hard: What could be better then totally ripped shirtless men in capes killing hordes of men and monsters alike using only their spears and the sheer power of movie slow-motion magic, you ask? A severely bald man and the Mac is what! — Scott’s Digital Blog

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: At one point Jack is having a discussion with himself, and out of nowhere a “good Jack” and “bad Jack” come out to offer advice to the real Jack Sparrow. Personally, I thought it was pretty gay and didn’t fit in with anything they had done in these movies previously. — I’m Bringing Ugly Back

The Simpsons: Interestingly, Xiaxue and her ang moh boyfriend just so happen to sit in front of us. They look really loving by the way – doesn’t seem like a crappy Sarong Party Girl relationship a lot of people are accusing her of. — Alvinology

Transformers: And really the decision of making them the same as the 1980’s models would have doomed the movie because no one wants to see a couple of blocks of metal put together in a block shape moving and fighting, those shapes were good for the 80’s but we are in the 21st century and the models managed to mature nicely. Jazz and Bumble Bee were the coolest of the bunch but no one can deny that Optimus Prime and Megatron’s battle was by all means “Epic”. —  Diaries

Wow. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one bummed about the trees. This just in from the desk of the chancellor:

Dear Campus Community Members,

When I first set foot on the IUS campus in the spring of 2002, I was impressed by the beautiful environment.  Because of the trees along the railroad track at the rear of campus, I was mostly unaware of the industrial park.  Late autumn, however, presented a quite different view.  As a result, I have been consulting with the IU Architects Office for the past four years about planting a screen of evergreen trees along the back side of campus to block the view of the industrial park year round.  The advent of our student housing, however, modified how this tree planting could progress.
(more…)

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“Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.”

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